When finishing the downstairs at our current home, I made the
poor embarrassing choice of a small flimsy shower unit to save room for a linen closet to the right of the shower. My excuse = I was 21 and it was my first house combined with the unfortunate silence from the men in my life (dad/brother/Ross) who should have spoken up at the time [sigh]. A year of use and one crusty sliding door track later, we were ready for a new and improved shower – one that would allow a person to raise their arms to wash their hair, and one we would be proud to offer guests. Here is the downstairs bathroom shower ‘before,’ which doesn’t quite do justice to the crusty corners where it was sealed to the wall and the overall tiny size of the unit:
The shower unit ‘before’
Here is my bright, beautiful marble shower ‘after’ which makes me grin ear-to-ear…(thanks husband!!!)
Downstairs marble shower ‘after’
We chose to replace the tile floor with the same marble to keep it cohesive and hopefully make the small bathroom appear larger. We took out the linen closet and re-purposed the doors (flipping the bottom door upside down) to make a new above-the-toilet storage area. This allowed us to have a bit more room for towels, toilet paper and washcloths without taking up square footage (why didn’t I think of that earlier…?). Re-purposing the linen closet doors was my idea, and Ross built the cabinet base himself.
My super electrician-brother added a shower light/recessed can that is wired in with the fan. We were lucky to find most of the marble on Craigslist and purchased additional matching marble tile at Home Depot. It isn’t the exact same marbling (slightly more grey in some) but I hardly notice the difference in the tiles when I shower. Ross found cool pebble tile sheets that matched the marble really well and resolved our fears about a slippery shower floor. The pebbles are pretty close to flush with the grout so while you might think it would be uncomfortable to stand on, it is not rough on the feet at all.
I’m glad we took pictures along the way, because it is easy to forget all of the work that went in to making this bathroom sparkle. Here is the project as it progressed:
The old shower unit and linen closet is demolished
The shower starts to take shape with cement backerboard
A ruggedly handsome husband applies waterproofing membrane
Tile is cut and installed
I love, love, love our downstairs shower. It is a nice treat to take a shower downstairs once in awhile, and I am more of a bathtub kind of girl, so it surprises me how much I enjoy it every time!
Bathroom before and after!