Adding a Shower Bench

Our master shower is very large, approximately 43 inches wide by 7 feet long.

The built-in, tiled shower bench is on the inside wall of the master shower.
The built-in tiled shower bench is on the inside wall of the master shower.
There is a built-in tiled bench on the inside wall of the shower.
This is a convenient place to keep shower supplies.

We have a built-in bench on the water wall side which has become the repository for our body washes, shampoos, and conditioners. Charlie and I each have our own stash.

The bench came in 4 pieces with bolts and an Allen wrench.
The bench came in 4 pieces with bolts and an Allen wrench.

So to keep the area more streamlined I purchased a 30-inch teak bench for the opposite side of the shower.

The bench fit together easily and was held together with bolts which were snugged up with an Allen wrench.
The bench fit together easily and was held together with bolts which were snugged up with an Allen wrench.

I made sure to find one with a shelf under the seat.

The bench fits nicely at the end of the master shower.
The bench fits nicely at the end of the master shower.

Since the shower is large the towels hanging on the bar on the wall and the items on the teak bench stay dry even while the shower is in use.

The bottom of the bench has adjustable rubber feet that stabilize it on the tile.
The bottom of the bench has adjustable rubber feet that stabilize it on the tile.

This is a perfect place to lay a terry robe and store a few extra towels.

In the master bathroom we are still waiting:

  • to have the sinks installed.

    The sinks still need water flow.
    The sinks still need water flow.
  • to touch up the paint.

    A smear of quickset on the wall between the shower glass and vanity.
    A smear of quickset on the wall between the shower glass and vanity.
  • to paint the trim.

    The baseboard needs to be caulked and painted.
    The baseboard needs to be caulked and painted.
  • to hang mirrors.

    This antique mirror would look great over Charlie's sink.
    This antique mirror would look great over Charlie’s my sink.
  • to hang more towel bars.

    We need additional towel bars throughout the room.
    We need additional towel bars throughout the room.
  • to hang lighting fixtures.

    Master bathroom vanity pendants.
    Master bathroom vanity pendants.
  • Trim round window.

    The round window has special preformed trim that must be painted then installed.
    The round window has special preformed trim that must be painted then installed.

Some projects seem endless.

What’s your endless project?

Trying a New Spray Paint Color

Finally we have a couple of days above 50 degrees so I can spray paint a small project outside.

Silver on the left, Satin Nickel on the right.
Silver on the left, Satin Nickel on the right.

In the past when I wanted to create a kind of mercury glass effect with spray paint I used Valspar’s bright silver spayed quickly over wet hammered bronze.

Detail of a painted ceramic tree with a mercury glass appearance.
Detail of a painted ceramic tree with a mercury glass appearance.

It wasn’t difficult and I liked it.

The lid of the chrome paint can is shiny silver.
The lid of the chrome paint can is shiny silver.

I went to Lowe’s to pick up some more bright silver and alas there was none.  So I stopped into Home Depot and bought one can each of Rustoleum silver and chrome.

Notice the "lace" edge of this vintage metal wastebasket with a weighted bottom.
Notice the “lace” edge of this vintage metal wastebasket with a weighted bottom.

My plan was to paint this old wastebasket I found in the attic to (sort of) match the chrome fixtures in the master bathroom.

Mirrored vanity tray
Mirrored vanity tray

I like the old can because the top of it echoes the frame on this mirrored tray which I also plan to use in the master bathroom. (I’ll probably have to paint it also.)

Working quickly spray hammered bronze on the surface followed immediately by chrome.
Working quickly spray hammered bronze on the surface followed immediately by chrome.

I sprayed it with hammered bronze and while it was still wet I over-sprayed with both the silver and the chrome.

I like the mottled look of this shiny finish.
I like the mottled look of this shiny finish.

The hammered paint causes the other paint to separate and darken in places.

A drip is visible on the front of the can.
A drip is visible on the front of the can which could have been avoided.

