The Master Bath {Renovations}

We demolished our bathroom.

That’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds. Although if you knew what brought on our demolish rampage, you might feel a little differently.

You see, it was last Saturday or so and I was sitting on my butt all day thoroughly enjoying the Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. Then something struck within me that made me feel like I needed to do something. So, I got up and decided to give the master bathroom a good scrub down. As I started working on that, I thought to myself:

What if instead of completely gutting the bathroom, we gave it a facelift and did a full reno in a few years?

With my new idea in mind, I went to tell my husband who was basically sick with the flu and delirious due to many doses of Nyquil. He liked the idea, and so we went to the bathroom to remove a panel of those faux tile thingies. Ugh, who the hell thought of those? Probably the cousin of whoever invented wood paneling, right? Geez.

And…we found a hot mess under the faux tile panel surrounding the shower enclosure. The drywall was moist and I could see mold.

So much for that idea.

And then Daniel says something that only someone who has had too much Nyquil can say:

Harry Potter is so strong and keeps going after Voldemort. We can demo this bathroom and make it nice.

People, I cannot make this stuff up.

While the thought of just saying a few spells is tempting, it’s not going to be that easy.


image credit:

With the power of Harry Potter in us, we started to demolish our bathroom. And by demolish I mean daintily remove our ugly linen cabinet and vanity. That’s all. We still have a shower stall and toilet in there because we don’t have the tools to demo those just yet. And truthfully, we’re keeping the toilet since it’s a fancy Kohler one and perfectly good. A sledgehammer is on my shopping list for this weekend to tackle the heinous shower stall though.


The photo above shows what 8 hours of Harry Potter will do to a man with the flu. And it also shows what I mean by faux tile panels.

I don’t quite know what to do next. Once we have most of the bathroom down to the studs, it’d be a lovely time to get the pros out for estimates. We are pretty sure we need a plumber, electrician and a tile dude. Finding pros in my tiny town is proving to be quite a feat. I find 4 different numbers for one pro and they’re all disconnected. If something goes wrong on this reno, am I going to be able to get in contact with him to get it fixed? Oh the stress. Am I overreacting?

Part of me just wants to put the vanity back and live with it, but now that I’ve seen moisture warped walls and mold, there’s no turning back. Also, I am 99.9% sure that nothing has been done or upgraded in this bathroom since it was built in 1979. With the exception of wallpaper being put OVER wallpaper and faux tile panels.

Fugly y’all. Just ew.

Now I need a new vanity, a shower stall with fixtures, and tile.

Vanity Contender, via


Shower Fixture Contender, via


Tile Contender, via Floor & Décor Outlets:


My biggest conundrum right now is do I want a shower stall with a pre-fabricated base (which requires moving of the drain by a plumber) or do I want a custom shower pan created around the current drain?

Pre-Fab Shower Pan:


Custom Shower Pan:


So, that’s where we’re at.

I am worried that no matter how much research, prep and work I do on these pros, I will end up with a shoddy bathroom. Which then makes me decide to DIY this whole thing, but I have no experience in doing so…then I really might end up with a shoddy bathroom.

Maybe it’s time to stop watching so much Holmes on Homes; it just leads to contractor paranoia.

Dear Harry, what have I gotten myself into?




  1. TheNextMartha
    February 24, 2012 / 4:11 pm

    Well. That all looks beautiful so far. You can get a custom made "pre form" pan as well. They just drill the hole in it where you need it to be. I did not want tile on the floor of the shower bc we were already dealing with leaking from the old one and having a one piece is less likely to leak (in my mind) then a bunch of grout lines. And I hate grout, so there's that. Good luck, can't wait to see how it turns out.

  2. Anonymous
    February 24, 2012 / 6:31 pm

    Can I say HOW much I love that you're hubs compared a bathroom reno to Harry fighting Voldemort. That is just AWESOME. Exciting stuff to be redoing the bath!!! Our shower needs fixed too and we're not sure who to call… Good luck finding a good pro! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

  3. Tonia Scoville
    February 24, 2012 / 9:29 pm

    Preformed pans are wonderful. We redid our old one last year (well, the lovely contractor we found through luck did it). Considering the previous owners had used caulk to fix the cracked in the bottom, I wasn't putting tile there. It is so worth it. Keep asking people who they use – ask at the grocery store, at work, the gym, wherever. It was me griping at work that got us the name of our contractor when we had an URGENT need (like a tree punching a hole in our house urgent).

  4. Nellie
    February 29, 2012 / 6:42 pm

    This looks like the makings of an awesome bathroom! And I agree Holmes on Homes makes me look at my entire house in a whole new way…

  5. saphyreplatypus
    March 2, 2012 / 4:44 am

    Hi! Just giving some friendly advice, if you go with a pre-formed and have to move the drain, there will be the added expense of that. But if you customize the pan to fit the current drain, you will save on those demolition/re-plumbing costs.Something to consider.If you do decide to go custom pan, here are some options:The first is a Wedi system: second is Kerdi: are great options for not only the pan but the surround as well. Each has it's benefits, depending on how custom you want to make the surround. And both are easy to work with. You can find DIY instructional videos on their sites.Love the choices for the vanity, fixtures, and tile! :)Best of luck in your reno!~K8

  6. sarahbclark!
    March 8, 2012 / 3:15 pm

    found your blog through pinterest! i just ordered the java gel stains from amazon. 🙂 anyway, just wanted to say that watching holmes on homes definitely scares the heck out of me. i wish he'd create some sort of "endorsed local provider" list like dave ramsey does for financial matters.