The Cool House: master bath
Showing posts with label master bath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label master bath. Show all posts

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Demo: The dressing room

The thing about doing the demo yourself is you get to marvel over the little renovation discoveries; insights into other peoples' lives. For instance, had we engaged a crew to knock out the master suite I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have yelled "Come see what was behind the mirrors!"

And we would have missed the saffron flock wallpaper that had once complimented the yellow shag carpet and gold cultured marble bathtub and sinks.

The splendour of the '70s replaced by sterile '90s white on white fixtures and floor to ceiling mirrors, soon to be finished in uniquely modern style circa 2010.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Demo: Day 5

Collapse: The Guy put in a full 7 AM - 4 PM day in a last desperate push to get the bathroom clear. This was taken after carrying the last cement backerboard to the dumpster. Exhaustion! He did spring up once more to remove the 42" x 48" mirror that used to sit over the vanity before heading off to shower, followed by a stiff G&T and two Alleve.

Down to the studs - cement board in the wet areas removed at last! That stuff is nasty, dusty and wicks water on to the wood - especially if you didn't use a liner between it and the joists. Instead of leaving a 1/4" gap between the shower base and the board so the board doesn't sit in water the last contractor had gone for a generous 3/4", which meant water had poured through the space - and down the stairs! See that gloopy grey stuff on the floor? That's where the tiles were mortared directly onto the plywood subfloor. This will be smoothed down when I get new pads for my trusty hand sander - and a few more dust masks!

Surprise! The Guy uncovered an electrical outlet behind the sheetrock in the shower. This is what I have been wanting for five whole years - a light in the shower. Can someone please explain why this was covered by board and tiles? Here's hoping the electricians can transform it into a wet location approved light without too much drama.

Demo: Day 4

The Guy is racing to get the cement board off the shower walls and the 70s mirrors out of the dressing room before he goes back to his paying job on Monday morning. The haste led to a little whoops moment: he chipped the last floor tile off and the screwdriver he was using as a lever shot out of his hand and down the void under the shower. The only way we'll see that again is if we take off the wallboard in the kitchen that hides the front stairs. Not Going To Happen. We'll leave it there for a future renovator to puzzle over.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ye Gods of Snow!

I was JOKING about the snow, Gods of Irony! At least it's 2" not 2', but as Laura points out even a little snow around the dumpster makes hauling out the debris more treacherous - and increases the clean-up 100-fold.

Still, the tile is off, the wallboard too, in many places. Considering the leaks we had from the shower and the tub, it's amazing there is no visible damage to the cement backerboard, the floor or the walls behind. No mold, either.
This bathroom should be stripped down to the studs be Saturday, then the plumber and electricians can get in. Tiles arrive Jan 8th, vanities Jan 25th; all other fixtures except the Toto Nexus toilet (delivery scheduled for the second week in January) are here and waiting. After everything has been installed I can get the Caesarstone fabricators to measure for the countertops and the shower door people to fit the glass door. I'm hoping to take my first shower in this bathroom Valentine's Day 2010. That doesn't sound too optomistic does it?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What's Missing?

I waited in all day but the dumpster I ordered before Xmas (to be sure of getting one delivered on the right day) didn't arrive until 3:30 this afternoon - but better late than never, no? Well, no, actually, because they had put the 10 yard dumpster on the largest truck on Long Island, which meant it couldn't get onto our drive. The dumpster would fit, the truck wouldn't, or not without driving right across my neighbor's lawn! The driver assured me he will ask for an early delivery tomorrow and that it will arrive on one of the medium-sized or teeny-tiny trucks specially designed for the narrow roads in the Incorporated Village. Until then, The Guy is piling up debris in front of the den window. Hope we don't get 2' snow tonight...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Deja Vu

Hmm, where have I seen this before?

and what is The Guy going to do with all that packaging material?
Winter holidays - the best time for relieving stress by tearing down tiles and hitting terrazzo with a sledgehammer.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Fixtures and Fittings

I ordered a few fixtures and fittings for the master bath this afternoon. Actually, I think they are all fixtures because we'd have a hard time unhooking them from the wall if we ever moved - things like faucets, shower heads, shower base, tub spout, medicine cabinet, towel warmer, sinks and a magnifying mirror. I've always wanted a wall mounted magnifying mirror that swivels and now I can finally have one. Of course there will be arguments about how high to place it so it serves its purpose as both make-up and shaving mirror but my argument will be: The Guy can bend or stoop to shave, I can't jump and apply mascara at the same time.

