Our clients were forced to remodel their bathroom due to a rotting shower floor. Built in 1992, these homeowners had been in their home for only two years. They purchased the home with aging-in-place in mind, as they plan to stay there for a while. The first floor master was a draw to the home. When they discovered they had to remodel the bathroom, aging-in-place considerations were built into the new design as well.
Original bathroom: The subfloor of the large shower was rotting enough to have a spongy feel when the homeowners stepped on it. They knew they had a leak problem, but when the floor was opened up, they found black mold. Removal of the original cabinetry offered quite a surprise too. The previous owners had nailed holes into a sewer pipe behind the wall and the leak had left more black mold. Remediation and rebuilding the structural components of the bathroom become the first priority.
Design: “We wanted to make our bathroom safer for us to use as we get older and a bit easier to maintain. All of the glass of the original shower was hard to keep clean and the tub was difficult to get in and out of.” In terms of style, the homeowners had an open mind, as they were not sure what they wanted. Our designer suggested they browse master bath remodels on Houzz.com to help them figure out what they liked. “Our home makes us think of a cottage, and we found as we were looking through Houzz we were drawn to the cottage look. We liked bead board, subway tile, and the clean lines of white cabinetry. We discovered that what we liked was the cottage look.”
For easier maintenance, the homeowners wanted less glass in their shower. “At first we considered going doorless, but our friends suggested we might get cold or that water would splash out of the doorway. We ended up with a frameless shower door, which we like a lot.” To create the shower the homeowners were looking for, flipping the footprint of the original design made sense. “It is still cost effective to change the footprint within a bathroom as long as there is no need to move the plumbing, “said CaseIndy Designer Deborah Mader. “In this case, the original vanity area already had plumbing, so we were able to move the shower to that space, allowing for more privacy.”
Many people are removing the large tubs in their master baths these days, but these homeowners were not interested in following this trend. “I am a tub person, so I use it all the time. Also, the bathroom is quite large, so either an sitting area or a tub needed to be in there. We considered putting a claw-foot tub in, but when we tried them out, they were very difficult to get in and out of. Our new soaking tub is easier to maintain and to use.”
Final Result: The new master bathroom blends with the style of the rest of the home with its light and airy cottage feel. The shower is the true stunner in the design, with Hampton Tumbled Carerra marble tile in a hexagon shape on the floor and 4″ x 16″ Calcutta Bianco Gloss ceramic tiles on the walls. The niche is highlighted with Dune Brick glass tiles and the bench, wall cap and threshold are in a stock light-colored solid surface material. On the floors, the Samen Roble 7″ x 20″ tiles look like wood, and are a favorite element for the homeowners. “Our friends were worried the tile would be cold, but it is not even though we did not install heated floors as a cost savings. Also, it is not slippery, which we are happy about. We like the look of the wood.”
Master bathroom remodels are always complicated. Adding in additional elements like footprint changes, wood rot repair, aging-in-place considerations make it even more so. In this case, our design/build process worked well to bring the structural and aesthetic goals together in to a beautiful result.