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  1. #241
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    We remodeled 3.5 baths in this house. Our master bath was a total gut/reno that a contractor did. We reconfigured the walk in closet and bath, took out the tub and separate shower stall from the early 80s that looked like it was from a bad gym. We put in a walk in shower, with a bench, all tile. I love it, but sometimes worry that this will affect the resale value of the house. On all of those HGTV shows, you always see the woman running into the sunken tub, fully clothed, and oohing how great it is. There is a tub in the "family" bathroom on the floor where the bedrooms are, but it is a very small bathroom. If you had kids, I am sure you wouldn't want to relax in there. We also put in all new cabinets, countertops, and sinks/toilet. This job only took 3 weeks; the total finishing was held up because we had to wait for our own painter and the hard wood floor guy, who was working on matching up the wood floor to where the bathroom started. DH remodeled 2 other full baths, which included tiling the floors (he did great), painting, new sinks and vanities, tubs, and toilets. The very small family bath needed a small white sink, with a cabinet under, and we got it at Home Depot. It is cheap and I severely regret it! Our contractors helped with the tubs, and installed them. They also did our half bath, which is used a lot and looked like someone had thrown a can or two of paint on the walls when we moved in.
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  2. #242
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    KHG - those V and A tubs are beautiful, but it looks like they're all freestanding. I'm looking for an alcove model (walls on three sides).

    Crankin - I think I would really like a walk-in shower with a bench, and I think it would be great for many people who want to "age in place." And it seems they're pretty popular right now. Though people say you need a tub for resale value (or to rent a condo, which is more and more common in my neighborhood due to the real estate crash), it's still hard to predict what people will want. Some will prefer the all-tile walk-in shower, some will want a deep soaking tub and some will just want a basic tub that works for them to stand in while showering and also allow them to bathe their dog.

    I've spent more time researching on the internet, and it seems that acrylic tubs are not so bad after all, while some complain that porcelain-coated steel can have noise problems and it not necessarily durable. I don't actually know what kind of tub I have now, except that there's metal under the scratched-up white surface. I do know that was that badly scratched when I moved in 11 years ago, which means it lasted less than 30 years, and that's less than I would expect from a well-treated cast iron tub. I also don't know if I've ever used an acrylic tub anywhere so I don't know if you can really tell the difference between that and cast iron. From what I've read, some people have reported flexing problems while standing in acrylic tubs, but if they're installed over mortar they should feel sturdy with no flexing problems. I guess that's another thing to discuss with the contractor -- how he installs the new tub.

    As I read about mortar under new tubs, I realized that I need to change my planned order of operations. I'm also planning to rip up the wall-to-wall carpet in the living room, hallway and bedroom and replace it with new wood floors. After attempting to get estimates from three flooring companies I've decided to go with the one whose sales person came to my house, looked under the carpet and had a long talk with me about what I wanted and what my options were. I was about to call him to get moving on that project and then do the bathroom after the floors. My thinking was that the bathroom guys might damage the new floors, but then again the floor guys might mess up something in a new bathroom, which they would use for cleaning up at the end of each day. But now I'm realizing the potential for damage is greater with the bathroom renovation, with removing the old tub, ripping out the old tile walls and floor, new mortar, new grout, etc. So I should do the bathroom first.

    BTW I've decided that planning and managing home improvement projects is like a part-time job. It really takes a lot of time and energy. But at the the end, there's less money in your bank account instead of more.
    Last edited by ny biker; 04-28-2015 at 03:49 PM.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
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  3. #243
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,232
    Quote Originally Posted by khg View Post
    beautiful bathtubs!!! Their amiata looks like my french bateau cast iron tub….wonderful to soak and relax in!!!
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  4. #244
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    NY, that's why we hired a bath/kitchen designer from a small business that focused only on this. We went to their showroom and chose the things we needed to do, after we agreed on the initial design. If I had had to research all of the things I bought to be installed, I would have gone nuts. I hate, hate, hate anything to do with home stuff, but I do like nice things and enjoy my home. I know that's an oxymoron, but the way we did this was not more expensive and there was someone who could organize everything and actually knew about this stuff. DH is very knowledgable, but he knew there were some things he couldn't and didn't want to do. This is the most involved I've ever been in any home project and there's still a couple of things (one big) that I regret. I hate the way my bathroom cabinet is in the middle of the counter, up to the ceiling. It's beautiful wood, and when I looked on the blueprint I said "yeah, sure," but really, when I look at a blueprint, I don't really "see" what it's going to be. I was pissed. Besides the bath tub issue, we also kept the same footprint in our kitchen/eating area. It looks beautiful and works for 2 adults, but I think we should have gutted the space and made it more open. We decided not to, based on time and money, which was dumb, as we had the time and money.
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  5. #245
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Funny how there's bathtub soaker fans vs. shower only fans. I'm a shower only fan. I actually didn't shower /have a shower at home until I was in university. At parents' home, it was only 1 bathroom, with 1 bathtub and no shower...for 2 adults and 6 children. This is in Canada. Even as older teens, we were never allowed to have high bathtub water..for safety, clean-up and economic reasons.

