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I am finally getting a new bathroom! - seeking input and advice

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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 09:04 PM
Original message
I am finally getting a new bathroom! - seeking input and advice
Edited on Thu Dec-29-05 09:24 PM by bleedingheart
I called the contractor tonight and told them that I am ready to go ahead with it.

I will pick out all the tile and the cabinets and I will help with the demo work. In this case we have decided against completely doing it ourselves since we do not want to get divorced and this is our main bathroom.

I am seriously thinking of doing away with the medicine cabinet and adding another light switch so that I can put my curling iron on the countertop.

I am also going to get rid of the bulk head over the shower and I am removing a huge closet that is in the bathroom because a good chunk of the space is unusable. In order to make up the space I am going put drawers up to about waist level for meds, and stuff then I am going to put pantry shelves for towel storage and have it go to the ceiling....

The one thing I was thinking about is having the same really large tile on both the walls and the floor...????

I am so happy about this since
1. the current tile is falling off the walls
2. the current bathroom is that 1960's pink
3. the tub drain hasn't worked since we bought the house...the kids have been trained to take a bath before all the water drains out... :-)

So any ideas on tubs? and fixtures? I had Moen once before and I have to say they sucked..but that might be the type I had...

What about doing away with the medicine cupboard?

I am really concerned about replacing the toilet...I have a very old 50 gallon flusher that has only once been clogged...yes it wastes water but it is really a good one....
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. stay away from fiberglass in tubs and sinks
Edited on Thu Dec-29-05 10:00 PM by AZDemDist6
they scratch easily and are hard to maintain

check out where the building salvage houses are and look there for cabinets

as for the med cabinet, it depends... but if you can recess on into the wall i'd do it

i like American Standard for sinks, affordable and durable

it really depends on your budget mostly i guess

as for the toilet, just put a couple three bricks in it to displace some water and it should be fine

here's a thread on what I found at a salvage yard in my town

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I currently have a cast iron tub covered in porcelain...
it is heavy duty but the drain is ruined beyond repair...if that could be fixed and perhaps it was recoated in white...it could stay...but thanks for the advice on the fiberglass...I am not too keen on it either.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. the drain is totally replaceable and there are companies that can
refinish tubs BUT it's not as durable as your porcelain
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. cast iron tubs can be refinished.
My sister had her antique slipper back tub refinished in a lovely cappuccino cream color for less than it would cost to replace the thing with a fiberglass insert (which I don't recommend.) They bought an unrenovated house in SW Illinois and have been rebuilding it bit by bit.

Here's an HGTV article on the process (I don't know who my sister used, since we live in different states and all I got was the blow by blow, the cost breakdown and pictures -- and a long rant about how refinishing that bathroom during the middle of finals was driving her nuts...)

http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/remodeling/article/0,1797,HGTV...
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
4. Faucets..
We have had no luck with Moen either. We're back to Delta and so far, so good.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. When we built, we did a custom 5' walk-in shower with a short curb.
Edited on Fri Dec-30-05 01:36 PM by Lars39
We used 12" tile on the wall all the way to the ceiling so we wouldn't have that awkward space that has to be painted. We used a smaller tile that had some texture for the floor of the shower. We were going to use 12" tile on the bathroom floor, but the Crossville Ceramics Outlet didn't have enough 12" tile, so the very kind lady substituted 18" tile at 12" tile price.
We did his and her spigots. We were going to add a glass door later.
If I can figure out a way to post pics I will. :)

On edit: We had hard maple cabinets custom built(Mennonites, the price and quality were fantastic!). We had a long vanity, with 3 deep drawers on each side. No medicine cabinet, but 2 narrow wall cabinets that would frame a mirror.
I've got to find my pics and post 'em. :)

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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. please do post them...
I will post a pic of my bathroom when I get a chance...
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. Okay ... some additional thoughts .......
First, its hard to know what some of the best answers might be without seeing your bathroom (things about the drawers and shelves and such .....).

