Marble Backsplash for the Master

I’ve been putting off looking at tile for the master vanity backsplash.

The vanity top is white marble with grey veining.
The vanity top is white marble with grey veining.

The top of the vanity itself is grey and white marble with a lot of movement in the veining.

Marble basketweave tile with warm grey grout is on the floor..
Marble basketweave tile with warm grey grout is on the floor..

While we have enough floor tile remaining to complete the backsplash I thought it was too busy.

Ice white matte tile is in the shower.
Ice white matte tile is in the shower.

I also thought using the white subway tile from the shower walls too plain.

The various products used in Tile Shop displays are listed on the wall.
The various products used in Tile Shop displays are listed on the wall.

I stopped into the Tile Shop and found a couple of types of marble tile that might be appropriate. I’ve pretty much settled on a 2″ by 4″ subway tile which is smaller than the 3″ by 6″ shower tile.

Carrara
Polished Hampton Carrara Amalfi

One of the finished displays was covered with Hampton Carrera Polished Amalfi 2″ by 4″ subway tiles.  These would probably go well with the vanity top.

The tile on the left
The tile on the right, Ashford Carrara Amalfi,  seems compatible to the vanity.

Another choice might be Ashford Carrara Polished Amalfi.  I not sure what the difference between the two is since I couldn’t view them side by side.

Bianco Carrara
Bianco Carrara Marble Tile

The Bianco Carrara seems too white.

Venatino
Carrara Venetino

The tile store where I had purchased the flooring, Best Tile, had something with a bit less character called Polished Carrara Venetino also in a small 2″ by 4″ subway.

Tile that looks like bubbles.
Tile that looks like bubbles.

Finally I saw the above whimsical tile mosaic which looks like bubbles. I like it but not for the master bathroom.

Do you have a backsplash in your bathroom? What’s it made from?

Another Mirror Change-up

We’ve been using this small (too small) mirror in the conservatory bathroom until 1) the tile backsplash is in and 2) I can find a more appropriate size.

The frame of the mirror in the conservatory bathroom should be painted a fun color.
The frame of the mirror in the conservatory bathroom should be painted a fun color.

Most bathroom mirrors start at 21 inches which is just too large so I’ve been searching for something vintage or rustic or both.

This space will ultimately need a very special size mirror after the backsplash is tiled.
This space will ultimately need a very special size mirror after the backsplash is tiled.

The  present mirror hangs too low and is too small for Charlie to get a good look at himself. He mentions it frequently.

The approximately 12" by 18" mirror was free.
The approximately 12″ by 18″ mirror was free.

I found a small rustic mirror on the “FREE” table at church which I still thought was too small but which I thought Charlie would like better.

Tiny knobs -- less than half an inch in diameter.
Tiny knobs — less than half an inch in diameter.

I removed the hooks because they didn’t make sense hanging over the sink and they were cheap looking.

The tiny knobs hid the holes where the hooks had been.
The tiny knobs hid the holes where the hooks had been.

I found in my stash some small knobs that would cover the 3 holes left from the hooks.

The mirror is not very heavy so a small hanger is enough to hold it onto the wall. I could have used the hanger holes left and right but decided not to.
The mirror is not very heavy so a small hanger is enough to hold it onto the wall. I could have used the hanger holes left and right but decided not to.

I tacked a central hanger on the back so I could use the same nail as the first mirror.

Too bad this mirror is a little longer.
Too bad this mirror is a little longer.

Charlie still can’t see himself unless he steps closer to the mirror.

Before
Before
A little change made a big improvement in the look of the mirror.
After — a little change made a big improvement in the look of the mirror.

And I’m still looking for a better mirror.

Do you try to make “freebies” work?

Force Fitting

Charlie was on hand to help with the installation of the 30-gallon water heater in The Cottage.

The new water heater is too large to fit in the closet without some adjustment.
The new water heater is too large to fit in the closet without some adjustment.

When the plumbers brought the new Bradford-White heater into The Cottage, they discovered the closet would need a little persuasion since water heaters are larger in dimensions than they used to be.