After a lot of soul-searching we've picked out the cabinets. I still lust after the $3600 chocolate leather and chrome floating vanity with the $1400 porcelain top for the bathroom but even with the $20% discount that's a lot of money and because of the way the plumbing is laid out the waste pipe and connector to the vanity in the dressing room would be visible - not a high-end look! That damn wastepipe also meant no drawer vanity was going to fit, so, taking a suggestion from Design Rules* I headed to the kitchen cabinet department at Ikea where I found a solution: Nexus Brown/Black sink and drawer cabinets.

The total cost of a 42" and 72" vanity is less than half the cost of the countertop so that frees up the budget for Caesarstone tops in Misty Carrerra, Pebbles or Dusty Stones. And there should be enough for some blinging cabinet hardware, too. So, if you had to choose, which of these lovely but expensive handles would you pick to go with the tiles and other fixtures?

Schaub Bistro pull in Espresso/Polished Crome. Kitchen Designer Paul Anater mentioned another Schaub handle on his blog and after I'd recovered from the pricing shock I did as he suggested and poked around their site where I found this italian-influenced beauty at half the price.

Haefele center Handle in Polished Chrome. I love the hammered finish but it is almost twice the price of the other option. Still it's a small space so I wouldn't be going over budget either way.
BTW, these are both 5" handles - not one giant handle and one for wee elves...

* Contest to win a copy of the decorator's lifesaver ends Sunday 11/8. Don't miss out!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Master Bath Inspiration

Meanwhile back at the house... things are definitely moving on the master bathroom front. Can you even recall when I first knew we had to go in and fix this 80/90s redo? I'm ashamed to say that after we made an offer on the house we walked through with the engineer and sought his advice about the crack in the terrazzo shower base; he thought we could probably get a replacement installed for $1000. Well, dear readers that was April 2004. Rather than start to repair what would eventually be ripped out we put it on the "to do" list and moved on to more urgent projects like the roof, the windows and the pesky termite damage.
We were going to rehab the room in 2006, we even started the demolition, then we had the water gushing through the ceiling scenario that made us switch focus and fix up the boys' bath. Remember? That was the "practice" bathroom. We practiced some more in the girls' bath and the downstairs bath and perfected our design skills in the powder room. Before long I realised I had perfected them so impeccably I'd run right out of inspiration.
For the last couple of years I've been seriously collecting images of spaces and products I love: wooden tubs, showers and over-the-top tiles. I loved them all - just not in that room with its design challenges: no natural light, raised floor and a small footprint. Nothing felt completely right, so we waited.
Then we went to Palm Springs. The hotel bath was the usual windowless space but it had a ton of light - sconces, lights on either side of the mirror and six energy-saving hi-hats - in a space that had the exact dimensions of our master. When I got home I pulled out my favorite photos (I'm not sure where they came from so if I've ripped one of your designs I apologise) and saw they all had something in common: dark vanities. The same dark vanities we'd used in all the other bathrooms. I'd been trying to avoid them here to increase the feeling of space but I realised going lighter wasn't going to help and I should just go with what's worked in the other baths. From there it all just fell into place.

So that's it - five years of procrastination, a blog full of inspiration and a few days in a hotel in the desert - we are finally ready to roll.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Still wood obsessed

I got some serious validation for putting more wood in the master bath in my post a couple of weeks ago. Jean Martha at Renovation Therapy suggested putting in some beams and while I love the idea. logistically (tall Guy, low ceilings) that isn't going to work. But it got me thinking that giving the ceiling the hardwood or bamboo treatment might be one way to go.

Via Divine Design

Then I came across these great paneled bathtubs. Straight walnut panels with inset lights would certainly help in our poorly lit master bathroom.

