Thursday, May 12, 2011

Two Weeks Later ...

Last time I wrote that we were going to be spending $2300 for two custom vanities to be built.  A couple days after writing that DH and I had a long hard talk and agreed that $2300 was way too much.  So, DH got on the phone with Sears and bought a 48" vanity with sink for the main bathroom.  Total cost?  $702 with tax.  It should be here June 7th.  For our ensuite he was all set to build his own box (cost of a sheet of plywood), but after looking at it in detail DH realized that it's really only the counter and doors that look worn out.  So, instead of wasting time and effort on a whole build, he's simply going to build new doors and re-laminate the insides.  We figure we can get a slab of granite for the top - we'll get one of those sinks you place on top, so the cut-out will be minimal (there is only a $50 difference if we want to go with an undermount sink ... so we might still change our minds on that score).  All-in-all we've probably saved $1300-1500.  We can use this money for the granite counter in the ensuite.  Still a huge savings.

For the flooring in the main bathroom we got a great deal on travertine tiles for just over $200.  Now, DH is great at laying tiles.  Being a Finishing Carpenter, he is used to exacting detail and he uses this when laying tiles ... but it's not his profession and he always feels like a professional tiler would do a better, quicker job.  So, when we purchased the tiles he asked them if they knew of anyone who could lay the tiles.  Enter Kevin.  DH met with him and talked details.  They agreed on a cash deal of $600 for the whole job.  I booked off a day to be there.  Kevin and his sidekick arrived right on time, and seemed to know what they were doing.  Kevin showed me the grout they were going to use - something with the yummy name of Irish Cream (note to self: beware of any remodelling product with delicious sounding names because it's a rouse!).  I didn't really like the colour, but assumed that DH and Kevin had discussed this choice.  As they finished up Kevin proudly showed me their work.  The grout colour wasn't great, but I figured it was OK for our purposes and figured DH thought it would blend in with the adjacent Tigerwood flooring that would be installed in the hallway just outside the bathroom.  What I was not happy with were two things:  1) a huge grout line beside the bathtub, narrower at one end then the other - the narrowest point was probably at least 1 cm and at the widest around 2 cm!  Huge, ugly.  Kevin said they had no choice because of the curving bathtub wall?  2) Travertine tiles are very individualistic, meaning one tile can be quite different from another.  When DH laid travertine in the ensuite we spent almost half a day laying out a pattern on the carpet and selecting the best pieces for where they would be most noticed.  Kevin and his sidekick picked two of the most hideous ones front and centre next to the bathtub where your eye just naturally goes to.  Two of the nicest looking tiles were placed where the vanity and toilet will hide them!  Ugh!  When DH came home he was VERY upset.  He fumed and cursed and almost pulled up the whole floor.  Not only was it not great looking, but once we started walking on it we realized how unevenly the tiles had been laid.  DH is going to be phoning the tile shop to let them know so that they stop using this guy.  Poor DH - now he says he's going to DO EVERYTHING.  I can't blame him.  It was a total waste of time and $600.  Sigh.

Here's what the bathroom looked like before.  Grey laminate countertop, grey lino ... boring, tired, old.

Here's the gutted bathroom:

I don't know if I want to show you the hideous tile work.  I'll upload the photos from my camera to my PC and decide!

Work coming up:  re-glazing; packing up and moving items so DH can start installing hardwood flooring on second floor; installing hardwood floor.