Classes Acquired From a Master Bathroom Remodel

I’ve never definitely shared my have house with you prior to, and I am a small anxious. But I realized so significantly from my just lately accomplished toilet renovation that I required to notify you about it.

The project begun out as a reasonably gentle makeover but blew up swiftly as it developed. I am not an interior designer, but the wealth of information and facts and inspiration I’ve gleaned from interviewing hundreds of them around the yrs was a massive help in the course of the system.

Bathroom at a Look:

Who life right here: Home owner and Houzz contributor Becky Harris
Spot: Atlanta
Dimensions: About one hundred square feet (9.three square meters)
Contractor: Ground breaking Building

Bathroom (Right before)

It all commenced with this grungy shower stall. I dreaded showering in right here. Very first of all, it was tiled in travertine. Not super-fairly vein-lower travertine but just yucko builder’s-unique travertine that was preferred in the late nineties and early 2000s. No matter how properly it was sealed and scrubbed and resealed around the yrs (an pricey system), it was porous and a magnet for mildew. And then there was no cleaner I could use to get the reddish iron marks from Atlanta’s water out of the grout without eliminating the sealant. A designed-in (moldy) bench designed the shower feel cramped. The dated framed translucent glass encompass never felt thoroughly clean and designed it feel even much more cramped and dim. And there was just no way to get some of the grunge out of that body.

I ought to point out right here that I did not get any bargains or unique treatment in exchange for this tale. But my brother owns the building business that accomplished the renovation, and he handed along his close friends-and-household trade lower price benefits at a number of distributors. He also stayed significantly away from currently being concerned in my project. I are not able to consider why.

What I realized: Wow, you definitely will not see your have litter until you take a photo of it. (Or is that just me?) I also realized that it can be hard to take a great, properly-lit “prior to” photo. This 1 is dim even nevertheless all the lights are on and the blinds are open up. Hey, at least my rest room seat is down.

I definitely appreciated this vanity, and I required to check out to protect the counter tops. They were being designed of reclaimed pine boards from my attic flooring and were being about eighty yrs old. (That’s a great trick to know, by the way. An older home’s attic floorboards are a excellent source of reclaimed lumber.) The mirror body is designed of the identical wood. Even though I knew that tiling the wall and putting mirrors atop it would be a much more current appear, I liked obtaining this huge mirror and made a decision to retain it. It bounces so significantly gentle close to and will make it effortless to get completely ready in right here and check my hair and make-up.

I utilized to have beadboard wainscoting close to the home. But what I had discovered was that dust and grime would gather in the grooves of the paneling and be hard to get out.

The inspiration: At the time I uncovered this tile, most of my designs revolved close to it. Warm gray, gentle blue-gray, charcoal gray, black and white, and powdery blue arrived into participate in in my shade palette.

The meeting: So on working day 1 of the building system, various of us crammed into my toilet. My brother, Clark Harris his next-in-command, Eric Bain my project’s working day-to-working day supervisor, Junior Zenil and Clark’s incredible business office supervisor, Aisling Bell. They looked at what would be switching and approximated the agenda.

Eric, whom I know fairly properly and know to be reasonably fiscally conservative and frequently a man of number of phrases, stored hunting at me and stating, “Radiant heat would feel definitely awesome.” I indicate, if Eric was in favor of heated flooring, that was potent. As they looked at the adjacent closet, which was carpeted, they prompt extending the heated tile flooring in there as properly. Now the closet grew to become aspect of the project, just like that, and I was heading to go for heated flooring. The radiant heat part added about $one,500 to the finances. And I are not able to hold out for it to get chilly outdoors.

What I realized: Be ready for a miscalculation. 1 issue my brother claimed to me as he incredibly formally went around every little thing we were being heading to do was, “I notify all my clientele that there is likely heading to be a massive miscalculation designed along the line. Just know that when it transpires, we will resolve it, and it will be high-quality.” I assumed this was a incredibly smart issue to say. Also, the early morning just after a miscalculation did materialize, Eric introduced me an Egg McMuffin and a frequent Coke, the very first 1 I would had in quite a few yrs. And the workforce fixed it that working day.

Liria Negro encaustic cement tile: The Tile Store

Prep Day

What I realized: Residing at house through a renovation will make you feel like John Travolta in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. They prepped by laying down cardboard around my flooring along the path from the front doorway to the toilet and making a plastic tunnel that led upstairs from the front doorway to retain the dwelling from filling with dust. Zipping and unzipping plastic doors to get to sure destinations in my dwelling grew to become the norm.

They also vacuumed and swept their way out the doorway each individual working day. Question your contractor if the workforce does this when you might be acquiring your estimate. Also make confident items like the dumpster and the port-a-potty are provided, along with their servicing. You are going to come across that unrealistic minimal-ball provides leave out required line items like this.

Demo Day

What I realized: Demo working day is nuts. It was great to get out of the dwelling to store for faucets and fixtures for the reason that the sound from demolition was unreal. Earplugs were being high-quality whilst I was producing tales, but I will not know how I assumed I could attempt mobile phone interviews with Houzz execs whilst this was heading on. I had planned to make the calls from my porch, not remembering that my porch is just below my toilet and it was even louder out there.

