When we bought our house twelve years ago, one of the selling points was the large whirlpool tub located in the master bathroom. I had so many great dreams of soaking in that tub while reading a good book and sipping on a glass of wine or tea.
The truth is, it never happened. The tub, while a great idea in theory, was rarely used. It was loud, and I was afraid of waking up my sleeping babies when I turned it on after they fell asleep. Eventually, it turned into a clothes and towel rack – a waste of space in our bathroom. The shower, which we did use all the time, was tiny and dark. One day, when showering, it occurred to me that we should just pull out the tub and replace it with a large custom shower. Once we got that idea in our heads, it was hard to give up. So, this fall, I decided to get a quote and proceed with the renovation.
Before I headed out on our Thanksgiving weekend vacation, I took one final photo of the original bathroom. You can see the large tub here…
and the tiny shower stall here.
We decided to remove the shower and the tub, replace the floor, and turn the original shower into a closet. Because there was a window along the side of the original tub, we had somewhat limited options on the shower. Ultimately, we chose to leave space between the end of the shower and the window, and add some built-in shelves. The original vanity, mirrors, and toilet remained. While the walls were originally a pale purple color, we were pretty open to what color we would eventually end up with.
Our first major decision was to pick out tile. If you've even chosen tile, you know that there are countless options – from bright colorful tiles to basic neutrals. I love color, but I wanted to make sure that whatever we picked would be something that we wouldn't grow sick of. I selected a gray and white color scheme that would hopefully stand the test of time.
The demolition was super quick. Admittedly, I was surprised at how much work went into it, but it was fun to see the whole process. After the tub and shower came out, it was framed and the basic plumbing and electrical was done. There were a few other things that had to be done. A light was moved, a light/vent was added, and electrical outlet and air conditioning vent were moved.
Insulation was added to the walls, which definitely helped with the noise level. Although it was great to see the framing, I was most excited to see the tiling go in, because that's when I would get a good idea of what the final product would look like.
Overall, the project took a little over three weeks, including painting and glass door installation. The door couldn't be measured and ordered until the tiling was all done, so we had to wait a few extra days for that to come in after the project was done. In the interim, we were able to use the shower curtain and rod from the old shower.
It was done just in time for Christmas, which was the perfect gift. Here's the final product. I ended up choosing gray tones for the walls, using a slightly darker color for the shelves. The gray that I chose had a bit of a blue tint to it, making it the perfect match for our bedroom (which is light blue).
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