Charlie nudged the left wall out a few inches with the maul (sitting on the floor to the right of the water heater).
Charlie nudged the left wall out a few inches with the maul (sitting on the floor to the right of the water heater).

Charlie removed the door to the water heater closet.  When it still wouldn’t fit he encouraged the side wall to be a little more forgiving with a maul.

The hose bibb is just past the windows behind the plants on the right.
The hose bibb is just past the windows behind the plants on the right.

While the plumbers were at in The Cottage I told Charlie to check the outside spigot on the front wall.  I thought I had remembered it leaking.

A new outside valve should not leak.
A new outside valve should not leak.

Sure enough.

The blue lever turns the water on and off to the hose bibb. The round handle opens the water to the rest of the Cottage.
The blue lever turns the water on and off to the hose bibb. The round handle opens the water to the rest of the Cottage.

The plumbers changed the outdoor hose bibb and the valve on the inside opening and closing the water.

Plumbing to the bathtub started leaking when the water was turned on.
Plumbing to the bathtub started leaking when the water was turned on.

When the water to The Cottage was turned on after having been off for at least 2 years, the valves behind the shower/tub started to leak so the plumbers came back another day to repair those.

It's difficult to get a photo of the bathtub/shower in the Cottage but here it is when we put in a vinyl floor.
It’s difficult to get a photo of the bathtub/shower in the Cottage but here it is when we put in a vinyl floor.

We’re getting The Cottage ready for something. I don’t know what yet but it will be wonderful when it’s cleared out and usable at a moment’s notice.

What are you spending hard-earned money one?

Post-Holiday Plumbing

Since The Viking has been having trouble making time to visit to The Glade to finish hooking up the plumbing to the master bathroom sinks which are integrated into a marble countertop on the vanity cabinets, I finally hired a plumber to come and do the work.

Waiting to hang mirrors.
Waiting to hang mirrors.

Shut-off valves had already been installed to the roughed-in plumbing.

The sinks are plumbed from the bottom before installation.
The sinks are plumbed from the bottom before installation.

Then the Moen faucet valves, which were purchased separately from the Icon valve trims, were installed while the sinks were upside down in the bedroom.

The vanity top is extremely heavy.
The vanity top is extremely heavy.

Since the top is all one piece it was very heavy to heave up onto the vanity cabinet. Charlie and The Viking did a fine job of setting it in place.

The supply plumbing looks straightforward.
The supply plumbing looks straightforward.

The next task was to attach the drain lines which (even to me) seemed to be a simple task of cutting appropriate PVC and gluing it together which the plumber did.

The plumbing looks complicated.
The plumbing looks complicated.

The final hook-ups were accomplished under the sink top by snugging the screw rings onto the valves.

The faucets are set in place.
The faucets are set in place.

Finally the Moen Icon trims were attached to the valves and the high-arch spigots set in place.

The Moen "Icon" faucets are simple and , I hope, elegant.
The Moen “Icon” faucets are simple and , I hope, elegant.

The task list for the master bathroom continues:

  • install a tile backsplash behind the sinks;
  • hang mirrors on the wall behind the sinks;

    Vintage mirrors are a little quirky.
    Vintage mirrors are a little quirky.
  • paint the window and baseboard trim and touch-up the wall paint;

    The round window trim has been installed.
    The round window trim has been painted.
  • install the round window trim;
  • hanging lighting fixtures over the vanity;

    Master bathroom vanity pendants.
    Master bathroom vanity pendants.
  • hanging towel bars in the master bathroom;

    We installed a towel bar on the side of the vanity for Charlie's towel.
    We installed a towel bar on the side of the vanity for Charlie’s towel.

Now that the sinks are working in the master bathroom we no longer need to use the pink bathroom  for tooth-brushing and hand-washing so it can be cleaned from top to bottom.

Got plans?

Plumbing List is Getting Long

We’ve been limping along with some undone and broken down plumbing situations.

We need the water supply to the Cottage bathroom restored.
We need the water supply to the Cottage bathroom restored.

I have decided to bite the bullet and just call a plumber.

