The master bathroom was the very last room to be completed in the remodel (well, before all of the crazy kitchen sh*t happened before Thanksgiving…but I’m mentally blocking that out and won’t waste your time with that sob story) I digress! Again–The master bathroom was the last room to be completed in the remodel, and it is MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. For months upon months, it was the one room that I was scared to walk into when I went to check on remodel progress or even when we were living amongst the construction, but now it’s the one room I find myself in the most. It’s my very own spa-meets-Sephora-meets-The Today Show watching-happy place! AND my closet is in there! Why would I leave?
Like the kitchen, it was very typical of the late 80’s / early 90’s style–ugly wallpaper included. It’s only redeeming qualities were the great natural light and the ginormous adjoining walk-in closet (that’s all mine, thank you very much.). Other than those two things, IT ALL HAD TO GO. Scroll down for the ‘befores,’ the ‘durings’, and the ‘afters.’ Again, I’ve included a full source list with pricing at the bottom of the post.
THE NOT PRETTY PART
The following pictures are the state my first contractor left our master bathroom in the week before we were scheduled to move in. Cute, right? I mean, at least the ugly wallpaper was gone. But so was my sanity…
After I uttered all of the curse words on the planet, I hit the ground running in an attempt to find someone who could get us back on track. My NEW contractor and I tag-teamed projects to get the house finished, and I was in charge of tile installation–and we had A LOT of tile. After scouring the greater Austin area, I was fortunate to find a trustworthy, punctual, reasonably priced, amazing tile installer, that BY THE GRACE OF GOD was available to take on my many, many tile projects. He worked like a BOSS, did immaculate work, and completed everything ON THE DAYS HE SAID HE WOULD. *Gasp* He was the tile-laying-angel that I needed in my life…
After the main floors downstairs, the powder bathroom, and the guest bathroom (that post is next!), the master bathroom was one of the last projects for him to complete.
For the floors, I kept with the wood-effect porcelain tile, but this time I used one with a white-wash look. These planks are shorter than the ones downstairs at 24″ long, so we decided to lay them in a herringbone pattern. (It should be noted that we found this amazing post from Little Green Notebook’s Jenny Komenda, ‘8 Tips for Nailing the Wood Tile Look,’ and it was probably–hands down–one of the most informative things we read throughout the entire remodel. I highly recommend reading it if you’re considering wood tile for any project.)
For the shower & behind the tub area, we went with a larger-scale white subway. I wanted something simple and a friend suggested going a little bigger than your typical 3″ x 6″ subway to add interest, so I landed on these 4″ x 10″ bright white tiles. We used the same grout as we used on the kitchen back splash and the downstairs powder, which was the epoxy in Snow White. Again, it didn’t need to be sealed, and it worked perfectly with all of our tile selections. Tip: When you’re laying wood tile, you want to have the tightest grout line possible to mimic the look of real hardwoods.
Ta-daaaa!!!! I replaced the garden tub with a freestanding soaking tub. In hindsight, I would have angled the tub a bit to create more room in the shower. A little plumbing finagling had to be done in order to install the floor-mounted tub faucet and the new tub drain. The freestanding tub has a center drain, whereas the previous tub had a drain closer to the shower. The master bath is directly above our kitchen, so large holes had to be cut in the what-I-thought-was-finished-kitchen ceiling to access pipes. But the week or so of looking at exposed pipes from the kitchen was worth the end result.
I opted for a simple frame-less glass shower and we used the wood tile to cover the shower pan. For the floor of the shower, I chose a marble hex-penny tile that coordinated with both the floor tile and the white subway. I had our installer cut out a small nook in the wall to allow for toiletries. Since all of my shampoo bottles were packed, he & I measured using Gatorade bottles that were lying around to estimate shelf heights. Not my most precise, professional moment, but it worked.
I originally wanted to replaced the dated glass blocks with a frosted picture window, but ditched that idea when I revisited the budget. My friend, and amazing designer, Allison Crawford said the glass blocks were “art deco chic,” so I’m just going to stick with that…Despite aesthetics, they provide that amazing natural light that I’ve loved from the beginning without sacrificing privacy.
