Pics: 1826 bathroom remodel (finished; starphire vs. regular)

KevinMPJuly 13, 2012

So my glass vendor finally switched out my regular glass (mistakenly sent the first time around) for the starphire I ordered about two months ago. So I'm reposting the entire remodel so that everything is in one spot for all to see.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my house was built in 1826 and, therefore, had no bathroom in the original structure. The old bathroom was not terrible, but it was an all white bathroom from the 80's. Now, it's up to date but still in keeping with the house.

Before we get to the pictures, materials. I spent hours on this forum trying to reassure myself that I was making the right decisions (or to find options in the first place). I can only pay back by letting everyone know what I needed up using.

Tile: The bathroom floor, tub surround, shower walls are all 9"x18" honed calacatta gold tile that I found in northern Jersey leftover from a job for a steal ($12.95 per square foot). I couldn't find matching mosaic for the shower floor, so I picked through several boxes of "grecian white" marble at either Home Depot or Lowes (I cannot even remember now) and found ones that matched well (they're polished, but no one will know). I used SenGuard sealer, which was the only sealer my marble and granite yard would recommend for calacatta, and it's doing very well and should last 15-20 years. About $3,000.

Heated Floor: Nuheat mat and thermostat. About $375.

Tub: Mirabelle Edenton air bath 60"x30"x20" with chrome tap drain in white. I struggled to find a tub that was 32" or less wide that still provided ample interior space, and you'd be surprised how large the interior of this tub is. It actually has as much space as tubs four to six inches wider. I've posted a video of the tub in use if you search under my name and are interested. About $1900.

Toilet: Jacuzzi Perfecta in white. About $190.

Vanity: Silkroad Exclusive 60" double vanity; a ton of storage compared to others (see below). I bought the vanity on eBay and it was shipped directly from Silkroad Exclusive. It was a steal (I think) for just over $900. It came with a travertine top, ivory sinks, and bronze hardware. I destroyed the top and sinks because they didn't go with what I was doing and swapped them out. I also swapped our the bail pulls with Restoration Hardware bail pulls in polished nickel (the only bail pulls I could find) and knobs in polished nickel. About $60.

Mirrors: Fanella mirrors from Lowes. It took me forever to find mirrors that matched the vanity, but I finally did, and they were cheap at about $90 a piece.

Vanity Top, Shower Threshold/Knee Wall Caps: After much searching, I finally settled on a 2 cm slab of Antique Brown granite in a leathered finish, which goes well with the honed finish of the tile and the coloring. About $1600 installed.

Sinks: Kohler Archer sinks. About $100 a piece.

Shower, tub, and vanity plumbing hardware: All Kohler Pinstripe Pure, and two K-8002 body sprays in polished chrome and all Kohler valves. About $3000.

Shower door and knee wall glass: Starphire glass and Kohler Pinstripe handle. About $2000.

Lighting: Five pot lights and one sconce (sconce is Dillon from Restoration Hardware in polished chrome with linen shade). About $220.

Window: Anderson 400 series casement.

Paint: All Benjamin Moore Bath/Spa in Matte: Ceiling and trim are dove white and walls are Mount Saint Anne.

I'm happy to answer any questions. It's the least I can do to save some other people the months it took me to figure this all out. Enjoy.

Taken through the glass believe it or not:

And so you can see what the regular glass looked like before I made them switch it out, see below. You may not think it makes a big difference, but it does to me. Now you know. Don't spend $26K on a bathroom and skimp on glass that obscures your white tile.

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Big difference! So glad you had them change it. :-)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:37AM
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I can see that the new glass really is different. The new glass does allow a better view of your marble. Great bathroom. Great pictures. Your floor is beautiful, it is even centered around your toilet perfectly. Very helpful to have an itemized list written up, thanks.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Absolutely stunning, Kevin. I never get tired of seeing pictures of your gorgeous room. The new glass is perfect!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 7:59AM
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Gorgeous bathroom. If it's not too much trouble, would you mind posting a pix of your shower with the regular glass so we can compare side by side? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 8:29AM
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Sure. I posted one of the old ones at the end. But here are two sets back to back. It may not seem like a major difference to many of you, but it is in person.

Old regular glass ($1450 (doesn't include $220 handle))

Without flash:

With flash:

Starphire glass ($1800 (doesn't include $220 handle)):

Without flash:

With flash:

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:35AM
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I forgot to post the before pictures of the 80's bathroom. Here they are (there was a piece of molding above the window, but I had removed it to measure for the new window):

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:29AM
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kevin, wow! I can sleep now... I have been waiting eagerly for the new (correct) glass. the marble is now rendered in its true color (and price).


    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:57AM
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You did a beautiful job! It really is in keeping with the house style. Although I must admit to chuckling to myself when I read your post and it said the house had no bathroom originally but you wanted something in keeping with the style. I wondered if you were going for outhouse style and how you would make that look good.

Love the cat. He or she is very photogenic.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Thanks for all the details and excellent photos. The difference in the glass is remarkable, so I'm really glad to be able to see proof of it in the pix!

