Friday, May 25, 2012

top five mistakes in mid-century modern bathroom remodel

You have read about my five favorite bathroom remodel features, now for the five top mistakes. If I had to do our remodel of two bathrooms and build of a third bathroom in our mid-century modern home all over again, what would I change? And, what may I correct eventually.

5. did not match white paint to tile in first two bathrooms.

Rookie mistake. I was so careful about everything except selecting the white paint. I should have matched the white paint to the white tile. But it didn't occur to me that white doesn't necessarily mean white. Had I gone onto the Benjamin Moore site and typed white, all would have been revealed to me.

Benjamin Moore endless shades of white.
Benjamin Moore endless shades of white.

White does not mean white. I had selected Benjamin Moore Super White for the bathrooms, because I had painted the beams and trim Super White long ago. Oops. You can tell the tile doesn't match the walls. Whenever I take a photo in the master bathroom the Daltile semi-gloss white tile almost looks cream. But I swear it is white.

Benjamin Moore Super White
Alex's bathroom shows the contrast accurately.

Because of timing, I had a chance to reflect prior to the third bathroom getting painted. I went to Ace Hardware's Benjamin Moore display with sample white tile in hand. The perfect match was simply White. Here is the guest bathroom with the proper white, but there aren't a lot of areas where the tile meets the wall so my fastidiousness wasn't really rewarded. There is always a opportunity to repaint. But any decorator magazine will tell you, white is a tricky color to select. Great article on selecting white paint in Houzz.

Benjamin Moore White
Almost no difference between the wall and the tile.

Benjamin Moore White
Correct white which matches the tile.
4. baseboards (or lack thereof).

I won't belabor the baseboard story. You can read about my "no baseboards" anxiety here. Suffice it to say there are no baseboards because, frankly, I wasn't paying attention to this detail in the architectural plans and during the install of the dry wall. I kept expecting the baseboards to show up, and they never did. Someday, I am sure we will add. I know from the reaction on FaceBook that there is not ONE of my so-called friends (just kidding) who thinks this is a good idea. But right now, the wall still looks okay, and I am trying it out.

no baseboards
No baseboards in guest bathroom.

no baseboards
No baseboards in Alex's bathroom

3. small toilets.

I know, your are thinking, "Selecting a toilet is CRITICAL! How could you, Rebecca, pickiest girl at the ball, make such a dumb mistake." Super easy. View your selected toilets online and don't go visit them live in person. The master toilet is actually okay accidentally, because I overrode the architect's choice (look/feel for the small space), and went with a power flusher. I DID NOT read any of the toilet dimensions however, nor measure our original toilets.

Kohler Santa Rosa Compact Toilet
Kohler Santa Rosa Compact toilet installed in guest and Alex's bathroom.


Height 27", Length 27-1/2", Width 18-3/4"

Kohler Wellworth Classic Toilet
Kohler Wellworth Classic toilet in the master.
Height 29-1/4", Length 30-1/4", Width 21-1/4"

The height difference is 2.25 inches. That makes a difference. Especially if you are Alex and you are 6' 1" and growing. He will be super annoyed with us when he figures it out someday.  My mom wrote me a note after I posted about our toilets, wondering why we got "compact" toilets. She said as you get older (and we are everyday), it is easier to get up and down from taller toilets. Another good point.

2. low flow bathtub faucet.

Look at the big giant soaking tub. Look at the tiny opening on the faucet (Grohe Atrio Wallmount Vessel Faucet). I have discovered, I am about finished with taking a bath by the time the bathtub actually fills up with water to the height I desire. I have no further comments.

Grohe Atrio Wallmount Vessel Faucet
Big giant soaking tub

Grohe Atrio Wallmount Vessel Faucet
 Takes a long time to fill a big tub with this faucet.
But it looks cool.

1. dripping fans in showers.

My number one mistake in the bathroom remodel are the fans in Alex's shower and the master shower being installed too near the shower heads. They create dripping condensation. Girls don't necessarily get their hair wet every time they shower. So they are particularly annoyed when the shower goes drip drip on their heads. Bald guys, it turns out, don't enjoy cold drips of water hitting their head either. Who could have predicted this most irritating design mistake? Moving the location of these fans would be expensive to fix. AND, of course, it annoys me every time I take a shower (daily). Lighted fans in the showers are a GREAT idea (especially given the moist climate we live in ... mold/mildew problems), but, install them towards the rear of the shower.

Panasonic Whisper Lite Fan
Can you see the annoying drip drops created by the PanasonicWhisper Lite Fan?

Panasonic Whisper Lite Fan
Can you tell where they drip? Boom.

Which mistake do you think was my worst?


  1. I guess that last one could be the most annoying. Shower caps, anyone??

  2. Seriously. You are not kidding.

  3. Nice work. Great observations. Funny as hell.

  4. you used a sink faucet as your bathtub faucet....

    1. Hind sight 20/20... you ARE right! I will fix this eventually. Annoys me weekly as I like to take baths.

  5. hmmm... i have a light/fan combo in the tub/shower area of all my bathrooms. mine don't drip. perhaps your fans have a design flaw? hmmm I will pay lots of attention today when I shower and report back!

  6. The dripping fan is a pain, but is not obvious to the eye. Lack of baseboards is simply a job not yet completed to me and I would be nagging my husband weekly to put on the baseboards. Those finishes make a difference. It's not like forgetting your earrings, which would be those people who never put the knobs or handles on their cabinets, but it's like carrying a wallet, when you know you have the perfect purse for that outfit and you leave it at home. Thanks for the tips. After remodeling an 80 years old mini stucco castle, a condo in Chicago and one in FL and 3 small foreclosed houses, there is always something to learn and the fan thing will be remembered. Have struggled with the whites often. Greys are not much easier: too blue, too green, too brown. . . .


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