I know many people gasp (not in a good way), at the fact that I have a television in my bathroom, but it’s one of the one things that I’ve always wanted and it super budget-friendly. Hey, if I’m going to have my life in shambles for about 6 months, let me have a damn TV in the bathroom so I can watch The Today Show…There was already a plug on the opposite side of the wall in my closet, so I had the electricians add an outlet on the bathroom side. I was able to find a white TV and white mount on Amazon for under $200 and we installed it ourselves. Since I only watch like two channels and they’re local, I got a wireless antennae that sticks on the back of the TV so I don’t have to worry with a cable box and everything’s hidden.
While it wasn’t in the original plan, I finally came to my senses and ended up closing off 3 ft. of the original closet opening to create more wall space in the closet. I don’t know why I didn’t close off that weird little space above the closet while I was at it, but who knows, maybe one day I’ll figure out what’s supposed to go up there…
I found this 84″ double-sink vanity online, sight unseen, and thank goodness it was as good in real life as it was in photos! It came with the marble top + back splash and sinks. I replaced the original aluminum (yes, aluminum) hardware with these VERY inexpensive gold tone pulls that perfectly matched my new gold faucets. The vanity also came with a coordinating 84″ mirror, but that’s still sitting in the garage. Instead, I found these budget-friendly mirrors from CB2 for $199 each. And while we’re talking budget-friendly, the saber light sconces were less than $100 a piece!
One piece of advice I can offer when installing sconces and vanity mirrors is measure, measure, and then measure again. It took the electricians a couple of tries to get the vanity lights placed just right (whew!), and then Phillip and I were able to hang the mirrors ourselves.
I got rid of the medicine cabinet that was to the right of the sinks, and while it’s not pictured (whoops!), we hung a brass towel ring in its place. Phillip and I replaced all of the door hardware was with matte black lever handles and hinges.
While I would typically say, “leave it to the professionals!” when it comes to most major projects, there are so many things that you can do yourself without having to PAY a handyman or contractor to do it. You can hang mirrors, towel rods, robe hooks, toilet paper holders, replace door knobs, swap out hinges, change cabinet hardware, etc… I even replaced the light fixture in the little potty room myself (also not pictured! I failed you, I’m sorry!) As long as you have a decent toolbox, a little bit of confidence, and access to YouTube, you can pretty much do anything.
Freestanding Bathtub, Home Depot, $775.51 (originally $849.00, used coupon)
Door Handles, Amazon, 2 @ $35.98 = $71.96
Exhaust Fan, Home Depot, $58.46
Toilet, Home Depot, $172.12
Toilet Paper Holder, Amazon, $31.83
Mirrors, CB2, 2 @ $199/ea. = $430.84
Vanity Sconces, Amazon, 3 @ $94.50/ea. = $306.89
Grout, Home Depot, 1 gallon @ $59.50/gallon
Shower Tile, Floor & Decor, $0.85/piece @ 355 pieces = $326.64
Shower Floor Tile, Floor & Decor, 12 sq. ft. @ $9.47/sq. ft. = $123.02
Vanity, J. Keats, $2,124.00
Sink Faucets, eFaucets.com, 2 @ $598.43 = $1,196.86
Towel Ring, Amazon, $27.44
Towel + Robe Hooks, Amazon, 2 @ $13.57 = $29.38
Shower Faucet, eFaucets.com, $515.85
Shower Valve, Amazon, $69.27
Barn Door Track Kit, Amazon, $182.26
Barn Door, Lowe’s, $139.64
White 32″ TV, Amazon, $149.99
White TV Mount, Amazon, $34.63
Wireless TV Antennae, Target, $28.13
Light Fixture (Potty Room), CB2, $64.90
Shower Glass + Hardware, (subcontracted, includes all materials & labor), $1,830.00
The above total includes sales tax, but does not include most labor (dry wall, electrical, plumbing, tile installation, etc.). The only labor cost included is for the frame-less shower.
There you have it! What questions do you have? What did I leave out? I’d love to hear from you!