The Master Bath Remodel Project

MBR Project - Before - Tub & Shower

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.

MBR Project - Before - What is Wrong

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.

MBR Project - Before1

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!

MBR Project - Ripping out the old shower & tub

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.

MBR Project - Corroded Pipe2 Collage

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!

MBR Project - New Framing Begins

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.

MBR Project - New Shower Concrete

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.

Tub & Shower Collage1

First up, the new soaking tub. It’s smaller, deeper and rectangular versus oval.

MBR Project - Soaking Tub

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.

MBR Project - New Soaking Tub

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!

MBR Project - 18 Floor Tiles

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.

MBR Project - Shower View

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.

MBR Project - New Shower Hardware

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.)

MBR Project - New Shower Bench with Granite Top

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.

MBR Project - My New Shower

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?

MBR Project - Before - What is Wrong

MBR Project - Finished Shower & Tub

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!

MBR Project - Taping Off the Bedroom

Unless you’re a big Dexter fan. Then that part got a leeettle bit creepy. :)



Filed under Family Stuff, Miscellaneous Thoughts

50 responses to “The Master Bath Remodel Project

  1. The Baby

    No peppermint soap dispenser? I have shower envy! Congrats on the remodel.

    • Ha! You know me well, baby sister.
      The Dr Bronner’s peppermint soap is still in there, it’s just in the basket on the bench now. You know I’d never give it up. And my bar in the new niche is my favorite peppermint oatmeal bar. I am a creature of habit, and that habit is peppermint bath products. I yam what I yam. -j

  2. That looks amazing! Congrats! We too had carpet in our bathrooms -ewwww! Who’s bright idea was that and why on earth was that a trend!? We replaced the carpet but definitely wanted to replace tub/shower. Our house is being rented now, but I may get the contact info of the contractor you used when it’s time to rip that sucker out of there.

  3. I love the new bathroom!

    I’ve never heard of carpet in a bathroom before. That seems like a recipe for disaster.

    • Thanks, Thoughtsy!
      Maybe it’s a southern thing or a Texas thing or a southern Texas thing, but all of our bathrooms were carpeted when our house was built. It makes ZERO sense to me, but that’s what they did back then. The master was the last to get new tile, and I can’t say enough how much I love it. SO much easier to clean!

  4. Big Sis

    I’m sooooo jealous!! Does you contractor do work in N. Texas????
    It turned out great!! Enjoy!!

  5. I said it once and I’ll say it again, that bathroom is gorgeous! I love everything about it. Our landlord needs to rip out our entire bathroom too, but I don’t think that’ll happen any time soon. You are one lucky lady! Enjoy a good soak!

  6. Side note, I do like Dexter – lol. Okay, about this BEAUTIFUL bathroom. I LOVE it!. It has such a nice peaceful spa feeling to it. It looks like it belongs in Better Homes & Gardens. Amy from Ms. Toody Goo Shoes is looking for advise on a master bath redo. Maybe you better stop over and help her out. You done good!

    • Thanks, Eileen!
      I agree – it’s like getting treated at the spa every time you step into the new bathroom. So spoiled now. I love it! I’ll drop in on Amy and see what she’s up to with her bathroom remodel. Thanks! -j

  7. Gasp! That’s amazing. Love all of it!

  8. Jeanne, this is a superb reno—congrats on the updates and getting it done on time. I never understood carpet in a bath either, fad or not, and unfortunately it was a hit in CA too. This Dexter fan says cleaning up after a serial venture should be a snap as long as the new tile and grout were properly sealed! ;) The bigger question is: only 47 shampoo bottles?

    • Thanks so much, Brooks!
      Clean-up was a snap since we covered everything in plastic. I also made it my personal mission to vacuum and dust every other day to keep up with the dust that got pulled through the air vents (which were promptly replaced as soon as the last grout bag went into the trash). Overall, I’d rate our experience a solid 10, which blows my mind. I expected SO much drama, but there was none. Amazing.

      PS – We used Mapei commercial grout w/built-in sealant, but also had sealer applied upon completion. (I’m no dummy.)
      PPS – That 47 + soaps & other products + 2 boxes of product under my sink. I had a lot of purging to do.

  9. That is absolutely lovely! You have given me lots of inspiration for our next remodel!

  10. It’s gorgeous! I just wrote a post on my master bath dilemma, and if I were to start from scratch, I would do mine in the exact colors you chose. Enjoy it!

    • Thanks, Amy!
      We love the new bathroom, and the lighter colors make it seem HUGE! I can’t wait to see what you decide to do to yours. (Love your clawfoot tub, btw.) -j

  11. Remodeling is always such a huge undertaking, especially when you are working with an older home. You never know what you will find when you take down a wall or rip up a floor! Do you have any idea how amazing it is that your project went on schedule?!? Ours have always taken twice as long as originally expected. Your new bathroom is beautiful! I love the trim in the tile!

    • Thanks, Wendy!
      I wasn’t 100% sold on that decorative trim before it was installed, but once it went in I fell in love. I looks terrific. Even better – because it’s tile, it will be easier to keep clean. #victory

  12. Claudia

    Carpet in the bathroom? It must have been a worldwide trend, because I bought a house once in Den Haag and it featured a carpeted bathroom in – wait for it – a dark bottle green. And yes, that included the area around the toilet. I nearly ran screaming. At least your carpet had a nice sandy color and any icky was your own ;-)
    On a much brighter note: I love the new bathroom. Great color scheme and that bench is a real treasure. Very much worth the Christo-effort of wrapping up the rest of your house!

