The Fortress of Solitude: Origin Story
Indulge me for a moment with this off-topic tale. It had always seemed that this third bathroom area was the one that would have bountiful space to work with. As the theater progressed, it became apparent that my assumption was wrong, and a great battle for territory commenced between the bathroom and theater.
The shower layout is based on one from a hotel I stayed in, back in the days when I used to travel more frequently for work. It had a fixed glass screen and was just long enough to keep all the water in. I recorded the dimensions so assumed that this one work fine too. I must have missed some details. the floor does not get wet but the wall just outside of the shower rear gets a splattering.
Unfortunately by the time I figured that such a large shower area was not probably not the best choice for this small room it was too late. A pretty penny had already been spent on the shower kit. I have to admit, though, that it's nice having such a large shower after all.
It took ages of research to make sure the details of the rough-in were right. I assumed the rough-in would be the hardest job in the home renovation journey. In retrospect there were a number of other unanticipated tasks that were way more challenging.
Testing the lighting. 6x50w GU10 lights turned the place into an operating theater. Reduced to 3x35w lights plus the vanity lighting. The vanity light is actually track lighting that I stumbled upon at the last moment. It was meant to be the single spotlight fixture option but the three light looked way too cool not to use.
A couple of years ago I balked at using Kerdi's kit for a shower. The idea of Styrofoam sounded absurd. This time round I had little choice since the shower floor was long and had to be low profile to save height. Kerdi was the perfect solution. I had also learned a lot about the kit and had way more confidence in it.
The Kerdi membrane installation reminded me of my zombie green glue job.
Bathroom rated GU10 recessed lights. I'm really happy with this square design and the light output.
I usually spend ages working on the layout and ergonomics of the bathrooms. True enough they work very well, especially the one in a tight 3.5' x 8' area created from combining a half bath with a closet. That one is my Taj Mahal. However my aesthetic design methodology sucks. I spend months searching for a tile, build the shower, then realize that I have to figure out what to do with the rest of the room.
The vessel sink came way before the idea of a theater room was in my universe, and before the basement bathroom remodel project looked feasible. The sink was intended for the main bathroom, however it got orphaned from that project. It was in line to be donated but just never got round to it. It gained a reprieve when the basement bath remodel project became a reality. By the way, if you want bathroom fittings in a regular size the options are endless. Deviate from the regular and you are crawling for water in the middle of a desert. I struggled to find a vanity with the dimensions needed. Finally ordered one and had a granite top cut for it (expensive, ouch!). The vanity proved to be the wrong choice, and it was impossible to find a replacement. One day, as I was browsing through some other stuff at TJMaxx, a side bookshelf caught my eye. I bust out the tape measure (y'all carry one with you all the time, don't you?) and it fit the bill! A bit of modification to accommodate the p-trap.
The shower tile is a wood simulation ceramic floor tile which looked grayish under the shop lighting. Turned out to be tan. It was still pretty enough to remain first choice. So the shower area was built. Then I realized that it would not work with whatever aesthetic concept I had in mind. It is perfect for an Asian or Scandinavian bath, but that was not what I wanted for the man-cave - No girly bathrooms (not that there is anything wrong with that). All sorts of colors were bouncing around in my mind right up to the last minute, but nothing that seemed cohesive. Same for the flooring which would normally call for a concrete, solid, or slate finish to match the shower. In the end I decided 'to heck!', picked a red and bought a gallon of it. As I rummaged through my supplies for something else I came across an old sample red that looked even better. So there is a gallon of abandoned unused red lying around. For the floor I decided that concrete looked too cold and picked a wood pattern was is half way to the same look. Basically the bath is a jumble of parts that I'm shocked came out looking anywhere near half decent.
, in a rush I took a quick pic of the paint sample to record the color. The paint associate just scanned the bar code straight off the picture. Neat.
A tempting option was to paint the bathroom the same blue as the theater. I decided against so only in the cause of variety. It would have looked quite nice, I think.
One sad detail is that the niche mosaic has a beautiful iridescence.. Which is totally invisible under the current lighting. It shows from this unnatural angle.
One miracle product I am a huge evangelist of is epoxy grout. It is bulletproof, remains stain free, is a cinch to clean, and forms beautiful grout lines very easily. It's like a bunny - nice and cuddly unless you mess up. Then you discover it has claws. Follow instructions and it's super easy to apply to a tiled floor, especially a shower. In fact I plan to re-grout one bathroom with it this weekend. The complete opposite is true for walls, it is hell on earth. The results are worth it but I never get over the trauma! That's a story for another day.
The bathroom at this stage brought endless amusement as friends struggled to complement the 'final coat' color. 'Interesting choice!' was the best I could get. It's the primer tinting trick
advised me of.
Enough about bathrooms already, back to regular programming!