Tag Archives: bathroom

The Master Bath Reno Reveal

I can’t believe I am finally writing this post—it’s so exciting! Our master bathroom renovation was a labor of love … a really, really long labor. I will never forget the day I was washing dishes downstairs and heard an ominous banging overhead. I raced upstairs and found my husband standing in the shower of our master bath with a crow bar and a mallet methodically demolishing the tile. Apparently, we were renovating our bathroom.

Over the course of the next several days, our bathroom was ripped apart. And then it stayed that way—for six months. We finally decided that, with both of us working full-time and having a toddler, we needed to hire a contractor or we would never use our master bathroom again.

So finally, one year and two months later, here you go … our big master bath reveal!

Before

Our house was built in 1979, when apparently master baths weren’t a selling point, so ours is on the small side. Expanding the space during the renovation wasn’t an option because of the layout of our house, so we tried to make the most of the space we had. Everything “before” was original to the house, right down to the sweet vanity light and wall-sized mirror.

Drum roll please …

After

This was a total gut job. Turns out we had to replace some of the plumbing, so it was a good thing we took it down to the studs.

 

For the shower tile, we loved the look of the glass tile, but it’s a bit more expensive than your run of the mill white subway tile, so we decided to just work some glass tiles into the white shower surround. Before the white tile went up, we went through with a Sharpie and marked X’s on the sheet rock where we wanted the glass tiles to go. This whole idea was a leap of faith because we couldn’t find any similar pictures or ideas online on which to base the design. We were thrilled with the way it turned out! We feel like we got a custom-looking shower for a much lower price tag.

A real point of contention during the design process was the shower door. While we both agreed that we wanted a glass door, I was fine with one with a chrome frame across the top. My husband, on the other hand, was really pushing for a frameless shower door. I don’t know if you’ve ever priced out frameless glass shower doors but they’re waaaaaaay more expensive than regular glass doors. I wasn’t ready to break the budget over a stupid frame. But my determined hubby found a frameless door online for much cheaper than all the others we had seen. It was still more than a regular door, but it was a price I could live with. And I will say this (honey, are you reading this?), he. was. right. There, I admit it.

We had a challenge finding a vanity out of the box that would fit the space. Because of where the rough-in was for the toilet, the vanity couldn’t be more than 42 inches wide, which isn’t a standard vanity size. We also really wanted a marble top, which limited our options even further. At the end of the day, we opted to convert a piece of furniture into a bathroom vanity. Best decision we ever made. Yes, it was more work than just picking something out at Home Depot, but we were able to get the exact look we wanted at the right size (and price, thanks to the cabinet being on clearance!).

The real reason it’s taken me so long to write this post is because it took us forever to find a mirror. What can I say? We’re very particular. We bought five or six mirrors, but the second we held each one up in the bathroom, we instantly hated it. Imagine my excitement (and shock) when we both agreed that this last mirror was “the one.” FINALLY. To top it off, it was only $60 from HomeGoods!

 

The fixtures are all part of the Moen Waterhill family, right down to the towel hooks. We saved around $115 by ordering them through Plumbersstock.com instead of picking them up at Home Depot or Lowes.

I think my favorite part of our bathroom is the flooring. I love the look of wood floors in the bathroom, but it’s just not practical. So we went with a faux wood porcelain tile instead. It really warms up the small space and feeds the vintage-y look we were going for.

To really maximize the natural light we get from the window in our bathroom, we decided to apply a frosted treatment to the window rather than covering it with blinds. It’s amazing how much lighter the bathroom feels now!

We are so happy with our new master bath, and we really feel like we made the most of our small space.

A few tips we learned to really maximize the space in your small bathroom:

1. Take your shower tile up to the ceiling to heighten the room.

2. Keep the color palette light and airy to really open up the space.

3. Go for a small scale toilet to gain a little extra space.

4. Make the most of any natural light you have by keeping your window free of blinds and applying a frost treatment for privacy without sacrificing light.

5. A glass shower door can make your bathroom appear a couple of feet larger.

Materials we used:

Shower DoorDreamline Mirage Sliding Tub Door *We ordered ours from Overstock.com but it looks like it’s no longer available on that site.
FlooringBayur Borneo from The Tile Shop
Mirror—HomeGoods
ToiletAmerican Standard Clean White High Efficiency Toilet
Fixtures—Moen Waterhill collection
Shower Tile—3 x 6 basic white ceramic subway tile and 3 x 6 Daltile Arctic Ice Glass Tile
Marble—White Carrera marble from USA Marble and Granite
Vanity Cabinet—HomeGoods
LightingHinkley Avon Chrome Wall Sconce  *We opted to flip ours the other way for more lighting.

 


And Your Top Potty Training Tips Are …

We’re getting ready to dive into the potty training pool (which sounds gross, but you know what I mean). So I recently asked my Facebook followers to share their #1 potty training success tips to help psyche me up. The advice was so good that I couldn’t just keep it to myself!

Marlayna said:
Rewards. My daughter gets a mini M&M so she really likes going potty now. 

