shower

DAY 26 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Shower & Tub Revival

I hate the shower. I mean when it comes to keeping it clean and in good condition. Can’t it just take care of itself already!? I want nothing more than to rip our shower out and replace all of the tile and the glass block half wall that is the “door". But, alas, I have no monies for that. I imagine many of you are in the same boat. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t update our shower a little until that magical day comes.

Here are some little updates you can do to feel a little better about your shower/tub situation:

  • New shower curtain: Be VERY selective of the pattern and craziness you go with here. Remember that most of the times, depending on your habits, your shower curtain will be closed and creating a wall across your bathroom. That’s why I tend to go with plain white if you can even believe that. Target has a nice fringe-y one I am using in the Rattan Ranch that gives a little cute texture without a bold pattern. Here is another one that is even fringe-ier.

  • Shower curtain rod - - is yours annoying AF? Replace it already!

  • Reglaze your tub and/or tile: This is like magic. No demo or anything, just sparkling like new tiles in a matter of a day! I’ve done this in many, MANY homes and it held up well for years. I usually found someone to do it in those coupon magazines that came in the mail when I was in Cincinnati. They come and tape things off and just spray that mofo until it is gleaming white (or whatever color you want it to be.) This can be done on your tile throughout the bath, too. A tub normally ran me around $300 and the whole small bathroom around $1,000. Consider that ripping it all out, buying new a new tub, tile, shower faucet and having it all installed will cost you quite a bit more in cost and time without your bathroom. You can also DIY this by getting a kit at Home Depot and doing it yourself. Just be aware that you will have brush marks, so decide if you can deal with that.

  • Clear It Out: Throw out half bits of soap, bottles of product you’ll never finish, old razors, etc. Also, clean the damn thing.

  • Dress It Up: Get a new shower mat if you didn’t in the towel challenge. Add a teak bench in your walk in shower.

  • Clean Up The Grout: Clean the grout with a grout pen . Gotta be honest, I’ve never done this. Gotta be better than nothing I’m guessing.

  • Re-caulk the shower. This will make it feel so new!

Show me your “new” and improved shower with #updatedontrenovatechallenge!

DAY 14 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Faucets

Wanna make life better? Fix a faucet. There are a ton of options on how to accomplish faucet new-ness and doesn’t always require a repairman or a plumber. Let’s dig into it….

ONE: Paint

If you read DAY 12’s post about painting, you’ll have seen the section where I recommended painting a faucet. In my MIL’s hall bath, shown above, we were going to leave the shower faucet ORB even though we were going matte black on the other fixtures. It was going to be hidden behind the shower curtain so we weren’t too concerned. Then, I got a wild hair and thought, hmmm, let’s paint that little mofo. I had painted the light fixture, why not that? I got her permission to experiment and if it ended up looking like crap after usage, we’d just replace it. The paint was a good inexpensive first step. We left the shower head, the tub faucet and the valve cover on. We papered and taped around the tub and shower to make sure no overspray would get onto the tile or ceiling. It worked! After about a year of usage, the paint is still holding up STRONG. Here is the paint we used.

See the post I did about this bathroom here.

TWO: Clean

Something else you can do to make your faucets like new is to clean them out. Calcium build up can really put a damper on water pressure. You can secure a bag of vinegar around it and let it soak for a few hours, then run some water to get the vinegar out. The water should flow more freely.

Another non-faucet related, but kind of related cleaning you can do came to me as a suggestion from Brenna Brooks of Brenlow Properties. She said she was having water pressure problems, so she had a plumber come by to see what was up. Turns out she had a ton of calcium build up in her old copper pipes. The plumber used some solution to rid it of all the build up and WA-LA, water pressure restored! So, it’s like a whole new faucet without getting a new faucet.

THREE: Repair or Replace

Call a plumber out to fix a leaky valve or replace the faucet all together. Who are we kidding, we really do just want a new faucet. Go for it. You can even replace a shower head all on your own. Just buy the shower head and some plumber’s tape. Wrap the tape around the direction of how the shower head will move around the threads. Easy.

If you want to replace a whole faucet altogether, here are some of my favorite faucets that range drastically in price depending on my project.

