I have the layout(s), now I need a lot of help!

nancitaApril 10, 2012

Hi all,

We hired an architect to plan our second floor reno which includes adding a bathroom with a shower and redoing an existing bathroom with a shower.

We've gone to tile stores and bath showrooms. Honestly, it is so overwhelming! Which vanity, top, shower base (not tile...how's that for a decision?), shower, floor and wall tile and color and lighting. Also decided on Toto toilets. If the rest were only as easy.

All white seems so versatile but has that hospital look, no? Beige is tiring, been there, done that. I like the idea of greens and blues but just don't where to put them.

We have only been given a $6000 budget for BOTH bathrooms for fixtures. I am thinking we will go over that but we don't want to go crazy. There are just myself and DH, no kids or grand kids.

Any advice would be so greatly welcome. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Oh, we have ruled out fiberglass.

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What style do you like? Is the rest of your house traditional or modern? Kohler makes cast-iron shower bases- there was a thread about that just recently.

How big are these bathrooms? Can you post the plans so people can get an idea of what you are working with? Have you settled on vanities, or are you open to console sinks/pedestal sinks?


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 1:52AM
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When I was choosing finishes, I did a lot of browsing to figure out what appealed to me. Go to houzz.com and click on the bathroom gallery. Clip those that speak to you. You'll likely notice some common themes. From that you can add the specifics.

For example, you already know that blues and greens appeal to you. Look through your clippings. Is it the bathrooms with white tile and blue or green accents (mosaic tiles, towels, etc.) that grab you? Or do you love the blue painted walls or the blue tiled shower?

Select the counter before the vanity, as that's easier to do than vice versa. For shower pans, figure out the 4 (or however many) options, lay them out side by side and compare them on cost and features. Then pick the finish to match the tile.

Hope that helps a bit. And always feel free to come back here, post some of your inspiration photos, and ask for advice.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Engaging the services of a designer will be money well spent.
Even so, you need to have a "library" of ideas that you like the look of in order to be able to have something that works for your particular taste.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 1:06PM
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You've gotten a good starting point from the previous posters.

Browse magazines and online photos and you'll discover a common theme in the photos that you like.

As far as white and beige, yes, "white" white can be stark and cold looking. An antique or creamier white might be a little more accommodating. And I think one of the previous posters mentioned incorporating a hint of color into the tile border.

A creamy tile with a crackle glaze finish can lend depth to the tile, a subtle sense of sophistication and age.

If you're unsure of the amount of color to use, then sometimes it's best to stick with neutrals for the permanent part of your installation; the tile, the flooring, the vanity if it's stained wood grain. Don't forget dark neutrals. Ebonized wood, or dark charcoal gray or even black.

Incorporate a version of your color into the large colored surfaces...the wall paint and ceiling paint. If you're worried about "too much color" then use a light shade of your color on the large walls. Paint color can be changed with little effort.

If you're shy using stronger colors, incorporate the strongest colors through your towels, face cloths, etc. Fabric colors can be changed with no effort.

You mentioned blues, one of my favorite blue bathrooms was Casey's. Now, you may think his bathroom boring and mundane when I describe it as having light beige or even "plain white" tiled walls, and blue painted walls. Well, here you go, this does indeed look boring and lifeless, doesn't it? (Sorry Casey, that is NOT an insult. This bath is still one of my favorites if all time).

But then you add a little color and:

It's an indication of how "boring white tile" can become not so boring and actually quite stunning when the "boring white" is used as a backdrop, or a compliment, to a strong color.

If you thought you'd someday like to change the blue to another color, then instead of using the strip of blue tile like Casey used just under the cap on his wainscot, he could have used a strip of black tile, or a strip of the black and white mosaic he used as a border on the floor.

The tile would all be "neutral". The paint color becomes the main color in the room. The towels become the accent punch color.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:31PM
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The other part of your post, the confusion of where to start.

Start with a basic drawing of your room.

Have a list of what is needed for that room.

Look online or in showrooms at things you like to gauge what $$$ line of things you like. Assign a value (just ballpark it) to each thing in the room. $400 toilet, $200 sink. $300 faucet. $800 tub.

Add up your numbers. Over budget, then shop and swap numbers until you get where you need to be.

By having to focus on the individual items in the room, the entire room will slowly come into focus instead of being a blurry eye load of confusion.

For you shower base, you've ruled out fiberglass and you don't want tile and grout. Well then let me introduce you to Kohler's cast iron shower receptors. They are gorgeous, elegant, and fit most any design. Durable, easy to clean, they feel secure underfoot too. They have several styles and they come in several colors.

Remember, as you make your decisions, you don't have to get them all right the first time. You'll choose "Product A", then as you go on with other decisions you'll realize that there's something you prefer more than "Product A".

It's common to loop through the decision tree a few times before things become finalized and in full focus.

Best of luck with your project.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Casey's bathroom is a jaw-dropper.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 12:06AM
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I kept a spreadsheet pretty much like mongoct described - it was enormously helpful in keeping track of the details - samples ordered, products used, etc. When my bath is done and I post finished pictures, I'll have all the product info at my fingertips. As for colors, I think any color can be a neutral, especially if used sparingly as an accent. Somewhere in decorating land there's a 60/30/10 formula - 60% of the space as the primary color (white/beige). I'd use this on the surfaces that would cost the most to change - wall tile for example. 30% is a secondary color, probably the paint on the walls, and some soft, easy to change accents. 10% is the bling. In my case, I've used ming green as my 10%, as I think green, especially in a bathroom, is versatile and can go with pretty much anything. Houzz.com and Pinterest are invaluable, as is this forum. Take your time, and keep asking questions!

Here is a link that might be useful: white + accent

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Trying to copy the plans but with no luck. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Here is thw whole gamilla. Included in this are the two baths. Thank you all for any help.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 5:26PM
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