“Don’t wait.”

main bath_reno

“The time will never be just right.”—author Napoleon Hill                                       Words to live by, in many respects.

The renovation: it can stress, it can certainly be costly, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t plan and budget, it’s really a reminder for myself…don’t wait too long!

Like many the kick off of home projects can stress me—largely because mess agitates—and my house work can land on the back burner while focusing on client homes where projects are often tackled for the express purpose of attracting buyers, wise move, but I would also suggest if you can live lightly in the new space, enjoy it some before handing it over.

Prior to a big downsize and my move back to downtown Toronto I owned an early 1950s Cape Cod in charming Dundas Ontario. The home had but one owner before me, a beautiful neighbourhood near conservation lands,  a well maintained classic home just dated, quite, the property requiring some TLC outside and in.

The main floor bathroom was ‘vintage’ when I moved in, trippy blue wallpaper and blue fixtures. It also ‘featured’ a kind of Rococo lighting and mirror—white metal, ornate with flowers and vines, you know, the kind of thing you must change, now, it’s quick, easy, cheap and the improvement huge!

In tackling the main floor bath reno we suspected once the old tub came out we would see major water damage to a wall and we worried the floor too. Some tile had come off before we bought, your home inspection is a visual so though we could see loose tile we couldn’t see behind, once we closed the tile came off, the wall was not really all there. As a temporary quick fix we had a surround installed to prevent more damage. Thankfully when that and the wall came down, tub out, the floor was fine, we had new cement backer board installed, waterproofed and Bob’s your uncle as they say.

There are times to spend on your renos and times to conserve—given it was an older home I had a lengthy list of updates to tackle, I knew I wouldn’t be settling here for many years so with this bathroom I wanted to conserve funds, I wanted the work done right with quality materials but made the effort to conserve where possible.

As you can see A) I’m being quite brave showing these pictures of the before and B) it was really gratifying ripping this out!





The vanity was in excellent condition and offered a ton of storage so it stayed, once the room was painted the existing counter top tied in nicely. Clearly white fixtures were in order, check! Outside the bathroom in the hall there was a hatch allowing access to the tub’s plumbing, should we need to access the pipes I will happily have a hole cut into the wall. Oddly the previous owner had highlighted the hatch with moulding around it because…..it’s a feature? Well, not now, gone, new clean plaster.

We debated keeping the ceramic but it really doesn’t add much cost to replace bathroom flooring, once the tub was removed there was no question we needed a refresh. One of our favourite elements in this bathroom is the grey linen tile around the tub, love the texture, I may be doing this exact tile in my condo I like it so much.

I bought the house to move an elderly parent in with me, some bars were in place but I was able to source proper, secure and more attractive hand grips for the tub, a shelf for shampoo doubles as a hand grip, the 50s wall insert toilet roll holder was removed and a hand grip doubling as roll holder took its place. If you need senior assists there are some handsome and effective options.


So, here it is, a quick, affordable and effective update to my main floor bathroom. Classic grey, a bold print on the blind, the addition of crown moulding (there was none) is key for me, I love how crown finishes a room, so crisp. I enjoyed the updates and my buyer, owner #3, inherited a properly renovated, nicely updated spacious bath—don’t wait, renovate 😉


There’s lots more from this house, stay tuned…

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