Week 10 Journal: Finishing the Bathroom (and A Surprise!)

Curbly House Journal: Week 10 - finishing the bathroom

Start Wizard of Oz Voice:

People. The Curbly House now has a functioning toilet! 

End Wizard of Oz Voice.

Yeah, I bet you were wondering how we were getting along all this time in house with no bathroom. Fact is, the bathroom has been gutted for weeks, and those of us working on the project have been making runs (hah) to the nearby gas station for nature's calls. No longer! Read on to watch my video journal, find out how our new bathroom started coming together, and see if you can spot a special surprise that we've been expecting...

First, here's my weekly video journal, except that this week it's Alicia, not me! If you watch the whole thing carefully, you might spot the surprise I'm talking about. First person to post it in the comments gets a free copy of all three of our eBooks!


Listen: Our bathroom remodel has been supported by our awesome sponsors, Kohler and ModWalls.com. I can't say enough about both of these companies; great, quality products ... you can tell as soon as you hold them. But more on that later.

So, as you recall, the original Curbly House bathroom looked passable, but was, in fact, crapulous. The floor was raised, meaning you had to step up five inches every time you walked in, or, alternative, trip and flail embarrassingly.

created at: 06/28/2012

Step up

Also, it was muy small. Like, 30 square feet or so. That was because the chimney ran through half of it, generously boxed in by a wall and some ventilation stuff. It had a cute little rounded corner bathtub, but that, too, was teensy, and had the drain on the wrong side (there was no interior wall under it to run plumbing down; thus the raised floor ... the tub drain ran under there).

Getting rid of the bathtub

And, for the best part, the toilet drain had a four-inch hole in it. Yes. A hole, dear Liza, a hole. Granted, it was on the top side of the pipe, so sewage probably wasn't sloshing out, but fumes sure were. 

Finally, it turned out there was a Squirrely Curbly House stashed away in one of the walls. Complete with their own bathroom, if you know what I mean.

I mean droppings. Squirrel droppings, folks.

Squirrel nest

Early on we decided we'd have to gut the room. I did that:

Gutted bathroom in the curbly house

And then, once the chimney was exposed, we realized it just made more sense to get rid of it. It was crumbling at the top anyway, and we don't love wood-burning fires (messy, inefficient, pollution), so we figured we'd get a gas-burning insert and reclaim about 30 square feet in the bathroom.

With a blank slate in the bathroom, it was time to start making some design choices.

We started on the Kohler Web site. If you're doing a bathroom, I'd suggest checking it out (even if you aren't going to use Kohler); it's easy to navigate and has some great photos for inspiration. 

We based our choices around the Purist collection. Here's an example:

Kohler's Purist line inspired us.

We wanted something clean and modern, but not quite so minimalist. So we used the Purist sink, bath and shower fixtures, but mixed in some other lines as well.

Purist bathtub faucet

Purist showerhead from Kohler

The vanity was the next big choice. For that one we went with the Traverse (instead of the Purist). Here's the product shot:

Traverse vanity from Kohler

We added the corresponding vanity-top sink:

Vanity - traverse with sink top

Dude. This thing is beautiful. It's wall-mounted, so it just kind of hovers there, but the giant sink is more like a countertop than a sink, and there's lots of built-in-storage.

At our old house, one thing we always hated was the super-shallow bathtub. It was fine for kids, but an adult taking a bath in there looked like a beached whale. I think I took three baths in ten years.

So we searched the Kohler site for DEEP TUBS! The site has a feature where you can save ideas to various folders (called, sensibly, My Kohler folders). So we created a few configurations with different tubs and vanities. We ended up going with the Underscore tub:

Finally, we added the Cimarron toilet and, my favorite thing in the whole universe, the C3 Toilet Seat with Bidet:

Cimarron toilet with C3 bidet seat from Kohler

C3 toilet seat with bidet

Perhaps you read my rant on bidets earlier this year? I won't re-state the whole argument (just go read it, if you're curious). But a bidet is a MUST HAVE in our bathroom. And this one is really great. The coolest feature: it has a glowing LED light that comes on in the dark, making the toilet a perfect bathroom nightlight. It's the future!

C3 toilet seat with bidet and Cimarron toilet (LED night light) from Kohler

Next, we started thinking about tile. Our friend and fellow Curblier Capree did an awesome kitchen makeover this spring, and she went with ModWalls.com for her tile, so we thought we'd check them out. Here's Capree's kitchen:

Capree's kitchen makeover

Yowza! That's a good lookin' kitchen. So we got in touch with ModWalls, and asked for a few samples. We asked to look at these:

- ModDotz™ "Gray" penny tile

ModDotz Gray Penny Tile from ModWalls.com

- Lush® 1x2 subway tile "Cloud"

Lush® 1x2 Cloud subway tile from ModWalls.com

- Brio® "White Linen" tile blend

Brio® White Linen Blend tile from ModWalls.com

- Lush® 1x4 subway tile "Vapor"

Lush® 1x4 Vapor subway tile from ModWalls.com

Samples are just $6.95 each. That's money well spent if you're ordering tile online. We ended up choosing the Lush Cloud 1x2 subway tile for the shower surround, and the Brio White linen blend for the bathroom floor:

Setting the floor tile

Our contractor, Bill Herschbach, setting the floor tile

Glass block window

Honestly, at this point I would have just been happy with any bathroom (that gas station one was getting a little too comfortable), but this room is looking tremendous. Obviously, it's not quite done yet (that's why I'm only showing close-ups). We still have lots of little finishing things to do, and we have to get it cleaned up and decorated. But we can already tell that once it's done, it could end up being our favorite room in the house.

Have you re-done a bathroom recently? Share your stories (and photos) in the comments! And check back next week as we get started with the BIG P: painting!


This is a post in the Curbly House series! Follow along as we document every step of our complete home makeover, from gutting the walls to putting up the finishing touches. And don't forget to let us know what you think in the comments! 



Our bathroom remodel is being sponsored by Kohler and ModWalls.com. We're so thankful for their help with this project!

Still, all opinions in this post are mine alone.




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jo on Aug 27, 2012:

a new baby???

bruno on Aug 24, 2012:

Ding ding ding! Hailey's right. That was fast. 

We've been too busy to blog about it, but our second little one was born in July! We've had our hands pretty full this summer ;)

(We're actually four now ... our first is 3 already!)

Hailey on Aug 24, 2012:

The baby-of-all-beautiful-babies is here!  congrats to you two (now three)!  What a great surprise to receive!

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