Lisa said:
We tried every bribe in the book. The only thing that worked was taking her to what would be her preschool and telling her she can’t go to school if she wears diapers. That was it. . .!

Jessica said:
Evan was motivated by Thomas the Train underwear. He really, really wanted to wear them, but we only let him if he was using the potty. The one thing I learned that seemed counter-intuitive was not making a huge deal out of it when they go potty. Let them know they did a good job, but if you get too excited it can cause them to be anxious next time.

Charity said:
Keep a pack of post it notes in your purse to cover the automatic flushing sensor in public bathrooms! Nothing more scary than a toilet flushing while you are holding on for your little life trying to potty!

Penny said:
My sisters and I all did the same thing – during the day, we simply put them in underwear. We didn’t make a big production of it. We didn’t reward or scold. All 6 were potty trained quickly and most never had an accident. We started when they were between 27 and 30 months.

Danielle said:
… don’t start too early (because then it’ll just take longer and frustrate everyone involved!), and be consistent. They really do just wake up one day and “get it.” 

Margo said:
Just remember it is unlikely he will still be in a diaper at 16. Which means, he will get tired of it in due time …

Nancie said:
A step stool so a big boy can urinate standing up, and paper targets to sink! Oh, and M&Ms are a very good thing.

Elaine said:
… I just started offering underwear or pull-ups, and eventually they chose underwear. Plus I would do a lot of asking during the day if they want to go to the potty. No rewards other than a lot of jumping up and down and clapping!

Thanks to everyone for such great, tried-and-true advice!


Converting a Cabinet into a Bathroom Vanity

I think this was the mother of all DIY projects in our house. It’s by far the most ambitious one we’ve ever tried at least, and my husband did an amazing job! When we renovated our master bath, we had a really hard time finding a bathroom vanity that fit our vision for the space. We have a small bathroom, but we wanted to maximize the space we had, which meant that we needed a vanity that wasn’t a standard size. We also loved the idea of having a marble counter top. Those two things together meant that we were looking at spending $2,000 on the vanity alone, not to mention all of the other bathroom expenses.

So when we came across the perfect sized cabinet on clearance at HomeGoods for $250, we decided we could do it ourselves for less. And we did. With the custom-cut carrara marble counter top, we ended up spending about $800 total. Yes, we could have gotten a smaller, standard vanity from Home Depot for cheaper, but it wouldn’t have been exactly what we wanted. This project let us achieve the look we were going for while keeping an extra $1,200 in our pockets!

Here’s how you can DIY: 

1. When you choose your counter top and sink, request the sink template from the vendor to use as a guide for cutting out the top of the furniture. You may need to coordinate this with your vendor to make sure you’re cutting the void for the sink in the correct location.

2. With all measurements accounted for, tape the sink template to the top of the furniture and trace it using a pencil or marker. You may want to add an additional ½” – 1” to the outside of the template to account for the brackets that attach the sink to the bottom of the counter top.

3. Assess the supporting points on your furniture and plan your cuts to retain structural integrity.  If cuts are necessary that may compromise the structure, plan to install new supports to help bear the weight of the new top. In this case, we added 2 x 4’s cut to length for support. You will want to reassess the stability after you cut out the section as well.

4. Drill a starter hole near the center of the traced template, and then use a jigsaw to cut out the top of the furniture.  If you are able to cut the full sink void, do so.  If your furniture has a center support, then you may need to cut the void out in sections. You can then use a hole saw to cut your faucet voids.

5. Measure the depth of your sink.  If a center support exists, transpose the measurement to the support and use your jigsaw to cut away the appropriate section.  If there is a shelf near the top of the furniture to support drawers (as was the case with our piece), cut out the appropriate void in this shelf as well to account for the depth of the sink.  Be sure to reassess the supporting structure to verify the furniture’s stability and strength.

6. Measure the section of plumbing on your bathroom wall.  Transpose those measurements to the back of the furniture (remembering to mirror the measurements) and mark out a section large enough to accommodate the plumbing. Cut out your marked area, and reassess the structure’s support and stability. At this point, you can add your extra supports if necessary.

7. To attach your new counter top to the furniture, dollop the appropriate adhesive around the top of the furniture. If needed, get assistance in placing the new top on the furniture and adjust to final position.  Be sure to allow for proper drying time. Once it’s dry, you can install the sink and faucet hardware.

8. Our furniture had two drawers at the top that now ran into the sink, but we wanted to utilize at least a portion of these drawers. If your furniture is similar, you can measure the area that the sink now occupies and subtract that from the previous drawer layout.

9. If possible, try to utilize the existing drawer sides and simply cut the bottom and the back of drawer to achieve the new size. Using wood glue and small nails, reconstruct the drawers. Because you are essentially losing the built-in track on one side of your drawer, you may need to install new drawer tracks to allow for proper movement. You can find these at any hardware or big box store for pretty cheap.