If I do another project with this technique I’ll try to paint on a horizontal surface rather than a vertical one since the paint tends to run.

This was a fast and inexpensive project.
This was a fast and inexpensive project.

The finish looks good in the master bathroom.

The wastecan is stashed between the shower glass and vanity.
The wastecan is stashed between the shower glass and vanity.

It’s glitzy and fits perfectly in this niche between the shower and vanity.

Before and After
Before and After

Sidebar: I decided against a galvanized finish for this bathroom because of the chrome fixtures.  The more rustic conservatory bathroom might get a galvanized-finish can.

Are you full on shiny chrome or the more subtle satin finish? (I like both.)

Creeping Along

The master vanity has been pushed into place.

The double vanity has been sitting away from the wall since it was delivered.
The double vanity has been sitting away from the wall since it was delivered.

Permanently. It’s screwed to the wall.

The plumbing behind the master vanity.
The plumbing behind the master vanity.

The plumbing is configured with the waterlines coming up through the floor and the drain line protruding from the wall.

We wanted the vanity centered under the window and yet the plumbing was not centered.
We wanted the vanity centered under the window and yet the plumbing was not centered.

I’m always amazed that the measuring our friend does seems (to me) to be upside down and backwards but then everything fits.

The pipes were cut short with a cut-off saw.
The pipes were cut short with a cut-off saw.

He had cut the pipes level with a cut-off saw.

We thought we'd have to cut a big chunk our of the back of the vanity but 3 holes for each sink seemed to be sufficient with careful measuring.
We thought we’d have to cut a big chunk our of the back of the vanity but 3 holes for each sink seemed to be sufficient with careful measuring.

Our installer (The Viking) drilled 2 large holes in the back of the vanity and 4 smaller holes in the bottom.

The supply lines are flexible enough to fish through the holes in the bottom of the vanity.
The supply lines are flexible enough to fish through the holes in the bottom of the vanity.

With Charlie’s help the vanity was lifted onto the drain pipes.  I helped thread the supply lines through the holes in the bottom.

Push fit valves on the vanity supply lines.
Push fit valves on the vanity supply lines.

He also brought a new (to us) kind of supply line valve called a SharkBite straight quarter turn stop.  Apparently this push-fit connections costs about a dollar more, $9.72 each, than the traditional glued connection.

Charlie vacuumed up the sawdust and I put the drawers back in.
Charlie vacuumed up the sawdust and I put the drawers back in.

The  push-fit valve just pushes over the pipe and stops the water.  When we turned the water back on there were no leaks or drips. Yeeeee!

The vanity is no longer in the middle of the bathroom floor.
The vanity is no longer in the middle of the bathroom floor.

And the heat duct cannot be seen under the vanity so no masking necessary.

The sinks are still on our bedroom floor.
The sinks are still on our bedroom floor.

Next installment: the sinks.

Have you tried a new gadget that works great? Doesn’t work at all? Isn’t worth the money?

Make a List and Stick to It

Last weekend I worked alone on a small list of projects.

Thoroughly dry and tender and headed for the freezer.
Thoroughly dry and tender and headed for the freezer.

I’m made a batch of meringues.

The Moen Icon towel bar is securely hung on the back wall of the master shower.
The Moen Icon towel bar is securely hung on the back wall of the master shower.

I hung a towel bar in the master shower.

Most of the dirty paintbrushes are soaking in solvent.
Most of the dirty paintbrushes are soaking in solvent.

I soaked my paint brushes in brush cleaner.  Unfortunately some of the paint was still damp on the brushes which transferred to my Glade bench. Now I have a decision of whether to ditch the bench or give it a different finish.

Vintage metal wastebasket with a weighted bottom.
I’ve decided to mercurialize this old waste can.

I looked for Valspar bright silver metallic spray paint to paint a vintage wastebasket but it is out-of-stock at our local Lowes.

We're using Charlie's grandmother's pink-flowered china for the tea parties then will pass it to the next generation.
We’re using Charlie’s grandmother’s pink-flowered china for the tea parties then will pass it to the next generation.

