(Finally) Making Progress in the Downstairs Bathroom!

This is a post that’s been a long time coming and so many of you have asked about it, so we’re happy to share some progress in the girls’ bathroom downstairs.

You may recall our last update, where we moved the vents and drains. Since that was nearly 3 months ago (what?!), here’s a refresher of where we left off:

Bathroom Reno 101

Since then, the concrete has cured completely, the water lines have been moved, the tub secured in place and framed out, and concrete board added. Here’s how it looks today:

Bathroom Reno 101: Adjusting the Room for a Tub

The first things you may notice is the wall to the left of the tub. Some of you reading this are probably thinking, “Wow that’s great!” But it’s the rest of you I want to address right now – the ones who are thinking, “They just built a big square box in the corner? What a waste of space!”

To those of you thinking that, I totally get it. In fact, one reason progress in this room has been so slow, besides waiting on some backordered parts, is because Jules and I have been unable to let go of that same thought. I mean, it’s not a large bathroom, and we’re already taking up a larger footprint with a tub as opposed to the corner shower we ripped out. The original plan was to turn that corner into additional storage, with a cabinet door or open, recessed shelves or something. But every time we went to make decisions on cabinet door style or shelf depth or any other number of dependent things, it just didn’t jive. The opened shelves would be off-centered or a door would have to open into the vanity and only on the top half of the wall. It all felt off.

Bathroom Reno 101

(Worry not, that vanity light will be replaced) After measuring, planning, and finally deciding on a vanity, we realized that the reason the cabinet/shelf idea wasn’t coming together was because it wasn’t the look we wanted, nor was it something we actually needed. We removed a second vanity from the other side of this bathroom, which gave us more than enough room to move the toilet and include more storage. And as soon as the idea was presented to simply close it off, and add recessed shelving in the shower on that wall, and simple towel rings on the outside, the rest of the plans clicked into place.

Of course we did utilize the corner for a couple useful things that make sense for us. First, we moved an outlet there to free up space on that back wall. But you’ll also notice these great shower wall niches we received from Dük Liner.

Bathroom Reno 101

They were really simple to install – just a few sheetrock screws through the predrilled holes into our studs and cover the front with Durock.

Bathroom Reno 101

Bathroom Reno 101

We went with the Yellow Dük Liner, but they offer several shapes and sizes. The niches will be tiled for a custom look, while adding a bit of storage to keep the girls’ bath bubbles and Disney character shampoo off the perimeter of the tub.

And though we still have a long way to go, the finishes have been pouring in, including the vanity (not pictured) which is even better than it appeared online. :

Bathroom Reno 101

Tub spout | Shower Head | Shower Curtain | Sink Faucet | Shower Valve | Mask Print | Beaded Mirror | Wall Sconce | Striped Shades | Floor Tile | Vanity | Cabinet Pulls | Drawer Knobs

Next on deck is tiling the walls, which we’re anxious to check off our list in the coming weeks and then it should all fall into place relatively quickly–knock on wood.



15 Comments

  • Reply May 18, 2017

    Kiera Chambers

    Just curious what’s on the backside of the vanity/new bumped out wall? You could potentially access that space from the room on the other side, making it a built in dresser/bookshelf/closet or something custom that wouldn’t ‘waste’ that space, it would just not belong to the bathroom anymore (but it already doesn’t since you walled it up) and add function/storage to a different room. We did that at our old house, using space under a set of stairs for a triangular pantry…

  • Reply May 17, 2017

    lu

    I can’t wait to see when it is done… loving the tiles…

  • Reply May 17, 2017

    BJM

    HI There!!! Heres a thought, why don’t you have a portion of the wall with the yellow shelves on hinges then it could open out towards the tub ( like a secret door) then you would still be able to use the inside for storage. Install a bar across shampoos and things so they would’nt fall out when opening door.

    • Reply May 17, 2017

      Julia

      That’s an idea! We really are going to have plenty of storage in here.

  • Reply May 16, 2017

    Jessica

    Love love love the buffalo check tile! I have never seen that before!

  • Reply May 16, 2017

    L

    Just out of curiosity, since you have the open space behind the niches did you consider making them deeper than the typical niche you went with? I have a similar set up and can’t decide if it would look weird to have an extra deep soap niche – the product hoarder side of me thinks it might be nice to have the extra space.

  • Reply May 16, 2017

    Sarah

    Just curious: what kind of waterproofing system are you planning on using in the shower area?

    • Reply May 16, 2017

      Chris

      We’ll spray in RedGuard next then do a coat of thinset to bring the cement board surface flush with the tub flange, then tile down over the flange.

  • Reply May 16, 2017

    Elli

    So exciting! We’re ramping up to do some bathroom renos here too so I’m excited to see how it comes together! One question…isn’t both the cement board and the tile supposed to cover the tiling flange at the top of the tub so that it isn’t visible after installation?

    • Reply May 16, 2017

      Julia

      We’ll tile over the flange so the top of the tub isn’t visible.

      • May 16, 2017

        Jenny B

        We just replaced a tub. We had the same issue because the new tub was slightly smaller than the old one. The new tub’s flange was sitting like yours is on one side, so we had to build a slight 2 x 2 shelf out of cement board at one end of the tub where the cement board did not cover the flange. Otherwise, our bottom row of tile would have been at a weird angle instead of going straight down. The cement board is supposed to come down in front of the flange, and the tile goes on top of that.

      • May 16, 2017

        Chris

        That’s definitely an option, though there are other ways you can accomplish the same thing. We’re going to spray in RedGuard, lay on a coat of thinset then tile down over the flange.

    • Reply May 16, 2017

      SLG

      That looks like the Kohler Archer tub, which I used in my bathroom remodel. If it’s the same one, the flange is actually pretty thick — it’s roughly the same thickness as the cement board. We brought the cement board almost to the edge of the flange (not touching since we didn’t want cracks or squeaks when the tub inevitably shifted slightly), coated the cement board with RedGuard, caulked that small gap between the cement board and the tub, then brought the tile down over the flange. It’s been about a year and we haven’t had any water problems so far.

      • May 17, 2017

        Jenny B

        I should have known you guys know what the heck you’re doing!

  • Reply May 16, 2017

    denilauren

    It already looks amazing with the new layout and soap havens! I’m on pins and needles waiting to see it all come together. Also, thank you for the source list! Schoolhouse is one I had never seen before <3

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