10. Finally, move your new vanity into place and secure it to the wall. Attach your plumbing, and you’re done!

 


Make Bathroom Cleaning {a little} Easier

I hate cleaning the bathroom. I don’t mind vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the kitchen, basically any other form of cleaning, but I hate cleaning the bathroom. I think it all comes down to the fact that there is simply so much to clean and it’s NEVER easy. Plus, you always have to deal with hair and that just grosses me out —and yes, I know most of it is mine, but it’s still wet and disgusting and ewwww!(Don’t get me wrong, I do actually clean—my bathroom doesn’t look like a frat house or anything.)

I had to tackle the guest bathroom recently, since my mom was coming to visit, and I was dreading it. However, the last time we were in Target, my husband grabbed a Scotch-Brite Tub Soap Scum Eraser and I could kiss him for it! They are amazing!! I usually have to use an awful headache-inducing chemical cleaner and some serious elbow grease to get the tub to sparkle. But with this little scrubber, it only took about 5 minutes (no chemicals) and it was spotless.

I was seriously impressed. I went online to look it up and found that they have a shower tile scrubber and a grout scrubber too- oh happy day! How did I not know about these before?! This might actually make bathroom cleaning more tolerable.


It’s Potty Time?!

Olivia is one month and one week away from her second birthday, and she did something recently that sent panic coursing through me. She asked to use the potty.

I was not prepared for this. I knew potty training would be coming soon enough, but our pediatrician told me that Olivia wouldn’t be ready until she was no longer wet in the morning. But now here she is, running after me every time I go to the bathroom, crying, “I wanna potty! My potty! Mine!” Uhhhhhh. . .??

I don’t know if she really wants to try using the potty or if she’s just saying it to say it. The doctor didn’t mention anything about children who beg to use the potty. I don’t think I’ve ever once even mentioned going to the bathroom like a “big girl” because I’ve heard and read so much about not pushing it too early, so I’m not sure where this is coming from.

Anyone else experienced this? Should I ignore it or run out and buy a potty? Any suggestions on a good training potty? I’ve seen the Elmo one at Target and figured I might start with that since she loves Sesame Street. Lots (and lots) of questions! Any tips/advice would be appreciated!


Let There Be {Bathroom} Light!

This week feels like it’s lasted about three weeks long already—and it’s only Thursday morning.

Last night, we ventured out to find a light fixture for our new bathroom. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh? In our defense, we had looked already at Lowes and Home Depot, but we just hadn’t found anything we loved. So, after a very long, very busy day at work, we hauled ourselves back out to the car and headed to the Lamp Factory Outlet. If you live in the DC area and are looking for a light (any type of light), this is the place to go. Good googly moogly, I don’t even want to think about what their electric bill must be. This is just the wall of bathroom vanity lights (and only about half of the wall at that!).

After about 20 minutes of going back and forth, we finally decided on a light fixture only to realize that our new vanity is larger than the old one and the existing junction box is no longer centered and won’t be covered completely by a small face plate. So. . . back outside to call the contractor to see if they can move the electrical over by two inches (by the way, two inches = $80 of extra labor cost, so I suggest thinking of this BEFORE your drywall goes up).

Luckily, Ryan confirmed that the changes to the electrical can be made, so we settled on this light fixture.

It was probably the most expensive of all the lights we were considering ($218), but I think it will be a good fit for the bathroom.

Now if we could only find a mirror. . .


Bathroom Redesign for Under $1,000!

When we bought our house four years ago, we knew we wanted to redo our upstairs guest bathroom at some point. It didn’t look awful, but everything in the room was original to the house (i.e. from 1979) except for the lovely press-and-stick flooring, which covered the original linoleum.

While we worked our way up to a complete redo, we decided we would at least get a new WaterSense toilet to help with our water usage. What we didn’t realize was that the wax seal had pretty much disintegrated, and we ended up with some serious water damage to the floor. Whomp whomp. So since we had to pull up the flooring and replace the sub flooring, we figured we might as well jump in with both feet.

Our guest bathroom before:

It’s not a great picture, but our hard drive is holding the others hostage, so this will have to do. What you can’t see in this picture is the beautiful unframed mirror covering the entire wall and the nostalgic light fixture.

As we had just plunked down all our cash on our house, we were working on a budget. Luckily, the shower tile and tub were in good shape, so we didn’t have to touch that part. Our biggest penny-saver by far, however, was that my handy husband did every bit of the work himself (painting, tile floor, new crown molding, the works).

Our guest bathroom today:

The toilet is the Kohler Cimarron ($248), which can flush an entire bucket of golf balls. We decided to spend a little more on the toilet since we knew we wanted to have kids one day. That day has come, and believe me, that toilet was worth the money.

Our vanity is from the Estate by RSI Boardwalk collection at Lowes ($180). The mirror is allen + roth ($99) and the vanity light is Portfolio ($59), both from Lowes. 

We found our floor tiles on clearance at Lowes for $0.68 a square foot. The paint color we chose was Behr Manhattan Mist, and we found our shower curtain on sale at World Market ($15).

Our grand total for the entire bathroom. . . $964!