    At hotels, I'm still a shower person even if there's a lovely soaker /Jacuzzi bathtub.

    I disliked the maintenance and clean-up of bathtub afterwards. That's why I became a shower only person. My parents NEVER showered their whole adult lives. And they had homes with bathtub and shower combined in 1 after all kids left home and they moved to newer home.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-30-2015 at 04:52 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  6. #246
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I used to be an occasional bath person, years ago. I haven't even considered taking a bath since I moved into my current home, because I've never been able to get the tub to look really clean. Maybe with a new tub in a cheerful new bathroom I'll make time for a good soak now and then.

    When I was in college I had a housemate who liked to take long baths on Sunday mornings while reading the NY Times. It's enough of a challenge to keep a newspaper or other paper reading material dry when you're in the bath, so I wouldn't dare try to read anything on a tablet or smartphone. I wonder how soakers like my college friend have adapted to changes in technology.

    At any rate, I did call the contractor yesterday. He was on his way out of town for a 3-day weekend so we have an appointment for Tuesday morning. He's done enough bathroom remodels in my neighborhood that he can almost give the estimate sight-unseen, but he said he wanted to see if my apartment is one that has room to move one wall back a couple of inches. He also gave me the name of someone he works with for custom vanities and cabinets, and I have an appointment scheduled with her tomorrow afternoon. Following that appointment I'm going to Sherwin-Williams to get a can of sample paint (Lighthearted Pink -- I forget the number).

    I also asked the contractor about bathtubs, and he said that for most of the remodels he does, he installs Bootz tubs, which are porcelain on steel. There are some mixed reviews for them on the Home Depot site, but the contractor says he's never had a complaint about them. From reading the reviews, it seems a fair number of the problems are with tubs that are damaged at the store or during installation, and one reason for hiring this contractor is that I know he would not install anything that was damaged at the store and he would replace it if his workers caused any damage while putting it in. I still have a concern though, since some reviews mention that the white tubs in this brand are more of an off-white color, and that might not look good with the bright white tiles I want for the walls. So I'm planning a visit to the store tonight to have a look.

    So the wheels are in motion. I'm excited!

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #247
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Reading the whole Sunday NY Times in a bath? . I think you'd be freezing cold!
    I have used the bathtub in our other bathroom 3-4 times in almost 10 years. One was after the one century I did, in 2006, and the others were after various metrics I have done.
    I have not used the tub in the lower level bathroom, that is near our guest bedroom. I did use it for a shower once. So, I guess I have lived without soaking for pretty much for 10 years. We had a beautiful, albeit not huge, sunken tiled tub/shower with a shower seat in our last house in AZ. It was not tiled the way our step in shower with the bench we have now is, but I used it a lot, especially when I was pregnant. That seat helped me shave my legs when I couldn't reach over my belly!
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  8. #248
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    129
    I really enjoy taking baths, but am very easily creeped out by a dirty tub, or a weird bathroom vibe, etc. Until our bathroom remodel I hadn't had a bath in years--it makes me so happy to be able to take baths again! If you like your new bathroom, you might well find yourself enjoying a good soak now and then
    1980-something Colnago
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  9. #249
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    So, I'm making lots of progress.

    Met with the cabinet person about custom vanity, matching medicine cabinet and wall cabinet. We'll meet again later in the week, will probably see an estimate then. After I faint from sticker shock, I will make decisions on lowering the cost, such as no drawers in the vanity or a beveled glass medicine cabinet instead of one with wood trim.

    Managed to compare the wall tile to the Bootzcast tub to confirm compatible shades of white. This was not easy, since Home Depot displays the tubs high on a shelf. Visited three stores before I found one that I could reach to lean the tile next to it. It's hard to tell with their atrocious lighting, but I think the tub color is okay. I might go with the American Olean 9x12 tile instead of the Tile Shop 10x14, because the former is slightly less bright. It's also less expensive.

