The Devil is Definitely in the Details – The Bathroom…

I will start off this update by saying that I can’t believe the last update was over 2 months ago, and I thought we were nearing the end of our project at that time. Well… Good news! We did complete the big stuff within the month. We passed our final inspection. We were able to move our furniture in 2-3 weeks ago. However, we are still working on a few details – like the bathroom mirror and some cabinet hardware. Then, there is the decorating to be done. Will it ever end?… :)

In the meantime, while we all wait for the mirror and cabinet hardware, I would like to point out that I am a complete freak. During the last update I ranted about the tub – and how it wasn’t framed correctly – and how it was going to be messed up – and how it was not fixable – and how the world was coming to an end because my tub was not going to be perfect…

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Well, the world is mostly just as it was. Life as we know it didn’t end. The finished tub worked out just fine.

The mosaic tile is a beautiful transition between the grey, concrete aggregate looking floor and the large white subway type tile on the walls.

Mercury Mosaic tile tub transition...

The tile guy was excellent. He was able to install the tile as if the concrete board on the front of the tub was flat and even to start with.

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I, then, added some caulking for a finished look.

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I, also, mixed up some grey grout to fill in a few missed areas – because I am a freak. On a side note, I specifically requested the same grout that was used on the floor for the mosaic tile on the tub front and on the vanity wall. I felt like the grey would hide some of the imperfections of an uneven floor and uneven tub front.

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I, also, mixed up some white grout to fill in a few uneven/missed areas on the wall – again, because I am a freak.

Funny thing about our shower/wall tile. I think we got the wrong tile. We were expecting a smooth, flat finish. We got a wavy finish.

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The wavy finish seems more handmade and works perfectly with our actual handmade mosaic tile. When I first saw the shower/wall tile being installed, my initial reaction was “That tile is totally cool! I wonder who ended up with our tile because this tile is way better than what we picked out.” I didn’t actually say this out loud. I kept it to myself because I liked it. It was a good mistake. After installation, Tad mentioned that he didn’t remember our choice being wavy. Yep. I quietly nodded. I didn’t want to confess. Tad agreed that it looked pretty good. I eventually confessed that the tile was a mistake. We kept it. We like it. It worked out. I still kind of wonder about the people that got our tile. I hope they like our tile as much as we like theirs.

I caulked the tub to wall tile transition.

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I caulked the floor to Schluter trim transition.

fullsizeoutput_1094On yet another side note, I asked for the Schluter trim transition between the wall tile and the floor tile for a cleaner look. It also helps disguise the aforementioned uneven floor. The tile guys thought I was crazy. I will admit that I was probably a bit crazy at the time, but I think it worked…

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The toilet was installed. It helps to block the view of the crooked corner where the front of the tub meets the wall.

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About the short toilet decision…  It works, both, visually and functionally. Tad was concerned about the view of the toilet from the guest room bed. That was one reason we went with white tile and a white toilet – so the toilet blends in with the wall – making it less obvious. We hadn’t really thought about getting a short tank toilet until we looked around the plumbing showroom. The seat itself is normal sized. The flushing power is comparable to other normal sized toilets. It just looks smaller. The scale is perfect for our tiny bathroom. We think it looks less obvious and less obtrusive from the guest room view. I like it. I might even like it better than a regular tank toilet.

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Shower fixtures and the vanity faucet were installed without too much hoopla except, the vanity faucet isn’t straight. The plumber says it is because of the design of the faucet – there is just one screw, rather than two, on the bottom where it tightens down to the sink. Tad says it is because the top of the sink deck isn’t flat. Either way, it bugs me a little. Plus, I don’t love the design of the faucet. It seems kind of squatty. I think something a bit more streamlined would look better. I am waiting to see if it grows on me before replacing it.

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The vanity sconces were installed without incident.

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I caulked the sink to countertop transition. It was kind of messy.

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I am not sure if it was because the stone was kind of fragile and difficult to cut onsite, or if they just didn’t do a good job, but it didn’t look great. Post caulk effort, it looks pretty decent – if I do say so myself.

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I mentioned a little snafu with the vanity in the last update. There was an obvious miscommunication during the design phase. I remember showing the woodworker our other bathroom vanity and saying “This is what we want in the new bathroom – except, drawers under the sink rather than just open shelving.”

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Anyway, we were expecting the legs to be flush with the side walls. What we got were legs that were set in a few inches from the side walls.