This week I’m in full tea party mode.  I planned the menu and did the shopping, now I just have to arrange the flowers, assemble the sandwiches, and plate the desserts. (Charlie and son will make and serve the tea in their best tearoom manner. They both have experience in this area.)

On the savory side:

  • chicken salad sandwiches,
  • egg salad sandwiches,
  • cucumber sandwiches,
  • pretzel thins.

On the sweet side:

  • petit fours,
  • lemon curd in meringue shells aka Pavlovas,
  • almond pound cake,
  • mini sweet bites from Trader Joe’s.

Since I’m having 2 parties on consecutive Saturdays I’ve asked a friend on next week’s guest list to give me a hand with this week’s preparations.

I'll need 4 extra chairs or 2 chairs and the piano bench. Whoever sits to the right of the card table can help pour.
I’ll need 4 extra chairs or 2 chairs and the piano bench. Whoever sits to the right of the card table can help pour.

The head count for tomorrow is 9.  We’ll need extra chairs in the living room. Things will be tight cozy.

I'm keeping the cups, saucers, and other dishes under cover until tomorrow so dust won't settle on them.
I’m keeping the cups, saucers, and other dishes under cover until tomorrow so dust won’t settle on them.

I’ve already put a card table with a tablecloth in the living room to hold the goodies in addition to the coffee table.

Running water in the bathroom -- a novel idea.
Running water in the bathroom — a novel idea.

I hope to also give you a report about the master bathroom vanity, but then I’ve had the same hope for a while now.

What are you hoping for in the short term?

Robe Hook

I was reading Diane’s (In My Own Style) post about her bathroom decor and I decided I must have a robe hook in the master bathroom sooner rather than later.

I need a robe hook on the back of this door to the master bathroom.
I need a robe hook on the back of this door to the master bathroom.

I had intended to use some hooks I already had since they would be mostly unseen on the back of the door.

Hobby Lobby nickel hook on sale for $3.
Hobby Lobby nickel hook on sale for $3.

However when Diane mentioned she bought her substantial robe hooks at Hobby Lobby I decided to see what I could find there.  These hooks are out-of-stock online and in our local store also.

I found thisfish-shaped rack for a few dollars at a discount store . The hooks would work great for a robe.
I found this fish-shaped rack for a few dollars at a discount store . The hooks would work great for a robe.

So I might have to use something I already have on hand like this fish with hooks.

Whose style do you like?

After Work on a Rainy Day

I was all set to eat dinner yesterday evening at Starbucks free on my birthday reward when I received a text that our buddy who helps us with things was coming by to put the master bathroom vanity in place.

The Viking
The Viking

Mind you he wasn’t coming to hook up the water just get the monster set in place so we can move more easily in the bathroom.

The back and bottom of the base cabinet must be cut out for the pipes and drains to be encased.
The back and bottom of the base cabinet must be cut out for the pipes and drains to be encased.

The back and bottom of the vanity are solid wood so a bit of sawing is necessary to accommodate the roughed-in plumbing.

The plumbing is roughed-in for the sinks but he'll also have to make the heat vent work under the cabinet.
The plumbing is roughed-in for the sinks but he’ll also have to make the heat vent work under the cabinet.

There is also a heat register on the floor under the cabinet that needed to be taken into consideration.

The marble top with sinks attached is malingering in our bedroom.
The marble top with sinks attached is malingering in our bedroom.

First The Viking and Charlie carefully lifted off the 2-sink marble top and laid it nearby.

There was a lot of measuring but no cutting.
There was a lot of measuring but no cutting.

Then The Viking made measurements and determined he needed to bring plumbing valves before he could set the cabinet fully in place.

The consensus is that the black trim is staying.
The consensus is that the black trim is staying.

We’re all wondering if the black trim needs to be removed or if it is a spacer for the marble top.

Happy birthday to my favorite niece who shares my birthday.

Do you have a nickname for favorite people?

