Can't believe how much planning and thought and still amateur mistakes but overall, we are pleased (thank goodness because this wasn't cheap.)
OH let me be the first to POST! I LOVE it! But you've got to give us more details please. So happy you've shared.
Another question, how much room did you need for the stacked W/D side to side and front to back. I am planning on putting a set in my next remodel and have 30" side to side currently in my drawing, but I think that might be too small. Also, I really don't have an idea how much depth I need. I have it drawn to provide 6" behind the set but that might be too small too?
Our machines are huge. mainly because we used to do a lot of laundering of bedspreads and blankets because of two large dogs who are no longer with us - bottom line is that I think I should have purchased smaller machines at this point - I worried about this "laundry alcove" almost as much as I worried about the curbless shower. Our side to side is wide - I think 37 inches side to side. Machines were 30 inches wide so I have room for a broom or mop or something if I want but also, more importantly, on the right side is where my contractor put the valves for turning on and off the water - we can actually reach the knobs from the front squeezing our hands a little without having to move the machines (he also made sure our hoses were stainless steel...always a good idea.)
Back of "alcove" backs to a spare room so we can reach that anytime (via a panel) but contractor did use some of the 4 1/2 inches "between the studs" space so that alcove would be deep enough. This allowed me to put the bar on the back of the door adjacent to the "alcove". The depth was our problem causing us to have a relatively narrow counter for our vanity that was opposite, only 17.5 inches but that was part of the specs for the Ikea cabinets so worked out well.
I'll have to give details in pieces because I really have some work I need to finish by Wednesday but I can say that the wall tile was very inexpensive at Floor and Decor: We got it on sale cheaper than it says on web here but here is exactly what we bought and I couldn't be more pleased:
Porcelain plank tile on floor is which we purchased from Arizona Tile. My contractor is a very serious tile guy and he said both tile selections were first rate. I didn't like the bull nose I bought from Floor and Decor that matched the fake marble. It looks great but the texture is a little rougher than I would like. But it's okay - just not as wonderful as the larger tile.
Problem that I wasn't expecting was with lighting. Turned out okay but didn't realize how difficult this can be if you don't have a designer. Probably biggest surprise. One place where my amateurism showed the most, I think. At least I got the brightness right. LOTS OF LIGHT and I love it. I think better to err on too much light than not enough. The LED can lights from home depot at $29.99 each are wonderfully bright and dimmable!
Well I need to get back to my other work for now. But thanks for the compliments.
Your wall tile is porcelain?? Wow, I thought for sure it was marble. It's gorgeous. Is that a Toto wall-mount toilet? How do you like it?
We are very happy with the Toto wall mount toilet but...
I wonder about all the glowing reports about sanagloss which this one has.
Rather than burden you with details, I'll just say that one of the smartest things I did was to include a "wall mounted toilet brush" in my plans. Never have had to use a toilet brush so much. Think it may be because the cavity is narrow and deep. Most toilets that I'm accustomed to, there is a little "pond" of water that sits in the toilet always. I think this keeps the walls of the bowl clean or easily cleanable when you flush. This Aquia doesn't have any "soaking action" for "stuff" that is in the bowl so consequently "stuff" gets left behind.
I LOVE the wall mount aspect - rather expensive but if you are going to the trouble of remodeling, I would strongly recommend you consider this style. Really keeps the bathroom looking spacious even with our relatively small footprint.
But I'm going to try to find a Duravit wall mount toilet in a display room somewhere locally to see the bowl shape and whether it is deep and narrow or wide and shallow.
Bottom line - I would buy Aquia again, think it is a little cheaper than Duravit but still might as well do some more comparisons. We chose to install the toilet that has a spigot that is connected to the tank in the wall - The spigot can be used for a washlet. We also had an elec outlet put in near the bottom on the wall adjacent to the toilet. So we now have a "place holder" in the event we choose to install a washlet/bidet at some later time (everyone I've asked raves about these ...)
Also, doing research, I learned that many recurring problems with toilets being clogged are because of an old sewer line that needs replacing. Though we have an old house (1935), we had a new sewer line installed about 8 years ago. Not sure our reports about this toilet would be so glowing if our sewer line wasn't "up to date".
Here is a link that might be useful: Toto wall-mount toilet
Great Bathroom! - very smart.
Like to know about your ceiling fan?