    Confirmed that both the A.O. and Tile Shop tiles have matching towel bars, soap dishes, etc.

    Picked out faucets and matching accessories (towel bars and ring, tp holder). Visited Home Depot and Lowe's, took photos, then spent lots of time online. Thought I'd decided on Pfister Pasadena, then Moen Darcy, then chose Delta Lahara. One requirement is that the sink faucet and shower head be low flow/Water Sense. But I also want a handheld shower head. As near as I can tell, I will have to buy a combo tub faucet, on/off handle and stationary shower head, then get a separate handheld and use that instead of the shower head that comes in the combo -- I can't get the tub faucet and handle a la carte. I will confirm this with the contractor, then will buy it all this week while it's on sale. As a bonus, Progress Lighting makes (and Home Depot sells) a light fixture that matches the faucet. Also I prefer a handheld shower head made by Moen rather than Delta -- need to confirm that won't be an issue. Btw, I originally planned to go with brushed nickel for the fixtures, but have decided that chrome looks better with all the white and light colors. This will save me a few dollars, too.

    Today I've been researching shower niches, deciding if I want a separate soap dish in addition to a niche. Have decided no on the soap dish. Am hoping I can do a shower niche that's tall enough to divide with a shelf. Also decided on a basic look for the niche -- I want one that blends in, with no frame or contrasting tile to make it stand out.

    Next I think I need to choose a top for the vanity. I might end up using the same material for the niche bottom and shelf, not sure yet.

    I'm pretty sure this will all cost way more than I'd anticipated. We'll find out more on that this week.

    Oh I also got the sample paint from Sherwin Williams.

    Having a bad cold that keeps me off the bike is actually helping with this -- giving me the chance to focus on all these decisions and the research necessary to make them. The weather has been great today so I've been out on the balcony with my Kindle, a pen and TE post-it notepad.

    I'm going to set up a spreadsheet to list all the materials I need, with their costs, sources, etc.
    Last edited by ny biker; 05-03-2015 at 04:18 PM. Reason: kindle autocorrect sucks

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  10. #250
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Still trying to find the right paint color. The one I bought the other day (Sherwin Williams Lighthearted Pink) is too deep -- too far away from the hint of pink I was going for. On the positive side, it's not too purple or too warm.

    I'm thinking of yet another trip to the paint store and yet another sample can. The next one would be a lighter shade -- x% of Lighthearted Pink and y% of white. The question is -- what should x and y be? 50/50? 75/25? 25/75?

    I don't think Sherwin Williams has color consultants in their stores. Kinda stuck here, since I don't want to have to waste money on 3 or 4 more samples.

    Here are some photos. Lighthearted Pink on the left, Glidden Heirloom Pink on the right. The Heirloom Pink is too purple in artificial light, but it's the right depth, though it looks whiter in the photo than on the wall. The second photo includes the shower curtain.

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    Last edited by ny biker; 05-06-2015 at 08:27 AM. Reason: I loathe Kindle's autocorrect with a fiery passion.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #251
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    I'd go with the lighter pink. Nice shower curtain!

  12. #252
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    light too. As much as I'm a colour-freak for bikes (as you know hihi), I need some calm in my bathroom and bedroom. hihi Especially if a room is small, darker would make it look even smaller.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  13. #253
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Still busily making decisions, lots of time researching and looking at photos on the internet, plus visits to various showrooms.

    Re: the paint for the walls -- the lighter shade in my earlier photos is Glidden Heirloom Pink. It was one of the first two samples that I tried. From the beginning I thought it was very cheerful but a bit too cool and purple-ish at times.

    Having now spent hours looking at paint chips for other colors, and testing samples for...8? 9? other shades, I've decided that Glidden's Heirloom Pink is the winner. Is it too cool? Maybe. But everything else is too warm.

    I did like the S-W Lighthearted Pink (the darker sample in the photos). It was kind of berry-ish and reminded me of sherbet. But it was too dark, so I got another sample that they mixed at 50%, and that seemed like a whole different color rather than just a lighter shade of the one I liked. So I'm giving up and going back to the Glidden Heirloom Pink. When your first gut reaction is "cheerful," you should probably listen to your gut.

