Before I get into the post about our ensuite bathroom (master bathroom) makeover, I wanted to let my blog readers know that I’m going to take next week off. I have had a lot of work on my plate outside of the blog (all fun and exciting stuff that I can’t wait to share with you) and I need to take a week to put my work focus solely on those projects. I’ve really been trying to do too much simultaneously and I’m feeling a little scattered. I know it’ll help me so much to set a couple of things down in order to do other work with excellence. So, I’ll pop onto Instagram here and there, but I’ll be quiet here on the blog next week.
Our master bathroom (ensuite bathroom) is finished, but I haven’t shared very much of the process here on the blog, so I thought I would back up a little bit and share the progression. Here are a few before pictures of the bathroom to remind you what it looked like…
I’ve said this many times in posts about this bathroom in the past, but I’ll say it again… This is the best bathroom we’ve ever owned. It’s big, it has a great layout, I love the big, deep jetted tub and the vanity cabinet. We have never had two sinks, a separate tub and shower, or so much storage. It’s an awesome bathroom and I didn’t want to do a gut-job on it, but I envisioned the space with customized finishes that made it feel more luxurious and more my style. As you can see, the shower was just a cheap plastic insert and the tile is all 18×18″ builder-grade beige.
There was also the standard large plate mirror and some basic lighting fixtures.
Before the new countertops to go in, Jeff and I had to remove the plate mirror. We were both nervous about shattering this huge mirror in the process, but it was actually very easy to remove. We taped it with duct tape in case it broke, removed the clips, and eased a couple of shims behind the mirror. The shims start to slowly slide down behind the mirror, creating pressure on the construction adhesive holding it in place. It took just a minute or two and then the mirror just popped off.
We carried the mirror down to the basement to hang when we turn the playroom into a workout room.
With the mirror out, we had the new counter installed (with under-mount sinks) and had an electrician raise the boxes for the lights. I always thought they were a little on the low side and the new lights were going to hang lower. I didn’t want the mirrors to be crowded.
(I’ll link to sources in this post, but HERE is a post with all of the sources of the products and materials we used.)
We actually had to have the electrician come out one more time to move the boxes again, because they weren’t centered over the sinks! One was just a little bit off, but the other one was off by over an inch. We were having the wall tiled, so it had to be right.
Our tiler, by the way, was fantastic. His name was Matt Grant of Grant Tile in Rochester, MN. He was meticulous and definitely went the extra mile when it came to helping me plan and manage the project. I shared before that I originally wanted to install 3 x 6 subway tile, but it was about 1/2 the cost to go with the 6 x 12 instead. It gives me the same look for a lot less. Since we made some splurges in this ensuite bathroom on the counter, fixture, and lots of tile, I wanted to save where I could.
The nice thing about replacing the plastic insert with a custom tile shower is that we added about 5-6″ of width and depth to the shower without having to knock down any walls or move anything around. We did have to get a permit for the plumbing we had done (adding a handheld shower in addition to the rain head), but everything else was cosmetic.
Because the shower required specialized plumbing, was built from scratch, and we opted for a glass door, it was the most expensive part of the project by far.
I selected 6 x 12″ tile for the walls and 1″ hex for the floor, so that it wouldn’t be slippery.
In order to replace the tile around the tub, we had to remove it. Like the large mirror, we thought it would be much harder than it actually was. Jeff and I helped Matt lift the tub out pretty easily.
I wanted the wall around the window to be a feature, so I had the tile installed on that entire wall. It really does frame it out nicely and look pretty behind the arch.
My mom and I painted the walls in Stonington Gray (1/2 tint) and primed and painted all of the trim when other work wasn’t happening in the room.
I painted a shelf found at a consignment shop to hang in the niche above the tub. You can find that makeover HERE.
There was one bit of beige tile on either side of the cabinets under the tub that couldn’t be removed without ripping out the cabinets. So, I just primed and painted them white to blend in with the cabinets and trim.
The entire process was inconvenient and messy! This is what our bedroom looked like for almost a month! We were just making cosmetic changes, but the upheaval and duration made it feel like a full renovation.
Once all of the work by the pros was done, it was my turn to finish up… reinstall the show molding, touch-up paint, hang hooks, and paint the cabinets. These pictures were taken before I painted the cabinets and replaced the hardware.
I am so, so glad I had the vanity wall tiled. It really sets off the mirrors and fixtures and makes the wall a focal point. It’ll also be easier to wipe down and keep clean than painted drywall.
As I said, our tiler installer went above and beyond and helped us install the mirrors. They pivot, so you can tilt them up or down.
The shower is worlds better than what we had! Not only do we love the combo of the hand-held sprayer and the rain head, but there is a lot more elbow room. It just feels and looks nicer.
One note, the plumbers installed a brushed nickel drain, but we replaced it with a chrome drain to match our fixtures. It’s a little detail that looks sharp.
This is the grout color we selected for all of the tile and it looks beautiful with the marble. It sets it off without being too high in contrast. And it’s not white! I have done the white grout in marble hex tile and it was so hard to clean. I did buy a steam cleaner as a part of the bathroom makeover in order to clean the grout, tile, and glass shower door. I figured it’s a protection of our investment and will keep things looking nice and clean!
Although, when I was cleaning it the first time, I felt like there should be a magical rule that brand new bathrooms wouldn’t get dirty at least for a year. That’s just not the case, though. This pretty ensuite bathroom needs a good weekly cleaning just like all of the others.
I finished painting the cabinets and installing a new rope light under the cabinets last week, so it’s all finished! Well, I still want to hang some art, but I’ve hit a wall of decision fatigue in this room, so I’ll give myself a break until I feel inspired again.
I will share some project management tips in a separate post, but let me know if you have any questions!