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Master Bath Remodel Part 1

After over four years of living with our outdated, decaying, moldy master bathroom, we’ve decided to take the plunge and do a full remodel. I have done absolutely nothing to this space since we moved in because, in my mind, it was always a hopeless situation. There is bad tile on the walls, the fixtures are blue, the mirror is cracked, and the cabinets are falling apart. Not to mention, there is an ever expanding spot on the vinyl floor where we can see hidden water damage occurring. But, the moldiness is really what pushed us over the edge. In the past year, it seems like it’s been impossible keep any surface in the bathroom free from mold and mildew. It’s a losing battle.

This is what the bathroom currently looks like. Cringe worthy, I know.


Don’t you just love the wooden toilet seat on the blue toilet? I love retro design, and would be thrilled with a vintage style bathroom, but not this kind of vintage.


Wooden accessories too, and that mirrored cubby over the counter is a real gem.

This is the current layout of the space. You can see it’s quite long and narrow – almost 15′ by 5′.


So that’s the bad, but there’s also a lot of good in this space. For a mid-century ranch, it’s actually a large master bathroom. In fact, it was by far the largest master bath of all the houses we looked at in our neighborhood. Some of them were teeny-tiny with a coffin sized shower and wall-mounted sink. Plus, it’s got that great big window, which lets in lots of natural light…some times too much. Finally, for whatever reason, there’s enough space to the right of the toilet in order to expand the shower without moving the toilet. Depending on which way the joists run, moving the toilet can be involved (aka expensive), so this was a big bonus.

The plan is to demo the entire room, including the soffit over the sink, and start from scratch. After much research and debate, I decided to go with stock cabinets that I ordered online to create a long vanity with double sinks. I searched endlessly for a stock vanity that would fit the space, but most of them are only 6′ long, and we have close to 8′ of space. We have a tub in the guest bathroom, so we’re creating a larger walk-in shower with a glass enclosure.

master-bath-remodel-new-layoutThis is what the new vanity will look like:


My goal was to create a clean, fresh, classic space with a little bit of personality while sticking to a strict budget. To save money, we’re using stock, ready-to-assemble cabinets that I ordered online. The countertop is a well-priced quartz, and the tile floor is a budget ceramic. To add a little detail to the floor, I ordered some 1″ marble mosaics that we’ll use as an accent next to each ceramic tile. I initially wanted a patterned cement tile, but the cost of both materials and labor was over our budget. Maybe in my next house.

While the fixtures are all pretty basic and on the lower end of the spectrum price wise, I did order them all through our local plumbing supplier. I learned the hard way that you get what you pay for at the big box stores.

We’re replacing the door, baseboards, window and door casing. Our house has very basic 2 1/4″ moldings, and I decided to start switching it out for 3 1/2″ flat stock instead. I hope that we can eventually replace all of our cheap hollow core doors to solid flat paneled doors.

I’ve designed many bathroom remodels for clients, and I’m always surprised as how much these small spaces can cost. Our remodel is going to come in slightly above a mid-range master bathroom remodel as estimated by, which makes sense because their numbers are for a very basic 5’x7′ bathroom. The site has a great cost report if you want to see how much projects cost on average in your city.

Another look at the new floor plan…

3D Bathroom Floor Plan Chief Architect

Demo begins on Monday. I can’t even express how excited I am to have a brand new, clean, mold-free master bathroom. In my next post, I’ll share all of the selections that I made.

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Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

Really excited to see this come along! I love peering into the personal projects of designers. Thanks for sharing!

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