Bathroom remodel – the plan

Believe it or not, picking everything is not the easy part. Especially when you are quite indecisive. Me? …hmm …never. Anyway, I did a tremendous amount of research to plan this bathroom remodel, compiled a lot of information and ended up with this:

My inspiration board

The tub: I wanted cast iron, nothing else. I don’t like the feel of the other stuff, and I wanted the durability and the heat retention capabilities of cast iron. Well, they don’t have a whole lot of choice out there when it comes to cast iron. Here are the best options:

The Villager: the most affordable cast iron tub around, $350, by Kohler. It has an apron front so no need to tile the front. The problem with the Villager is that it is really shallow: 8.6 inches to overflow. 33 gallons capacity. Great to bathe your kids, not so great to bathe yourself.
The Mendota: $800, by Kohler. Apron front. Depth to overflow: 10.8 inches. Better, but still not a great soaking experience. 45 gallons capacity.
The Bellwether: $600, by Kohler. Very slick clean lines. Apron front. Depth to overflow:  11.3 inches, getting there. 44 gallons capacity.
The Tea for two: $1,500, by Kohler. Needs a special drain that cost about $300 to $400.Drop in tub, which means that a carpenter has to built a knee wall which has to be durarocked and tiled (more $$). Depth to overflow: 13.6 inches, nice, the deepest from Kohler. 60 gallons capacity, not so great if you have a 50 gallons water heater.
The Highbridge: $ 1,350, by Kohler. Needs a special drain that costs about $150. Drop in tub (see above). Depth to overflow: 12.8 inches. 50 gallons capacity. The highbridge has a really large front lip to allow built in storage but you can just built a knee wall and tile it if it is also going to be a shower.

I chose the Highbridge. I really wanted those extra inches of soak and it was more affordable than the tea for two. I ordered it through Faucet and it was delivered 5 days later.

The tile: I love glass tiles, love. I had always planned on dimensional glass tile until I saw their price. Holy thinset! It’s $20/sq ft and up, and when I could find tiles for $5-6 per sq ft that are really great, well, I just couldn’t justify the expense. Especially in the bathroom where I needed 77 sq ft for the tub surround and 50 sq ft for the floor. You do the math.

Here are some good affordable choices:

Marble mini hexagon, Crema Marfil: $6.99 sq ft   Tumbled-p/m-hex-cre-t.htm





Lantern white porcelain tile, Merola: $6.95 sq ft





Large multicolor slate floor tile, Daltile: $4.84 sq ft




Penny tiles, Merola: $5.94 sq ft



Ceramic white pebbles, SomerTile: $8.6 sq ft×11-in-Quarry-White-Gloss-Porcelain-Mosaic-Tile-Pack-of-10/4513164/product.html/ 





I went with mat white penny tiles for the tub surround and white ceramic pebbles for the floor.

Vanities:  Vanities are sooooooo expensive. It’s insane. I looked and looked and found a few options I liked at Lowes that could have worked but Louis wasn’t sold on the traditional look. So we went modern with Ikea’s Godmorgon. We bought a 55 inch vanity AND a high cabinet for extra storage, all for $700. And that includes the sink/top! and it looks really slick. So yay for IKEA.

Faucets: For the faucets I did not go with IKEA. I wanted something a little more heavy duty. So I went with Danze D236010 single handle faucet from the Prince Collection for the vanity, and Kohler K-T10581-4P from the Bancroft Series for the shower.

Lighting: Turns out recess lighting is pretty much rocket science and I will be dedicating a full post to what I learned while trying to make sense of it all. Let me just say that I picked halogen compatible gimbal trims and IC rated new construction cans that have yet to be installed.

Art work: A Picasso lithograph that was in my bathroom growing up and that my mom gave me.

Toilet: I almost forgot the toilet! We went with a Sterling Karsten double flush round. It is really nice. It saves a ton of water and also takes less room than the old toilet.

All is picked and planned, now let the work begin….

Categories: Home improvement | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Bathroom remodel – the plan

  1. Amelia

    All our sinks and faucets came from Ikea. While I’m happy with them, our plumber whined about the Ikea faucets, because apparently it’s really hard to get replacement parts for them. The tiles look nice, too, and it’s amazing how much you could spend on them if you tried. I briefly contemplated $25/sq ft tiles for our tiny upstairs bathroom, but then the saleslady checked the price and it turned out that they were $70/sq ft. So we went with a $6 option, which looks similar.

  2. G’Day! Findingamandine,
    Maybe a little off topic, however, My husband and I are looking to gut and replace our bathroom. It is currently very dated and requires a little plumbing updating. Part of the gutting will be removing an existing linen closet and a built-in vanity and a built-in hamper. The room is 6 by 9 feet with a standard-sized shower/tub insert. We plan on getting standard-grade replacement tub, shower insert, toilet, and vanity. Aside from some plumbing updating, there is no structural issues or any “catches”.
    We live near Boston, Ma. Our estimates for this project so far have been $12,500 and $16,700. Do these estimates sound high? We would like to do this ourselves (as we usually do everything ourselves) but we are expecting a baby very soon and we don’t have the time or ability to do it ourselves right now.
    Thanks in advance for any input.
    BTW great blogpost

  3. Hi buffalo NY, thanks for your comment! Are you getting a general contractor or are you able to coordinate all the guys yourself? I had planned on getting a general contractor but decided on dealing with logistics myself instead. We did all the demo and dump runs ourselves, it cost us $12 in weight and we bought a saws all for $99 at our local hardware store. The carpenter charged me $1,200 to put down the new sub floor, and reframe the back wall and the knee wall for the drop in tub as well as putting in the tub (cast iron in place) which was really heavy! 3 guys, one and a half days @ $45. The tile guy was $ 2,400. He tiled the floor and the shower surround. It was $15 a sq foot because I went with mosaic which is more time consuming (it would have been $10 for large tile). The plumber I’m not sure yet. Plumbers around here are $95 an hour an he has already come 4 times, so I can count at least $400. And he will need to come one more time to hook up the vanity.

    So in labor I’m at $4,000 so far. We will do all the wall prepping ourselves (mudding a few patches, sanding, priming, painting). We bought an ikea vanity and assembled it in a few hours. For the electrical, we are lucky to have a friend that agreed to come and help us set it up.

    For materials I have: $1,500 for tub and drain, $300 for faucets, $300 for the toilet, about $700 for the tiles, $700 for vanity and tall cabinet, other random things (wax ring and flexible pipe for toilet, toilet seat, green board etc) about $200 = $3,700

    That adds up to $7,700.

    I’m sure there will be more as we proceed. I am planning on buying recess lighting which will likely cost about $800 in materials….

    Does this help?

  4. Great idea the bathroom remodel.Most people agree with bathroom remodel idea.

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