What I realized: While you have a dumpster in your driveway, make great use of it. Even though I did not go complete-on Marie Kondo, I accomplished a big purge, donating and recycling regardless of what I could along the way, but throwing a number of issues that were being no great for everyone into the dumpster. It felt excellent to get rid of so significantly. When I was finished, I also had 15 garden baggage complete of things for two charities that picked up the donations on my doorstep. Each of these charities send out e-mail alerts about after a thirty day period with dates they will be in the community. Ever since the massive purge, I retain a donation bin heading and check out to signal up each individual time, being aware of that it will spur me to thoroughly clean out an additional closet or cupboard by the deadline.

Venture Administration

What I realized: I am not significantly of a techie, but project administration software was helpful. Ground breaking Building established me up with an app, which was a excellent device for all of us to talk. I could retain up with the agenda, invoices, paint hues, lights alternatives, get the job done purchase variations and every little thing else right from my mobile phone.

Procuring Record

Aisling offered me with a comprehensive checklist of what I would will need to procure for my project, with vendor and showroom strategies and other guidelines on the app.

What I realized: Often the highway falls down! Around working day 6, the part of Interstate eighty five where by I ordinarily hop off and on caught fire and collapsed, which place a crimp in my designs for jogging close to Atlanta hunting for tile and faucets and lights. I was able to check out a good deal on line prior to braving the nuts targeted traffic to hit the showrooms and wander to suppliers.

What I realized: I saw the genuine electric power of the targeted traffic-navigation app Waze. I also realized to purchase issues way forward of time. Almost every little thing I requested was on back purchase, double back purchase, triple back purchase or we-have-no-plan-if-it-will-ever-be-completely ready back purchase — or it was designed-to-purchase, broke on the way to the retailer, obtained missing within the retailer after it arrived intact or is nevertheless missing in motion and untrackable. There is nevertheless 1 rest room for the downstairs tub I was heading to have installed whilst I had a plumber in the dwelling that absolutely need to have taken a route by using Timbuktu.

Experienced I been much less picky and requested way forward of time, the renovation would have taken about 5 weeks. Because of in big aspect to a chandelier I only had to have, the job ran from April one to mid-July, nevertheless the bulk of it was finished in two months. This was exclusively because of to my back-purchase curse.


What I realized: Be versatile and come across a excellent affiliate at showrooms to help you. I was definitely established on all antique brass, but I also knew that I required some graphic black and white in the toilet. Beth Moon at Plumbing Distributors, or PDI, was instrumental in the final decision to blend in matte black fixtures by Jason Wu for Brizo in the shower. I also realized to normally use the restroom at a toilet showroom PDI has a luxury rest room that does every little thing besides hand you rest room paper, and it is really an experience.

What I realized: In your original meeting, inquire the plumber which brand names he or she loves to get the job done with. They will have great insights about which fixtures they put in with simplicity, which might have the tough-ins completely ready and which will have alternative pieces commonly offered if you will need a repair service down the line. It can help advise your choices when you are buying for fixtures.

Shower tile: I have liked vintage subway tile since extensive prior to it grew to become so preferred. It will never go out of model for me personally. I went for a medium gray grout for the reason that of the aforementioned reddish staining that arrives with Atlanta’s water. It’s less complicated to retain hunting thoroughly clean.

And just after producing “pebble tile feels superb underfoot” so quite a few instances for Houzz, I required my feet to feel superb much too, so I uncovered a moderately priced granite pebble tile at Floor & Decor.

What I realized: Pebble tile feels superb underfoot. Also, I realized the hard way to make confident the grout is entirely dry prior to you check out to feel how superb the pebble tiles feel underfoot. Whoops.

Subway tile: Daltile Absolute Black granite pencil-tile trim: Floor & Decor Delorean Grey grout: Home Depot

What I realized: Even though I had a incredibly dim charcoal, practically black, grout picked out for the shower flooring, the tiling crew designed me comprehend that the pebbles were being not black and that the grout I had chosen would appear terrible.

What else I realized: Some aspects will not matter that significantly — permit some issues go. I had requested a incredibly style-y black square shower drain that labored properly with my shower fixtures, but I forgot to talk that with the tile installers or enter it on the app. When I saw they had installed a spherical 1, I recognized that it labored superior with the pebbles anyway.

What I realized: Some aspects do matter. For the reason that matte black is a comparatively new end, the glass business I utilized for the shower doors did not have quite a few selections in it for handles and hinges. (Rather comprehensible, as there just isn’t significantly desire for it still.) Following I fell in adore with the straightforward appear of the tackle called Ladder Pull, I uncovered out that it would have to be unique-requested in matte black and would take months. But I only could not have some froufy Victorian tackle competing with the solid strains of the shower fixtures, and I did not want to decide on a various end. I am happy I was client.

What else I realized: Often when you imagine you might be currently being crafty and monitoring down the exact Ladder Pull you want on line, they unintentionally send out you a various product directly from China in its place. But they sooner or later straightened it out.

