Monday, September 19, 2022

our second big renovation

We survived another bathroom renovation! This one was slightly less impactful to our daily life than our last renovation, since it was the upstairs bathroom that's mainly used by Mae and Colin. They both enjoy taking showers in our bathroom, so we didn't miss the bath too much while theirs was out of commission.
While the finishes in the old bathroom were perfectly acceptable, the plumbing was NOT. When the contractor removed our old galvanized pipes during the demolition, he was suprised we were able to get any water to the upstairs! The bathtub drain/plug was also very rusted and unreliable, and the plumbers warned us they were not able to source replacement parts for it. For a while we were using a rubber jar opener as a drain cover while we waited 10 minutes for the tub to fill just enough for the kids to sit in. I am absolutely thrilled with how the finished bathroom turned out, so I'm glad we had an excuse to gut and refinish it!
In addition to the brand new plumbing and cosmetic upgrades, we made two big improvements to the functionality of the bathroom. First, we added a vent fan so the room doesn't get as damp during showers. Second, we raised the height of the shower head so you don't have to duck to wash your hair! The old fixture was so low due to the slanted ceilings. Originally we planned to have the shower plumbing coming out of the angled portion of the ceiling. Unfortunately, the inspector nixed that plan for code reasons, and we couldn't find a shower head fixture that worked with the weird angle. Instead, I found an angled shower arm extender from Signature Hardware. I think it's supposed to make a standard shower feel more like a rainfall shower, but for us it just raises the shower head to a reasonable height for a normal adult. It even follows the angle of the ceiling pretty well.
Speaking of the bath, I think the most exciting part of finishing this renovation is not having an empty bathtub sitting in our dining room any more! I heard so many horror stories about long construction delays due to sourcing materials that I ordered plenty early. I had almost everything we needed ready and waiting in our house months before construction started. The vanity was the first thing I bought; it sat in our basement for a year! Between our family, our general contractor, and the plumbers, we did have a few COVID related delays thoughout the renovation. The whole project took about 5 months.

Early in my planning (a.k.a. Pinterest-scrolling) for this room, I came across some teal fish scale tiles. I considered pairing these with white floor tiles, but I was concerned about tiring of the bold wall color and trying to keep the white floor clean. I decided to stick with the fish-scale tiles on the walls, but opted for a (much cheaper!) white fish scale tile from Home Depot. I searched EVERYWHERE for the perfect (reasonably priced) light green/teal penny tile and finally found this tile from Tile Daily. The wall paint color is Sherwin Williams Windowpane, which I think looks lovely with the tile. The grout is Prism Cape Gray, a light gray that shows off the tile lines but will hopefully not show off the dirt! I sealed it with Miracle Sealants 511 impregnator sealer, per our tile guy's recommendation. It did end up a little streaky on the walls, so I might need to touch that up. I couldn't find bullnose tile to match the fish scales, so we used white Schluter edging instead. I love the clean finish.
I debated between an acrylic tub (less durable, lighter weight) or cast iron (durable, but massively heavy). Our contractor recommended this titanium reinforced enameled steel tub (lighter weight, but still durable) from Kaldewei. The vanity and toilet are from Home Depot. The plumbing fixtures are Moen. The medicine cabinet and light fixtures are from Pottery Barn. The wall vent cover is from Signature Hardware. I hunted everywhere for the perfect shower curtain and finally settled on one from Target.
I'm so happy with how this room turned out, and the kids are excited to have their bath back!

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