Or we could use recycled wood as a tub surround like this bath by Feldman Architects, via remodalista

This bath has a gorgeous redwood surround but overall it looks a little like the sample area of my local wood flooring showroom.
In any case I think I have a paneled bath, possibly with inset lights, in my future. What do you think?

This was written as part of the Hooked on Fridays fest and coincidentally is also my 1000th post

Friday, March 13, 2009

Infinite space

You know how it is when you are renovating, you visit a house and notice all sorts of things you want to incorporate in your own home. That's what it was like when we saw the music room at The Breakers, which in turn was inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

At the mansion huge mirrors were positioned on opposite sides of the room and enormous Baccarat crystal chandeliers hung between them to create an optical illusion - the lights reflected in the mirrors seem to stretch into infinity, making the room appear endless. How neat it would be, I thought, if we could recreate this back at The Cool House.

Then I forgot about it until yesterdy when a lightbulb blew in one of the sconces in the dressing room. As I switched the light back on after replacing the bulb I saw the same trick of the eye I'd witnessed at the mansion but on a more modern, and a more modest, scale. I don't know why I hadn't noticed it before, but maybe I shouldn't remove the 70s mirrored walls when we renovate this space?

This post is part of the Hooked on Fridays fest

Monday, February 02, 2009

Fantasy Shower

I'm having a very girly fantasy. My master bath will be full of swirls and swags, light and

etched shower doors by Antonio Lupi

one of a kind Lightshape lighted tiles from GranitiFiandre

chandelier-inspired tactile Feel tiles at Iris Ceramica

Never mind that it won't go with the rest of the house. Never mind that I wouldn't normally give this flowery style a passing glance. On a cold, dark day in the middle of winter I'm craving something rococo; pearls and ribbons, flowers and dancing slippers.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Insporn: It inspires shameless longing.

Inspiration for master bath remodel, The sleek white look.

Inspiration for master bathroom shower. The sophisticated version. Via mtiwhirlpool

Tokyo hotel inspiration: everything just where you need it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back to work?

It's almost 2008 and this is the year we have designated to finally GET THE FREAKIN' MASTER BATH DONE. I had to use the blog to find out when was the last time we used the shower in there, and it was August 2006. We've got used to using the other showers, especially the one we renovated last year when we should have been doing ours, the "trial" version.
There have been lots of reasons we put it off: lack of funds; unwillingness to cope with the mess; no inspiration; but going into that bathroom with its cracked shower pan, cracked basin, bare lights and missing medicine cabinet door is so depressing that we are girding ourselves up for a total gut of the bathroom.
The challenges for this will be:
1) I want to spend less money than I had originally budgeted. My reasoning for this is that house prices are falling, and will probably come down some more and I don't want to over-invest in the house, but I still want a modern, sleek bathroom and these tend to be on the pricey side.
2) We still don't know if we can, or want to put a skylight in the room.
3) I have no resources too work with. I lost all my bookmarks, images, links, everything I had stored on my ibook over the past three years when the hard disk died, except for the image below that was on my flickr page.

master bath ideas
I'm now thinking that this is too cold for the master. The bathroom as it stands is all white and sterile. and so it feels cut off from the rest of the house, which is warm with lots of wood. I don't want to replace one cold design with another more modern version of the same. On the other hand the shower part of the space has no natural light so I don't want to use such dark tiles it ends up looking like a cave.
That brings me to the lighting problem. We went to look at a house that uses solar tubes but from the outside it looked like three alien spaceships had landed on the roof, so we won't be going down that route. Then we have the possibility of putting a skylight in, but the space above the bathroom is taken up with HVAC pipes and light fittings, and the pitch of the roof is so shallow I'm concerned about water backing up around the skylight when it rains and eventually finding its way through the ceiling. Even if there is enough space, is it worth the risk?
The only thing I'm completely sure of at this moment is that we need to upgrade the lighting a lot. We need better lights and we need more of them. Oh and a quieter fan. Apart from that there's still a lack of inspiration, and motivation, for the remodel. I feel I need a spark to awaken my enthusiasm and set the project in motion.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We are buying up all the caulk in Huntington