Tub faucet: Fortuitously, I transpired to decide on a tub faucet with cross handles instead than lever handles. The plumber permit out a sigh of aid, as he’d forgotten to permit me know that levers might not have turned all the way on in the limited place where by they were being placed they would have hit the shower’s 50 % wall. The faucet is unlacquered brass. I are not able to hold out until a patina starts off to appear.

Roman tub faucet : Newport Brass

Rest room Area

I made a decision to go for a convenience-height rest room in the toilet. This Memoirs product from Kohler has a definitely awesome prime on the tank with an edge that retains issues from slipping off.

What I realized: This paint shade variations considerably from working day to night time. It’s a gentle gray, but at midday, it has a incredibly bluish appear. At night time, it really is a genuine gray.

Grey Display SW 7071 wall paint and Ceiling Shiny White SW 7007 trim paint: Sherwin-Williams tub mat: City Outfitters shower glass: Chattahoochee Shower Doorways Memoirs Stately two-piece rest room: Kohler by using Houzz gown hook: Anthropologie

What I realized: Not quite a few folks can pull off hunting fierce when hung around a rest room. But Diana Ross can.

“Diana Ross Goes Procuring, 1965” photograph: Michael Ochs Archive by using 1 Kings Lane gentle fixture: Restoration Hardware


Somewhere down the line, I recognized that I didn’t want to have all this get the job done finished only to have my reclaimed-wood counters sooner or later rot and wreck the total issue. They had place in a great 15 yrs but had some problems close to the faucets, and, unfortunately, it was time for them to go. I planned for some useful, sturdy quartz in its place.

What I realized: It’s highly possible that after you see Statuario Venato marble at the stone vendor, you might be not heading to want quartz any longer. (I went for the marble.)

What else I realized: If you have a waterfall countertop with a prominent veining sample like mine, have the installer area the template pieces constantly on the stone slab. That way the veining sample carries on down and across, uninterrupted. Also, make totally confident that you are present to approve the templating on the slab and that you take a photo of it whilst you might be there. I labored on the counter tops with Simona Tivadar at Tailor made Kitchen. She has excellent taste, and with her eager eye, she also served me figure out which backsplash tile was just the right white to complement the marble.

The photo: I will need to get that photo on the wall professionally matted and framed, but I didn’t have time prior to photo shoot working day. It’s an iconic photo within my household of my huge father in a very small claw-foot tub offering the victory signal back in the ’60s. My uncle Tommy Calder took it back then. He tracked down the damaging and had it blown up for me.

Pewter Cast SW 7673 vanity paint: Sherwin-Williams hardware and glass shelf: Anthropologie Irvine double sconces: Schoolhouse Electrical & Provide Co.

Shower Market

What I realized: Unless of course you have definitely thorough drawings from an interior designer of where by each individual piece of tile will go and how it ought to be lower, you want to check out to be close to during tile set up. There are tiny style choices that will arrive up on the fly.

For illustration, I had pieces of marble lower for the shower threshold, the prime of the 50 % wall and the shower specialized niche from the identical slab as the counter tops. I then had the tile installers place in a border of the identical Absolute Black granite pencil-tile trim close to the inside of. There are also funky issues that will materialize close to corners and in tighter spaces where by you might want to give your input on the sample, even with a thing as straightforward as subway tile.


What I previously knew: I hoard. As was clear from the “prior to” shots, I have a trouble with countertop litter. So I invested in a big drugs cupboard to hold day-to-day things. Also, the huge drawer thoroughly clean-out I had to do on the vanities so that they could be taken out and painted offered a ton of new storage place. I also knew that I was stretched for towel storage so I acquired a train rack for them — no much more towels shoved willy-nilly in a cupboard beneath the sink.

Make use of issues or ditch them. I arranged my shampoo, conditioner, lotion and deal with cream samples that were being nevertheless usable in a hanging beauty bag. I hung it on the back of the doorway and vowed to use them each individual working day. I haven’t had to invest in a bottle of any of that things for various months now as I go through them all.

Splurge: Other than the sink faucets and the heated flooring, my other massive splurge was this wonderful beaded chandelier. With such a high vaulted ceiling, the home definitely desired 1. (It appears relatively turquoise in this photo, but it really is much more of a powdery blue in particular person.)

Savings: I reused the original vanities, mirror and bathtub. The planks were being previously on the ceiling, and I previously had excellent doors with hardware that labored properly with the new finishes.

Even though I imagine a freestanding tub would finest suit this place, I adore the incredibly awesome Jacuzzi bathtub that arrived with my dwelling, and the assumed of something much less at ease gave me pause. As well as, tubs are pricey.

What I realized: Retain your eye on the cost of your back-requested items. If you see that a thing has absent on sale whilst you are waiting around for it to arrive, contact the retailer.

This renovation experience was so educational and a good deal of enjoyable. Some days, I even pass up the plastic and all the action. If you have any inquiries, make sure you inquire, and I’ll do my finest to respond to them.

Malibu beaded 6-gentle chandelier: Regina Andrew by using Horchow train rack: Restoration Hardware

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