Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Final lighting

Over the weekend, I returned the lights we had ordered because the canopy of the light was too wide for the portion of the ceiling that we had flattened. I ended up spending two hours or so at an excruciatingly slow pace at the shop but walked out with two different lights instead, in the same style but with smaller canopies.
One is another pendant with three bowls arranged at 120 degrees apart:
This one was out of stock everywhere so I walked out with the floor model.
And the other is a single pendant:

Today, they got installed and together with the other lights around the vanity cast some very cool patterns on the wall:
The steel collar tie (and pullup bar) also got painted today, a glossy grey to match the cabinetry faces.
The contractor's work is winding down. They removed some of the floor protection today too. The major item remaining is the shower door and a lot of small items too. The plumber is supposed to come this week to install the remaining fixtures but I don't have high hopes based on his previous lack of scheduling ability :( I hope I will be pleasantly surprised.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Door

There is now a door to the bathroom, like a real room.
A number of other things also got completed or are in the process of it: the thermostat got installed, an MDF countertop got installed above the storage drawers, the skylight got some trim, and the cover panels for the fan and the electrical outlets are on.

Here's the door installed. It has to open outwards because the slanted roof inside the bathroom would prevent it from opening inwards.

For some reason that I cannot fathom, the contractor installed the door handle sideways so that the oval handle is horizontal instead of vertical. All the other doors in the house have the same handle but in a vertical orientation.
Having it be horizontal also feels very strange to the hand. So he will be rotating it.
The other developments:
The floor heat thermostat. Of course, I changed it to Celsius immediately after taking this picture.
It kind of amazes me that in this day and age, the most advanced floor heat thermostat looks like something that was cutting-edge in the 1990s. Hopefully Nest will soon come out with something in this space too.
Electrical outlets
The storage nook countertop. It is painted the same colour as the walls. We will be getting 1/4" glass to go on top of it. Eventually we hope to get some more of the marble slab if someone buys a slab but has some left over that we can get.
The bath fan. Very unobtrusive and quiet. The fan motor itself is further back in the roof and behind this cover panel is just the end of a long flexible duct.
The remaining big items include the remaining plumbing fixture installation and the installation of the shower door. Other than that, it should be small items and punch list stuff.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Running water and more light

Today the plumber came by and installed the tub filler and the handheld on the tub deck. Next week, he is supposed to come and install the other fixtures.

The vanity sconces and nook spot were also installed. Unfortunately the ceiling pendants that we selected are too wide for the ceiling apex. Not sure how we missed that... we're now back on the hunt for a new pair.

Vanity sconces and downlight. The wire in the sconces creates the cool patterns on the wall.
Light over the nook countertop
The tub filler with running water. Both hot and cold are currently connected to hot at the moment.
The handheld shower

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Just about all of the tiles have been installed, the biggest portion of them being those around the tub. We used four different tiles: for the floor, the tub apron, the tub surround and then a smaller one that came in mats for accent stripes and backsplash.
Choosing how the tiles are laid out came up often, especially given the sloped walls.
Ultimately, all of the tiles really came out nicely with the marble slab.

We also thought about tiling the small countertop above the storage drawers (which have been installed) because there was not enough marble but there just isn't enough, so we decided to use MDF painted the same colour as the walls with a glass surface to protect it.

Meanwhile, we also looked for a glass shower door and are having the space measured on Wednesday. We also are shopping for a mirror over the vanity, though this is likely to be a quite simple mirror, perhaps frameless.

Vanity backsplash

Before grout

After grout

Cabinets and drawers installed. The picture and the protective foil make these look much darker than they are.
The plywood countertop will be replaced with MDF until/if we find a piece of the Blue Rainbow slab to replace it.
The stepped shelves will have the remaining marble installed on them.

Friday, March 7, 2014



The Blue Rainbow marble slab was installed today. There was enough from the giant ~120"x~80" slab to cover the tub deck and the vanity top but unfortunately not enough to cover the little nook area under the roof. Even so, it looks really great.
The work was done by a fabricator who came along with two helpers. They had precut the pieces in their workshop and brought the cut pieces onsite. He had taken measurements beforehand and had made wooden templates to cut with and it matches the tub and sink openings very nicely. Incidentally, the sink got installed as part of this too.
On the tub, the slab had to be cut so that there are four pieces. This is because marble is particularly fragile and a single piece would crack. By cutting into pieces it helps avoid cracking elsewhere. However, the pattern in the marble matches very nicely across the seams even though they are not adjacent pieces. The seams are quite small and blend in quite well with the marble.

Here are some pictures of the installation:

There is a wonderful striation right by the sink.

The window sill made of the same material is also visible here.
There are two seams towards the left (and two more on the right outside of the picture), but they are very difficult to see.

The slab only overhangs the tub by about 1/8" which makes it look flush.

There are a number of places that really sparkle under the light.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A new (new) window!

Today is an exciting day and a milestone -- the marble slab is going to get installed. In the meanwhile, there have been a lot of other developments:

  • First off, the strange not-much-opening window has been replaced with a double hung one and it looks quite nice. It doesn't have the same tall effect as the casement but it has a nice character. It also makes the house look bigger in a way from the outside, for better or worse.
    Before and after:

  • The tub apron also got tiled (partially) with the glass tiles. They have to leave a hatch for the plumber to squeeze through to hook up the deck mounted tub filler and handheld shower before they can completely seal it up.
  • The bathroom door has also been trimmed and the door itself has been painted and drying in the basement.
  • Trim for the corridor cupboards is close to complete. The doors for these cabinets have been another story. The first doors we got from Ikea had an offset centre hinge which made it questionable as to how you would get the middle hinge to be even on both sides without a left and right variant. Two people at Ikea assured me that was a defect, then that the shorter size of doors were discontinued. I instead opted for a taller door since I had to cut it to size in any case and with the tall option, I wouldn't have to drill a hinge hole too. But the tall door I got didn't match the one in the warehouse. Back to Ikea with a bunch of other returns in tow...