Friday, May 17, 2013

Bathroom Makeover

It's been a long time coming but I am happy to report that our bathroom renovation is almost complete.  I tried to type that last sentence without the "almost", but I just couldn't... since there always seem to be things that need to be tweaked. 

Let's first take a walk down memory lane, shall we?  Here was our bathroom back in early November right before we got down to business.  I don't miss the linoleum or the tacky behind-the-toilet-storage-unit and definitely not that disgusting bathtub.  

Wow.  It seems so gross when I look back at it now.

The vanity was nothing special - it had been painted white somewhere along the line which was it's only saving feature.

After we took some final photos, Erik took out his sledgehammer and got down to business.  He took it right down to the bare bones because of water and mould damage in the drywall and studs.  I was sad to lose the window in the bathroom but it had to be done since this will be a shared wall with the new addition.  In the end I don't miss the window at all, and you'll see why in a minute.

New studs and insulation and new bathtub too...

We seriously considered using one of the old vintage bathtubs that had been used as a flower bed when we first moved in:

One of them was in really good shape and I had visions of a white claw-foot tub in my new bathroom.  Erik actually started working on it one weekend but when he calculated the work and materials that would be required to restore it we decided it wasn't worth it.  In the end we chose a modern tub that is much deeper and more comfortable than what we had previously and I think we're both happy with it.

Drywall stage.

Then the tile started to go up.  This was the most exciting stage to witness because up until this point it was all the behind-the-scenes work... which took for.ever.  

Making the decisions about all the finishes in the bathroom was the hardest part for me, being slightly indecisive and unable to envision the finished product.  But Pinterest was a life-saver since I was able to find pictures of bathrooms that I liked and then pick out the common themes.  I quickly realized that white subway tile was definitely something I wanted in the space.

Erik and I agreed that we wanted a heated tile floor.  He started with a rectangular heating coil pad, which we then positioned where we wanted it in the space.  It wasn't long enough to cover all the way from the door to the edge of the bathtub so it ended up somewhere in between (I figured as long as my feet were warm when I sat on the toilet I was good.)  When the heating coil is turned on, the difference between the heated sections and the rest of the floor is pretty significant.

Here is the heating pad after it's been cemented into place:

We lived without a toilet and a sink for what seemed like a LONG time.  Thankfully the toilet was replaced right after I discovered I was pregnant.  (And I definitely appreciated the heated tile floors when I was hanging over the toilet puking up my breakfast.)  The kids got used to washing hands and brushing teeth in the kitchen sink for several weeks while we waited for our one and only bathroom to be functional again.

Erik & I agreed that we wanted some sort of wall treatment.  I had really hoped for some rustic-inspired panelling on the walls like these bathrooms I had seen online:

But Erik explained that achieving that look would require a lot more materials and labour and convinced me to stick with this more modern wainscoting, which was super simple for Erik to achieve.  

And slowly all the parts came together to bring about this finished product...

I shouldn't have worried about losing a window because we gained it in another way.  We had seen a couple of houses that incorporated tube sky lights to bring in more natural light and decided to add one into the space.  It creates enough light that we often don't need to turn on the light switch during the day.

Here's the bathroom with natural light.

The tube light makes a difference for the entire hallway.

For the vanity I chose a double sink from IKEA.  This bathroom will be our guest bath, but it also serves as our "ensuite" and I figured the more sinks the better.  This sink still has plenty of space to rest a curling iron or that morning cup of coffee and it's so easy to keep clean.  The upside to IKEA is the price.  The downside is that IKEA parts are not so great.  The plumber had to improvise a few things to get the plumbing parts to work underneath and unfortunately the sink stoppers are not fantastic, but I'm a sucker for a good price.

Erik did a couple of rows of white subway tiles behind the sink as a backsplash and built a frame for a free mirror that he pulled out of a house during a recent renovation.

I became educated on the difference between faucets when I bought and returned about 2 or 3 before I got it right.  The IKEA sink required that each faucet could only use one hole.  In the end I chose these ones from Home Hardware.