Monte Carlo ceiling light - we operate it via the wall switch. The switch is a dimmer switch and this allows you to go from low, medium. to high speed from the wall. I just noticed on the web site that it is designed for damp spaces.
I think it is the perfect size. We have can lights around the room so I didn't want a central ceiling light. If you did, this one may come with one. The contractor installed the fan so it would hug the ceiling - not sure if that is an option with the fan or whether he did something special to his own experience (a very smart guy).
Here is a link that might be useful: Monte Carlo ceiling fan - small - 24 inch blades
NICE JOB! It looks great!
I really like how much light you do have!
Which LEDs did you get? I've gotten 2 types from HD. One of them, on the dimmer switches, hums/buzzes which is a little annoying, though I think we'll get used to it.
You'll like the sanagloss... Even if you get streaks, they will wash off much easier (even without the brush, for example, if they are in the water, if you were to leave them for an hour, you'll find they'll have slid off) with the sanagloss than without.
I'm fairly sure these are the ones my contractor put in from Home Depot. I see they have come down $5.00 each to $24 from 3 months ago - prices really are changing rapidly for LED. We have 4 of them - two over the shower, one over the toilet and one in front of the washer/dryer stack.
Plus there are two wall sconces on each side of wide mirror (7 years old each - have incandescent for now) and a halogen pendant light (couldn't find exactly what I wanted, this is kind of a place holder). Plus all are dimmable. I love having enough light.
Here is a link that might be useful: LED can light -from Home Depot - fit in existing cans
Love the color of your floor. Congratulations on the new bathroom. Did you use ikea kitchen cabinets for your vanity?
Thanks for the info on your wall-mounted toilet, elphaba. Turns out it's exactly the same as what I have, and ours has been leaking ever since it was installed. Just a slow leak of water into the bowl. I had the plumber out 4-5 times and he took out the valve, checked it out, couldn't find any problem. I finally called Toto and with very little questioning they said they'd ship me a brand new valve assembly. It arrived today so I'm hoping our plumber can get it installed quickly & that the problem, whatever it was, will be resolved.
Think I will post picture of Ikea cabs. Contractor did a great "Ikea Hack" with the Godmorgon cabinets for our vanity. It turned out it wasn't that cheap - he used 3 cabinets (I was hoping to only use 2) but he needed the third to have a drawer front on space beneath sink - needed that tricky little "lip" that the Ikea cabs have on the drawer front. Oh well - I LOVE the finish on these - called "white stained oak" I think - kind of a "rustic modern" IMO and really blends well with the floor and the wall tile. Lots of storage too. Counter is a bit high to use for makeup - but the stool can raise up so it works at the higher level. This lighting here in the picture doesn't show up the rustic part of the finish too much - but it's there and I LOVE it. Contractor gave it an extra coating of polyurethane - hope it lasts. Like that counter is shallow - only 18 inches I think - needed all the extra space I could get for aisle to have room for a wheelchair if needed.
- two drawers beneath sink are functional. Contractor has a trick to lay the PVC drain pipe on it's side and the ikea drawers are a bit short of going all the way back so it results in more drawer space.
p.s. reason I have all that space at the end of the counter is because that is basically my laundry room - it is a great staging area for clothes dumped from the dryer (across the aisle) and I can fold easily sitting on the stool.
This post was edited by elphaba on Wed, Apr 17, 13 at 10:42
That cabinet is beautiful, but it doesn't look anything like anything that is available in godmorgon. The finish, and the notch at the top, yes, but there are no door cabinets in godmorgon and no short drawers, so I'd like to know more about this. What is happening behind those doors? Are they godmorgon doorfronts turned sidways? How did he do the short drawers?
Godmorgon comes like this: either two or four drawers depending on the width, so this is a really cool customization:
This post was edited by writersblock on Thu, Apr 18, 13 at 10:22
Sorry this is so long but I'm glad someone has asked for details about the "Ikea hack". I don't know everthing but I do know the parts.
three of these:
and two of these:
and here's the custom change to drawer under sink (middle drawer underneath the false front)
Basically two of the Godmorgon cabinets gave us 4 drawers to "hack" but still needed another panel for the "false front panel" beneath the sink so bought a third. I wouldn't be surprised if the guys used other parts of that third cabinet such as the drawer slides to work with the middle drawer but I didn't ask. It all works great and looks great. My only concern is that I hope the finish holds up. Time will tell.