You achieved such a nice balance of finishes; it's a very pleasant and beautiful room.

I have a question: when you used the granite as sills and trim on your shower, did you have to pay much for fabrication? If I end up buying a whole slab, I am thinking about using the extras in the same way. But I'm wondering if the cost of cutting and polishing all those edges would be really high. Any intel on that?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Your bathroom turned out really beautiful! If you want it to look knock-out nice in the pictures though, re-take them during the day and with no flash. I bet the room is fantastic during the day with natural light.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 2:30PM
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I'm not sophisticated enough to perceive the difference between the glass, but I'd love to know whether I could find a similar ship picture somewhere.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:05PM
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As to the slab pieces used for the shower threshold and the knee walls, the fabrication price was the same price as the vanity top, less the cost of the sink and faucet cutouts. As I said, I got a good deal on this granite because it was a remnant from a hotel remodel (after I bought the one slab, they still had another slab a couple of months ago across the river in NJ). I never ask what the fabrication charge is. I just want the total and negotiate from there. If you are going to have extra granite from your vanity job, etc., and you need some material for a threshold or window sill, etc., I wouldn't hesitate to use them. More than likely they're charging you for the material you don't use anyhow because they don't like to be left with minuscule amounts.

As to the boat painting, check Homegoods. They have them now. They're $50-75 (real oil paintings on canvas).

Pharaoh, I knew you'd be as happy as I am that I made the switch. I would have regretted it forever. Fortunately, the glass shop sent me that letter immediately after I accepted the green glass, asking me if I was happy with it or if I wanted to switch. And they didn't charge me for a second install either.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Following up on xand83's comment about the pictures, I took additional pictures this morning. The pictures better reflect the coloring of the tile and confirm the clarity of the starphire glass as compared to the regular, greener glass. The room looks a little darker in these pictures than in real life, but I didn't have my other, non-zoom lens with me. It's hard to get a lot of sunlight here anyhow because these are all row homes from the early to mid-19th century downtown. That's about as good as it gets. I have to have the contractor come back and add one more pot light above the toilet because it's a little dark in that corner, which makes the mirror on the right less useful than the one on the left. With that, I will finally be finished.

I also posted some non-redeye pictures of the critters (the cat is a 9-month-old female rag doll, and the dog is a 6.5-year-old male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). She's constantly in the bathroom batting at the blinds since I altered the window to make a deep sill.

Finally, the only thing I hate about the bathroom (and tried to fix) was the step down. There was no solution because the ceiling height was already only 7.5 feet. I just hate the collection of steps all by each other. I guess some would say it gives character. You'll also notice a picture of a door on the left of the bathroom by the thermostat. That's a closet, and when reconfiguring the bathroom I decided that we could use the back of the closet for any future plumbing access to the shower wall. It ended up working really well.

The step I hate and the collection of steps in one area:

The closet where the access to the shower plumbing is:

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:25AM
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It's a gorgeous bathroom, especially with the starphire, but I still think the kitty is the best part. :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:22PM
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I agree. Lovely bathroom and I really do mean that but more cat pictures please. :-)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Beautiful bathroom!

I am in the purchasing phase of my bathroom remodel. I really like your toilet. I looked for Jacuzzi Perfecta but they don't seem to have the skirt. I really want a toilet with the skirt to make cleaning easier.

Can you tell me where you bought it? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Try the Jacuzzi Prestige. I think I got the name wrong. I bought it at either Lowes or Home Depot.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Gorgeous bathroom, Kevin! Really really pretty, it all works together so well and is modern yet fits the feel of your house.

You've been living in it for a bit right? How is the marble holding up? Particularly the shower walls? What are you using to maintain it?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 4:09PM
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It's been a couple of months. I haven't had any problems, but I'm a bachelor and try to aim well and clean up and don't have children running around spilling things. I used SenGuard to seal the marble, as I mentioned in the post, because it was the only sealer recommended by my local fabricator (even though they didn't apply it themselves). The water beads right up on the marble and allegedly lasts 15+ years. We'll see. There's a bit of etching in one spot from a bucket that the contractor left when he was grouting, but you can hardly see it, and I'm not about to make him fix it.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:42PM
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I love looking at these pictures of your great bathroom! And the new glass makes a huge difference, with all that white marble. I have a question about that short wall you put at the end of your tub. Is that a necessity? It seems that's what a lot of people do, when a tub isn't between two walls. I'm curious because I have a similar set up, with the end of the tub open to the bathroom, and I was thinking about just leaving it open. I'm struggling with the shower curtain vs. glass issue since it will be a shower/tub. Not sure I want it to look like a glass box on top of a tub!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 1:32PM
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Beautiful bathroom!!

Tell me about the quality of the Silkroad Exclusive vanity. Are the doors, drawers, and shelf made well? I found their website, but it doesn't give a link to distributors; however, did find several on Overstock.

I noticed on O that they come WITH counter top and faucets at great "one price for all". You said did not use what came with the vanity from e-bay. Were they really "cheezy" looking if one were willing to compromise??