If you find one on Amazon, don’t forget to search in Amazon Warehouse Deals! If you don’t know what that is, just click on that link and search for the faucet or any other item! These are items that people returned for whatever reason. Some are damaged but most I find are like new or are new, open boxed items. They will tell you in the description.

Another way to get to it is to search on the Amazon home page and just choose Amazon Warehouse in the drop down box to the left. Practice by clicking on the photo.

OR….

When you have done a general search for something and the item has come up, scroll down below the price, add to cart button, etc and choose the “Used & new from…” link. That will take you to all of the used items and returns. You can choose to buy a used one from another vendor or from Amazon Warehouse. Click on the photo below to see where that circle link takes you.

Ok let’s get going on the faucet updates!

If you have any success with your faucets, whether paint, repair or a new purchase, show me! Use the #updatedon’trenovatechallenge tag!

10 Ways To Use Subway Tile That Aren't Boring AF

I still love subway tile. Sue me. I know there are people out there that are so over it but I'm not one of them. It's neutral. It's inexpensive. It's timeless. What's not to love? I know it is all the rage to use cement tile, mosaic tiles and colored tiles and I'm down with that, too. But, there comes a time and place that you might want to use subway, whether it's to tone down a room a bit to balance out busy tile or you might simply like to have that classic subway look. Maybe you want to use subway tile for its nice price tag. That doesn't mean it has to be boring. Let's look at some bathrooms to see how subway can save the day.

Click any of the photos shown below to see more about that room.

1. Disappearing Act

Why not start this subway tile list with why I use it so I can't see it! Yeah it's like that. This might seem boring but actually it's PERFECT in helping the other tile STAND OUT. For instance, in the bathroom below, you can see the arabesque tile on the accent wall. You may not even be able to tell that the shower faucet wall has subway tile. THAT IS THE ENTIRE POINT. I wanted the back wall of this tiny bathroom to stand out. Had I used that arabesque tile in the whole shower, it would have been quite overwhelming. Now, your eye goes straight to the back of the room making it feel larger, while the subway tile sits back and keeps that wall from getting in the way. To make sure the subway pattern didn't compete with the focus tile, I used white grout so it would all fade away. This is also a good with cement tile and busy mosaics.

2. Go Vertical

Subway tile doesn't have to be laid in the classic brick pattern. I've tried every pattern known to man in my renovations. Here is one where I did a vertical subway pattern with a 4" x 10" subway tile. The larger tile and the vertical spin makes this bathroom just a little different. 

3. Vertical In A Brick Pattern 

Want a modern spin but like the traditional look of subway tile? Turn it vertical and do a brick pattern on its long ends. For some reason vertical just feels modern. Pair it with a modern shower head and curtain. 

Pro Tip: When describing how you want your tile laid to contractor, be sure to draw it out on paper or on the wall! As you can see with this example and the one before it that we can call them both "vertical brick" but they are two different patterns! Don't assume they can read your mind.

4. Herringbone VERSION ONE

In the next kitchen we wanted to have a fun pattern but not get too crazy. There is a bold accent wall in the adjoining dining area, so we needed to stay a little low key. We chose to lay the subway tile in a herringbone pattern. To be sure the pattern stood out, we used a darker charcoal grout.

5. Herringbone VERSION TWO

While this isn't your classic white subway tile, here is another herringbone pattern example that could be done with subway tile.

Pro Tip: Again be sure you draw out how you want the herringbone pattern to go. I don't even know what this is called but I showed up to the house and this is how it had been installed. What I really wanted was a W pattern but I didn't draw it out. I thought W was enough words. It was not. I still like this way, too though! So, you can now see there is a third herringbone pattern which would be where it looks like W's or M's.

6. Modern Stack

Go ultra modern with this vertically stacked version. To make sure any subway tile pattern stands out, use a darker grout color.

7. Stick With The Classic 

Sometimes you just want that regular ole brick subway pattern! The master bath in this home got a wow-ing shiplap shower, so I felt like I needed to tone it down a little here as well as stick to a tight budget. So, instead of blowing my budget, I decided to stick with the classic but punch up the wow factor somewhere else. THE CEILING. The fun doesn't have to be all tile related. If on a tight budget, find your focal point outside of tile.

