• Elaine Zito

Master Bath Renovation

Our master bath renovation took the longest of the complete house flip. But after ripping out drywall, moving around the plumbing, restructuring the space and then putting it all back together, we finally finished it. Not only did it take the most time, it was the most difficult and complex because of building codes and plumbing work. The pipes behind the walls are no joke. One little mess up can cause a pipe to burst and a home to flood. With only one hiccup (after installing one of the shower handles, we forgot to put a hairpin back in and the handle shot out of the wall with gushing water when turned on..oops), we managed to design an oasis with a rock wall, massive rain head, and tile from floor to ceiling. I will give y'all a quick breakdown of the steps we took to bring this vision to life.

When we moved in, the master bath had an outdated 'bath fitter' style shower, a toilet which sat right beside it, formica highlighter yellow cabinets, and a drop down ceiling with florescent tube lights. It was ugly, poorly laid out and the worst lighting possible for a woman doing her makeup.

However, being in a townhome, we only had so much space to work with. We started with the fact that the toilet right next to the shower had to be moved (mainly because there was awkward empty space to the right of it, being unused). In order to do that we had to rip out flooring and move the plumbing.

After that was done, we built a wall in between the toilet and shower for a bit of separation. We made this wall wide enough to install built in shelves, and it became the storage for our shower soaps. This in turn widened the shower area to make a larger walk in style big enough that no door was needed to contain water.

Next we took out drywall to restructure the plumbing of the shower. We knew we wanted a rain head as well as a normal handheld head and for them to be able to operate separately. Because of this, we installed two separate shower handles, so that each could be controlled individually. (The reason for this is because I don't use the rain head every time due to me not wanting to get my hair wet.)

After that was all said and done, we put new drywall up. Before we started laying tile, we installed a rubber guard in the shower for water protection, as well as a slight decline of the floor towards the drain (this is so important and something you might not think of). We installed our infinity drain and Allyn built me a little seat. Then we tiled everything. We went with a larger tile for the bulk of the bathroom so it would install quicker, and then used a stone rock tile as an accent wall. To finish the shower area, we repainted the ceiling, and installed a new matching light and vent.

The next part of the bathroom to fix was the vanity and closet. We started by ripping out the drop down ceiling, formica vanity, and medicine cabinets that were located on the side walls (see top picture). We installed standard espresso colored cabinets from Lowes, used the same granite we did in our kitchen, tiled the main wall and put newer, fancier medicine cabinets up (previously there was one large unframed mirror, which we replaced with the individual medicine cabinet mirrors). We filled in the side walls where the medicine cabinets used to be, and painted everything a crisp white. Finally, we installed new lighting and some towel rings.

Last but not least, we improved the closet. And while the closet sucks because it is so small, we added a few things to maximize the space. First, we replaced the bifold doors with some updated sliding doors. We stained wood and created two shelves, one for shoes and one for clothes, then installed a new matching bronzed rod. We also painted the closet to freshen it up.

A few other things that were done include: new floor boards and painting the pocket door to the bedroom.

Overall it was a very slow process that had a lot of learning curves but we are pretty happy with our first attempt at a master bath renovation. So, what do you think?