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Friday, January 31, 2014

Bathroom - Purchases and Progress

It's been fun to hear from so many friends about how they enjoy my posts and how inspired they've become.  I'm grateful for the continued support and to everyone that participated in the surveys from my last post.  If you are interested in the results, you can find them with these links:

It's been very exciting to purchase a few key items for this bathroom remodel.  Seeing the boxes arrive and working with the local Menards store for my countertop purchase is both satisfying and scary.  Scary because the budget is taking a big hit!  I knew the bathroom would be the most expensive of the 3 rooms in my challenge and although I want good long lasting products that I'm happy with, I'm fighting hard to stay within that budget.



I seriously thought about a butcher block counter inspired by another blogger I really admire (Censational Girl).  It would have been a very inexpensive option.  I decided not to because Don didn't want white cabinets and once in a while, I like to take his advice!  While writing this, I can think of other things I could have done - like paint the butcher block white and stain the cabinets darker.  I might have even been able to do some flecks of color with a high clear gloss to mimic the look of what I ended up getting.  I'll have to remember that for another counter refinishing job.

I finally decided I would go for Silestone.  Menards had a 2 inch sample called 'Cotton' that I really loved and also had it on one of their display vanities, so I was able to see what it could really look like as a bigger sample.  I shopped Home Depot as well, but the 'Cotton' sample was still my favorite.  At Home Depot they had 2 plans for counter top installation.  One option was that you could install it yourself, but you had to purchase one of their under mount sinks.  I already have my sink, so that option was out.  I had them price the other plan which was a professional installation that would install the sink I already purchased.  Well, that's clever of them - they want to make more money on the first option by making you buy their sink, and of course, the professional installation option costs more than doing it yourself.  They quoted me around $1300.00.  Just a reminder - I budgeted no more than $1700.00 for the bathroom.  Let's go back to Menards!

Menards has only one option - you install it yourself.  You provide the measurements and let them know what kind of edges you want and what kind of sink you will install.  You pick the position of faucet and sink holes as well.  They send the measurements to the Silestone fabricator and in about one week you get a template to approve before they cut and deliver the counter.   With tax and an installation kit (color coordinated caulk, a buffing product, and adhesive), I ended up paying $767.00.  That's a big bite out of my budget but I know this will be a good value for our home.

Electrical work

I asked our favorite electrician over to review my project and provide a quote.  Krantz Electric did other work for us and we have appreciated their professional work and fair cost.  I asked them to do the following:
  • Install my new light over the mirror after centering the electrical box
  • Install a GFCI outlet inside my new (yet to be made) medicine cabinet
  • Change out our current 2 switch/1 outlet plate for a plate that will house 3 switches in the place that 2 switches would take.  This will give me more room for my medicine cabinet.
  • Optionally, install a light in the shower
I was dreading that this quote would make me consider no new electrical work at all.  It came in at 495.00 for the first 3 items and 250.00 for the shower light.  I'm going for it.  Cha-Ching!

New Light purchased for 136.00


Eva Series Bathroom Faucet Two Handle
I searched the internet for faucets and, like the countertop, once I found one I liked it was hard to commit to another one just because it was less expensive.  The one we have now was purchased in 2010 and was less than 100.00.  I ruined the finish trying to clean it, so I want something with higher quality this time around.  The one I loved was 178.00, but further searching for that exact faucet led me to a web site that charged only 151.00.  This faucet required the purchase of a "rough-in" kit from either store, so the final total on the less expensive store ended up being 217.00.

If you're counting (or not!) the total on all purchases noted in this post is 1865.00.  That means I've dipped into the budget for the last room of this challenge not even one month into the process.  It's not over yet!


I have also been hard at work making physical changes to the room starting with mirror and wallpaper removal.

Leafy paper on the left was our old paper.
A different wallpaper found under the old mirror
Close up of old paper under mirror
Cabinet doors are off and I stripped and stained them.  I still have to do that to the cabinet base, but it's been so cold outside that I'm not looking forward to opening a window for ventilation on the main floor of the house.  I also want to add 2-3 coats of polyurethane.  I could have used Minwax PolyShades which includes the poly with the stain, but I wanted more control over the color which I had using stain first.
Starting out
Stripped, then stained...1st coat wiped, 2nd coat left as is

It's time for a glass of wine!  See you in two weeks.  I'll be making my new medicine cabinets which will go on each side of my new mirror.
Soon to be medicine cabinet

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bathroom - Choices made and more to make

Schedule Delay

Demo was scheduled to start 1/4/2014.  Instead my husband Don and I decided to drive our daughter Harmony from Wisconsin to Ohio to get her back to school on time after her flight back had been cancelled due to winter storm conditions.  We didn't plan that one well and ended up getting stranded in Columbus, Ohio for an extra day, then in Danville, Illinois for a night.  The roads in Indiana were pure ice on the way back and we felt very lucky to make it back home when we did.



Choices Made

So, what's a gal to do in Columbus, Ohio?  I searched the internet for the nearest Habitat Restore, of course!  I found 2 only 15 minutes away from Harmony's apartment.  You know I like to find bargains and I did.  At the first store I found the doors I needed to complete medicine cabinets I plan to build.  The style matches my existing cabinet doors.  This definitely steers me into the direction of keeping the old traditional doors rather than upgrading to something more contemporary.  I'm okay with that.  The cost: $5.50 for each door.

New unfinished medicine cabinet doors

At the second store (Yes, I went to both!), I found a NEW and unused American Standard sink for $29.50 complete with mounting hardware.  It retails at American Standard for $162.00, but I also found it online for 1/2 that price at another online source.  It really does pay to search several sources and often.  Inventory can change daily.  I'm known to spend my lunch hour and weekends visiting my favorite 2nd hand stores.  I hadn't decided on an under mount sink, but this deal made up my mind.

My new 'Tudor' sink

Choices to Make

I've researched counter top materials and I find myself drawn to quartz.  It is the most maintenance free material I know.  Granite will stain if not treated regularly and solid surface material like Corian can scratch.  I don't want concrete.  I thought about tempered glass, but it is a bit modern for the style direction this bathroom is taking.  We have quartz (Silestone) in our kitchen and I love it.  Finding a bargain on the specific colors I like is pretty unlikely.  In addition, it has to be the correct size and have a custom hole cut for my new sink and whatever faucet I find.  I'm willing to pay retail on this if I have to since it will definitely add value to our home.  It would be great if I can save some money installing it myself.  We will see.

     Cotton                      Click to view full pdf                   Ogee Edge

Aside from potential electrician work, another element that can be costly is the faucet choice.  I've been searching for faucets with an oil rubbed bronze finish, but I fell in love with a new finish I hadn't seen before - Champaign Bronze.  It is very elegant, but I fear it might be a finish that may be short lived like brass.  I did mention in a prior post that I wanted to stick with the metal finish started in the Foyer with the lighting.  The counter top and the faucet definitely need to work together.  On top of that, I'm bugged a bit that an oil rubbed bronze finish will mean my drain will be very dark against the white of the sink.  I'm striving for a clean look, yet wanting a traditional style.  That's part of the allure of the Champaign Bronze right now.

Champaign Bronze - left; Oil Rubbed Bronze - right

What do you think?

It's your turn!  Tell me what choices are your favorites for counter top material and color.  What faucet finish would you go with?

Click here for a counter top survey.

Click here for a metal finish survey.