8. Go Casual

Using a more unusual subway tile can help add texture to your room. This tile from Floor & Decor adds texture to the walls without being too busy and taking away from the fun wallpaper accent. The tile has a wavy, wonky edge to it that gives it a more boho-relaxed vibe.

9. Go Formal

On the flip side of the casual tile, choose to go more traditional with a beveled tile. A bevel tile adds texture to your wall and an air of classic formality. I choose to let the bevel do the talking, not the grout. Keep the grout white to enhance that 3D effect.

10. Random AF

You could just throw them up there and they land where they land. That said this was not random. Ok it is but it isn't. My tile installer spent much much time laying these out on the floor so we had just the right look. I used this ombre pattern to represent the nearby mountains here in Phoenix. I used different colors to achieve an ombre look, but you can use just plain ole white tiles if you like. You could use a bunch of different colors. Break all the rules. It's your shower, dude

I know this is not an exhaustive list so I will be working diligently to tile more bathrooms and kitchens so I can post about them. :) Get with me if you need help designing yours! Maybe you'll make the next list!

 
 

Before & After: The Shiplap Shower Bathroom

This is one of my favorite bathrooms I've ever done. So, it's shocking I haven't written a Before & After post for it yet. It wasn't even a bathroom to start. It was a bedroom. This home desperately needed an upstairs bathroom, preferably a kick ass master bath. I've talked about this puzzle of a layout change before so if you want to dig into that, go here. But the gist of it is that this was a walk through bedroom to another bedroom which is lame AF. So, I chopped said lame bedroom up into a hallway, laundry closet, spiral stairway to the rooftop deck, master closet and master bath. Yes it all fit. 

So, as I was saying I turned this into a bathroom. There was a closet that sat directly over the stairway below so naturally I thought it was the perfect fit for a shower. Luckily it was a big closet. At least where 130 year old houses are concerned. Here is that seriously fancy closet. Looking at it there, can you believe that became a shower?

Shiplap Shower Master Bath Before

So since this was a bedroom turned hallway + other rooms, that meant that it was going to have to be long and narrow (to balance out the long narrow hallway on the other side. It's geometry, k? That worked for me. Making this bathroom all along one side of the room made it so these large windows would also be a part of it. Boom. Let there be light. Below is the floor plan. Before on the left, after on the right.

Next was filling in the finish materials. The very first piece to go into this room was the sink. In fact the room was pretty much built around it. Behold the sink I found in another bedroom in this house. Weird, yes. But how lucky could a girl get?

And here it is salvaged and reglazed for its new life.

Next was the shower. At this point I was super bored with everything out there in tile land. Subway tile was all the rage but I had already slated it for the first floor bathroom. Shiplap was also all the rage but nobody makes tiles that long. For some reason I really got stuck on this whole shiplap shower idea and finally just asked my contractor, Joe Wood of All Around Joe, what we could do to make it happen. We figured it out and boom, the world's first shiplap shower. I kid it wasn't but dang I think I was like #3 or 4 at least! But, actually any shiplap showers I had seen had overlapped the boards like siding. I didn't want that. Joe figured out the solution.

Read my interview with Joe Wood about how he made this happen!

Next was flooring and lighting. My intern at the time, Nick Fix was instrumental in these two areas. Despite being only 17 years old at the time, Nick had a great design eye. He walked into the newly framed space for the first time and suggested it should have pendant lights hanging down from the very tall ceilings. Since the room was long and narrow, when you stood at the door, you would see these pendant lights straight down the middle. He was right. It was a great call. I was obsessed with these wire and glass pendants from Pottery Barn so I was very excited to get to use them. They had a good mix of farmhouse and industrial style I was looking for.

Nick had actually gone through a bathroom renovation at his Mom's house and had a ton of extra tile leftover. I bought it off of him and his Mom. Win win!

