Monday, September 5, 2016

Bathroom Rehab: Shower Controls and Lighting

When I bought my house, the bathroom was perfectly functional but not very attractive. It contained some of the original 1970s elements along with updates made by the previous homeowners. For example, the original chrome-rimmed mirror hung above a newer oak laminate vanity.

The original white toilet bowl was connected to a newer beige tank. Or the original beige tank was connected to a newer white bowl. Whichever... the toilet had a white bowl and a beige tank. Evidently there was a problem with the toilet at some point, and the previous homeowner replaced only half of it.

The floor consisted of mismatched beige tiles. I don't know if it was supposed to be a design feature, or if the previous homeowner just didn't bother to find 25 matching tiles. The grout was brown and thus looked perpetually dirty.

The tub/shower was the one bright spot. The tub, tiles, and grout were all white and all in good shape.

The walls were a peachy flesh-tone color which I found super creepy. Rehab began with painting them a pale grey.

Next, the mirror had to go. I hated it because the bottom cabinet portion got in my way when I tried to bend over the sink to wash my face.

I replaced it with a simple, rectangular mirror with black frame.

I replaced the outdated light fixture...

with a more stylish one.
I replaced the ugly fan...

with a nice fan/light combo fixture.

When the cold water in the shower began to spontaneously turn itself off, it was time to address the tub/shower controls. To fix them properly and to bring the plumbing up to code, I needed to have a new anti-scald valve installed along with new single-handle controls. I hired a plumber for this work because it required cutting a fairly large hole in the tile and then changing the plumbing within the wall.

The plumber installed the new valve and new handle, using a remodeling plate to cover the hole in the tile. It looks pretty nice; more importantly, the new handle works much better than the old ones.

After the new handle and faucet were installed, I painted the worn-looking showerhead pipe and escutcheon...

a coordinating satin nickel color.

With all of the relatively easy changes made, it was time for the hard work - replacing the flooring, toilet, and vanity, sink and faucet. Part 2 post coming soon!


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your bathroom make over.

  2. That old mirror looked like an accident waiting to happen.

    1. It absolutely was, especially for a klutz like me. The metal corners were quite sharp.

  3. I love the work. We need to do our bathroom, but we've been refusing to update several things because we know that the shower wrap wasn't installed properly and there is mold in the walls. So we will have to tear the entire bathroom down to studs and redo everything. So we've decided we'd rather do it all at once instead of changing a few things and then trying to salvage them during the major reno.

    I'm jealous of the work you're doing. It looks amazing.

    1. Ugh, mold! That's a real bummer. I think you're smart to wait until you can do everything at once.

      Thanks! The bathroom turned out to be the most frustrating and expensive room in the house... but ultimately, I think it was worth it.

  4. I've always rented and thus no own experience with changing fixtures or plumbing. But you make so pretty changes! Seriously, it might not be overtly goth, but you will take it there. I'm sure!

    1. Plumbing changes are not the easiest or cheapest... but in this case, they were well worth it. The new shower controls are easy to use, the new toilet tank fills properly, and the new sink faucet is awesome. The look is definitely not goth, but I can always add bats. ;)