Monday, February 1, 2010

Tackling the Bathrooms

My oh my, we have so much updating to catch up on.  I apologize for the long delay!  As you know, part of being a new resident is also trying to reinstall/move internet service to the new location.  Much to my dismay, AT&T scheduled two appointments over the past couple of weeks and when they finally showed up, the technician informed me that the wires weren't ready(?) so we are delayed until tomorrow in getting connected. Once we are "online" ya'll will be getting many more updates.

Over the past couple of weeks we've focused on the foundation and bathrooms.

We had the foundation in the master bathroom reinforced and so we can rest at ease that, if there is an earthquake, the master bath will likely be the safest place to be :)  Prieto Engineering did an awesome job and poured four massive pillars of cement into the ground while also sistering on reinforcement beams on every major piece of structural wood. 

Meanwhile, we've been focusing a majority of our time on the two bathrooms upstairs while also trying to secure fixtures for three of the bathrooms (we aren't even looking at the fourth bathroom right now).  In the upstairs bathroom in our unit, we tore out all of the tile in the shower and its surround, tore out the vanity and purchased a new toilet.  The tile floor is absolutely perfect and doesn't need replacing.  The metal tub is also worth re-using.  Not only is it incredibly heavy and would be a pain to carry down the stairs, there's no reason why we can't refinish it ourselves, which will save us cash and it's better for the environment!  I'm about 70% finished with refinishing the tub.  It's easy but takes about 4-5 hours minimum.  You can buy a refinishing package at Home Depot for about $20 and it gives you everything you need to get the job done.  I'd suggest that you purchase an additional bag of steel wool (the finest grain possible to avoid scratches) just to make sure you get all the goo and grime off of your old tub.  

We also found a great vanity at IKEA that should work well for storage and it was only $299 (plus the faucet) but every vanity that we've found is upwards of $600 and doesn't have a cool look or good storage...this is a great option and looks even better in-person.

In addition, we found a killer claw-foot bathtub for the master bath on Craigslist and hauled it in the back of our Volvo V50!  It was comical/dangerous but we weren't about to pay $75 for a truck when Russ is perfectly capable of risking his life while holding the tub in the back of the car while we drove 25 mph from Santa Monica to our house (approx 15 miles).  Will post a photo tomorrow, after we get internet...

In total, we have four bathrooms (two downstairs, two upstairs - - one in each unit).  We've been using the back unit bathroom because it's the only working toilet and shower but all of the plumbing is good throughout the house.  Now, we have to find vanities, fixtures, paint and tile for all of the units.  We are also on the hunt for a double-sink vanity for the master bathroom downstairs. 

I spent a majority of Sunday hunting for a good deal on tile in North Hollywood and man, it can be very overwhelming but I've gone a couple times before so I'm getting better at honing in on what we need.  Below are the list of tiles I've been hunting for.  Our style is classical modern - - not too modern but not too classical, make sense?

Master Bath Floor
Master Bathroom - Custom Shower Floor and shower walls
Shower surround in upstairs front unit (refinishing bathtub)
Kitchen backsplash and possibly kitchen floor and nook

Not a perfect photo but you can see that I've found some good options.  We'll liley use the long rectanglular tiles (cream, light grey, light brown) for the kitchen and the floor of the master bath but don't know which colors will be where (a steal of a deal at $1.95/sq ft)!  The big white rectangular tile (center) actually has a cool bevelled pattern on it that look looks like this >< and I think I'm loving this for the master shower surround ($5.75 sq ft).
I love this tile for the master shower floor.  It's grey with a nice non-slip grid and I love the mini glass subway tiles on the mesh but maybe for the kitchen backsplash? ($2.95/sq.ft )

Just look at the white tiles (I don't care for the horizontal multi-colored little tiles)  I'm thinking of using this for the shower surround in the upper front unit.  It reminds me of the smaller white subway tiles that you see everywhere but with a more updated look.  Also, remember the bigger the tile, the easier the install - - we've done the subway tiles before and it took FOREVER! ($5.50/sq. ft - a little pricey but maybe we can bargain with them?)

For the price, this may be a very good idea for the master bath shower surround?  It looks like lots of tiny tiles but hey are actually in tile that measure 24" x 8 " (I think)?

I think we'll keep the paint colors pretty simple and clean esp. for the bathrooms.  I chose a nice off-white for the upstairs back bathroom "ivory mist" and finished the painting for that yesterday.  Now, I just need to find a good product to try and clean off the green tiles that are currently there, regrout and install the vanity, a new window and we should be golden!  More to come....

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