    • Thanks, Claudia!
      I still await the day when you decide to come see it for yourself.
      PS – your carpet story made me giggle & gag a little.
      PPS – which reminded me of our herring adventure.
      PPPS – and now I’m missing you even more.

  13. I was excited to find a non-food post–surely, I though, this one won’t make we drool worse than my teething daughter? No such luck!
    Beautiful shower!! I love the inspiration :D And the shower bench, and the light colors, and the tub, and and… :)

  14. Sheryl

    Can you give more info on the tub? Brand, size, what it’s made of…We are about to do a master bath make-over too. And I love this! The layout of the your tub & shower is just like ours.
    I just cannot find the tub – I want a soaker tub as you are describing. Thanks for your help!

    • Hi, Sheryl!
      Sorry it took me so long to respond. I was out of town and had to get back to my home computer to get the information. Here are the details on our new tub, as well as a link to the manufacturer’s spec sheet. Hope that helps! -jeanne

      Tub: Emerald Diamond Series drop-in soaking tub.
      We paid $536 for the tub alone, which was the contractor price, not retail.
      That price also did not include the faucet & fixtures (drain kit, etc.).
      It can be ordered in different configurations, depending on where you want the faucet.
      The one we bought was Model GL3260SPBS, which is the 32″ x 60″ tub w/out whirlpool jets.
      The color we choses is bisque (ivory).

      Click to access Emerald%20drop-in.pdf

  15. doug rescho

    Can you tell me the name of the tile used in this project; thanks.

    • Hi, Doug.
      The main tile is Mohawk Delanova (AD15065) in Chiara Cream.
      We used 20″x20″ for the floor & 9″x12″ for the shower/tub.
      The decorative trim is Mohawk Risalto (AD5129) 3″x12″.
      Grout = Mapei UltraColor Plus w/Polymer in #14 Biscuit.
      Hope that helps! -jeanne

  16. Mo

    Can I please have your contractor’s number? Love it!!

    • Happy to share, Mo! We used Hamre’s in Stafford (close to you!). Pat & Jamie were great to work with. You can find them at:
      4111 Greenbriar Drive, Suite A
      Stafford, TX 77477

      • Shariq Alam

        Thank you. was it really expensive? From: Inside NanaBread’s Head To: Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 9:32 AM Subject: [New comment] The Master Bath Remodel Project #yiv3250594532 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3250594532 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3250594532 a.yiv3250594532primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3250594532 a.yiv3250594532primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3250594532 a.yiv3250594532primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3250594532 a.yiv3250594532primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3250594532 NanaBread commented: “Happy to share, Mo! We used Hamre’s in Stafford (close to you!). Pat & Jamie were great to work with. You can find them at: Greenbriar Drive, Suite AStafford, TX 77477281-494-9200″ | |

      • Shariq,
        It was fairly expensive, but as they say – you get what you pay for. Hamre’s uses local craftsmen they’ve worked with for years, and they are all top notch. The work they did was spectacular. When we recently sold that home, the inspector who came out even commented on the craftsmanship of that bathroom remodel. It also helped sell the house, as the new buyer loved the master bath. For us, it was worth every penny. Our cost was around 14K (12K for the remodel/labor; 2K for fixtures). Hope that helps. -j

  17. Catira

    I have a similarly situated outdated jacuzzi and shower, I never would have thought to extend the shower out to make it deeper duh! I was struggling with whether or not I’d have enough room to make it wider but because I have a window above the tub this wouldn’t be possible. Looks great!

  18. Christin Conly

    Looks so good and thanks for the great design ideas! I want to tackle the same layout in all of its gold shower framed and cultured marble glory.
    I’m afraid to ask an order of magnitude cost… maybe you send your contractor over to Austin!! :)

  19. Shannon Jenkins

    Hello! I absolutely love your bathroom makeover. Can you tell me the dimensions? Thank you!

    • Hi, Shannon!
      I’m so glad you liked the bathroom renovation. We enjoyed those upgrades immensely. We moved to Austin a year after that remodel, however, so I no longer have access to get those dimensions for you. Good luck with your project.

  20. Deb

    I would love to know where you got your tub! And do you know the length? This is exactly what we’re looking at doing for our bathroom. TFS!!!

  21. Shannon

    Hello, the reno looks great! May I ask approx how large the new shower area is?

    • Hi, Shannon. We no longer live in that house, or I’d measure it for you. I would say it was at least 6 or 7 feet wide by 5 feet deep. The bench was about 14″ deep. It was a great shower.

  22. Nana Tracy

    Love your remodeling recap, fun to read! I’m about to undertake a remodel of our much tinier, circa 1984 standard hideous builder grade flooring etc….master bath. Please tell me where you found all the wonderful plastic sheeting to cover everything, I’d be so grateful. Congrats on your beautiful finished bathroom, gorgeous!

    • Hi, Nana Tracy!
      I believe the plastic sheeting was from Lowes or Home Depot, from the paint department. It comes in multiple sizes with different thickness options. The thin stuff tears easily, so be gentle with it or go for one that’s a little thicker. We used painter’s tape to secure it so there was no tape residue when we removed it. Good luck with your remodel! -Nana Jeanne

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