The cabinet on the left of the final vanity (where I store a big basket used as a hamper) is composed of two doors from the Godmorgon wall cabinet - the ones that is relatively narrow and shallow (not with the mirror - see image above). Turns out the dimensions on these are exactly half of the larger Godmorgon cabinet (31 1/2 inches wide version) similar to what you posted so voila!. Needed to saw doors off on the bottom so dimensions match "other side" of vanity where the sink is installed. But hinges from the shallow cabinets could be used as well plus we used "side wall" from the larger Godmorgon cabinet so hamper cabinet would have depth and still look nice from the side viewable underneath from where the stool is stored.
The front of the large drawer of the regular Godmorgon cabinet (see image above) were cut down from the bottom so it would make the shallow drawers, one in the middle and one on the left (over the hamper). I'll include the insides of the drawer directly beneath the false front so you can see how clever they were at maintaining space below (surrounding the drain pipe).
Most of the above was kind of obvious, once you look at my vanity and you are familiar with the insides of the GODMORGON drawers and can see how they can be chopped. I really don't know what kind of carpentry skills were necessary to chop down the sides of the wide drawers to make the shallow drawers. I will say that my contractor is very smart and very good at tile but carpentry is not one of his "long suits" so I don't think this was terribly complicated - though might have required some patience , of which he seems to have a bunch and still lots of skills with tools and such.
What I don't know is whether they used a 2X4 frame for the drawer in the middle to fit into. That was the original plan but once they decided to buy the third Godmorgon cabinet, I think they abandoned the 2X4 plan and used a hacked form of the third Godmorgon cabinet. Probably easier but I think 2X4 would work if you are trying to budget. Either way would probably work but I'm not a carpenter as you can probably tell.
The REAL problem was getting a front panel to use under the sink - see the front panel without a bar handle? This is when they had to go buy another Godmorgon cabinet - $180 or so, so it would look right. I had thought about some other ways to get the "white stained oak" finish but none would have provided the "lip" across the top and my contractor is a perfectionist. I thought $180 wasn't that much more to pay. I included a picture above of the drawer beneath the "false front" beneath the sink and you will see how ingeneous he really was . Also, the way he installed the drain was good to. Wish I'd taken a picture.
The resulting height of our vanity is larger than the "off the shelf" Godmorgon cabinet because of the small drawers on the left and middle and false front beneath the sink - added about 6 more inches in height but still a floating cabinet.
Total width of vanity is about 8 ft - they put a fairly small (3/4 inch wide) filler strip on each side of the drawer in the middle to fill out the length and still center the drawer.
I realize now I could have saved the cost of the 3rd cabinet if I would have decided I didn't need the shallow drawer on the left above the hamper. Could have just allowed the doors on the hamper cabinet to be longer with no drawer above and so we could have used the front on that shallow drawer that was no longer needed beneath the sink for the "false front" - i.e. not needing another cabinet.
Guess I will be posting this on the ikeafans.com site as well since this is the kind of thing they like to know about over there.
Thank you so much for the detailed reply. It's a brilliant hack.
Elphaba, I just ordered some samples from the tile store you used for your calacatta procelain tile. I just want to clarify, is yours the matte finish? In my samples, I have a shiny finish and a matte finish. The matte is a slight more tannish in it's background color, while the shiny is a whiter or cooler background. Did you look at both of these tiles before you chose? I am trying to choose for the walls, and possibly the floor. I would prefer to use a matte surface on the floor, but I can't use these two together as they just are not matching in undertones. I found this to be the case with some tiles I found locally too, the matte and shiny are just not matching in undertones. The local tile is a different brand, but still has the same issue of tone.
In your pictures the tile looks white, but you linked to the matte finish, which to me has creamy undertones. So maybe it is a non issue if I didn't have anything white next to it :)
Help me please :0
Thanks for asking for help. I've received so much help here that I'm happy to try to give back. My tile is matte finish, not shiny. I didn't see the shiny when I was purchasing in the store so I lucked out, one less decision, LOL. If I had to describe the tile overall, I would say it was more white than creamy. But some of the pieces have a creamy look. Some of them have gold streaks - maybe about 1/3 of them and some do not, It is hard to look at samples of this stuff and then try to visualize a whole wall. I wonder too if different "lots" could have different creaminess. What I really wanted was that perfect "sweet spot" between grayish white and beige. Think I got more white but it is still gorgeous. Oh well. I don't envy you trying to match products from different "lines".