I love the way everything came together. We used a farm style sconce over the sink, a shiny chrome wall mount faucet on the farm sink, 5 panel doors painted Behr Iron Mountain and included iron black door handles. I also remembered that I had these sweet little vintage glass towel bars I picked up from Village Salvage in Waynesville, OH. They only needed a little shining to be salvaged and ready to go. The final pieces was that great wood mirror from Crate & Barrel. The sink was an odd size so finding an appropriate mirror was tricky. This mirror fit above it perfectly.

More links to shop this room are at the bottom of this post.

And then the before and after photos because that's why we do this...

I'm very pleased with how this room turned out. Shocked even. I mean how does a bedroom become like 5 new rooms? Magic I suppose. 


Shop This Room


How to Install Shiplap In A Shower (and be the coolest people on the planet)

Let me tell you a tail of when I got sick to death of tile. I already had a white subway tile bathroom on the first floor of this renovation and I didn't want to repeat again in the master. After all, I was trying to get top dollar with this home. The sale price of this home would change the neighborhood. No pressure. 

So, I became obsessed with finding a way to pull off shiplap. Maybe it would work if I could find the longest tile known to man. Nope. Six foot tiles do not exist. So, I did what I do best, I Googled shiplap showers. Unfortunately, my best Googling found mostly examples of outdoor showers with the exterior shiplap siding. Eventually, I came across one indoor shower (which I cannot find now) with overlapping shiplap boards (I believe this is true shiplap). It wasn't flat stacked Joanna Gaines shiplap, but at least it was a start.

So, it could be done! The woman who posted the indoor shiplap shower had been painted it all a shade of purple and said that after 5 years, they repainted it. It was still going strong. This was acceptable. A bonus even. Can you imagine? In 5 years she could paint it blue and now you have a totally different bathroom. 

I pitched this idea to my contractor, Joe Wood of All Around Joe, to figure out the best way of getting this done. You know those contractors that get annoyed with challenges and are quick to say, "No that can't be done."? Joe is not one of those people. It didn't come to him immediately, but I could see the wheels turning. He didn't give up. This would be his creation, too.

So for all of you with questions on how this works, I decided to interview Joe for ya. 

What were your thoughts about the shiplap shower idea?

This wasn't going to be something you'd see or get to install everyday. I got excited about it and immediately started thinking about what we could do to make it happen. 

What were your concerns about having a shiplap shower?

My main concern was durability. My other concern was how to do shiplap and keep it water tight. So, my goal was to make sure the prep was 100% perfect before the shiplap was installed. 

Can you tell me about the material you decided to use?

I decided to use a material called AZEK. It's a material usually used on exteriors so I knew it could hold up. Just to make sure, I called AZEK to see what their thoughts were on using their trim boards in the shower. It was funny because the first person I spoke to said, "Hmmm. That's a good question. We've never had anyone use it in that manner. But, I don't see why it wouldn't work." He then asked someone else in the office. I could then hear a bunch of them discussing how nobody had ever asked that but they thought it was cool and didn't see why it wouldn't work. I was confident this was the right product to use.

How did you go about installing the boards?

I started by making a waterproof system before installing the boards. I used the Schluter-Kerdi board system to make it 100% waterproof. Next, to install the AZEK "shiplap" boards, I used OSI adhesive for PVC material to bond to the Kerdi board. Then, to install the next board above it, I siliconed the entire "grout" seam. I could only do about 5 rows at a time, then start again 24 hours later after it dried. 

How did you finish off the shiplap? 

I sprayed it using an airless HVLP sprayer. There are two types of this material. I chose the type that was more porous so it would accept paint once installed. I used a marine grade acrylic enamel which would normally be used on a ship. I knew it would be durable enough for a shower.

What kind of upkeep and maintenance do you expect for this shower?

I expect it to be able to be washed down with soap and water. Like a boat or a cast iron tub, it will likely have to be be painted again some day. That wouldn't be for many many years. 

So there you have it. A shiplap shower if you want one. 

***UPDATE:

Many of you have asked how the shiplap shower is holding up. We sold this house right away, before listing actually. So, the only way of finding out was to ask the new homeowners. They reported back that after more than a year in the home, the shower is holding up well. They take care to wipe it down after showering just to be sure. 

How To Install a Ship Lap Shower

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