Once all of the grouting and haze removal was finished, Steve applied a sealant to the tile. We selected one that was listed as "impregnable" and had great reviews on Home Depot's website. It worked great- after we let it cure for 2 days, we tried splattering some water on the tile... and watched it bead right up and roll off. Even on the grout. Sealing your tile job isn't necessary, but we had read that it will prevent your grout from discoloring and make cleaning your shower easier, so we decided it was worth the extra $30 or so to make our lives easier in the long run. We also caulked the bottom edge of the tub as well as the vinyl flooring that runs along the edge of the tub. It's recommended that the joint between a tiled surround and a tub is caulked rather than grouted to allow for some expansion of the tile. We're so glad we did that, although now we're regretting using the white tub and tile caulk- it just looks a little incongruous next to the grey grout lines, so there are plans to rip that out and redo it with the same grey flexible grout-in-a-tube that we used along the seams of the tub.
|Ready for action!|
Steve also installed our pretty faucet, handle, and shower head. I love the look of these. Some minor adjustments that will take place after the fact... the flange around the shower head was not quite wide enough to conceal the gap in our tile, so we'll be looking for a wider flange to replace it before we seal anything in place. Our extendable showerhead didn't come with the set; it's left over from our old shiny chrome set, so we have plans to replace it with a matching brushed nickel fixture.
|Some of the drywall in question.|
All in all, pretty small adjustments. However, there are some not-so-small adjustments that need to be made elsewhere in the bathroom. Namely, having to do with the joints between the existing mudded/taped/textured/painted drywall, and the bare stuff that replaced the parts we needed to rip out. We have been pondering what to do about this, but we think we've finally arrived at a solution that was prompted by realizing we will have a small child living with us in just a few months' time.
|More of the drywall in question, and girly breakable things.|
Here's our plan. Since baby Williams will be arriving soon, our guest bathroom is going to become baby's bathroom as well. We are planning on cloth diapering, and we recently found out that baby Williams is a BOY(!!), so we are certain that not only will that bathroom need to be more kid-friendly than our current pretty soaps on a stand and a mercury glass display on floating shelves, it's also going to need to withstand a LOT of messes. Because of this and our puzzlement over how to seamlessly bridge the gap between the finished and unfinished drywall, we've decided to make some changes in the bathroom. The floating shelves will be moving out of the bathroom and into the nursery. The mercury glass collection will likely end up in our office (more on that soon). We are planning on running bead board all the way up the walls and installing some crown, so we'll completely avoid the hassle of trying to make our drywall situation look seamless and it'll be SOOOO easy to clean. We are also planning on changing the color palette to be a bit less girly and tie in with our nursery plans (again, more on that soon). The best part is that most of what we'll need to make these changes are things that we already have or were planning on purchasing for baby Williams' room anyway, so our only additional cost will be the beadboard, some new door trim and base trim, and a shower curtain.
|Things won't look this way for long!|
Which brings me to the cost aspect of this bathroom reno. You may remember wayyyy back in October we solicited estimates from local plumbers for simply replacing our damaged fiberglass tub and shower surround with a new fiberglass kit and connecting all of the water bits- you can read about it here. Our estimates ranged from $1300 to $2700, and didn't include any demo, the cost of the tub and surround, or finishing (the fiberglass tub kit alone would have cost us at least an extra $600). Since we decided to DIY, we sprung for nicer materials (an Americast tub and a subway tile surround) and the current cumulative cost of our bathroom reno, spread across four months of work, is $1400 on the nose. That includes everything- every little item we had to buy to complete this project, from the tub all the way down to a hook for the shower caddy. By the time we complete the finishing work in the bathroom, we'll likely come in for a grand total of around $1500 to $1600.
Was this project hard? Heck yes- the most difficult we've tackled to date. Was it slow? Yes, it was mind-numbingly tedious (this coming from the girl who painted all of the cabinetry in her kitchen). Was it worth it to have exactly what we wanted, nice materials, the confidence that comes from tackling difficult things, the ability to take a bath in our own home for the first time in almost three years, and still come in at well under the cost of what a contractor could have done it for? AWWW YISSSS.