My contractor said he thought one reason my tile in the finished product looked so real was probably because it was a matte finish. He thought the shiny might make it look a little more fake but he was just speculating, couldn't say for sure. I had a sample of the shiny sculptura from Arizona Tile and I thought this matte finish from Floor and Decor was much much better looking as far as naturalness.
Don't know if you saw my comments about the corresponding bull nose product -
Calacata Bullnose - Floor and Decor It is more expensive but my tile guy wanted trim so I found this. It matches VERY well with the larger tile, EXCEPT about 1/3 of the bullnose tiles in my bathroom have a somewhat rough texture. Many of them are nice and smooth like the larger tile but seems to be numerous ones (maybe about 1/3) that are rougher than I like. I'm worried they may be more difficult to keep clean. I just went in to take some picture to show the bull nose tile and started wondering if maybe one of the boxes of tiles for the bullnose was not as good. Wish I would have checked. Disappointed in my tile guy. He usually is on top of this kind of thing (if I am right here). He hates to order tile on the web because he can't check it out first - oh well.
FYI - There is no roughness to any of the larger tile at all even though it is matte. My point in pictures below is to show you some of the tile work for the bullnose. The first one that has a good a bit of sunlight since it is the bullnose trim around the window may be best for you to see color.
FYI - I selected Silestone for countertop in the "limestone" style. Partly because I wanted to emphasize more the golden. I wanted to avoid more gray but I DO think had I chosen the gray granite (that was cheaper than quartz), it may have been more stunning. But these kinds of decisions always can be difficult. One of the pictures below shows the "quartz cap" Silestone on top of the pony wall, one of the places where I think the "mismatch" may be more obvious but I also think that having everything "matchy, matchy" is not good either.
Pony wall here showing worst case example of mismatch of Silestone cap on top of bullnose edge.
FYI - Another disappointment is that my tile guy went to a class in California (to keep up with latest products) after he finished our bathroom and found out about a grout product he is raving about called Fusion Pro. Wish he would have known about this BEFORE. I did a search on the web. There is a "you tube" video among other links. Makes me a little nervous that this product is "new" but he will be using it on our "master bath" in June. He says it is as good as Epoxy grout i.e. it minimizes need to clean grout (maybe eliminates?) but it is better than Expoxy grout in that it doesn't stain yellow as Epoxy often does over time. I forgot to ask him if it was as hard to apply as Epoxy (which I think I've heard) but since he is recommending it, then I suspect it is not as difficult to apply.
Of course with these things, I am hesitant to recommend fully since who knows, my tile guy may have "cut a deal" with the grout company - maybe getting some kind of kick back, you know how "capitalism rules" but don't mean to be too hard on him since I have found him to be someone with a lot of integrity - he certainly works like no one I've seen before in addition to being smart (but also expensive). So do your own check on this product if you are interested - maybe your tile guy knows about it. (I think I read on the web that it just came out in August of last year - 2012.) I was thinking about posting something on the forum in a separate thread that would have more visibility - hesiant since I don't know about it first hand. Still thinking about this but wanted to share here with you. Sorry if I'm giving you another decision to think about, LOL. But I've learned you can't hardly plan too much with this process especially if you are an amateru like me. I think you have had more experience.
Sorry this is so long. Good luck and let me know if you need more info. (long story about why I haven't posted many details about plumbing fixtures).
Thanks so much for your reply. I am home sick today with what feels like the flu! I had a shot last fall and was well all winter. Now with aches and pains and fever :( Just took some ibuprofen to feel better.
I haven't nailed anything down yet except for the soapstone to make another sink. It has both warm and cool colors in it so I am trying to decide which direction to go with colors. I would love brushed nickel and go warm with everything, but the $$$ compared to chrome is putting me off. I have to tile the 3x4 shower and the floor which is about 8x8. I will be doing the tiling myself. I cut my teeth on my kitchen backsplash and my recent remodel of my other bathroom. I used epoxy grout throughout the bathroom and will probably do so again. I've heard good things about urethan grout too. Have you been to the John Bridge forum? Ask your question over there or do a search for info on that new grout. That forum has many tile pros on it. And a lot of folks like me asking questions. But, now that I think of it, your bathroom was on the JB forum, posted by one of the tile guys months ago. I noticed the tile here and on the JB forum and I think I posted to that point months ago here on GW :)
Again thanks so much for your thoughtful discussion and helping me out. I really like that tile.
