Monday, August 5, 2013

Bathroom Updates Complete!

We purchased our house in the spring of 2005 before David was born.  While functional, there were many things I didn't like about our bathroom:  the floral wallpaper, the gold trim, the carpet leading up to linoleum, the maroon accent tiles, carpet around the toilet, the etched shower doors I could never get clean, the mold under the caulking and oh yes, the shower leaked onto the floor.  But by golly, 7 years later... we finally got around to it!  And no more complaining!  Out with the old.

The before...


 A good start!
I picked out 13x13 tiles at Ditco.  They are called Breccia Cappuccino by Porcellana Di Rocca (PDR) and they have the look of the frothed milk... to remind me of coffee.  (I really love coffee)  I really liked the coordinating mosaic tiles for the shower floor which was the deciding factor... and that they were affordable compared to my other options.  I used the same tile for the shower and the floor.  At this point in the project, the tile guy asked me what kind of border I wanted.  I had not really thought about a border so this really took me by surprise.  I took my tile sample to Home Depot and looked at a lot of options but in the end, I had the guy cut the existing tiles into the same border my next door neighbor used in her bathroom.  Picking out a border made of different materials was way too overwhelming of a choice to make at this point and I am really happy with the way it turned out.  Later, after some research I found some coordinating deco tiles in the same line that had a kind of floral design carved out and I think a few of those would have been nice... but I would have had to put the project on hold to order them and we just wanted to get it done!
Mid-way...
At this point, the shower, tub and floor were all coming together.  I love the way the border came out and was thankful our tile guy was so talented.  I thought it looked kind of funny without the grout, but once the grouting process began, it really started to look finished.

Before glass shower doors...


And here, all the tile work was complete.  And look!  All that ugly wallpaper was replaced with new paint.  The color?  Latte, of course, to remind me of coffee.  :-)  Of note, several years ago, I noticed some of our wallpaper was starting to peel off and I was curious what was underneath it.  So I peeled a little back by the tub and guess what I found?  Yes, equally ugly floral wallpaper underneath.  A blue and pink pattern.  I was a little nervous about our painter just texturing over the old wallpaper but he promised me it would work and I have to say it came out beautiful.  So at this point, the glass company came out and measured for our new glass shower doors.  I splurged a bit and got the frameless because I love the way it looks.  The glass is 5/8 of an inch thick and gorgeous!

One week later, the glass is in!
And then pause... most of our bathroom was done but we weren't sure what to do with the countertops.  I had originally picked out a Ceasarstone quartz called Dreamy Marfil but ran into a myriad of issues.  First, it is sold by the slab and you can purchase it in a half slab.  Unfortunately, one half slab did not leave enough material for the backsplash.  My sales rep at Ditco offered to help me pick out coordinating mosaic tile for the backsplash but the choices were infinite and my husband and I couldn't agree and once we finally did agree the cost just got our of hand.  And to further make things difficult, Ditco wanted us to remove the enormous mirror before they could do an install... which again was expensive to the tune of $300 if it didn't break and we were offered no guarantees that it wouldn't break.  If it did break, I would be forced to repair the wall, re-texture and re-paint and find new mirrors we could hang which again, overwhelmed me.  So we just sat on it till August and puzzled about it because we weren't in a hurry and frankly, I had just gotten tired of the project.  Once again, the counters were functional and it worked.


Old countertops, sinks and fixtures.
 
So once August rolled around, I was finally ready to get this bathroom finished and had a new idea:  marble!  Marble is more affordable than quartz but of course comes with some risks.  It is natural stone and requires sealing and runs the chance of etching or staining but it is very beautiful and classic, which appealed to me.  Again, after talking to my neighbor who has had marble countertops for several years now, we went with the marble countertops!  Etching and stains may occur but we will just have to call it character.  The stone is already naturally flawed in some places so it isn't like we are starting with something pristine.  It's a natural stone, created by God and has a story to tell.  Though it is a very clean piece of crema marfil, it does have some fissures and a few fillings to add to its charm.  I love the smoothness of it and how it is cool to the touch and all in all, I am very happy with it.  We will do our best to care for it and see what stories it has to tell in the coming years.  Long story short, I found a new contractor who gave me a great price (Transatlantic Granite).  The contractor put a lot of effort in to remove my existing backsplash without damaging the mirror and was successful!  He did say it was a lucky break though.  It wasn't easy.

 
The install of the counters took about 4 hours.  The next day, our plumber came and connected everything with flexible hosing... it was all rusted out hard piping before... and he also installed my pretty new fixtures.  I love it.  I may have the cabinets painted at some point and maybe get some window coverings but for now.... I'm just going to enjoy all that has been done so far.  It is really nice to have a pretty bathroom!
 
 



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