Before and After: A Boring Builder-Grade Bath Becomes Positively Spa-Like

published Oct 15, 2019
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At first glance, Christie Massimino’s bathroom in her Canadian home wasn’t so bad. It had a big tub, plus a shower, and even some shelving. But in using it, little things started to become apparent: The big tub didn’t actually have all that much interior capacity after all, even though it took up tons of space; the L-shape of the vanity made accessing all the cabinets tricky; the off-center vanity mirror was awkward to use; and the corner shower was too teeny to be comfortable. Plus, all that gray was just a little… blah. “I wanted to love my bathroom,” says Christie. “I wanted it to feel spacious and useful!”

Some clever re-working of the space gave Christie tons more room for the things she wanted—namely, a bigger shower! To fit it in, Christie had contractors move the vanity then extend the shower into the now open corner. Using a shower base—rather than sloping the floor for drainage—saved tons of money on labor.

Another clever money-saving trick? Demoing the old bathroom with the help of bargain-hunters from the classifieds. To get rid of the old tub, sink, and vanity, Christie placed an ad that offered them for free—as long as you could help get them out. “Two guys came and practically demo’d the entire bathroom to get these items,” says Christie. “It was great!”

A new free-standing tub from bargain favorite Costco makes for more comfortable lounging, and still allows for plenty of room to move about. The floors are a faux-concrete tile Christie found on clearance at Lowe’s for less than $2 CAD per square foot.

To highlight the gorgeous vaulted ceiling and existing skylight, Christie had whitewashed wood planks installed. The walls are tiled with vertical elongated subway tiles for a classic look.

The floating vanity with sliding door was custom-made, and fitted with a sink from Lowe’s and a matte black faucet from Home Depot. The mirrored cabinet above is from IKEA.

Now, the bathroom is relaxation central—and way more practical, to boot.