Hi enduring - again -
Hope you get better soon!
Thought of another way we could share color information.
I wanted to paint the drywall above wainscoting in the bathroom white. I was warned that if I wasn't careful, and if I chose the wrong white, the walls might cause the tile to look "dirty". Well, I had my sample cards from Sherwin williams - one of those little "fan kits" that had hundreds and hundred of those little cards you get in the SW store that has about 5 colors in the same family (sort of) or are meant to blend - each group on a different card. I looked at lots of whites in very close proximity with one of the tiles from my bathroom under intense halogen light (on my desk) and found this White Heron to be a nice match/blend. It is almost imperceptible that once painted, I didn't use a pure white but the contractor noticed. You can see a subtle difference where the side wall painted with White Heron meets the ceiling, painted with white, white (something contractor used). The white Heron has a touch of gray/beige or something but it matches the background of my tile VERY well. I think that should give you a sense of how much gray is in the background/undertone for these tiles - or at least the group we used in my bathroom.
Sherwin Williams - White Heron paint color I'm sure you are aware of how colors viewed on the web from your computer monitor can vary a great deal from computer to computer. So hopefully you have a Sherwin Williams store nearby and you could pick up one of the cards with this color on it and compare it to what you are trying to match. Just a suggestion. Hope this helps.
p.s. this link I've posted to "White Heron" looks way too beige for what I'm seeing in person so don't judge what you see on your screen. I strongly recommend you see it in person.
The White Heron looks like a wonderful color. I looked for BM Rodeo, to see if it was close to your White Heron and on the screen it was pretty close. Several years ago I was looking at Rodeo for my kitchen but chose a different color. Also the WH looks like BM Nimbus, and Abalone. Probably the most like Abalone. The White Heron will be something for me to consider when I finalize my color program. Thank you very much.
BTW, I got my samples from the tile store you linked to. But I am missing the Calacatta and 2 other samples. Darn. I want to see that Calacatta. I will call them in the morning.
Your bathroom is gorgeous!!
I like the diagonal wood tile running into the shower area. Makes the place look bigger.
Does the door open all the way? It's probably just camera angle, but oit looks like the washer and door would bang into each other.
The door opens to 90 degrees. 34 inch opening in the door way (with the door on the hinges- if door removed, 36 inches) The wall behind the toilet is a "stop" for the door so it doesn't bang into the machines. The door handle fits into the gap on the left side of the machines between the machines and wall behind toilet perfectly. No banging except between the door and the wall (I may put a "door stop" there). (I think since this picture was taken above) the contractor has moved the machines back a couple of inches so a horizontal bar could be installed. This bar was installed on the back of the door without bumping the machines because of the move of a couple of inches. I am quite amazed at the precision. The machines are "extra large". If I had purchased a smaller set, wouldn't need to be so precise. But glad that I can feel comfortable about designing this for larger machines, knowing that downsizing won't be a problem if we go to smaller machines. Besides as a grab bar, I like to use the grab bar for hanging shirts out of the dryer.
End result is that the doorway width and/or width between countertop and door when opened is between 32 and 36 depending on whether you want to make an allowance for the door width (on hinge), and/or for the door knob. Meets my goal of having easy access to the shower via a wheel chair. Though we don't use a wheelchair at this point, someone in a wheel chair will not be able to use the washer/dryer machines very easily (or not at all - need to close the door to do that). But other wise, the doorway is wide enough and accessible - I like to leave it open so I can peak in there as I walk past the room - still enjoying the newness. Overall, one of the best things about this bathroom is the functionality - so much more than I expected (or that we're used to, LOL). The stack of machines is so much more functional than I thought because I can use the counter across the aisle for "dumping" and folding clothes.
Can't resist posting a couple more pictures though I know this thread must be slow to load as is. Hopefully these show what I'm talking about. Thanks for asking. I'm building a nice "archive" of this bathroom project that I will be enjoying for a LONG time.
hi elphaba, that is a great bath! i love your floors. can you give me info on the teak bench in your shower? does it fold up? thank you!
The bench in my shower is not teak, it is Ipe (or some call it Brazilian Walnut) which is actually better IMO - very heavy - (they used to make ships out of IPE before modern technology provided iron and steel, etc.)
I bought the bench because it has the largest weight capacity - up to 500 lbs at the time of my purchase. I also liked the "fold down" seat instead of "pull up" thinking this will make it sturdier. I bought the smaller size - 18 inches wide - it comes in a wider bench that is 26 inches wide. FYI-Moen now has a "fold down" bench that is 15 inches wide with 400 weight capacity.