The waterline just above the curtain rod is busted so we can't even turn on the water to the Cottage.
The waterline just above the curtain rod is busted so we can’t even turn on the water to the Cottage.
  • In the Cottage
    • Propane water heater
    • Propane furnace

      The propane heater in the Cottage is having issues also.
      The propane heater in the Cottage is having issues also.
    • Break in the water line
  • In the House
    • Hook up two master bathroom sinks

      The sinks are in and the plumbing roughed-in, now we just need connection.
      The sinks are in and the plumbing roughed-in, now we just need connection.
    • Reset master bathroom toilet
    • Reset conservatory toilet

      The new toilets need new flanges.
      The new toilets need new flanges.

These plumbing issues might be costly but I’m hoping that bundling them will same some money.

I’m planning to call today to set this up.

Have you got plumbing issues? How are you mending it?

And Another Towel Bar in the Master Bath

Can there ever be enough towel bars?

The Moen "Icon" towel bar bows away from the wall.
The Moen “Icon” towel bar bows away from the wall.

I put one high on the wall to the right of the sinks.

The brackets have built in molybolts and small lock teeth which are supposed to lock into drywall.
The brackets have built in molybolts and small lock teeth which are supposed to lock into drywall.

I want to say something about the Moen bracket, however.

This bracket seemed tight to the wall until I put on the decorative trim, when it immediately loosened.
This bracket seemed tight to the wall until I put on the decorative trim, when it immediately loosened.

I’m good at following instructions but I have not had these work for me yet. The directions say drill a 1/4 inch hole.

The brackets seem tight until the decorative trim is snapped on, at which time they lean away from the wall.
The brackets seem tight until the decorative trim is snapped on, at which time they lean away from the wall.

Good luck getting the post through a 1/4-inch hole even with a hammer.  I enlarged the hole slightly twice before the molybolt would go in.

The end of the mounting trim has a place for the notched bar and is marked with the length of the rod.
The end of the mounting trim has a place for the notched bar (seen here on the bottom)  and is marked with the length of the rod.

This time I put 2 extra anchors and screws in the left-hand bracket since it was loose on the wall after tightening up the molybolt. This procedure made the post slightly crooked.

The notch is hidden on the back side of the post trim.
The notch is hidden on the back side of the post trim after installation.

The Moen towel bars have a slight outward curve and a small notch where they meet up with the side posts to keep the pole from rolling.

The towel bar is handy for a quick hand-drying.
The towel bar is handy for a quick hand-drying.

I finally got the whole thing tightly installed and hung a small towel on it. Phwew.

Do you get frustrated with patented contraptions that don’t work well?

Mirror, Mirror

Now that the vanity top is installed in the master bathroom I am ready to hang mirrors on the wall above it.

The window wall in the master bathroom needs mirrors.
The window wall in the master bathroom needs mirrors.

Mirrors to fit these skinny spaces are hard to find, especially at a reasonable price. I would love this Beaudry mirror from Ballard Designs but it is too wide and costs way more than I would want to spend, especially for 2.

There's not much space between the window and the wall so the mirror needs to be narrow and tall.
There’s not much space between the window and the wall so the mirror needs to be narrow and tall.

My plan was to use 2 totally different vintage mirrors until I can find matching mirrors that will fit.

Both mirrors are hung the same distance from the countertop.
Neither mirror is actually over the sink.

I hung the larger of the two in the smaller space because this is Charlie’s side of the vanity. As I’ve said before he is left-handed and so the wall on the right-hand side will not impinge his maneuverings.

My mirror is approximately 9' by 18" inches.
My mirror is approximately 9′ by 18″ inches.

I hung the smaller, daintier mirror on my side.

Both mirrors are the same distance off the countertop.
Both mirrors are the same distance off the countertop.

The bottoms of both mirrors are 9 inches from the countertop.

Can't wait to hang this lighting fixture (times 2) in the master bathroom.
Can’t wait to hang this lighting fixture (times 2) in the master bathroom.

I think they could be a little higher on the wall but first I want to hang the lighting fixtures and get a backsplash tiled behind the vanity.

My mirror is centered between the window trim and the edge of the countertop.
My mirror is centered between the window trim and the edge of the countertop.

In the meanwhile these vintage mirrors will reflect just fine.

Do you make do until you find just the perfect thing? At a good price?