Erik's brother Doug built the vanity for us and it turned out beautifully.  I love how we went with legs at the bottom instead of carrying the vanity all the way to the floor.

I found a light fixture that I liked at Home Depot online.  It's not available in stores but by paying a bit extra for shipping I had it delivered straight to my house.

The tile around the bathtub turned out really well (though Erik had some frustrations with the grouting process).  I love the white grout and the white tile.  The kids kept asking me why everything was so... white.  But I love how it all turned out, including the pot lights above the bathtub.  Over the chilly winter months this became my new happy place.

A new chrome rod for the shower and white fabric shower curtain.

One of my favourite features is this 5-piece shower head.  A rain head for regular showers as well as a hand-held shower head.  The hand-held piece is so handy for rinsing out the tub and rinsing off soapy kids.  And it rests on an adjustable bar so the kids can use it for their own mini-shower.  Functional but also attractive - I realized that I love the industrial look of the chrome pieces combined with the white subway tiles.

Another one of my favourite features is the door we chose, because I think it has some rustic barn-door charm to it.  I decided to go with the black hardware even though we did chrome finishes throughout the bathroom.  Eventually we will replace all the doors on the main floor with this style.

Erik made me these 2 floating shelves out of old wood from our barn.  (For the record, in real life I think they look much less "orange" than they do here).  I need to work on the styling a little more here - I'm thinking a nice wire basket to house my toilet paper would be a nice addition - but for now I'm working with what I've got.

And we can't forget the floor.  This probably caused the most drama of anything.  After looking at dozens of Pinterest bathroom pictures I knew without a doubt that I wanted a small-scale tile on the floor.  Unfortunately the smaller the tiles, the more high-maintenance they are.  It's that much harder to get the floor installed evenly, and that many more grout lines to fill.  Erik was not pumped about this decision but he agreed to let me have my way on this one.  The tiles went in and turned out great but when it came time to pick the grout colour I was a little lost.  I didn't want white-on-white but was hoping for a light to medium gray colour.  I picked up a box at Home Depot that looked the most like what I was envisioning but as Erik mixed it up and started applying it I realized it looked so much different than the colour swatch on the box.  Of course by that time, it was already too late.  And it brought to mind my last grout-regret moment back in our old townhouse - and the sinking feeling of disappointment when you realize you made the wrong choice.  So that is our one regret.  In the pictures the grout looks pretty decent, but in real life it's a yellow/beige colour, which tends to look dirty even when the floor is clean.  Apparently there is a product that can be applied over top of grout to change it's colour, but right now we're not going to mess with a finished product...
It's just too soon.

And the minor things that need tweaking include putting in a toilet paper holder and maybe changing out the towel ring which I don't love, plus styling up those shelves a little bit better.  But for the most part we've been enjoying the one room in our house that is beautiful and (almost) complete!


laura.h said...

So beautiful! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Very nice! Mom

kelly ens said...


Cheryl said...
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Heidi Dick said...

Hi Jamie, Your bathroom looks great! And that tub is super comfortable (we have the same one).

Elissa said...

Oh Jamie-- I love your bathroom! Using it is one of the highlights of my Sunday nights :)

Trev and Rebekah said...

love the double sinks

rachel joy said...

Looks great! That would totally be my happy place too! I love the light tube. My parents have some in their house and I have been thinking of a few places in our dark wood house that could use one. The light they give is amazing!

Jen Glen said...

Wow! Great job, again, Eric! (And to you too, Jamie. I think I would have had a panic attack having to make all those decor decision! When we did our (small) bathroom reno and I was faced with choices, I just kept saying, "whichever one is cheapest!" :)

Bonnie said...

Its absolutely stunning! Love every little detail. :)

Carol said...
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Ryann Hoyer@ Yancey Company said...

A bathroom that is immaculately white is pleasing to the senses! It feels so clean, fresh, very bright. The best thing about white is that goes well with all the other colors. By the way, what else did you add to your bathroom?

Chase Conely @ GMRoth said...

It was a surprise that your bathroom turned out like this. I can no longer see a single sign, or can't even remember, how it looked like before. Erik worked like a professional. Good job!