I cant believe it's already week 2...like WOW! I knew this challenge was going to fly by but the 6 week mark will be here before I know it (queue major panic attack)!
Ok so let's recap what has happened over the past 7 days and how far we have gotten through our lengthy "to-do" list (spoiler alert.. not far).
Good news, demo has officially been completed. Our plan was to complete all of the demo ourselves to save money. However, we were faced with the "impossible shower" so after spending 3 days of demoing we caved and decided to pay someone to come and finish the shower. Luckily, my Dad is a contractor and he was able to get his guys out here the next day to assist. But despite the shower from hell, we were able to demo the vanity and floor ourselves (it's the small wins here people). If you are following along on Insta stories then you know how well built this house is. Our house was built in 1991 but was a true custom built home. There are 18 other homes on this street which are all unique and also custom built. I seriously cannot get over how well built this bathroom was. My husband have completed our fair share of DIY demo but this was on another level. The thought of still having to do two other bathrooms plus a kitchen and a laundry room, all full of tile makes me cringe.
First, I need to take you back a few weeks prior for you to fully understand the full scope of the project. For years I have always been married to this bathroom having graphic black and white floor tile and a black shower. On my quest to find a panda marble slab for the vanity (if you didn't know panda marble is almost impossible to find...who knew?!) I found the most incredible pink marble. In my head, I immediately thought that is incredible but not for this project. Well fast forward to a few days after seeing it and a lot of additional research I decided to scrap the black and white tile and redesign the entire bathroom around the most incredible pink marble I have ever seen. Luckily, I hadn't pulled the trigger just yet on the tile because I was having issues finding panda marble. Once I saw it, I just honestly couldn't stop dreaming about that damn marble. Maybe it was my Mom in the back of my head challenging me to do something other than black and white (which I have for clients but both of our homes have a serious black and white theme to them) but who knows. Or maybe because I secretly I loved the thought of keeping it "the pink bathroom".
During demo we discovered that the shower dam was completely rotted out so we had to remove the entire dam and floor below. With this came a crossroad. Do we put the dam back in or do we do a dam-less shower? Of course, I would much rather have a dam-less shower, wanting that is a no brainer. But we don't always get what we want and here is why. There is a lot that goes into making decisions when you're doing home renovations; time, materials, functionality, and cost. When we found out the dam was rotted, I immediately called my fabricator to find out if I had enough material to in fact do a full marble floor throughout the entire bathroom. Good news for us, we do have enough material to do the entire floor but we may not have enough material to do that and all of the trim work. They won't know until they complete the template. The trim detail wasn't a deal breaker for me so I decided to go forward with the dam-less shower. I spoke with my contractor and he said it was possible but that it would involve jackhammering out the floor and releveling the entire bathroom floor so that it would correctly slope to the drain. Also, that it would cost about $4,000 more and would add 3-4 days to the project. As much as I would have loved to do a dam-less shower, I couldn't justify the additional cost and I just don't have 3-4 additional days. I wish I had a money tree in the backyard but I don't! *SIGH*
Let's transition to my showerhead dilemma. Because I don't have that money tree in the backyard, and I also don't have any sponsors for this challenge, we are paying for everything ourselves and out of our own pocket. Therefore, we have a REAL budget. A REAL TIGHT budget for that matter. But I want to be clear, this is not a budget reno like the #neverendingbathroomreno but we do have a budget. A lot of influencers and people you follow and love on Insta get a lot of stuff for free or, at the very least, at a deeply discount rate. And while I would love to be one of those people, there is nothing wrong with that, that isn't the reality for the average human and I always like to remind everyone (including myself) of that.
Sean and I had decided earlier this year that we were going to start saving for hardwood floors (something we have wanted since we moved into this house). When I approached Sean about entering the One Room Challenge he agreed to let me use the money we had saved for the floors to do the bathroom reno (I just love that man!). I am definitely one of those who have champagne taste on a beer budget so before the challenge began, I started pricing out everything so I could start to decide what was in the realm of possibility and what was not. I have always been OBSESSED with the Waterworks Isla faucet (a total splurge) but in my opinion there are not many rooms that can handle this faucet... However, the guest bath is one of those spaces that can absolutely pull it off.
Sean is adamant that fixtures have to match whereas I have more of a tolerance for mixing and matching. So I set out to find an alternative because getting the matching Waterworks set was over budget. I found a gorgeous faucet alternative by Rohl but the matching shower system was $2,232. Once again, couldn't justify that for a shower that has only been used maybe twice in the past 6 years. For this bathroom, I really just want it to look nice. It doesn't have to be super functional or long-lasting shower system since we never really use it.
So since that was out, I convinced Sean to let me do mismatching fixtures. I found this gorgeous chrome exposed shower system on clearance at Vintage Tub that was only $509 so I've decided I will change the finish myself. That way I can have the best of both worlds: I can get the faucet I am obsessed with and will save on the shower system. Well long story short, both Sean and my Dad think I am out of my mind and have completely gotten in my head. Even though I have watched a ton of YouTube videos and I have seen other people do it successfully for faucets and pot fillers, the showerhead has tons of little teeny tiny detail work. Once the tile starts to go up, there is no turning back. Each shower system is unique and has unique mixers (the valve that makes it function). So if my DIY chrome removal doesn't go as planned it's almost impossible to fix. And I just don't have time to do it and then order something else if it doesn't go as planned. So I did some more research and started calling around to local plating shops. I found one that was willing to strip the finish and it was only going to cost us $80-$90 #winning. So I took the fixture in and turns out he said its actually going to cost us $300 and it's not going to be perfect. So with that in mind I went back to the DIY dilemma. Ultimately, after a lot of thought and tons of back and forth I started to look for other alternatives that were already brass. I called and searched everywhere and I found a few great options but the lead times were too long and none of them would have gotten here in time. Thankfully, my rep was able to get me the last IN STOCK Waterworks one so I didn't have a lot of options, I went with it. My save turned into a splurge and on top of that, a $500 mistake. Hopefully I will be able to resell it and at least get my $500 back. Yes, I am internally crying over here! Also, because of the change we now have to wait for the mixer to arrive (which will be about two weeks out) until we can start the tile which means the tile install will be delayed... crunching our short timeline even more.
Here is the reality. Living through a reno is not for everyone and I always tell clients this. Our house is filthy and everything is covered in dust and not to mention the noise! Even with the plastic on the floor and closing off the area with plastic there is still dust everywhere, it is just the reality. Unfortunately, there aren't really cost effective ways to avoid this. There are filtration systems that some companies use while doing demo but the cost is much, much higher as you can imagine and it's very hard to find anyone who even offers this service. So this is where we end week 1 and start week 2.
Let's take a look at our to-do list (items in red are completed and items in italics are new items from this week):
- Gut the entire bathroom
- Schedule and complete the hot mop
- Move the plumbing in the shower
- Install the dam
- Move the shower drain
- Move the electrical
- Install new electrical
- Schedule and complete the drywall repair
- Install the vanity
- Schedule the templating for the vanity top
- Lay the shower tile
- Grout the tile
- Install the new shower enclosure
- Install the baseboards
- Crown Moulding
- Paint the walls
- Paint the door
- Paint the trim
- Change the door hardware
- Change the door hinges
- Hang Mirror
- Hang the lights
- Hang the art