Until last month, this was our 24 year-old master bathroom (minus the decorations and 47 shampoo bottles). Sad trombone says ‘wah wahhhhhh’ and I agree. Here’s what was bugging us about our old shower/tub area.
Where to start? Old carpet (Q: Who carpets a bathroom? A: Everyone in 1989.) A huge 2-person garden tub that was rarely used except when the grandbabies swam in it. They’ll be the only ones to miss it.
Shower tile, some of which literally comes out of place every few years, a shower door so low The Complete Package has a history of banging his head on it, and glass so short water from every shower flies out and sprays the entire bathroom. Ugh. What are you gonna do?
That’s right… rip it out, baby!
Boom. Gone! We found a contractor we enjoyed working with, agreed on every single decision (a rarity), dug in, and got it done right on schedule. Seriously, everything went like clockwork. The only minor hiccup was a corroded pipe behind the old shower tile, which was quickly replaced.
So here was our game plan:
1. enlarge the shower & add a bench
2. replace the tub with a smaller soaking tub
3. raise the shower tile & glass
4. replace carpet with new tile flooring
Let the framing begin!
Next up – plumbing rough-in for the new fixtures and a new concrete base for the shower floor. For the record, our old shower did not have a concrete base but should have. It also didn’t have a vapor barrier or waterproof backer board. The things you learn when tile is ripped out, man. We’re lucky we didn’t suffer a serious leak over the past 24 years. It’s kind of a miracle.
This time around, we had a contractor that knew how to do it right and the difference between old and new is like night and day. We’re completely thrilled with the new stuff. One last look at the before photos before I start revealing.
First up, the new soaking tub. It’s smaller, deeper and rectangular versus oval.
Because it’s rectangle in shape, you can actually stretch out farther than you could in the bigger oval tub. Don’t ask me how. #Science
All I know is that I love this tub. When you want to soak, the water actually comes above your shoulders. As it should. Also cool – the front tile panel is held on with magnets, so if you ever need to access the plumbing, you don’t have to wreck the tile work. Genius! And that decorative border? It’s in the shower, too.
But before I show you the shower, here’s the new floor tile. It’s the same tile used for the tub and shower, but in much larger 18″ squares. I love it. Goodbye nasty old carpet. Hello clean shiny tile!
Other than the decorative band, we used the same tile throughout the entire bathroom in different sizes. This same floor tile is in the shower floor in a 3″ x 3″ version. Wanna see? Do you want to see it now? Okay… here you go.
How do I love my new shower? Let me count the ways. I love the larger size – at least a foot deeper and about 18″ wider. I love the taller frameless glass. I love that the tile goes all the way to the ceiling. And I love the new fixtures.
Old shower – small shower head. New shower – bigger shower head and a hand-held wand. Even better – there’s a new diverter valve so you can toggle between the two or use both at once. Love it! There’s also a new niche for shampoo and soap (his & hers, of course). But what I love most is the new granite-topped bench. (The next photo was taken before the shower glass was installed.)
No more bending over to shave my legs, or throwing a leg up and hoping I won’t slip and fall. (Don’t try to picture that last part, just move along.) It’s at least 4 feet long and 12″ wide, and we were able to hand pick our piece of granite, which includes some really cool streaks of gemstones. I could not be happier.
An unexpected bonus – because the new shower glass is much taller, it holds in the steam thereby turning the new shower into a steam shower. That’s going to be lovely this winter when our Houston temps dip to 45-ish. I joke, but it really is nice when the bathroom is chilly. Except that you want to stay in the shower and not come out. Like ever. Do they make wine racks for showers?
Have I said how much we love our new bathroom? Because we really, really do. So we moved into the guest bedroom and bathroom for 4 weeks. Who cares? So we had to move our clothes and all of TCP’s computer equipment (since he works from home). Done! So we had to wrap our entire bedroom, study and both closets in plastic sheeting to protect it from construction dust. No big deal!
Unless you’re a big Dexter fan. Then that part got a leeettle bit creepy. :)