#4: Master Bathroom: Creating Something Out of Nothing

When we bought our home, it had 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. The second floor bathroom was shared between the 3 bedrooms. Therefore, there was no designated master bedroom with a private bathroom. Not uncommon for the time of the home. However, there was an additional unfinished attic that had master suite potential-

1. There was room for a king size bed and a couple nightstands

2. There was a section where we could add a large walk-in closet

3. There was an interesting additional space that we could [maybe] convert into a master bathroom.


Where Do We Start?


As you can see, the unfinished space was... Challenging. The slanted ceilings dipped down pretty low and there was a chunky crooked chimney in the way. How were we going to fit a toilet, double sinks, shower, and free standing tub? And how were we going to add all of that and ensure that the space was functional? If you read my kitchen renovation post, you're aware of the issues the chimney had. To summarize, the chimney didn't have flashing. This caused water intrusion and decay. When our engineer took a closer look at the fireplace, he discovered that the bricks were crumbling and were no longer stable enough to hold up the entire chimney. Removing the chimney, and restructuring/reframing some areas made an immediate difference. We also discovered a window hidden behind cardboard and plywood.... Definitely a win.


Bye Bye Chimney Hello New Sub-floors and Framework


Tackling the Design


The chimney was in, the subfloors were installed, the ceiling was restructured and reframed, and the natural light was pouring in. It was time to make our design vision come to life. For flooring, we were set on patterned tile. We loved the boldness of dark grout, and wanted to continue it in the shower. We also wanted to create a statement on the back wall since it was the first thing you see, so we decided to install tile from floor to ceiling. A free standing bath tub would also add a nice touch. Aha, it was finally starting to look like a functional master bathroom.


Getting Creative


I had been obsessed with phone booth inspired shower doors since I could remember. I knew that I needed to incorporate it into the master bath, but I had no idea what the damage would be. My dreams were quickly crushed when we received a bid just over $8,000. Eight thousand dollars for a small bathroom shower door... Yikes, not happening. Our builder saved the day with a brilliant alternative. A standard phone booth shower door usually attaches separate pieces of glass to the metal. Instead, she had our contractors do a grid overlay on top of a single piece of standard glass. The damage? $1,300. It was about a $7,000 difference. Not all superheroes wear capes.


Standard Phone Booth Shower Door:$8,000+ Our Alternative Knock Off: $1,300


Before and After Slideshow



Before After


Not pictured: Small private toilet off of the left side of the bathroom (directly across from the shower)

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