There was only one metric used in deciding whether to redo our hall bathroom: Would we let Kate’s tender haunches touch the surfaces? The answer was a resounding, “Oh gawd no.” Yes, we could have cleaned it up a lot and it probably would have been OK. But we knew we were replacing the flooring when all the other upstairs floors were installed. Plus, the toilet was leaking, the faucets didn’t match and one faucet was entirely inoperable, so we decided to tackle it all at once.
We weren’t looking to change the layout of the bathroom, so we simply had each of the three pieces — tub/shower, toilet and vanity — swapped out for new ones. We didn’t need, nor have the budget for, a custom bathroom overhaul, but we absolutely knew we needed to hire a pro to do the work right. It was a way bigger job than we were able to handle in both skill and time.
For the new flooring, we chose a rectangular porcelain tile by Daltile (“Santino” in Grigio) that almost has a wood grain look. We had it laid in a staggered brick pattern and we really liked that it had a more plank-like look than square tiles.
We wound up hiring a plumber/contractor from a referral at Home Depot when we purchased our new toilets. I think Chris and I both agree that redoing this bathroom was a good, gentle lesson in working with contractors. This gentleman was not bad, but we should have shopped around, done more research and had more input in choosing materials. We were partly pressed for time and partly exhausted by all the people and items we were researching for different areas of the house. We negotiated/worked with him a little on price, but I’m sure we could do better in the future. My biggest complaint was that it seemed like we had to elbow our way into the decision-making process, which I had never expected. Had I not done that, he would have installed a vanity and shower we never saw and hadn’t choosen.
Being a one-man show, it took him longer than it would have if he was part of a larger team or company, but we never held that against him. We committed to getting this done before we moved in due to logistics and this being the only bathtub for Kate. Everything generally went well, but he did have to come back once to correct the shower installation so that it would fully switch between faucet and shower head (and not shoot water out of both simultaneously). This was a major disruption in Kate’s world when it came to rinsing her hair in the bath!
Overall, we are very happy with everything. The toilet and vanity are from Home Depot and (I think) look richer than what we spent. The vanity has undermount sinks and soft-close cabinets and drawers. Kate doesn’t let them soft close, but we know the feature exists 🙂 The tub/shower piece is nice, but I wish it had a little bar to dry out wash cloths. I know, #firstworldproblems.
We accidentally bought different finishes on the tub/shower faucet and sink faucets (totally our fault, but also our contractor either didn’t notice or didn’t think to double check with us). The shower curtain is typically closed, so I doubt many people will notice, especially because they’re the same Moen line, just one is brushed nickel and one is chrome.
We’ve painted the walls but still need to paint up the trim and add the finishing touches– new towel bars, shower curtain and some art prints. For now the bathroom is new, functional and, most importantly, CLEAN for tiny hineys 🙂