    Moving on, I'm almost ready to order the custom vanity and matching wall cabinet. I knew pretty much what I wanted before I first met with them, but there are still many details to consider. The vanity will be 30" wide by 21" deep and 31" high. I could have gotten something a few inches taller (kitchen cabinet height) but decided that wasn't necessary and the shorter height saves a few $$. There will be two drawers on the left and a cabinet door on the right. The door style is Shaker and the color is white. The wall cabinet will be 20" wide by 30" high and 9" deep(!). That's more than twice as deep as I had expected, but I'm not complaining because I need the storage space. There's room to partially recess it in the wall, which will look better than having it stick out a full 9"

    I'm going to get a beveled-mirror medicine cabinet instead of one that matches the vanity and wall cabinet. The added cost of the custom medicine cabinet was just too much. I've seen one online that's oval shaped, 24x36, which I think will do nicely.

    For the vanity top, I think I will go with a white marble-like quartz from LG Hausys called Viatera Minuet. I can get a remnant of it for a very good price. I also want to have shelves for the shower niche cut from the same remnant. I'm a little worried that it won't look quite right with the white vanity, though, so I'm going back tomorrow to look at it again.

    I've also made decisions about the shower niche. I'm hoping it can be 12" wide by 30" or 36" high, with two shelves inside it. I want the back of the niche to have the same color tile as the shower wall tile, but in a much smaller size. BTW did I mention I've decided to go with the American Olean tile instead of the Tile Shop tile? The trim pieces (such as the bullnose pieces) are sold per-piece, and they are much more expensive from the Tile Shop. Since I'm splurging on custom cabinets, I'll go with the less expensive wall tile. Anyway so the wall tile will be white 9x12 in a subway pattern, and I think for the back of the niche I will use 2x2, either in a grid or a diamond pattern. I really wanted a 2x4 subway pattern, but it's not available to match the wall tile. Which is okay, since I've seen some photos of niches that use the 2x2 with a larger wall tile in the same color, and it looks good.

    Then there's the grout. All along I had planned on a white grout for the walls, because I don't want the tile pattern to be too in-your-face. But today I'm reading that many people have problems with white grout becoming discolored from sunlight or hard water. So I'm going to use Laticrete Silver Shadow instead. It's a nice soft silver gray -- I used it for my kitchen backsplash. It will also work for the floor tile, I think, which should save me a few dollars.

    So I'm almost done with most of the decisions and starting to place orders. I still have a few things to figure out, like the shower curtain rod. I don't want to break the bank on that but also don't want one that rusts in a few years. And I need to pick out door hardware for the cabinets. Also a light switch -- I want a dimmer switch, and I might need two of them because the contractor says he'll install a light over the shower/tub if possible, otherwise he'll put one in the ceiling in the middle of the room.

    Did I mention I'm also working on choosing a new hardwood floor for the rest of the condo? I've almost got a color choice nailed down, but am still getting estimates from a couple of installers.

    This Old Condo... the saga continues.

    p.s. Why I need dimmer switches: because when I have to get up at 5 am for summer bike rides, it's still dark outside, so I need a very dim light until I my eyes can adjust. Seriously, it's about the early bike rides.
    Last edited by ny biker; 05-14-2015 at 05:21 PM.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  14. #254
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Here are some photos.

    This is the quartz counter top I chose for the vanity. I found this picture on another forum; I think it was taken in a showroom. It shows how the counter looks on a white cabinet with white wall tile.

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    I took this today at the fabricators. This was outside in bright sunlight. The floor tile is top left, wall tile sample next to it, then the wall paint and cabinet samples. They are all perched on the edge of the quartz remnant.

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    I put a deposit on the counter remnant today. Because it's a remnant I'm paying less than half the regular price.

    P.s. wow I really had a lot to say yesterday, didn't I?
    Last edited by ny biker; 05-15-2015 at 02:18 PM.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  15. #255
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    737
    Oh, reading this is making me so excited to move into my house! I close in about 3 weeks, my first home. I'd always rented and been happy with it, but lately I've been feeling crammed in my space what with trying to run a business out of it. I'd always assumed I couldn't afford to buy in my area as it's super expensive. Even my realtor said my price range was really for condos, but I was sure I could find a house that wasn't a total dump. Sure enough, on my third trip out, I found a cute little cape that's in move-in condition. The only real issue is the kitchen, it's the original one from the 50's, including the appliances. I debated over whether I wanted to fix it right away or wait, and I'm going to wait until I can save up the money. I may have to buy an oven, but that can always be put into the new kitchen when that gets done. I think I'll do a few little landscaping changes this summer, and a little painting, but that's it. I need to recover financially before I start making a bunch of changes. But I'm SO SO excited to get in there and make it mine! I need to read through this whole thread and gain from your collective wisdom.

 

 

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