At the end of 2019, we bought our first home and I think we were exceptionally lucky with the near perfect purchase. (Honestly our amazing realtor Mark did that!) It was basically a new build, within the first 5 years, and had no major damage or repairs. We love our home so much, but we initially knew that we would do some small upgrades or changes. We’ve only done a few smaller things, but it has made a huge difference in our day to day living.
Have you ever wanted to redo or remodel something in your house? What was your experience like? Keep reading to find out how ours went and what a huge daily change in our life it was!
Slight Issue with the Shower
When we first moved into this house, the inspector said the only slight issue was a tiny corner of the shower where it looked like there might be some leaking. We instantly knew from the size of the interior of it that we would like to remodel and extend the footprint. Our realtor has many connections with his professional contacts and with his own bathroom and kitchen remodel. I reached out to one or two of his connections to discuss our ideas and plan our dream shower. We decided to get a quote from Columbia River Tile and Stone and worked with Jeff and his team.
Starting Our Master Bathroom Renovation
They came the very first day and measured the shower surrounding. Jeff asked us about our preferences for tile texture, style and size, as well as grout color and what style doors we may want. One of the first things they told me was the hours of work they would need to stick to the schedule. They needed to start work between 6am and 9am every day (not weekends) until 5pm every time. I was to put down a third deposit payment, then pay for the tile once we had chosen it. Then, the final amount was due upon completion.
They started literally the next day! I welcomed them in bright and early. They entered and laid down drop cloths so they didn’t track any dirt or debris through the house. It was fantastic. We had the first day or two. Then, we were expected to get our new puppy which would put a wrench in things because we would need to watch her closely. It was a loud couple of first days with them tearing down the faux tile, cutting and pulling away material and breaking through the sheetrock. It came down within a few days though, quicker than I thought.
The second day I walked in to check progress on the demolition of the shower base and walls. When I asked about how everything looked, he said “It was put up very half-assed and cheaply done in a quick fashion.” It came apart in large pieces and was not hard to remove. Luckily there was no water damage. I was not surprised though by this being a home among many homes in a development that is still growing, virtually all homes being copies of each other. I’m sure it wasn’t put up with the best of time and quality.
Secondly, the base of the shower was torn up and they took the drain apart. The base was replaced with Wedi system and the floor structure of the shower was redone to prevent leaks and create a better foundation, where there wasn’t one before. I met with the plumber at this point in the construction. They came and measured as well, a day before, and asked us about fixtures and what style faucet we wanted. He told us about how he remodeled his own bathroom/shower and chose a personalized Delta fixture, with adjustable pressure and temperature. That was also a main problem of ours. The plumber was very nice as well and he came back about a week later, before they tiled to install the showerhead and temperature valve with lever handle.
Sheetrock and Walls
The tile workers replaced the sheetrock and got the new wood tile ready to mud and affix to the new walls. They began to tile from 7am in the morning and worked all the way until 5pm for two days. I was a bit shocked that there wasn’t more noise, but it was a relatively quiet process. The difference in the look of the tile getting on the walls was incredible! It transformed the whole space.
We chose a grey wood texture tile that is wider than most. I’d say it’s maybe 6 inches wide. It was laid horizontally staggered all the way up the wall to the ceiling. The following day we picked grout color, in a couple of different shades of grey to match and blend with the tile color. The grout had to dry for 48 hours before we could use the shower at all. We impatiently waited the 48 hours for things to properly dry and set. However, we used a shower curtain rod from the other room just as soon as we could to test the shower.
Using Our New Shower
OH MY GOSH! It was heaven and so worth it. The space was a huge difference and made it feel so luxurious. The new Delta shower head was glorious and gave me a spa-like atmosphere. It was just as hot as I needed it to be and the pressure was easily adjustable.
About a week later, after using the shower a couple of times, the shower doors were measured. We had a couple of options to choose from and found out what we didn’t want right away. (A swinging shower door on hinges, to cut into the bathroom floor plan). After a short discussion, we decided to go with a door on rollers attached by the top with seals on the bottom to block any water from leaking out post-shower. I opted for a special coating on the doors to protect them from scratches, water stains and overall residue. All we have to do is squeegee them down after every shower and they stay like new for years to come.
The doors were ordered and came in about five days later. I had paid half upfront and then the rest at install/completion. They were gorgeous and went up without much of a hitch. Although the door installers did have the wrong size slider, so the manager had to go replace and find the right measured one to use for this project. It was a funny ha-ha moment and didn’t take much time out of our day. I was so grateful.
Again, we had to wait 24 hours for the sealant to set but after that was done, we were free to enjoy our completed, brand new, beautiful, semi-custom, spa-like master shower.