This series is blogging the step by step process of a Modern Makeover! Client is from Marietta, Georgia, and the list includes a Master Bathroom, Bedroom and Kitchen. If you are catching this for the first time, be sure to catch up on past posts!
After collaborated teamwork between myself and Distinctive Remodeling Solutions, giving serious considerations to the defined style and needs of this client.. along with the variables of installation and remodeling costs that are unique to this home – we have a thorough estimate to begin this master bathroom renovation! In hand we have a detailed allowances for product choices, so it is time to go shopping. Who doesn’t love shopping~ especially when its going to improve the quality of one’s life!? We have a plan of action to visit several showrooms to define the product selections, within the budgeted (well known as allowances) list in hand. Since our agenda was long and our hours were limited, I choose to meet in the West District of Atlanta since there are several showrooms within a short distance of one another.
First stop of the day started at Plumbing Distributors, Inc., well known as “PDI” a premier plumbing showroom on Huff Road. They have been a trusted allied partner for over 10 years; its rare occasion I seek advice or prices elsewhere. Reputation, trust.. relationships are everything in this business! Ahead of time I set an appointment with my showroom contact, Dena Harden. Additionally, I forwarded the product allowances (see below) and style preferences of the client so that she better understood the direction of our visit.
|Two (2) Vanity Sink Faucets: $300 each||$600|
|Two (2) Undermount Porcelain Sinks||$100|
|One (1) Soaking Tub||$750|
|One (1) Tub Faucet||$300|
|Toilet: Re-Install Original||$0|
With a conservative budget and a well defined style (Modern of course!), it was fairly easy to narrow down the faucet selections to Delta’s Vero Series. The square architectural base with the soft flowing curve of the spot was exactly what appealed to Marcia’s taste. I favor a single lever for the bathroom because most tasks in a bathroom are using mixed/warm water. While she appreciated the advice, the wide spread style was more appreciated and chosen. Delta has a full coordinating line to match so the remaining items was straight forward, until we started with the showering systems.
Showering systems can go far beyond the typical single pressure balancing valve that controls both your volume and temperature. When the allowances were calculated on the front side, I was sure to allow for some room for an upgrade considering trends in the master bath often time have advanced and luxury features.
The debate began with giving considerations to what features would they appreciate the most. Body sprays were quickly crossed off due to costs reaching $150-250/each including installation. A stand alone rain head was clearly outside of the budget, so attention was turned to Delta’s coordinating shower system in the Vero line! Since this is sold as a set, cost was moderate and the spray on this particular rain head was more generous than spa type domes that are often seen mounted from the ceiling. The curve ball was that the Vero line did not offer a massage/multi-function type hand held shower to give a diverse shower experience. This is where Dena’s expertise of working in the showroom day in and out was a big asset to have on our team that day! Kohler carried exactly what we were looking for – and with chrome as our finish of choice, there would be no issues with missing brands. Dena had to jump hoops a little and order different base plates for the sliding bar for the hand shower (standard came with round and all other fixtures were square). Kudos to her making the package coordinate, perfectly. Furthermore, a 3 function diverter was included to give the option to easily switch from shower head to hand held, or both!
You would think the tub choices would be straight forward since no whirlpool was desired. Quite the opposite when the style desired is modern! Most every model that budget friendly has curves in the form of the deck or the interior. I tried my best to remind her (ahead of time and in the showroom) that she will need to be diligent in her choices in order to stay within budget. MTI carried the perfect choice in the Andrea model, which I have sold several times before, but in this case, the bathing experience was lower in priority so the allowances had to reflect that decision.
It was fun to watch Marcia jump in and out of the showroom tubs, imagining what it would be like to be in a bigger .. or deeper tub. Finally after giving serious consideration to not only the overall size that was needed, but the actual floor space inside the tub ~ the decision was done: Kohler’s Archer 36”x66”. Their was a sacrifice in width going from 42” down to 36” because of the limited sizes available, but it delivered the features that meant the most. Its a little scary to lose 6”, but her existing tub is an oval, and with a rectangular shape there will actually be an increase in elbow room.
One uncommon selection that was made during the estimating phase was to use an acrylic shower pan. The trend in master bathrooms is almost always for a tile (aka mud base) shower pan, which most often includes a smaller tile to give to the slope to a center drain. The style and budget swayed this decision. It was known that the field tile would be very simple – and white – and since a smaller tile is required for a mud pan style shower base (built by the tile installer), an acrylic pan would not only aid to the simplistic style, but for ease of cleaning. Less is more! If budget was not as strict, a linear drain could have been specified with a single slope tiled floor. With this method, the main floor area tile could be continued straight into the shower.. sloping to a drain along the back wall, or if job site conditions better permit, a drain along the front. This is a very hot trend, especially with universal design or aging-in place applications because no curb (aka threshold) is needed. The design of a linear drain still requires the same amount of labor to prep the sub base, but the cost of the drain itself made this application not affordable.
The Kohler pan that was chosen was a great choice, it has a single slope with a typical drain at the back wall – so you will not be standing on the drain when showering – and it comes with a aluminum strip to cover the trough! Great compromise.
Accessories such as towel rings, etc. are often considered minute, but not when good design is taken seriously. Details are what improve the quality of our life .. give us convenience and even better, continue the continuity of the design! Rather than a towel bar, two robe hooks were chosen to hang wet towels and/or robes. A towel ring would be installed at each vanity and of course a great open ring tissue holder near the toilet. Delta’s Vero Collection once again delivered – a full line of coordinating hardware! See the slide show below for all the final design selections.
How about storage? Medicine cabinets are not nearly as common as they use to be, and quite frankly I think the only reason why is because of the cost. They are the MOST practical storage solution for bathrooms! In this case, the homeowner was on board, so a generous budget was given with the idea of a full wall of Robern style mirrors. The debate of the design and layout was rich with much emphasis on how they directly affected the layout of the cabinetry and lighting! The story gets interesting, and it will begin to unfold some very common mistakes that are made when ALL elements are not considered… every step of the way.
Stay tuned… part 2 of this shopping day and a status of the budget is to come SOON!
As with any post, if you have comments or questions, I’d love to hear what your thoughts or opinions are!