Hanging a Towel Bar on Tile

I warn you in advance this 20-minute chore took me 4 hours and I’m going to give the blow by blow — including all the things left out of the directions that came with the towel bars.

I have 2 Moen Icon towel bars which match the toilet paper holder.
I have 2 Moen Icon towel bars which match the toilet paper holder.

I ordered two Moen Icon towel bars — one 18 inches and one 24 inches — from Amazon.

Carbide drill bits are used to drill ceramic tile.
Carbide drill bits are used to drill ceramic tile.

My plan for the longer bar was to hang it in the master shower which is tiled (with ceramic tile) from floor to ceiling so first I went to our local Home Depot and bought a pack of 4 carbide bits.  The instructions for the towel bar called for a 1/4 inch bit but ultimately I needed the smallest and the largest bits in the package.

The taller bar in our vintage pink bathroom is at about my eye level.
The taller bar in our vintage pink bathroom is at about my eye level.

I needed to decide how high to hang the bar.

The planned placement of the new towel bar.
The planned placement of the new towel bar.

Conventional wisdom says 4-feet off the ground for adult towel bars. However, the towel bar at the back of our bathtub is about my head height so I decided to use approximately the same measurement in the shower.

I tapes the wall with masking tape and drew pencil marks 24 inches apart on the wall.
I tapes the wall with masking tape and drew pencil marks 24 inches apart on the tile wall.

I measured 2 level marks 24 inches apart.  Although we own 5 levels I could only find the 48-inch one. The shower is only 44 inches wide so it did me no good.  I spent half an hour rusting up another level.

Use the 1/8-inch carbide bit to start the hole.
Use the 1/8-inch carbide bit to start the hole.

Once the points were marked I tried to drill with the requisite 1/4-inch bit but it really wouldn’t work so I started the hole with the smallest bit and it worked a charm.

Tape protect the hole from cracking the tile.
Tape protects the hole from cracking the tile.

So excited to get holes drilled in the tile without cracking it, I put the bracket up to the hole and it would NOT go in.  I used the next larger bit — the largest one in the package — to redrill the hole.

The brackets have built in molly bolts and small lock teeth which need to be removed for use in tile.
The brackets have built in molly bolts and small lock teeth which need to be removed for use in tile.

The bracket on the left ended up going into a stud so it was secure.  The right bracket slid in and the molly would not open. The bracket slid in and out.

I tapped the wall anchors in with a small hammed.
I tapped the wall anchors in with a small hammed.

So I retaped the hole and marked two holes that matched two generally extraneous holes in the bracket and stuffed the holes with wall anchors.

The brackets have additional holes that can be used if the molly bots don't work.
The brackets have additional holes that can be used if the molly bolts don’t work.

Then Charlie screwed in the screws which did not come with the towel bars so I spent another 10 minutes looking for those.

The clip on both brackets take the place of set screws and must be positioned downward.
The clip on both brackets take the place of set screws and must be positioned downward.

We finally had both brackets secured to the wall in the right position with the clip (which replaces a set screw) on the bottom.

We didn't notice until we had the towel bar completely hung that the end pieces were marked with size.
We didn’t notice until we had the towel bar completely hung that the end pieces were marked with size.

We snapped the decorative coverings onto the brackets and admired our work until I realized we had used the 18-inch caps instead of the 24-inch caps.  They look exactly alike except for a marking on the inside of the tube.

The Men Icon towel bar is securely hung on the back wall of the master shower.
The Moen Icon towel bar is securely hung on the back wall of the master shower.

It took us another 15 minutes to find a screw driver that would fit into the slot to release the caps which we replaced with the ones marked 24.

Now I have my towel nearby when I shower.
Now I have my towel nearby when I shower.

Looking for tools made this simple, although not straightforward, job take an entire morning. Ugh!

Sidebar: I was trying to think why we couldn’t find our tools.  I think when we cleaned up for our Christmas parties we weren’t careful about putting things away.  I still can’t find our levels.

What are you looking for?