Master shower, finally!

The week before Christmas finally brought the master bathroom renovation to its conclusion. Almost.  The shower is finished and beautiful and we now have a master bathroom that we can use.  The ceiling is new, the sink works but only has cold water and the toilet functions.  The walls have primer and I need to pick a color, we need to find new handles for the sink or replace the existing one.  This is a hard call as the current sink is original.  Matt doesn’t care for it.  It is really low especially for him.  The mirror above the sink is really high and I am not short but I am having trouble using the mirror.  I can only see my forehead! The whole set up is very odd.  I can’t believe in 115 years that nobody has changed either of these things.


The bathroom had a hallway and door from the dressing room, a door from the master bedroom and a door from the center hall.  It is the only bathroom accessible on the second floor from the hallway.  All the other bathrooms can only be reached by going through the kids bedrooms. It appears that the access from the center hallway was added by reducing oldest daughters bedroom to create the little back hall to the bathroom.  We are guessing this was done when the Oblates were here.  We removed the access from the dressing room to create a larger shower and gained a little linen closet.  We still have the old knob and tube wiring in the house.  Moving things is a big deal so the hallway light switch and the new switch for the shower are in the linen closet.  A little weird but it was the simplest solution.  The next owners I am sure will ask themselves “what were they thinking?” but it works fine for us. Although I am not sure how to put shelves in here without limiting access to the light switches!



new linen closet

The bathroom has the original bathtub which is huge and fills from the bottom.  There is no overflow precaution so you can fill this tub and actually have the water go over the edges!  I don’t think we will use it much since we have the hot tub outside but it is great that it is still here.


Finally, the new master shower. 

It has a very modern feel to it with nods to the past.  We had hoped to use the original marble in the design but it was not feasible due to our budget constraints.  In the end we were able to use the old marble as the trim for the new shower and it does a nice job of tying in the old subway tiles and the new shower tiles. There is another story that goes with this part of the project but I will save that for another time!  We intentionally chose the shower finishes to be modern.  We didn’t want it to look like we tried to match the original tiles but couldn’t quite match them.  We are very pleased with the new shower.

Here are some before pictures from various points along the way just to give you a feel of what really went on.

I am sure there will be people who criticize us for not maintaining the original but when our only option was remove everything down to the studs to repair the damage it seemed clear to us that a modern shower was the way to go.  Our realtor for this home kept reminding us that the people who built these houses put in the most modern and expensive finishes available.  They wouldn’t want the house to be a museum stuck in a time warp.  Of course we fell in love with those original elements and plan to maintain and restore  them wherever possible but this is also our family home and it has to function in a way that makes sense to us.  In the end, we are both pleased with this major project and it was worth the wait.


3 thoughts on “Master shower, finally!

  1. I think the modern look of the shower is just fine and definitely better than trying unsuccessfully to match the original parts you preserved. About that sink, could you raise it? I’m pretty sure you can still buy console sink legs. I like vanity cabinets to store cleaning supplies and stuff but it looks like you have plenty of space for that kind of stuff elsewhere.


  2. The biggest problem with the sink (at least for me) is the handles leak. Water drains from under the handle and the handle won’t turn far enough to shut the water off completely. We have been unable to locate new or reproduction fixtures that will mount on the current sink. If we have to replace it, our plan is to store it in the basement for future use or future owners to have. I wish past owners had done the same. I would love to have the original newel post back on the stairs. The fairy lamp is fun but completely wrong for our house.


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