Our Tiny Master Bathroom: Progress


I’m excited to show you guys the making of my favorite room in the Dexter House…the master bathroom!  It’s only 36sf but has all the essentials: a toilet, bath, sink, and even storage.  With a potty-trained toddler and so much testosterone in the house, I’m pretty thrilled to have a space of my own, no matter how big.  And yes, I even share it with Garrett sometimes 😉

You may recall that to find space for a master bathroom, we stole the old kitchen dining nook.  Here’s a look what that dining nook looked like when we bought the house as well as the floor plan.

photo 15

Dexter Main Floor Permit Drawing 5-12-2015 copy

Just as the floor plan shows, we closed off the opening to the kitchen and made a new doorway to the adjacent master bedroom.

The Grit and Polish - Bedroom Demo 2The Grit and Polish - Master Bath Wall Trim and Floor Sanding

After painting the floors, the plumber (i.e. Garrett) roughed in the bathroom and located the fixtures where the boss (i.e. me) told him to put them.  Hey, what are husbands for?!

The Grit and Polish - Master Bath Plumbing Rough In

I’m a big fan of claw foot tubs, so it was never a question if I was going to put one in our bathroom, I just had to find the right one.  But finding the right one took patience and several trips to the local salvage shops.  I finally found this 5′-long green one at Earthwise and luckily, as I was walking out of the shop, I also found the perfect wall-mounted sink for our bathroom.  Love it when that happens!

photo 4The Grit and Polish - Master Bath Sink

After I got my loot home (and Garrett and his dad unloaded our super heavy tub), I wasn’t sold on what color to paint the claw foot tub.  At first I thought black, but I was worried black would be too dark against the freshly painted black floors.  I also considered white, but again, there’s already a lot of white in the space.  I then moved onto gray when I ran across this image on Pinterest, but I really wasn’t willing to spend eons creating the right faux-old look.  So I figured I’d just strip the paint and see what the old cast-iron looked like.  And maybe, just maybe, it would look good enough to seal it like we did the radiators and call it good.

Turns out that even with a pail of Paint Stripper and an angle grinder equipped with a wire brush-like tool, getting down to the original cast-iron was too much work.  But luckily, after a couple hours of stripping and grinding on the tub and claw feet, I was pretty smitten with the patina I found.  So I sealed it all with tung oil just to make sure it wouldn’t start rusting later, and called it good.

The Grit and Polish - Master Bath Plumbing FixturesThe Grit and Polish - Master Bath Clawfoot Tub

The sink was easier to deal with.  It only needed a good scrubbing before Garrett could mount it and hook up the plumbing.

The Grit and Polish - Master Bath Garrett Plumbing

The tub and sink fit perfectly in the space and I really love the look of them!  Plus that tub’s always going to be special to me, as I did a lot of laboring in there during my home birth with Brooks (he was born in a larger, rented labor tub).

You may be thinking that 36-sf is just not big enough for a bathroom, but I am here to prove you wrong.  Sure we don’t have a double vanity or a separate shower, but this bathroom has everything we need and feels super luxurious to us after living without a master bathroom for so many years!  Plus, I’m pretty sure there isn’t much more you can do to increase the value of your house besides adding a second bathroom.

Here’s a sneak peak at the finished space.

The Grit and Polish - Master Bath Finished sneak peak

What do you guys think?  Are you into salvaged fixtures?  Would you ever put a 36-sf bathroom in your house?  Do you think we’re crazy (you wouldn’t be wrong 😉 )…?!

More on the master bathroom demo, design, and sink.



p.s. We roughed in this master bathroom after we moved into Dexter but before baby Brooks arrived.  Apparently it was during Wilder’s no-pants phase 😉

p.p.s. Here’s a great ‘how to’ post on creating a vintage-inspired patina in case you find yourself with a new claw foot tub and want to recreate it.

p.p.p.s. Jersey IceCream Co’s latest renovation is (as expected) amazing!  I especially love those plastered walls.  Check it out here.

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