Another bathroom reno! This time – MY house!

I’ve bought a country property and love it BUT I didn’t love the acrylic tub liner in the upstairs bathroom. It was framed in and reminded me of a kid’s stage.

Since I haven’t moved in yet, this is an ideal time to get some work done, and I decided that bathroom would be the first thing to tackle. I wanted to open up that space, and put in a real tub and a tiled tub surround and a rain head shower. The rest of the bathroom is perfect, although it could use an extra towel bar.

So Alex Martinez, who I often work with on renos, ripped everything out, only to discover that there was a problem. (Isn’t there always?). He called me and I went out right away to take a look.

There was no framing at all behind the tub/shower liner and the black plastic vent pipes, to the left of the shower curtain, jutted out from the wall several inches. That meant the new tub would have to be off centre. Needless to say, I am sufficiently OCD that that kind of thing would drive me crazy.

Alex had spent about 15 minutes on Facetime with Justin Gauthier, from GK Plumbing, who is doing the plumbing work, tossing around the problem. They decided the black pipes needed to stay where they were. So Alex and I threw  around a few options, none of which made me happy. I wanted to get rid of the dropped ceiling so the ceiling would be flush to the rest of the ceiling. That was do-able. It was the fact that the tub couldn’t be centred that really bugged me. It would make the work look like an afterthought  — after all, any good builder would put a tub in the centre of the space, not several inches off to one side.

I finally decided the best option was to leave the tub off centre and make the wall on the shower head side flush to the rest of the wall on that side of the room. On the other one, where the new drywall had to cover the pipes, we’d put in a built in cubby for shampoo and try to make it look deliberate. Still, I didn’t really like that solution; it kept me tossing and turning all night.

I got hold of Alex the next morning and asked if the black pipes could be moved. He said he and Justin had discussed it and decided it was best to leave them, but agreed there is a huge open space right behind them so there was certainly room to push them back. I called Justin and he said if they could get access from below, they could move them. Of course, there is an additional cost. But that was fine with me!

When you’re doing something to make a space look beautiful  there’s doing something that will distract the eye if you can do it right. So the decision was made to move the vent pipes and centre the tub.

I popped around today to take a look. The vent pipes had been relocated and Alex had done the framing. And GK Plumbing had put the plumbing  in place as well as the tub. It looks great!

The only thing I didn’t love was the drain overflow cover, which was in the shape of a tombstone, so Justin is going to replace that with a circular one for me.


The tub is Sapphire from Lowes — I love the clean design and have used it in several renovations now.

And the tile I’ll be using is a hexagonal Carrara marble-look alike. It’s porcelain and way less expensive than marble but just as lovely and will work perfectly in this space, given the Craftsman style of the house.

So that’s where things are at so far — I’ll be changing the shower fixtures, adding a new towel bar, and that’s pretty much it for this space. Thinking I may use a dark grey grout this time to show off that lovely tile. I’ll keep you posted!


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