Bathtub Bliss

September 22, 2009

I almost didn’t post this article.  This almost never happened.

Not because I don’t want to talk to you all.  Believe me, I do. It’s just that I am dangerously close to disappearing from the earth into a new twilight zone known as my master bathtub.

Now I am a gal who finds no greater bliss than taking an evening bubble bath.  A hot bath + a glass of red wine + a bit of dark chocolate + my iPod + twenty minutes to myself = priceless.  No vacation spot could ever compare.

Since I am an attorney, I feel a warning label is appropriate at this time.

warning label 2

Now that I’ve finally put the finishing touches on my master bathtub space, you may never ever ever EVER hear from me again.

bath from side

It looks posh, but compared to most designer spaces, it really wasn’t that expensive.

Do you want to see the ‘Before’ ?

I only wish I had taken a picture of the space last year when it was just sheetrock, and nothing else.   Just imagine: sheetrock.  And nothing else.

But here’s what I started with last weekend.  No light fixture.  No window treatment.  Partially painted and patchy sheetrock.  But at least most of the tile was installed.

bathtub before

Over the weekend, I put the finishing touches on my new twilight zone a.k.a. the zone I disappear to at twilight a.k.a. I hope I never have to sell my house in this economic downturn because I love my bathtub a.k.a.  even if I am forced to sell, two burly strong men with serious tattoos and time in the joint will have to pry me loose from this spot.

That said, let me tell y’all a little story.

If you don’t know or don’t care about the difference between an ‘overmount’ and ‘undermount’ bathtub, skip on down about three paragraphs.

First, that bathtub you see did not fit the space when it arrived.  No Sirree.  Clever me, I thought I had ordered an undermount tub, but when I opened up the box a year later, the tub did not fit the specs.  Not only was it an overmount tub, it absolutely, totally, 100% did not fit my bathtub space.  It was short all around by 3 inches.  Oh, a picture is worth a thousand words, if only I had one.  Just one.  But I don’t.

So I devised a plan to turn a funky dysfunctional overmount tub into an undermount beauty.  It’s a bit hard to describe, but this photo may give you the idea.  I had my tile installer stabilize and solidify the tub in a layer of cement.  Then I asked him to cut and fit a piece of 5/8 inch plywood with an opening for the tub surround to fit the bathtub niche.  Then I requested that he tile the plywood with 1/4 inch thick white ceramic tile, and trim the sides with 1 inch mosaic to hide the plywood. 

As I described all of this, he looked at me as most construction dudes do, with a little confusion and a lot of disdain.

bathtub undermount

In the end, I prevailed.  I turned a badly fitting overmount tub into a cleverly disguised undermount tub with just a little ingenuity.

You can see how nice the trim looks here.

soaps and fern

Which brings me to my next point.  Over the course of these upgrades, it dawned on me that a luxurious bathroom has many of the same features as a lovely dining room.

Good smells.

dial and dove No fancy soaps for me.  I’m a Dove and Dial kind of girl.

Great linens.

great linens

Kohl’s. Clearance. $4 dollars each.

Good lighting

chandy My $50 dollar chandy that I scored when Home Depot’s EXPO stores closed last year.


candlesticksThat listello and brick pattern white ceramic tile you see is just Daltile from Home Depot, right off the shelf.  Notice even more of my ‘undermount’ trim mosaic tile – the same tile that trims the floor in the neighboring master shower.

Fresh flowers

flowers on shelf

Perhaps an interesting plant

soaps and fern Recognize my DIY cement planter?


Great window treatments

shade final (My DIY roman shade from yesterday’s post)

A decent mirror

thrift store mirror BTW, this pair of mirrors used to be a gold, but Rustoleum’s ‘Heirloom White’ saved them.  They each cost me $3 dollars at the local thrift store.  I repeat.  $3 dollars each.


thrift store mirrors before

In truth, these mirrors are temporary.  Someday when I have the money, I’m going to install tempered glass mirrors and glass shelves inside these niches from tile to ceiling.  But that costs major bucks, so I’ll have to wait.

And every good bath requires dark chocolate.

dark chocolate on silver

Why yes, I do keep my dark chocolate on a silver soap dish.

Don’t you ?

A moment of silence please.

For the chocolate.

(Kidding about the silver dish.  My chocolate is always hidden in a dark corner of my pantry.)


If all of this white and blue is too frou frou for you, I think you’ll appreciate the dark cabinets in the bathroom space.

dark cabinetry

As soon as the glass fronts for the upper cabinets arrive, I’ll reveal the whole bathroom.

And just a little flashback.  This bathtub spa shelf I created myself with just a few dollar tacky brass items from a thrift store.

spa shelf

Read all about the spa shelf transformation right here.

So here is my master bathtub space.  If this is the very last post on this blog, well, now you know why.

spa shelf from side

FYI:  The paint color is my own custom blend.  1/3 Behr ‘Mountain Creek’,  1/3 Restoration Hardware ‘Silver Sage’ and 1/3 ‘Swiss Coffee’ white.

I’m off to bubble bath land.  Talk soon.  Or maybe later.  Much later.


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