Our little bathroom has seen a lot of changes over the past nearly two years. In fact, with this latest change, we’ve touched everything except the tub and tub/shower surround without actually losing the use of our only bathroom for longer than a couple of hours. While it doesn’t contain a clawfoot tub or porcelain hex tiles, I can honestly say that I’m really happy with how the bathroom turned out. (And, for those that are curious, our painted and stickered floors are holding up great!)
Back when we updated our Toronto bathroom (oh, hi, 2013!), I asked my dad if it would be possible to update our tub/shower fixtures. I was quite happy with our tub/shower surround (how I miss you white subway tile!), but the Delta trim kit was a little dated. My dad explained that new fixtures would have to be the exact same size and use the exact same valves to make a swap possible, otherwise we’d have to destroy drywall and tile in order to access the plumbing. Not worth it at that time in that house (I settled for replacing the shower head only), but fast forward six years to Oak House and the same change was on my mind, but worth it this time.
This is an older photo (we’ve since replaced the bathroom door), but this ugly panelled wall is all that separates me from my bathroom plumbing. The previous owners updated the bathroom circa 2002 and my guess is, at that time, they took the liberty of destroying the plaster wall in order to access plumbing. It’s probably the first time a poor choice by the previous owners worked in our favour!
We will be renovating this hallway this year — I won’t be sorry to see the last of this faux wood panelling — so I wanted to get these tub/shower fixtures replaced first, just in case the plumber needed to get behind this wall. I didn’t care if he had to pull this panel off, but I would care about brand new drywall, obviously.
Because we aren’t planning a new tub/shower surround, I was careful to order fixtures of the same size and spacing. While matte black is becoming easier to find, there’s not as much choice as with, say, chrome. That actually suits me, provided I can still find what I need. This Moen trim kit from Wayfair fit the bill, along with this Moen slide bar and these new bathtub pieces by Kingston Brass.
We used Mike from Rather Be Plumbing to replace the fixtures and he was excellent. (I did the overflow plate myself, but my dad said he’d definitely hire a plumber to do the other pieces.) I know my house is old and jerry-rigged to the nines and not straightforward and hardly ever throws us a bone. I love it and make excuses for it and plead with it to just comply with my vision, but I can understand why trades come in here with a big sigh. When I meet someone who shares my can-do attitude and who doesn’t act like I’m inconveniencing them with my so-not-square house, I have them back over and over and tell all my friends and the Internet about them.
Even with my careful measuring and consideration (I mean, at least I knew better than to just buy any old trim kit that I liked and assume we could slap it in place), I didn’t have the right valve behind the wall for our tub/shower faucet, but Mike made it work without replacing the valve and didn’t complain about it. Nothing like finally finding a good plumber for the very last plumbing project in the house…
Nothing like getting nice tub/shower fixtures for your final few weeks (days?) of pregnancy either! So happy to soak in a bath in here now.