Beach House – Large Bathroom

We call this the “large bathroom, and compared to the other one it is. We did this remodel earlier this spring, and I’m catching up the blog. It took four 3-day weekends over a three months time.

I didn’t take very good “before”pictures. It had a poor layout with pink floor tile and a moldy shower. The main problems with the room: The toilet faced the vanity (why?), and the vanity was right in the doorway, so the door needed to swing out.

Here is the new floor plan. It’s pretty modest, but functional.

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Structural changes: (my focus)

  • Switch the direction of the toilet
  • Move the vanity over to the center
  • Redo the windows – move the one over and make it bigger, add a second one. See the Houzz post on this.
  • Make the door in-swing. Before it out-swung right into the stairs, and I was just waiting for a midnight trip to end up in the ER.

Cosmetic changes: Tear out everything and start over. (my DW’s focus)

The color and feel of this room was crafted by my DW. I think she did an excellent job putting it all together. I suggested the wood walls and ceiling. She picked out the colors and fixtures.

We decided to buy the vanity cabinet. Normally I build everything, but in the interest of time and getting the sink we wanted, we bought this. It’s the Seal Harbor vanity by Martha Stewart. I really like the look – and the quality is OK (it’s MDF).

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I didn’t want to have this baker’s rack at first, but my DW really thought it would work well. OK – I was wrong. It looks great and is very functional. Since this is our vacation house, we need a place to set things when we’re here, and this works perfectly.

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I love windows. I think the core design of every space should include three concepts:

  • The function of the space
  • The flow in and through the space
  • The windows

Once those things are set, everything else gets filled in around them.

These two windows bring in four times the light compared to before. In my mind, they are he focal point of the bathroom.

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We replaced the old metal tub, which was rusting behind the front apron. Since we have direct line-of-sight to the ocean, we also get a lot of salt air – and rust. I’ve had good luck with Sterling products in the past, so I went with that. The new tub  is made of Vikrell, a solid surface material.

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The large tile was on clearance at Home Depot for 50 cents a square foot. It was 6″ x 24″, so we cut them in half. We special ordered the mosaic from HD for $9 a square foot.  We went for a simple look that shouldn’t become dated over time.

The ceilings are left over lap siding we used on our main house. The backside was smooth and flat – and it nailed up easily.

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My personal favorite part of the bathroom is the underfloor heating. I bought a 30 sf kit from PexUniverse for $226. It installed just as expected, except the controller. For some reason, it’s not a standard size that fits on any electrical box I could find. I was not willing to screw the mounting plate to just a hole in the wall – not legal and not smart (but tempting), so I used a standard duplex box and modified a front plate.

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I built these two matching doors in my shop. I will do a post on how a build them in the near future. They are very simple slot-and-panel construction. One is for the bathroom and the other is for the closet next to it.

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Here they are installed and trimmed out. The idea is to have a big “X” like a barn door.

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And when they are open…

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Time and Money – 12 days and $2K


The total cost of this was about $2,000. Top costs:

  • $700 materials – Lumber, plywood, underlayment, plumbing, electrical
  • $400 vanity
  • $300 windows
  • $225 floor heat mat kit
  • $210 tile
  • $160 tub
  • $100 toilet

It took 12 days over 4 weekends

  • 3 days for demo and reframing
  • 2 days for the walls and ceiling
  • 1 day for windows and trim
  • 1 day for setting the tub and other plumbing
  • 2 days for tile & heating mat
  • 1 day for doors and vanity
  • 1 day for painting
  • 1 day for details

Would I do anything different?

  • For the most part, everything went smoothly
  • At first I didn’t demo out the ceiling, thinking I could just cover it with ship-lap. Later on I needed to remove it to run some of the electrical. I should have just demo’ed everything out to start. It wasn’t a big deal, but did make some extra mess I needed to clean up.

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