Upstairs Bathroom – An Update

I have not talked about the upstairs bathroom for a few weeks, so it may seem like nothing is happening up there. However, there has been some forward progress on the project.

Due to our partial demo, the bathroom looks worse than it did. (How is that even possible?) Andy removed all of the wallpaper, and in case you missed it, we found original wainscoting behind that pink paneling!

The most recent development is that we have started collecting bids for the remodel. Before I called contractors, I took some time to write down the specifics of the project in list form. As I was writing that list, I determined which tasks were DIY, and which ones we should leave for the professionals.

Upstairs Bathroom Task List

For the Contractor:

  • Move tub to the other side of the room
  • Build a tile shower with a one-piece shower pan. (I will talk more on this as the project progresses.)
  • Update electrical wiring – Add lightswitches and make outlet placement changes
  • Install heat lamp/exhaust fan combo
  • Move the floor vent
  • Prepare the floor for tile
  • Reglaze the clawfoot tub

Our DIY Tasks:

  • Restore the marble sink
  • Restore the original wainscoting
  • Tile the floor
  • Paint the upper walls
  • Paint the exterior of the tub
  • Add baseboards (maybe)

These lists helped me get a firm grasp on our needs so I could make sure I was having focused conversations and comparing apples-to-apples as I spoke with each contractor.

Contractors Visits

Last year, I wrote a post called Six Ways to Find a Good Contractor. For this project, I used the asking around, aka word-of-mouth method.

A good friend of mind referred the first company that I called. My friend and his wife had recently finished a full remodel of a beautiful Dutch Colonial in our village. He was thrilled with both their general contractor and the plumber.

The second company, which I initially found via word-of-mouth, had done some work at BHH before–clearing drains, stopping leaks, etc. This business is a local family-owned, full-service plumbing and remodeling company that works almost exclusively in old houses.

Both of them called me back and came for a site visit promptly. (A+ customer service!) I referred to my project list to keep my conversations with each contractor on track. I felt very comfortable with both of them.

As of now, we are just waiting for their bids. Once we receive the proposals and sign a contract, I will write another post about how we reached our decision.

More Design Inspiration

As the contractors and I were talking through the project, I began to form a more solid image of our finished bathroom. On Pinterest, I have been adding more bathroom inspiration pins, focusing on traditional interiors.

I had two prior hang-ups, but I think I am close to getting over them. The first was our original wainscoting. We will not be painting it white. I will be restoring it. That idea is wildly unpopular right now, but I do not care. I am not sure how to say that more delicately, so I won’t even try.  (#FilterOff) The second hang-up is the color of our original marble sink. Right now the marble is yellowed and stained, and I do not know what color it will end up once I have finished restoring it. So, coordinating new marble is tough.

Both of these issues made choosing the floor and shower tile problematic. However, after a lot of thinking, I am leaning towards using marble on the top of the shower lip and perhaps the threshold between the hall and the bathroom as long as it does not create a tripping hazard. While I would love a marble shower wall, right now, we would rather spend more of our budget on high-quality fixtures and custom glass for the exterior of the shower. We think that will give us more bang for our buck. As always, this is subject to change.

Currently, I am in love with two images.

This tub, floor tile, and grout color (Love those gold feet too!):


This shower as shown in a remodeled 1902 Victorian (Those windows!):

Jean Stoffer Design

Both images belong solely to the respective designers.

We are also leaning towards brass fixtures vs. mixed metals. There are still plenty of unknowns, but today, I am going to start shopping locally for tile and fixtures to get a handle on what’s available and pricing.

We always appreciate reader feedback, so what do you think about our tile possibilities so far? Are there any specific blog articles about this bathroom remodel that I should write?

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