Hall bath reveal

LinelleJuly 17, 2014

Apologies in advance for the length of this 5x10 hall (guest) bath reveal narrative.

It's located right at the T-junction of my hall that leads to the bedrooms and garage, so it's a hub point and very visible. I typically don't close bathroom doors when not in use and, since I live alone, I never, ever close the bathroom door unless someone's over. Meaning this is a room I see all the time.

Other than the Before tile floor, towel bar, and surface mounted medicine cabinet, everything was original to when the house was built in 1991. When my DH was alive, he used the small en suite master bath and this was my bathroom. It's immediately adjacent to the bedroom door so it was convenient. It's a much better bathroom than the en suite one. After my DH died, I decided it would be too impractical and a waste of space for me to not use his old bathroom, so I moved into it and made a few cosmetic changes.

The hall bath has the only tub in the house, which I wanted to keep. However, the old tub was so uncomfortable (straight back, no scooting down into the water) that I maybe took one bath a year. I thought about replacing the tub and could see that would require new tile and everything snowballed from there.

No structural, plumbing or electrical changes. It was basically replace in kind, just a different kind. :)

I ordered some things through my KD/BD and bought other things myself. She recommended a contractor, one of three I interviewed. His estimate was the highest, but most complete and straightforward. He was a gem. Every single person who worked in my bathroom was fantastic. I would hire this guy again in a heartbeat.

The only real glitch was a squeak/bounce under the row of floor tile next to the tub. It had to be redone twice before the problem was fixed, along with some additional cross bracing from below between the floor joists.

Tub - Duravit acrylic
Sink - Kohler Archer
Faucet - Grohe Arden
Tub spout, shower valve trim - Grohe Arden
Hand spray - Grohe New Tempesta Cosmopolitan
Vanity - Columbia, alder, coffee stain
Counter - Honed carrara
Med. cab - Kohler
Light - Hinkley Avon
Floor tile - Happy Floor Eternity Gray
Shower tile - Daltile Arctic White
Toilet - Toto Drake 1.2 gpf (round, regular height)
Knobs - House of Antique Hardware Hex. glass
Towel bar/ring/TP holder - Pottery Barn Hayden
Curtain rod - Moen
Shower curtain - BB&B $20 special
Mirror - Crate & Barrel Silver Birch, refinished by me with Liquid Leaf
Walls - SW Antique White
Trim - Kelly Moore Swiss Coffee

Chrome finishes, except brushed nickel floor register and existing door handle.



So much agonizing

I fretted needlessly about being too matchy with all the chrome. As it turns out, I neither notice nor care. Had to go with a brushed nickel floor register, so there's that.

The framed mirror. Despite being called "SILVER Birch" and a salesman's assurance that the finish was quite silver, it had a gold tone about it. It was lovely, but I didn't want gold. I refinished it with liquid leaf after a disastrous Rub 'n' Buff episode. I was ready to chuck the entire mirror. I was very angry with myself. The mirror doesn't photograph well, but it's now acceptable to me. Next time I would do a very large, unframed, beveled mirror. Framed mirrors are not all they're cracked up to be. :)

After getting a white kitchen I was very sure I wanted a stained vanity. I wanted a mid-toned stain, but when all was said and done, it came out much darker than I'd envisioned. It's okay, but the lesson learned is to take as much time with stain color as every other element. I'm in love with all the space I have with the drawers and increased height of the vanity.

I love my Avon light. It takes up to 100 watts per light (there are 5), but I discovered that 40-watt vanity (boob) lights provide a perfect amount. I have since stocked up with 10 more bulbs before California outlaws all the incandescents.

The floor's okay, preferred something darker and more uniform in color, but it's growing on me.

I ordered the 1.6 gpf Drake but received the 1.28 because California insisted on it. I was not happy about it, as I hadn't gotten Sani-Gloss. I discovered the secret long flush, so it's all okay.

The mother lion and her baby poster was in another room and got pressed into service because the old artwork was too ratty looking. The lions have a bit of history and I'm not a big fan of putting things on the wall I'm not somehow attached to. I printed and framed an iPhone closeup of Bessie for over the toilet.

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Fori is not pleased

Very very nice!

(And I love how the vanity came out--the color is very rich and appealing to me. Send it my way and get yourself a new one!)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Looks fantastic! I'm using a similar color palette in my master bath remodel and had selected dark bronze knobs but was toying with switching to glass... I just might have to after seeing yours. Good job!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:28PM
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Thanks guys.

fori, oh, I'm so done with this bathroom, I couldn't face having to replace anything for a long time. I'll grow to love this stain color, it's just funny how things can turn out.

