Goto Bathroom Pictures
We wanted to change just about everything in this bathroom. The odor of mold and mildew indicated that some rot was happening in the walls or in the flooring, so repairs were needed even if our planned upgrades weren't on tap. Here's the plan:
* Bathtub / shower - convert the bathtub / shower combination to a walk-in shower. We didn't want or need the bathtub in the master bathroom. The front / guest bathroom has a tub already, so a second tub wasn't needed. Converting the tub into a shower gives a more adult feel, and opens up more options for making the bathroom more luxurious.
Add a bench seat to the shower so you can sit and scrub your feet or other bits without fear of a slip / fall, or hurting your back doing everything standing up. A shower bench seat will run the width of the shower stall with the shower door fitted around it.
Tiles would line the shower compartment from floor to ceiling. 2 inch square tiles on the floor and over the step. 6, 12, or 18 inch tiles up the walls with a decorative liner at just the right height. The actual tile application pattern was still to be decided, of lesser concern. Since no matter what pattern the tiles were laid would look good, first things first.
* The shower door would be the frameless 3/8 inch thick glass kind. Swing open door panel, and the stationary panel shaped to fit around the shower bench seat. A sliding door leaves more space but there really aren't any options for frameless sliding shower door. The swinging door also means the towel rack would have to move otherwise the swinging door could hit the towel rack. This creates a bit of a problem because the bathroom is small, and there's not a lot of options for a towel rack within reach while still dripping wet.
The sliding doors are all framed and look el-cheap-o compared to frameless shower doors. If the floorplan meant we were stuck with sliding doors, there would be no point in spending more than what the local Home Dumpo store would charges for a basic, cheapo sliding door - not very luxurious, and kind of pointless.
* Shower plumbing - as previously described the home remodeling showrooms pretty much suck. It was no different this time around. Having been through this mill already with the kitchen remodel, we returned to where we purchased the kitchen plumbing parts - a local, owner run shop that always gives prompt attention and spent as much time with us as needed. If you're project is near San Jose Ca, go see Jerry at the Plumbing Depot in Campbell, Winchester Blvd.
We chose the same Right again, quality Grohe faucets fit the bill for both the shower and the sink. Brushed finish body spray nozzles, regular shower nozzle and a hand sprayer to be plumbed into the opposite wall. Since all the walls would be open and exposed, it was the right time to make this kind of modification.
* Bathroom cabinet - this was the big one. The wife was set on furniture design style, having short legs instead of a surrounding base or kickboard. Since there's not a lot of these around, a custom build would be necessary. Even if a more normal, traditional cabinet would do, particle board and 1/4 turn fasteners were not allowed - these days, that means custom.
Granite would top the cabinet with an undermount sink, topped with brush finished Grohe faucet and hardware. The only concern was if the granite would out class the tile selected for the shower. Not that there was anything unattractive with the tile, it just doesn't have the richness of granite.
With such a small cabinet, finding a granite remanent we liked would be simple enough. Some extra granite material would be needed for the window cill. The wood window cill was to be replaced with matching granite strips.
* The floor was to be floated and 6 inch tiles used. We had considered bringing the tile up the wall by four feet or so, but the room is just too small for that. Instead, a single row of 6 inch tile would connect the floors to the walls.
While we're at it we'd replace the pocket door too. The doors were a different project to be done, but if the rails and frame were changed while all this is going on, then no demolition would be needed later. We specified an el-cheapo pocket door to be used with the best, smoothest, quietest rails on the market. When the tome came, all we'd have to do is replace the door panel.
* Lighting and a vent. This early 1960s home had no ventilation fan in the bathroom. That needed to change. Normally, a fan and vent would be added when the roof is done. But as an initial job, they just run the exhaust vent into the attic and over to an existing attic vent at the gable or elsewhere.
Local code requires a remodeled bathroom include a fluorescent light. Personally, it's nobodies business, but the wife likes to play by the rules. And apparently this fluorescent light is not very bright, and even used as a night light by some.
Regular lighting would still be provided at the normal place above the sink and cabinet. Nothing more than shopping for a new fixture was needed here.
* The medicine cabinet was to preferable to have inset. But as with many locations there could be plumbing venting in the wall that would have to be re-routed. Unsure what was in the wall left this decision up in the air. Only opening the wall would tell. But looking at the roof from outside, a vent running up through the wall was indicated.
If insetting the medicine cabinet into the wall was not an option, or too costly, then it would just have to be mounted on the wall instead of in the wall. Some nice molding could always be done to frame the medicine cabinet, and it could be of the same material and finish as the custom bathroom sink cabinet.