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Monday, October 17, 2011

Remodel...Master Bathroom - Idea & Demolition Stage

I THOUGHT I was done with my remodeling of the house.  I had decided earlier I was only going to give each of the 3 bathrooms (well, 4 if you count the maid's bathroom) a coat of paint, new mirrors, faucets, and some artwork on the walls.   Which I've already done.  BUT....

#1.   I hate the green-colored tiles in the master bathroom
#2.  The grout in the white floor tiles is dirty
#3.  The vanity cabinet is disgusting
#4.  I don't have a bathTUB in any of the bathrooms...just showers

So, I broke my own rule and decided to spend a minimal amount of $$ by simply replacing the vanity cabinet, countertop, sinks, and faucets.  The rest would remain as-is.  After all, I wasn't in the mood to chisel off all the existing tiles in order to replace them.   The cost of Plan B (Plan A was the initial re-painting which was already done) would be around $600.  I can live with that.  

I got to thinking of my new kitchen floors and thought...'hey, they were able to install the new porcelain tiles right over the old...I wonder if they can do that in the bathroom, too?'.  UH OH.  Answer = Yes.

So, I explored the idea of replacing the tiles, too, since I wouldn't have to chip off all the existing tile which would be a nightmare task.    Tiles are cheap here.  Labor is cheap here.  UH OH.   About $400 to do the floors and walls?  Not bad.

Gee, I wonder how much a bathtub would cost?  I don't need anything fancy like a jetted tub as I KNOW that is out of my budget (as if I have a budget!!).  Just a plain LONG tub (everything is short here) that I can soak in.   Many were pricier than I wanted to pay, but a little diligence in my search rewarded me with just what I needed for a mere $70.   And, I saved a lot of money in the sink, faucets, and countertop categories.  Again, by digging around, I found the marble countertop at a huge discount because it was being liquidated.  Designer sinks can be expensive, but as luck would have it, a hardware store just got in a new line of glass bowls with very interesting colors and patterns from China (natch) that cost only $39 a piece!   Likewise, faucets are grossly overpriced especially if they are anything interesting or designer-ish.  There was no way I was going to pay $200 - $300 for the type of faucet I wanted.   But, I got what I wanted for only $50.

Well, since a full remodel of the master bath, versus Plan A or B, wouldn't cost THAT much....and NOTHING like it would cost in the USA, I switched to Plan C.

Plan C:
  • New vanity cabinet
  • New marble countertop
  • New glass sinks that sit on top of the counter
  • New tower faucets
  • Move water lines and sink drain over a couple feet to accomodate the new vanity in new position on the wall
  • Large slab mirror
  • New paint and paint color (to go over what I just painted 4 months ago)
  • New wall tiles
  • New floor tiles
  • Demolition of old shower tile basin and glassed enclosure/surround
  • New walled and tiled bathtub support structure
  • New bathtub
  • New glass tub enclosure with sliding door
  • New hand-held shower massager
  • Keep existing toilet
  • Keep existing tub faucets
  • Keep existing fixtures for toilet paper, towel rods, etc
Plan C is just Plan B tweeked a bit.    ;-)


I ordered the cabinet from the same place I got my closets and kitchen cabinets.  Ditto with the countertop, creme-colored square wall tiles, and dark cocoa-colored rectangular floor tiles.

I ripped out the ugly vanity, countertop, and faucets.   Then, chipped out the wall tiles where the new vanity will be located, and painted the walls.   No more GREEN!!  My reliable crew of Patricio/Carlos/Rene returned to relocate the water pipes, rip out the old shower structure, and build a new supporting structure for the tub to sit in.

So, here's the before pictures and shots of the demolition.   Unfortunately, I had better 'before' photos but they were in my camera at the time it was stolen. 

Next Post:   The 'After' (hopefully, not with 'math').

I know it doesn't look so bad.   But, the tiled basin doesn't make for a comfortable tub-soaking, and the green tile.....Noooo.

ICK.  And, it smelled.   15 years old.  OUTA HERE!!

The new vanity will be moved to the right more to make more room entering the room and center it properly underneath the overhead skylight.

Rene using his handy-dandy hammer and chisel to carve out a channel in the brick/concrete for the plumbing.  Not as simple as cutting into drywall is it?

Wall carved out and ready for the plumbing to be extended to the right.

Rene using a small sledge hammer to demolish the old shower surround structure.  Didn't have to care about damaging the floor since it's being replaced.  Same as when I painted...I could slop it all over...no problemo!!

Ready for the new mini-wall to be built to support the new tub.  Saved part of the old shower wall to re-use.

Patricio building the new support wall.

With tub sitting in the new wall.   The gaps are for pouring sand thru them to create support underneath the tub.  The wall looks pretty crude and the bricks are crooked in some places.  Will be interesting to see the final result!!!


  1. Make sure the tub drains properly before they close it up. Fill it up and see how long it takes to drain. Trust me on this..

  2. Bar sinks are relatively smaller sinks compare to kitchen sinks. It is not meant for cleaning large items or washing food.

  3. Will you ever stop remodeling? I think the answer is NO.....Good Luck. Mollie


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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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