bowbat, I knew I didn't want chrome pulls, already had enough chrome, but I wasn't confident mixing another metal finish, so glass appealed to me. Now, in light of how dark the vanity is, I'm glad I didn't get black, my first option. These knobs were just $3 so I bought twice as many since they could break (one already did when the guy screwed it on too tight) or I can use them elsewhere. I bought a LOT of knob samples. HofAH has a fabulous octagon knob that I almost got.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Wow! Looks great! Getting rid of those sliding doors really makes a huge difference.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:44PM
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Linelle, your bathroom looks great. Sorry to hear that it was a frustrating experience for you. Sorry too (since I suggested the mirror) that your mirror was part of your frustration. Honestly, my neighbor's Silver Birch mirror did not look gold at all. They must be inconsistent finished though because you were not the first one to say the mirror had a gold cast to it. You did a beautiful job adjusting the finish. I still think a framed mirror like yours looks richer than a frameless plate glass mirror even if its beveled. Love the color of the vanity and you were right to go with the glass knobs.
Step back, relax and take a break from renovating. You have done a lot doing a kitchen, a bath and probably more.I am sure it is very difficult doing these things by yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:13PM
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Badger, it really wasn't all that frustrating. I was kinda poking fun at myself for agonizing over metal finishes and where to put the silly towel ring. The big stuff was easy. Of course you learn and are wiser after the fact. I don't really have any regrets and my GC was a prince. That counts for a lot.

I think the mirror's gold cast was affected by its surroundings and one's preferences. It would have been fine anywhere else in my house, but it wasn't working in the bathroom. It all turned out okay. I'm really glad you recommended this mirror to me. It was difficult to find the size I needed in my budget.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:40PM
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linelle-It turned out great. All of the different components have come together in a lovely fashion. And I, too, love your glass pulls.

My only regret is that you are now done and we won't have the benefit of your dry wit. Please keep commenting and helping out - I for one would miss you.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:12PM
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leela :) I promise to stick around.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:22PM
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It came out great! :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:26AM
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So very pretty! Thanks for listing all the materials. I love the stain color of the vanity. It plays off the marble countertop so well. The entire room now looks fresh and inviting. Great choices!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:00AM
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I agree with the others- it looks great! Big difference in the before and after.

I've narrowed my tub choices for mine to two and one one of them is a duravit Architec. Do you know which one you have? And do you like it? And not to get too personal, how tall you are?

Sorry for so many questions- I think you did a great job.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:49AM
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Looks wonderful! Did the wall cab get replaced with the Kohler? I would love to hear whether you like it (we are medicine cab shopping now).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Lisa, yes, it's a Duravit Architec. I haven't taken a bath yet, something I rarely do except in the winter. I had planned to get a Kohler Archer, but my BD convinced me to get something deeper. I'm not sure I care, but I'll find out when I eventually take a bath. :) I'm a relatively petite 5'4" so vast length and width don't count for a lot with me.

One thing is for sure about the bath, its bottom is very slippery. I thought all new tubs were required to have a nonslip finish on the bottom, but apparently not. I got some really good nonslip strips from Amazon that someone at GW recommended. I bought two packs and applied all 24. They are unobtrusive, seem to have stuck well, and give a good grippy surface.

Oaktown, yes the old ugly surface-mounted medicine cabinet was replaced with the Kohler. It is fine, also mirrored inside the door and back of shelves. The main reason for it is to have a mirror at the side for doing hair. The irony is that when it's in the required position of being open, the self-close action kicks in. I will have to jerry-rig a little door stop to foil it. :) Inside it's just 19" high, so for the bottom shelf to be high enough for a bottle of peroxide or nail polish remover, the other two shelves are short. For my needs, it's fine. Quality is okay. I found a tiny flaw in the surface mirror, but it's not worth complaining about. It's a much nicer cab than the Broan I have in my other bathroom.

Here is a link that might be useful: non-slip bathtub strips

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:48AM
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Thanks linelle- good info to know on the tub since I haven't seen one in person yet.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:40PM
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Linelle, it's so pretty! I think it all looks great together; your agonizing paid off. :) Loving the glass knobs.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:40PM
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I love the new look. I thought the original gray tile was very nice, that was shown in your early posts, but the new is even better. I like the floor. It still reads dark to me, maybe its the pictures. I like the contrast of the vanity with the floor. If the floor was real dark it might have been hard to see the details of vanity/floor as they relate to each other. And the vanity is nice being a dark stain.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:17AM
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Linelle, you did a great job. I know how much you stressed about your choices, but it all came together beautifully.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:45AM
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Linelle! It looks great! The vanity is so pretty and I love all your choices. Great job. Congrats!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:22PM
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Linelle, your bath looks wonderful. Your choices are very nice, and I especially love the glass knobs. We re-did our master bath last fall, and I know exactly what you mean about the cabinet finishes. I changed mine at the last minute to black stain based on the floor tile color and am so glad I did. The so-called 'coffee' stain my cab guy had was looking too mahogany and saying 'red' everytime I put paint with it.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:58AM
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That came out really nice, Linelle!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:42PM
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Where are my manners?!!

Thank you everyone for the kind words. I'm happy to report that I'm finally over the tiptoeing around that I usually adopt when something's new and I'm afraid to use it. I'm using this bathroom and I am overall very happy with my choices and how things turned out.

My cats think they own the place. I cannot leave toilet paper out, either on the holder or sitting on the counter or it gets shredded. So much for the small fortune I spent on the holder.

Mixing metals? Such a non-issue. Fear of drilling holes in new tile? C'mon. Honestly, the stuff we waste time worrying about.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:18PM
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