Hey design and renovation lovers,
My last blog post talks all about the changes that we’ve been making in the kitchen at the Amabel Beach House (appliances have since been delivered and it’s looking so good). Today I’m switching gears to walk you through the bathroom progress. I’ve said it before, kitchen and baths sell homes (we all know this), so it’s logical to assume that they rent homes too, right?
The washroom has been an expensive whirlwind endeavor, but it is starting to look and feel spectacular. We have come a long way from yellow-stained linoleum floors and a filth streaked tub surround, but there have been a few bumps and learning curves along the way. The highest costs came from getting the plumbing up to code and installing an expensive water treatment system to remove the iron from the well wate,r which was staining everything orange. I wanted to protect my investment and also provide a clean and inviting space for renters. In the end, this project is all about their experience, and good reviews will help to boost the bottom line of this new business venture.
The biggest change that I planned to make here was to remove the closet from the adjacent bedroom, as it took up a large amount of floor space in the washroom. You only had a few tiny inches to squeeze past the toilet to get to a small vanity. You can see the closet wall jutting out into the washroom in the photo below (to the right of the door frame).
Taking out the closet really opened up the space and allowed us to put in a nice wide vanity from IKEA, with lots of storage and some counterspace - perfect for renters!.
To save money, we didn’t really change the layout other than removing the closet. There was a bump out on the plumbing wall by the door that we removed so that the door hinges could be mounted properly, and moved the bump out to the other end of the tub so we could recess a shampoo niche (this adds a bit of a ‘hotel’ like feel). I would have loved to move the toilet so it isn’t right across from the door (which happens to be dead center in the whole cottage), but budget just didn’t allow or make sense for a rental property. I’m using pretty tile and trying to draw the eye out the window outside to distract from the toilet being in such a highly visible spot.
Because this isn’t a large space, I knew that I wanted to do a really special natural stone mosaic floor. This type of tile is pricier, so if you are on a budget, it’s best for small bathrooms or powder rooms. I wanted it to have this small area to have a high impact, especially since you see the washroom from all angles of the cottage if the door is left open. I chose a gorgeous sunflower mosaic from Toronto tile shop Creekside Tile. For the shower, I again went with inexpensive ceramic subway tile from Creekside (like I did in the kitchen), and spec’d grey grout to hide dirt (it does, however, emphasize just how unlevel my ceiling is, but that’s okay).
One important lesson that I learned here is that in terms of labour, you get what you pay for. I hired an inexpensive tiler, and while he did a pretty good job for the most part, I really don’t love the tiny chiclet tiles in the corners, and he did a very poor caulking job with clear caulking.
I spent 4 hours scraping out the clear caulking, 1 hour royally messing up trying to redo with white caulking, another 4 hours re scraping all the new caulking I just did, and then another hour doing it right. Tip for first time caulkers: Don’t use quick dry silicone, use regular acrylic caulking. It won’t last as many years before it needs to be redone, but it will look perfect. Ughhh please, learn from my mistakes and tears here people! Also funny story, I was using a razor blade to scrape the caulking and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it was so hard…then I realized I didn’t remove the little metal protector on the blade. * Face Palm *
Finally, I managed to get the white caulking done correctly. The white caulking helps the tile to look like it’s wrapping the corners, so the little chiclets almost disappear. Now I think it looks like a million bucks (without having to pay a million bucks), but next time I might invest a bit more in the labour. Or not, since I’m going to try to tile the kitchen backsplash myself haha!
Tubs aren’t visually my favourite unless they are free standing and a bonus to a walk in shower. I debated doing a walk in shower here, but the cost didn’t make sense, and I figured that renters with small children might need a tub to wash up the kiddos after a day at the beach. I found this very attractive, stream lined tub at Home Hardware and love its lines. Minimal curves, grooves and edges also means a quicker clean up for the cleaning staff, which is key to keeping costs low in a vacation rental property!
Here’s a look (with LINKS!) to some of the items I’m using in the washroom.
That catches you up to speed for now. The washroom is actually one of the least done rooms in the house because we still need to trim out doors, windows and baseboards, but it’s tiny so it shouldn’t take too long. If you’re here because you own (or are thinking about buying) a rental property - I hope this inspires you to remember that if your rental’s bathroom is looking less than pinterest worthy, you may be risking bad reviews and unhappy clients.
Have any questions about the bathroom reno? Ask in the comments section below!