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We stood around for a few minutes trying to problem solve. Our options were to live with it, to rebuild the whole thing, or to put in a filler piece. Neither of us wanted to live with it. Tad wanted the whole thing rebuilt. I was ok with a filler piece. We all agreed the filler piece was the most reasonable solution. Tad wanted a maple filler piece. I thought we were getting a cherry filler piece. We ended up with the maple filler piece.

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I still think a cherry filler would have been better, but I am ok with the maple filler piece. The maple kind of lightens up the darker set back area.

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The drawers for the vanity were adjusted to fit around the sink plumbing.

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I caulked the transition between the vanity and filler pieces – and between the filler pieces and the walls. It all looks like it was designed that way…

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The walls were repaired. Paint touch up was completed. The nail holes in the wood trim were all filled.

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The shower rod and curtain were hung.

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The towel hooks and hand towel bar were installed.

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We decided we needed another hook closer to the shower. The final hook was installed a week later.

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The toilet paper holder was source of concern for some of us (our neighbor and myself specifically.) We had many a discussion about the location of the toilet paper.

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We had a few options, none of which were optimal in my mind. Tad suggested one of those stand alone things that you set on the floor in the corner. I vetoed that idea even though he mentioned it multiple times. The second option was to locate the holder on the back wall. We had that in our last bathroom. It was difficult to reach. You had to twist around almost completely while still sitting or attempt to reach underhanded and back as if you were receiving a baton in a relay race. It didn’t work well. We went with the third option which was to install the holder on the side wall. This seems obvious. However, in our case, it isn’t as straight forward as it sounds. Our only available side wall has a pocket door tucked into it, thus, rendering it unavailable for things that need anchors. Plus, Tad is a nervous Nelly about drilling into tile. We finally decided to install this thing on the wood trim around the door. No anchors needed, on a side wall, a comfortable reach, no need to drill tile, and no need worry about the interior pocket door since our wood trim adds about ¾” to the drywall thickness. Great, the location was decided. Though, we quickly discovered that the paper holder we had in hand wouldn’t work for the decided location. The design didn’t allow for both left and/or right handed post placement. Of course, our scenario was the wrong scenario. Alternate toilet paper holders were researched. A different paper holder was ordered and delivered. A trip to the hardware store was made to obtain the proper sized screws. The paper holder was installed. It looks great. It works great.

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For now, we opted against a shower shelf. I think mostly because Tad is nervous about drilling into the tile – as mentioned above. As you may recall, we have been planning for shower shelves since the shower niche thing didn’t work out. We even put some blocking in the wall in anticipation of future shower shelves. I will probably continue to look for some possible shower shelves while Tad comes to terms with his fear of drilling into the tile wall. In the meantime, we have gone with a tub caddy that spans the width of the tub.

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I like it because it isn’t visible from the entryway, as a shower caddy hanging from the shower head would be.

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You would think that with this list, we would be finished with the room by now. After all, I have cleaned it at least 4-5 times since the plumbing fixtures have gone in.
Nope.
We still need to install the mirror, install the vanity hardware, get some towels that aren’t ratty, and put up a piece of artwork or two.

Why are these things not done you might ask? Well, I completely agree. It seems pretty easy to get done.

I am feeling the need to explain. I don’t know why. You probably don’t care, but here are my excuses…

Tad and I are discussing the installation of the mirror. It is big (and heavy) at 4 feet by 19 inches. So, you can’t just stick it up with double sided mirror tape and call it good. The mirror company provided some J-clips for installation, which seemed pretty straightforward initially. However, upon actual implementation it doesn’t quite work in the tight space we have. It seems that you install the clips, then slide the mirror into the clips from the side. We don’t have room enough to do that. Now, we are talking about building a small frame around the mirror. The benefits are that the frame will provide the needed support for the mirror, and it will add a decorative detail that I was looking for anyway.

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When they came to install the vanity drawers, I was ready with hardware in hand. The screws that came with the drawer pulls were wrong – too short. I have since made a trip to the hardware store and obtained the correct screws – I think. Now, I am waiting for the bedroom built in hardware to arrive. It has been ordered. Just waiting, waiting, waiting. Once that arrives, I can get the vanity and built in hardware installed at the same time.

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The only excuse for the ratty towels and lack of artwork is that this all dragged on until Christmas time. Yep. I am blaming the lack of pretty in the bathroom on Christmas…

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