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Planning a Primary Bathroom Remodel

Planning a Primary Bathroom Remodel

I'm so delighted, grateful and honored to have been chosen as one of this Spring's featured designers for an event called One Room Challenge sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens! So before I kick this off, a HUGE thank you to Linda Weinstein for this amazing opportunity! I also want to let you know that The One Room Challenge is an eight week sponsored event. Meaning, many of the items in the room were given to me at no cost. When I mention those items, I will tell you. And, as always, I only use products I truly love. 

What room did I choose? 

First off, I have to tell you how wildly insane I am. We are selling this house. It will be listed on May 17. I certainly knew this when I got started though I've been in a deep denial for some time.

That said, I chose our very sinfully ugly master bathroom. It's an enormous undertaking. Ahem. See below.

one room challenge spring 2021 - master bathroom renovation

Ok ok. It was livable. Ish. The shower was ... eww. Note: do not use porous tile like marble for a steam shower. Let's just put it that way. I didn't put it there to be clear.

The tub was nearly impossible to navigate getting into because it was up on this huge platform. I'm 5'2". Big no for me. I never bathed in that tub when I was alone in the house for fear I would slip and bump my head and drown there. I pray the impossible to get into roman tub trend never ever rears its ugly head again. For the sake of short people everywhere. I will also tell you, that when choosing a tub, I for real measured my inseam. How long is my leg? Yep, that's the highest my tub can be.

The vanity and the linen cabinet doors did not close properly and the fronts were also falling of the drawers. This room was in need of a re-do for sure.

As you might surmise, we started this project long before today, May 5. However, I'll be rolling out the details week by week over the next eight weeks of the challenge. The above photos were taken February 26, the day we started demo on this space (see the cutie demo video below). We are now actually nine weeks in, so clearly we would not have finished on time had we started this week.

Let's get started!

The room is very big, and had an existing roman tub and shower as well as a 96" vanity. The floors were a mix of wood and ceramic tile.

The following took about three to four weeks:

  • Demolish down to the studs.
  • Remove the bulk head and other partial walls.
  • Remove all flooring.
  • Prep walls and floors for all new material fixtures. 
  • Move electrical and plumbing to new locations.

There were many surprises along the way. One of which was finding that whoever built the tub and shower used 3" of mortar and chicken wire under the tile. Another was finding that someone used a piece of a cardboard Sprite box to back part of the inside of the tile. We are truly not sure what that was about. And one big surprise was that when they built a bench in the shower, they left the rubble from the apparent previous shower under the bench. So very odd. See below... the tile inside the cinder block was there. It's not from demo. I'm clueless as to why.


Getting the work done:

While we love a good DIY, we left most of this room to the pros. I went with a very complicated tile design as you will find out in the coming weeks, and neither of us wanted it to get messed up. That said, it helps greatly to know how things are constructed when you are talking to contractors. So that is my greatest piece of advice. Learn the ins and outs of how things should be done before you talk to contractors. That way, you'll be able to oversee things are properly done.

We did do the demo ourselves, however, and it showed from the way the two of us were walking for the following weeks. Also, Kevin is still complaining about his elbow hurting from swinging the two pound hammer about. Nonetheless, we likely saved about $5000-$7000 as far (as we can discern by googling cost estimates) by doing that ourselves as it was a huge job. And we were really satisfied with ourselves as you can see from this photo!

Bathroom Renovation - One Room Challenge

Meanwhile, I worked hard on this demo video so I demand that you give it a watch. It's pretty cute. Look for when we cut the bathtub in pieces and then when Kevin makes sparks cutting the nails from the wood flooring out of the concrete. That was pretty dang exciting. Thank you for visiting and watching! ;)


Visit All of the Featured Designers

And also don't forget to look for all of the guest designers on Instagram using the hashtage #oneroomchallenge as well on Thursdays for the next eight weeks.

Media BH&G | TM ORC

One Room Challenge Featured Designers

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