Kids’ Bath

When we moved into our home nine years ago, there were several projects we took on before moving a single stick of furniture in, like replacing all of the flooring and painting all the walls and cabinetry. Except for the bathrooms. Those projects would come a bit later after we’d caught our breath. Once things settled down a bit and we got back to the states after a semester in England, I decided it was time to tackle the kids’ bathroom.


The layout worked well, except that it only had a tub and no shower. Of course I don’t have before pictures (when will I ever learn), but imagine that the wall with the showerhead was only a half wall. While I hadn’t ever built a new wall before, it really wasn’t that hard. A plate (2 x 4) at the top and bottom and a couple of studs for support. Once that was done, I called the plumber to extend the water line up to accommodate a shower. After that I was able to hang sheet rock and texture the wall on the potty side (did you know you can get wall texture in a spray can?) and durock on the shower side. Once that was in place I tiled the shower area using 3 x 6 white subway tile and white grout. Not a small job, but manageable.


Next, the floor. I chose a black and white tile combo that looked easy enough. Note to self: when launching into your first tile job, choose big tiles that are easy to handle, not jillions of little tiles that need extra patience. Again, not insurmountable, but I was happy to leave the next tile job to the pros.


Below the chair rail I opted for bead board instead of replacing the tile that was there before (cheap, easy, and I like it). The train rack above the potty has come in quite handy.


I decided to keep the vanity and cabinetry, but definitely needed to replace the glitter-infused formica countertop.  My local countertop fabricators usually have a good selection of remnants, so I found a nice chunk of black granite that was a fraction of the cost of starting with a new slab. They installed the white undermount sink and dropped it into place for me.


The mirror needed an update, but I didn’t want to replace it, so I used molding from off the shelf at Lowe’s and made a giant frame and adhered it right to the mirror. Again, cheap, easy, and made a big difference. Next I installed the new faucet, potty (it’s easier than you think), light fixture, and new chrome hardware for the cabinets.


For the window treatment I got a pine board from Lowe’s, made a pattern for the pelmut, cut it on a band saw, gave it a lick of paint, and voila! The shade is just a cheap roller-shade from the Walmarts that I covered with fabric using iron-on adhesive, hot glued some trim on, and installed. BAM! Cheap window treatment.

The entire project, including the visit from the plumber, was about $1200. Not too bad for what looks like a completely new space. Yes, I did nearly all the work myself and saved a LOT of money, but by the time we were ready to do the master bath, I was content to let others do it for me.


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