Your tub ...... the drain can absolutely be fixed. But I have to ask why. It is a 1960's tub with that much wear on it. It will always look old as compared to the rest of the bathroom. I'd put in a new one ... cast iron, ideally, but porcelain on steel is an okay second choice (won't hold heat as well and is more prone to chipping due to denting). None of the plastic tubs are worth much, no matter their cost. There are fiberglas, acrylic and a few 'cast plastic' ones (like American Standard's 'Americast'). None will hold up like cast iron. Don't even think about refinishing it. The guarantee is usually between 3 and 5 years. You have to be careful about how you clean it (abrasives will kill it in just a few months). Even 'refinished' cast iron is a far lesser product than original from the factory. It is, at the end of the day, just fancy paint.

Same for the sink(s) ..... cast iron. Or porcelain (vitreous china). Both hold their finish extremely well.

Tile size is a matter of stylistic choice. But I'd advise tiling the ceiling over the tub. If you do, it is best to use smaller tiles there, due to the weight while they're setting. Once installed and set, weight isn't an issue, but it is really hard to get big tiles to not sag before the mortar sets. The end result of tiling the ceiling is an easier-to-keep-clean space. Maybe replace the bulkhead over the tub with an arch made of thin plywood and then tile over that. That would look really great!

There are newer toilets that are very well engineered to work on the new 1.6 gallon standard. Older 1.6 toilets were pretty bad, but the new ones work pretty damned well. We have three of them now and will be replacing the fourth this year ... well ... next year .... 2006. Don't get one of the air assist ones. They're very problematic. Stay with a conventional type. They have reworked the throat traps such that they accelerate the water upon flushing and do a good job of clearing the bowl on one flush. Check with a real plumber, not the Home Depot guy, for advice of what's available in your area.

For a faucet, the state of the art is ceramic disks. They last a very long time and can be repaired when they finally do wear. The downside is that parts are pricey. But the total cost of ownership is far better than any other type.

Good luck. you have fun choices to make. Remodeling is always fun.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. Careful with that tile
because it can overwhelm a small space if it's used everywhere.

You'll miss that high flow toilet, that's a guarantee. I've found it necessary to keep a small plastic 1 gallon bucket next to my low flow, desert special to supplement the flush when I just know it's not going to be adequate to the job. Consider a good plunger and a convenient place to store it in your design.

There are a few advantages to fibreglas tubs and shower enclosures: cost, ease of installation and eventual replacement, they don't act as heat sinks and cool off your bath water prematurely. The disadvantage is that they can't be scrubbed with anything abrasive, including Soft Scrub.

You'll miss that medicine cabinet once it's gone. Really. However, I've lived without them and it can be done. Just be aware that your sink top will become a clutter zone if you're not very, very careful.

ANYTHING will be an improvement over 50s pink. ANYTHING. There is nothing you can possibly do to make it worse than that.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. we are going to discuss the options with the bath guy on Monday
he did our kitchen and did a fine job...so we trust him with the bath....but he really hates medicine cabinets...I came up with an alternative...the one closet we will remove will be the site of more efficient cabinets...I was thiking perhaps that we could put a shallow cupboard on the side of one of those to replace the medicine cabinet...???? imagine if you will, using the sink, facing a large mirror and lights...and then directly on your left there would be a cabinet perpendicular to the mirror...that would be the new "medicine" cupboard???

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. That's exactly how ours is.
Our mirror is on an aoutside wall, and in our climate, you don't put a medicine cabinet in a wall that needs to be insulated (ours is worse, it is also a north wall). I opened up the wall on the side of the sink and put in a custom med cab I made myself. It fits between the studs (like any other med cab) but is much higher. We used a cabinet door that matches our new vanity as the med cab door.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-02-06 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. Went to the showroom and picked out the cabinets and stuff
got a new cast iron tub with porcelain.....tub, sink, toilet ...all white.
cabinets in cherry...and ceramic tile on walls and floor...all in a white tile with a hint of a cherry tone..and it has a rough edge...very very pretty...

Problem with faucets....didn't want shiny brass...liked burnished nickel..but don't know that it will look good with the stuff we picked...so maybe burnished brass.....oooh I have waited 10 long years to get rid of that pink nightmare...now I am just giddy with joy...
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-02-06 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. congrats! and nickel is always in good taste but
Edited on Mon Jan-02-06 08:56 PM by AZDemDist6
you'll have the rest of the stuff in so you can check it out before you install it so if you change your mind it's no biggy

pics!

take the "Before" now before the demo starts, you'll be glad you did (and so will we!)

:bounce:
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