Welp…after an entire month of not showering in my own bathroom AND having to pee somewhere else…I have a new master bathroom! To say I’m excited is an understatement. Not only because it came out AH-MA-ZING…but because it is my first home improvement project in my home that I have lived in since May 2015. A little scary spending the money, I won’t lie. But there is a real sense of pride having done this on my own.
I learned some tid-bits along the way. I won’t say this was a DIY project – because it was not. What is was though was a great investment in my home, I learned how to save money on some big items, and lastly, I learned how to install my own toilet! Yep! My girlfriend knew how to install one and my plumber was too damned expensive to re-install it after the flooring was done. So like the independent she-women that we are….we got her done!
So let’s begin…When I first bought my home, I thought the master bath was ok, except for the paint color on the walls. Easy fix, just not a priority. I started out deciding to change the carpet in my bedroom…because my home is 10 years old it was trashed. But then I started looking on Pinterest…Oh boy! That’s when I said I’m going for it…I want my Master Bath Spa. My oasis to light candles, listen to music and soak in a pretty tub. This is what I started with…
I wanted to do a complete remodel…tear it out and start over. Here’s what I learned…
One: Decide what exactly what you want to do! Duh! This seems easy enough…tear it all out, lol! No, seriously I knew I wanted a frame-less glass shower, stand alone tub, subway tile, new flooring, new paint color, and a new vanity area. After looking at costs, I decided that to tear out the vanity and the mirror, which goes to the ceiling; that was not an option. So I decided to frame the mirror and replace the countertop. All the doors in my home are chocolate brown, so I was ok with leaving the cabinetry in place. This probably saved me a few grand. I made a Pinterest board (follow me! https://www.pinterest.com/staceyinga/ ) and honed in on the look I wanted. By the time I was ready to get the ball rolling, I knew exactly the look and feel I wanted…
Two: Hire a contractor that you can work with. This is the single most important decision you will make. They will be in your home for a while, often when you aren’t. My job took almost a month. Do you trust them? That is the number one question. I received two quotes…one from a recommendation from someone in my neighborhood and one from a friend that has a construction business. The reason I went with my friend was not so much cost, but the trust factor. I knew I could trust her and the crew she worked with. They worked in her own home, which spoke volumes to me. I had direct access to her via text. There were a few times we had to do a few do-overs…they immediately served my needs. They were amazing to work with! For those local in Atlanta, they are Milholland Construction. They were careful in my home, protected my belongings, especially during the demo. I feel like I ate dust for weeks!!!!
Three: Don’t be afraid to piece-meal your work. I actually did not use the main contractor for all of the work. They did the demo, tiling of the bath tub, bead board for the tub surround, moved my plumbing pipes to the wall for the tub, painted and framed my mirror. I had other contractors for the flooring, the countertop, and the frameless glass shower. I did in fact save money by doing this. In all honesty, I could have saved money on the plumber…theirs ended up being higher than we thought because the contractor’s plumber in my opinion was very expensive. That was a learning…if I was willing to wait I could have added in my own. However, time is money and the contractor had his tilers and plumbers lined up on a schedule to deliver their services on certain days…I didn’t have to coordinate that – so that part was good.
Four: Shop around! Don’t think you can’t get a good deal. Avoid the big box stores…trust me on this!
-Countertop: Go to a marble yard and select a remnant. These are pieces left over from someone else’s purchase of an entire slab. I saved $10/sq ft by doing so! The counter top ended up being a quartzite in Fantasy Brown…it’s beautiful!
-Flooring: If you live nearby a carpet or flooring mill this is the way to shop. There are outlets all over and they purchase extra from the local mills. Ask to see their warehouse carpet and flooring. A local flooring company’s quote was $25 square ft just for the carpet. At the carpet warehouse I found a carpet of the same quality for $6.99 sq/ft…huge difference. For the flooring in my bathroom, I saved $2.50/sq ft. Then I bargained for $6 sq/ft since on the carpet since I was purchasing the carpet and vinyl flooring. About that…I used a luxuray vinyl tile that looks like wood…it’s beautiful! No one can believe it isn’t wood! It’s high quality for a great price. As for the labor…I then asked my friend (My new friend Kenny at Dodd’s Carpet Outlet in Calhoun, GA) at the carpet outlet for a recommendation for an installer. I found Gary…He was from that same town. Gary was literally half the price in labor than the local flooring company quote. SCORE!!!
-Bathtub: I went to a an outlet store. They had amazing prices on acrylic slipper tubs. They were already offering 10% off. I negotiated a little more by saying what my budget was. I even asked them to throw the drain in and deliver…which they did for free! Ask and you shall receive people!!!! It’s beautiful!
Tile: Floor and Decor all the way! They had amazing prices compared to the big boxes. I even went to a place called Tile Factory Outlet and they were more expensive than floor and decor. I only wanted basic subway tile, so they had what I needed.
-Fixtures: WAYFAIR and AMAZON … Enough said. I purchased the chandelier from Wayfair and my faucet for the tub from Wayfair. Both great prices and free shipping. I did get my shower head from Home Depot…that and my new vanity hardware were the only items I purchased there.
Five: Test your Paint Color! To create the overall feel of “Ahhhhhh”, the color paint was critical. The first color I chose was from a paint swatch and I didn’t do any test swatches. Welp…that cost me $$. The first color, while it looked like the right color on the 2×2 piece of cardboard, was screaming “Hey kids, Let’s go to the circus!” My daughter said it was “Justice Blue”…If you have girls that grew up in the last 10 years you know what this mean! Screams Teeny Bopper!!! Because the contractors were on a set schedule, I actually had to hire another painter to re-do the color. I did have to spend more $ here – totally my mistake as a novice decorator. But…it was well worth it!!!! Welcome Sherwin Williams Sleepy Blue! It is perfect!
So finally when it was finished I went to my favorite spots to accessorize…Home Goods, Marshall’s and TJMaxx-so basically the same store! That was the fun part! Reasonably priced stuff to add the finishing touches!
…So here she is…My Master Bath Spa! I am very happy!!!! Yay!
Thanks so much for reading! I hope I gave you some good info!
Be Well and Be Blessed!