We moved into our house (circa 1985) in June 2014. Though we didn’t get to the master bathroom until recently, right away it was on our list of things we wanted to change. We went from before to after. Read on to find out how!
Our bathroom is a 75 sqf space which had wall-to-wall mirrors, warped and worn baby-blue laminate (with graph paper-style checkerboard) and blonde wood cupboards. And blue/grey tiled floors with the black rubber grout (not our fav!). In the pic you might be able to spy a drywalled-in corner shower. And me and my mom. Here’s the sweet sassy before picture:
James and I hemmed and hawed over what we wanted out of the space. After lots of chatter and a couple date nights looking at some Houzz, we decided that what we’d really like to do is knock everything out, reconfigure and upgrade -and this would cost a fair bit more than what we wanted to spend right now. We made that our long-term goal (say, 10 years from now). Our short-term goal: refresh what we have using attractive but lower-cost materials. On the agenda:
- paint the existing cabinetry
- mirrors & accessories
On a sunny Saturday in March, James took a chisel and sledgehammer to those blue tiles and gummy grout (he loved every second). I had found these great porcelain tiles (clearance price at $1.99/sqf) at Lowes and Jame-o installed them in a herringbone pattern. I thought some fun pattern on the floor would take some attention away from the monster shower enclosure.
Then I hit the town looking for a countertop. We had a whopping 16 linear feet of countertop needed, and on this low-budget project, laminate was the only way to go. I wanted the look of marble without the price tag. I found two great options and it was a face-off between this guy and this guy . Both were lovely but in the end it was Rona for the win. We loved the drama in the more pronounced veins (why do I always like the pricier option better?) Still not too bad at about $22/linear foot….especially compared to the $75/sqf quartz alternative.
Bathroom cabinetry is typically a different depth than kitchen (22.5″ vs 25.5″), and they sell stock laminate counters in both depths. The trouble is, the max length for stock bathroom counters is 5′ (because who would install a 16′ L in their bathroom, I mean really). So that – combined with the fact that we wanted to go backsplashless (it’s a word), we bought two 10′ kitchen lengths and had the cut shop at Rona cut the mitre for the corner and lopped off the blacksplash. James put her in and it looks so great. Honestly, it’s a convincing fake!
Then began the many (many) moons of painting required to paint the cabinetry. I primed each side of those bad boys (think about how much drying time you need for those flat SOBs who need both sides done), sanded and applied two coats of this AWESOME Benjamin Moore product for painting cabinets. I can’t say enough about this product. It has a self-levelling property and can be tinted in any colour. I chose Benjamin Moore Pewter (2121-30), a light grey with a hint of blue – she’s a beaut. One litre did the trick for all the cabinets. Highly recommend this product if you’d rather spend elbow grease and time instead of money (to have your doors professionally spray painted).
I also nixed the monster frameless mirrors (we moved them to the basement and installed them together on a wall to create a dance area. Happy kids!). To replace the mirror, we bought two Stabekk mirrors from IKEA (I went for the green instead of the light brown b/c I learned the hard way in the past about painting over knots in wood). In a room with lots of hard angles (L shaped counter, herringbone floor, diagonal shower) – this room needed some rounding out (see what I did there?). The two mirrors got a couple coats of Pewter too.
I had come across the most beautiful set of curtains during one of my semi-regular Homesense wanders. My wheels got turning and I thought – instead of trying to distract from the monster shower, why not soften her up with some pretty curtains – treat her like a window!? (bonus: also covering up the cheesy tile that lines the shower door). James is iffy on it but I LOVE it. Oh, and yes, I do own an iron. Why do you ask?
To start, we had twin overhead 4-light vanity fixtures whose lampshades faced down. We wanted to ensure our task lighting was even and didn’t cast a shadow. We opted for pretty sconces that could be installed on either side of the mirror at about eye level, with the shades facing up. Great tips on size & placement for sconces can be found here.
We shelled out a bit on a marble 1″ hexagon backsplash by Fabre, which I picked up at Casa Bella Tile (easily my favourite tile shop in KW, check them out!) and grouted her up with Frost Grey. She’s about 7″ tall (good coverage but eureka – allowed us to buy less sheets of tile). James had been iffy on the marble hex thinking the cuts would be hell, but when he picked up the right tile saw it was easy peasy (lemon squeezy). Note to 25 year old self: don’t buy the cheapest wet saw out there. It was kinda fun to get all the cut-in-half pieces and stick them in to finish it off. Since it’s marble we used Porous Plus Sealer to keep her looking fab.
I don’t want to admit how long this reno took, but we are so happy with it and I know it will buy us several years before we knock her all down and rebuild with a new layout.
The final tally:
11 new knobs for the vanity: $74
Curtain rod for the shower: $34
Pretty curtain: $34
Backsplash, metal tile trim, grout, sealer: $395
4 sconces: $310
50 floor tiles: $115
Ditra, grout, and thinset: $300
2 Stabekk mirrors: $155
Litre of paint: $40
Wall art: $35
New soap dispensers: $25
Grand total: $1912
And that’s all she wrote.