Friday, January 07, 2011

Bathroom Remodel - Vanity and Sink are finally in!

So it's been awhile since I posted any updates to the bathroom. We had many discussions about what kinda of vanity, what kind of top, what kind of sink we wanted. It's amazing how not having a sink while everything else is basically done will do to help you make decisions.

We originally looked at various premade vanities. From free standing to built-ins. The problem was the size of the space for the vanity. We had 42 inches.

We didnt really want to give up counter space and the free-standing vanities, while very nice were both expensive and took away counter space.

The built-in cabinets simply didnt come in 42 inches, standard. Not that we couldn't get one, but we would have had to special order it.

So in the end I built ours out of MDF (medium density fiberboard), wood glue and caulk. I'm really happy with the results, though it was a ton of work. MDF makes a lot of sawdust too. If I ever use it again, it'll be in the Spring/Summer/Fall where I can cut it outside!

The next hurtle was the counter top. What material? I really didnt want to do laminate in the bathroom, just because of the moisture. As is I used PVC trim as much as possible and the MDF was primed and painted carefully to minimize moisture issues. So in my mind laminate was out. Though if push came to shove it might have happened.

I really didn't want to do a tile counter top. We had a tile counter in our kitchen in Nashville, before we remodeled it and it was awful! I'll come back to the whole tile thing in a minute.

So then it was solid surface or stone. Though I like many of the man-made solid surface choices it didn't seem to work with what we were doing stylistically. Plus the price really wasn't so different than stone, for the size we were looking to do. (about 8 sq ft)

So we checked into getting a remnant of granite from a local stone vendor. We went and looked at all the different selections and were pretty happy with the two options we choice (though one really didnt work under our bathroom lighting). We were given a rough quote of about $75 per sq ft, which seemed on the high side for a remnant. The guy we talked to said it might be cheaper but we'd have to work with a particular guy who was on vacation. Hey it was the week of Christmas, we were understanding. We we never did hear back from them. Even today they have never tried to contact us.

So this last weekend we were browsing Home Depot or Lowes and we come across their basic black granite tiles. They were 12x12 and only $5 each. I knew I had some Hardiebacker and thin-set at home still. We found matching bull-nose, so...

Despite my earlier hesitation with tile, we went with tile, but it's granite at least. We picked up a really strong epoxy grout too. One of my major concerns was the grout. Most grouts are porous, even after you seal them. Or if something thin got dropped on the grout line would it gouge. This epoxy grout eliminated all those worries. It's seriously strong once it sets and sticks really well.

Some of the wainscoting was delayed because of the counter top choice. I didn't want to put in any of the trim around the vanity area in case we had to maneuver a big slab into place. So once we finally got the counter done we were able to move forward with that.

More glass mosaic tiling and grouting and siliconing to make sure everything is just so, before maneuvering the sink and faucet into place.

We had many sink discussions as well. Early on we settled on a vessel of some kind, rather than a more typical 'sunken' sink or under-mount. That was an important decision as it set the height of the vanity top, especially important since I was building it.

We looked at the standard bowl types, and some nice rectangular ones that sat on top of the counter. I really liked those, but they used up far too much counter space and what about cleaning behind them?

The bowls were nice and really not that expensive (unless you went will more exotic materials). Since we had a black/white/gray theme going we pretty much knew it would be one of those colors. As we went with black granite for the counter top, black was out. The mosaic tile has a nice white glass, so we looked at a frosted bowl. When we were looking at a slab of granite we considered a clear glass bowl to show off the stone. Since we didn't do the slab the clear didn't make much sense any more. Finally we saw a nice mix of the rectangular sinks I liked from before with the advantages of the bowl. It was white porcelain and about $100 cheaper than the frosted glass. While at the time I think the choice was a bit, 'it works, lets get it and get this done.' I really think it worked out perfect. I really like how it looks.

So while we have a little more decorative touches to make to the bathroom, it's functionally complete at this point and man that takes a load off. It's been a long hard road!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...