Well, on Saturday we found out why the foyer ceiling has water damage. Steven managed to clean out all the old grout and there was an inch gap between the tiles and the bath tub. Even worse, as far as we could see that there was no backer board behind the tiles. I guess it must end somewhere up that last course of tiles but WTH were the tilers thinking?
Steven was just working out how best to caulk this again so we can use the tub for the next few months when we got a call from our handyman to say he could start back on Tuesday and finish up all those jobs he had to leave when he damaged his knee. We were so thankful to get this call, but I'm not sure the handyman felt the same when we regaled him with the list of extra things that had gone wrong while he was away and now needed to be fixed.
He was pretty appalled at the mess they'd made of the tiling, especially as the actual tiles are in good condition and were obviously expensive. He had two thoughts - a border of tile edging around the tub or ripping the whole lot out and doing the job properly. We are obviously going with option 2 but not until after the house-guests leave, so for now he is building up the caulk, one layer each day until we are leak free.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A little more demo

Although we'd agreed we wouldn't tackle the master bath until the boys' bath is finished I got a little bored today and took off the shower doors and hauled them out to the dumpster. Then I took off the door to the medicine cabinet. The one Steven cracked with his elbow oh, nearly twelve months ago. That baby had twelve screws and took me an hour to get off. It also weighed more than the shower doors combined. Still it has now joined them in the dumpster. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the medicine cabinet out as the screws are bent and somebody nailed it in for added strength, so I'm leaving that job for Steven.

I even tried once again to clean the tiles in the shower, now the doors are off it's much lighter in there but, nope, that dirty grout is not getting any cleaner.

My prediction is that by Sunday evening there won't be any tiles, grubby or otherwise in the shower. Now, if I could only find a tiler who is happy to install rectified tiles with 1/16th grout lines...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Back where we started

This time last year we were bemoaning a damp patch that had appeared on the front stairs that we attributed to the master shower. Our temporary solution was to not shower in the master and use one of the other bathrooms. Then we discovered that the boys' shower was also leaking so we were forced to take action. We caulked the hell out of both shower pans and that seemed to work until last month when the master bathroom starting leaking on to the stairs but in a different place than before.
Our solution, however, did not vary. We closed it down, the leak dried up and we continued using the boys' shower. Until this weekend when I noticed a new wet patch on the ceiling below the boys' shower. So we've stopped using that one again and as there doesn't seem to be a problem with the caulk we are facing the probability that we will be renovating two bathrooms at the same time.
Apart from the imminent expense, the mess and the inconvenience, what is bothering us at the moment is having to choose tiles for these rooms.
We spent all last weekend and Labor Day weekend looking at tiles and we saw nothing we liked for our bathroom, never mind the other one. Everything seems to be either very traditional, or Tuscan or blah. None of it would work in our unique space. So if anyone knows a good resource for inexpensive, modern bathroom tiles in NY metro area, please shout out.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bathroom woes

It's official, we are going to have to do a total renovation of the master bath. I came down the front stairs a few days ago and noticed not only that the crack in the ceiling has got much worse and is bulging and pulling apart, but that there is a new damp spot in the middle that is an ominous blue colour. I don't know if the crack in the shower pan is responsible but as that has been there since we bought the house more than two years ago I would doubt it. I think it is more likely to be a leaky copper pipe somewhere.
A plumber once said that bathrooms weren't meant to be on the second floor and I would agree with that. I'd add that they should never be sited over beautiful waxed parquet floors. I'd be beside myself if the ceiling came down over the floor, so we've stopped using the shower in the master bath and are just using the tub, toilet and sinks. The damp spot hasn't got any bigger and it has dried out so I'm assuming it's the pipes in the shower that are the problem.
We will be spending the Labor Day weekend in the tile shops looking at options and I guess then we'll move on to looking at plumbing fixtures. As the weekend looks like being a washout I suppose it could be worse, but I was hoping we could spend it in the pool and barbequing. We don't seem to have spent as much time outside this summer as we have in the past. I can't believe that summer is over and we'll be thinking about closing up the pool at the end of this month.