Flashback Friday : Marble, and a Ginormous Showerhead : Master Bath Phase 2.

So, I’m going to finish up this Flashback Friday Mini-Series with Phase 2 of the Master Bathroom at Jackson Street. If you remember (or, if you don’t, you can check it out HERE), we renovated the Master Bathroom in two stages. After the first stage, we submitted both this bathroom, our exterior, and our Guest Bathroom to the Reader Remodel Contest at This Old House. Though this bathroom didn’t win the contest, it was featured on the site as a favorite, and chosen as a top Ten by the editors (so was the exterior). Check it out!!! (And our other bathroom won. More on that in the next mini-series).

Planning out size and door swing. Very important.
Even plotted out a bench seat, that we ended up not doing. Wasn’t this original shower AMAZING?

If you aren’t aware, renovations make you VERY BROKE, and so you “can’t do everything at once.” At least, that’s what my husband says. I generally say, “But….sure you can do everything at once!!!” But I only win with him with Chandelier Buying. And Monopoly. I OWN him at Monopoly. (I once played Monopoly, jr. with my 7-year-old nephew. Who said – very sweetly – “Aunt Amy, please, please be nice to me playing this game. I heard you can be mean.” Whatever. I won.)

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We started by ripping out the old. Tearing out things like this makes me SO HAPPY.

Shower plumbing.
The old footprint and plaster walls.
After the plaster was gone on the interior wall to run and check plumbing.
We think this little guy is knob and tube wiring form an old sconce. I just pretended he was a bear.

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We created a beautiful mess. If I ever write a book, I should call it that. (A quick Google search just now negates that idea. Damn.)

We made some discoveries : wallpaper. I LOVE finding wallpaper remnants. It’s just such a great piece of the history of the house. In this house, when we bought it, we were amazed at the lack of wallpaper. Once we remodeled a room, we realized that previous owners just drywalled over all of it. The whole house.That’s one way to do it, I guess.

The black and brown Art Deco one towards the bottom is my favorite.


More demolition, and new insulation! Hooray!

Beauty and the Beast picture. The lovely, with the raw.

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And then, construction. I’m a smart girl. Truly. And I knew the dimensions of the showerhead I was ordering. But until I opened the box, I really didn’t comprehend that it was as big as a dinner plate.

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I fell in love. Hard.

I also love a good basketweave tile. We chose that for the floor of the shower. I love mixing pattern and texture with my tile designs, and this was our first time working with marble. Doug built the custom base, and we both got to work making my design come to life.

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The shower curbs were a bit bulky. I have a brother and sister set of students, and their father is a cabinet maker (who made the cabinets in our kitchen in Martin Place) and a step-mother who owns a tile shop. It’s amazing to know people who can give great advice, and so our shower curbs are actually marble window sill material. I think maybe everyone knew this but us, but it is GENIUS. SO much less pricey than a custom slab of marble.

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Tiling around the curbs was probably the trickiest of all of it. It turned out well, but was definitely the hardest part.

Dry fitting the tile.

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After we put up the ledger board, we started the wall tile. MUCH easier and more fun (and quicker) than the tile for the curb. For the walls, I chose a mix of honed subway tile, a honed rounded pencil tile, a honed border cut from the subway tile, and a glossy hexagon tile, which added just enough sparkle to the shower. On the edges, we hand sanded the subway tiles to create a bullnose. Doing it by hand was easy, since marble is soft, and it gave a hand-crafted look.

Hand-sanded bullnose tile on the side.

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I like a TON of storage in the shower, but really hate shelving that sticks out. I saw a picture in a book of a niche that had glass shelves (which highlights the tile, and doesn’t hide it). Doug stared at it for a bit, came up with a plan, and we made it happen, including cutting the glass ourselves. We used stock shelves that were much longer than we needed, and were able to get a couple of shelves from each store-bought shelf. We mortared them in, which makes me nervous that they might break and be hard to replace. But, I don’t live there anymore, so I guess it’s a worry for someone else…. you’d have to be quite hard on it, or quite clumsy, to break it. The back of the niche is the glossy hex tile, and by using the subway on the side, we had a great place to install the shelves.

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And, the finished space!

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 “But wait! That’s not the dresser you transformed!” Yup. This is what we switched out with, when we decided to sell the house, so we could keep the awesome vanity we made.

More final product…. we hired out the glass doors, but the rest we did all on our own. Two showerheads, lots of space, and a beautiful tile job. I miss it!

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The rest of the Master Bath Flashback Friday Mini-Series :

The Bathtub

Part One

The Vanity

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