I'm very happy with my choice. Would make the same choice again if purchasing today. I bought the cheapest finish - "gray" which is painted. It was $200 cheaper when I purchased it then the more expensive finish. If we were rich, I might have purchased the stainless finish but I'm not losing sleep. (Even if we had more money, I wouldn't purchase the wider bench since our shower if 5 ft and this bench fits perfectly in the corner...)
p.s. I think leaning against the wood back of the bench on a cold day is a lot more comfortable than leaning against the cold tile wall if you have a bench without a back. IMO
Thought I would check in and say how much we are enjoying our new bathroom. The shower which is 5ft X 5ft meets the ADA requirements for the radius so a wheelchair can turn - we aren't using wheelchairs but we aren't getting any younger...
but what I wanted to check in about was the shower door. We had the shower made so the door frame would be strong enough to handle a glass shower door if we decided we wanted one. We weren't surer how much we would like not having the door but..we LOVE it. It is so nice just to walk right in or out and not have to deal with a door. Probably helps that we have radiant floor heating since I have heard some say they felt not having a shower door made it too "breezy" or drafty. We aren't having that problem even when we have a cold spell but we are also located south near the Gulf coast in Houston.
Anyway, for those who are doubting the wisdom of spending a lot of money on remodeling their bath, I'm hear to say it is more than worth it for us.
How did you know that was my question? That is music to my ears! Thanks! :)
thanks elphaba. your ipe seat is very nice. gosh! those fold down seats are really pricey. i will have to think about if i want that luxury.. thanks for the link!
I realize this thread is a little old, but I missed it the first time. I really like all your choices and how everything goes together. One question I have that I didn't see addressed (although I could well have missed it) is how big is the opening into your shower? I'm hoping we can do a doorless and hopefully curbless shower as well.
TIA for any info.
Opening into shower is 36 inches. Wanted to accomodate a wheel chair in case someday we might need to.
Shower size is 5X5 which I swear is the PERFECT size. I can reach across and use the hand held while I've got the fixed shower running on the opposite wall. Rain shower is in the very middle and fixed shower is 16 inches from the wall and so is handheld shower (16 inches from wall on other side). They can be pointed or adjusted if we want them more centric but haven't wanted to.
I have a small mat in front of the sink - gets a very small spray of water which dries by the evening but doesn't get soggy on anything like that. We have radiant floor heat so that may help keep floor dry. Not sure. But am sure we LOVE it.
Thanks! I was thinking the same thing-that it would need to be at least 36'' to accommodate a w/c. I'm glad to hear that you have very little overspray even with that size opening. And also, that 5 x 5 works so well.
Did you have trouble finding someone to do the curbless shower? I want one, and I have heard that they are expensive because it's so hard to find anyone with the expertise to build one - and you don't want to be the contractor's learning experience.
I was definitely worried about hiring a contractor who didn't know what he was doing. I did a fair amount of research so when I spoke with them, I could tell how comfortable they were with the requirements and in our case need to modify the joists below the floor. Some even opening admitted they hadn't done one but were willing to take on the task. No Thanks!
I monitored several forums on the web and set up a google alert for "curbless shower" and tried to get a sense of experience. One of the forums is particularly good and turns out one of the contributors was from our metro area. I could read how he communicated and also sense how the other experienced guys on the forum respected him.
It was amazing to me how in such a large metro area where we live, how few contractors have much experience with this. From what I can tell, it was rather difficult though since our house has a "pier and beam" foundation, that made it a bit more straightforward. It was also very expensive but the guy I hired is good and he knows he's good so didn't have to low bid the job. (I also liked that his bid didn't change during the job). We have an old house and he personally lived in an old house so was accustomed to the eccentricities and surprises of old houses. Overall, I felt VERY lucky. Maybe in time, contractors will get more experience but for now, it is scary what a risk you are taking hiring someone for this job. If I hadn't had the extra information for this contractor, I might have just chosen one of those "kits" - check out the Schluter web site (linear drains are a bit expensive but worth it) and definitely the forum run by John Bridge. I think a homeowner shouldn't try hiring for this kind of job without doing a lot of research and having a lot of confidence in the contractor they end up hiring. Angies list had a couple of reviews that looked interesting if I hadn't of found the contractor I ended up with.