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Axxis_rose, I used a wall at the end of the tub only because I couldn't find a 30" acrylic wide air bath that I fit in that would be low enough to accommodate a large window and that didn't have an ugly skirt. The only option I had in a 30" was the Mirabelle Edenton or the Hydrosystems Lacey. But I didn't feel like shelling out an extra thousand dollars for the Hydrosystems tub plus having to relocate (and pay to relocate) the air pump in my linen closet or in the coat closet just outside of my bathroom. All of which is to say, the wall at the end of the tub was necessary because the Mirabelle Edenton only comes in an alcove application, unlike the Hydrosystems Lacey, which you can order with however many finished sides you want.

tuesday_2008, the quality of the Silkroad Exclusive vanity is far better than I had expected for the price. It's actually solid wood construction and very heavy. The drawers have full extension, but they are not soft- or self-close. The shelving and drawers are solid wood. The vanity top that came with it was a cream-colored, vein-cut, polished travertine and the sinks were ivory. It didn't come with a backsplash or faucets (not that I would have used the faucets either). It wasn't ugly or poor quality, but it didn't match what I was doing in the bathroom, and I would have had to find a matching stone for the shower threshold and knee wall caps, which would have been impossible. So, when the vanity arrived from California (which amazingly took only three business days and was delivered very well packaged and strapped to a wooden pallet), I spent the morning watching my contractor smash the travertine and sinks with a hammer to remove it. (It couldn't be removed any other way because it was liquid nailed to an mdf under layer.) People walking by thought I was crazy, but I wanted white, square sinks and did not want that travertine either.

I bought my vanity from this seller on ebay (it was on sale when I bought it for $300 off), and the picture in this ad is of the same travertine top that was on my vanity when it arrived (although it was far more yellow/cream in person):;hash=item3378e15212&_uhb=1#ht_4362wt_1219

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Gorgeous Calacatta tile! The bathroom is classic, very nicely designed and executed.

But what became of the old marble counter? Someone would love to reuse that in their bathroom.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:33AM
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Kevin thanks for the info on the vanity...just what I needed to hear.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:15AM
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The bathroom is gorgeous, as are your roommates.

When I looked at the photos, I thought "ooh, I love the step down". Too funny that it bugs you. To me anything you won't find in new construction is appealing, LOL!

When i was ordering glass in a pool shower, I really wanted a green vintagey look glass. When I tried to explain it to my glass vendor, she looked at me oddly and said "all glass is green". I think I will ask again. Clearly, not all of it is, and not all of it is the same green.

Shut the front door, the painting is Home Goods? The blue is a gorgeous foil for it, elevating the painting.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:21PM
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Thank you everyone. Had I gone with other contractors who required that I buy all of the materials through them, I would not have had this dreadful (but now rewarding) experience and I would have been at least $8K more in the hole. But I went the other route, and relied heavily on advice on this forum. For those of you who have the option (and want to spend a lot of time and running around), you should consider finding a contractor who doesn't buy the materials and charge you a markup; you can save a lot of money and feel like you really contributing something more than money to the project.

egganddart49, I trashed that marble countertop. I suppose it could have made a good wet bar (and I contemplated using it for that purpose in my small shelving unit in the dining room), but I don't have the space in this tiny row home to keep "junk" lying around. My house was already a disaster as it was.

If you have any recommendations on the crown molding, please help. I only have a few days to decide. Someone on the kitchen forum recommended that I do it asymmetrically so that there's more baseboard showing on the ceiling than on the wall, which was a good recommendation. So far, everyone says not to use dentil molding, and I think I agree.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Beautiful, beautiful bathroom! Thanks for sharing pictures and details. Can you share info on your wainscoting? Was it custom-made, or stock from a cabinet company? Thanks for any info.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:37PM
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The contractor made the wainscoting custom, and it was fairly straightforward. He made picture frames using stock pre-primed lumbar, with small cove for the inset, and brick mould for the cap. I had originally planned to use luan for the open parts of the frame, but we didn't end up doing that, so the open parts are just dry wall.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:18PM
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Lovely bathroom ... it's what they would have built in 1826 if indoor plumbing were possible.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Gorgeous! Love it all -- especially cat! Thanks for sharing so much info.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Thanks for the info on the wainscot. It looks great!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:25AM
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wow, gorgeous bathroom! can you tell me more about your floors? what size tiles are they? is your marble statuary or calcatta? your cat is adorable too! thank you!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:33AM
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The floor tile is the same as the tile used on the shower walls and tub surround: 9"x18" honed, beveled calacatta gold tile.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:00AM
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Hi Kevin, thanks for the info on your tile. they are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Can you tell me 2 things about your vanity? What is the open dimensions of the sinks? (width and front to back)?
And, what is the width of the under sink cabinet portion (the part directly under the sink).
I'm planning 2 60" double vanities (for 2 bathrooms) and want to make sure I have right size cabinets and sinks.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 2:36PM
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beautiful, great taste. Love your faucets and every detail was well thought out. Where did you get your bath rug?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:44PM
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It's from Homegoods (Ralph Lauren). I've switched it out for real sheepskin with a low pile/knap.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 8:15PM
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