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Bathroom remodel ready to reveal! Laundry too!

scottie mom
January 19, 2019

A couple of years ago, some of you helped me sort out a kitchen design issue, and some of the best advice I got was not to go forward with anything too extreme before resolving a laundry access problem that existed. The kitchen has been working well for the past 2.5 years, and now I’m happy to report that I’ve solved the laundry thing—by remodeling the bathroom!


What started as a “maybe let’s redo the shower tile” turned into a full-on gut renovation which took about three months. I’ll post a bunch of photos here. Feel free to ask questions. I don’t post a ton here, but I cannot begin to tell you how helpful it has been to read others’ experiences, and to learn from pros and amateurs alike. I’m very grateful for your generosity!

First, the shower. We began with demolition of this first. The entire bathroom was done in Indian Slate about 20 years ago. It was ok, but dated. And I wanted to incorporate laundry into this room, which would involve some demolition anyway. The old mud-set pan was ripped out, and a new shower built. I did keep the fixtures (all Axor Hans Grohe,) but I added a hand shower (Montreux) in place of a second shower head. The floor tile is a mosaic made from recycled windshield glass. Yes, it does feel great underfoot ;-)

The shower walls are a pretty basic 3x12 white. It’s ok, but I kind of regret not doing a handmade. In any event, the floor wants to be the star of this show! Jambs are Carrara marble, and there is a niche that I don’t think I have a photo of. We had a “bench” of sorts in the former shower, but it was kind of useless. I think the teak stool is much prettier.

Comments (49)

  • scottie mom

    Laundry: There used to be a big linen closet outside the shower (see my demo pic below.) The machines would *almost* have fit, but I just decided to be done with it and design something really functional. The machines are Miele W1/T1, and they’re great. This is an old bungalow with laundry relegated to a very difficult-to-access basement space. Remember the kitchen problem I mentioned? Getting down to the laundry involved opening a freaking hatch in the kitchen floor and climbing down a ship’s ladder. Enough said about that, since it’s entirely unnecessary now!

    I arranged plumbing and electrical to be accessible through a panel in the back of the linen cabinet. And below that, a pull-out for laundry supplies! (Side note: I did not anticipate loving the Miele Twindos feature so much. There’s really no need for all these big bottles and boxes of detergent anymore, so I have given the space to general cleaning supply.)

  • scottie mom

    Down at the opposite end of the bathroom, I decided to replace the old tub with a proper-sized vanity. The old one was cute, but tiny—a vessel sink in a 20” wide niche. That space will become shelves for laundry baskets. The bathtub never got much use, and it was a little cramped at that end of the bathroom (it’s a Jack-and-Jill, more or less.) The vanity base was made by the same cabinetmaker who did the tall cabinet. It’s walnut. The top is a 2” thick slab of stone with an integral sink. I got the Axor Montreaux faucet on eBay, as it is sadly discontinued in this size! There was only one, and it was Polished Nickel, so I just went with PN for all the hardware outside of the shower, where I already had Polished Chrome. The PN kind of warms up the cool palette, I think.

    Speaking of warmth, we replaced the old floor heat with a new system from Warmup. The old bathroom had NuHeat. While things were open, we went ahead and did spray insulation in the crawl, and then in the walls. I kept the old casement windows in their original location, but had my painter take them out for a refresh. I like them, but am still struggling a little with window treatments.

    The floor tile is a slate-gray porcelain which is tough, easy to maintain, and a little boring.

    So that's pretty much it! Thanks for reading, if you've made it this far ;-)

    Oh, I meant to include a demo photo--I have quite a lot, and many are pretty gruesome. You can see the old tub on the left, and the big hole where the linen closet used to be. Once the shower was tiled up to about 6' high, we decided to get the tub out of there, which allowed the guys to demo the rest of the floor. This photo was taken in late October, I believe. We probably could have left the drywall in place, but once we passed a certain point of demolition, it seemed like a better idea to just take it out and insulate properly. Also: I wanted the vanity on an exterior wall, so the space inside the vanity is furred out for extra foam. Sorry the lighting is kind of gloomy in my pics. It's a cold gloomy day! But the laundry is spinning away and the floor heat is nice and toasty. Very glad for all that insulation now!

  • mxk3

    Great job! I *love* that shower floor!

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  • PRO
    Stecki Construction

    Wow! Looks amazing! Love the shower! Thanks for sharing!

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  • scottie mom

    Thank you! As soon as I saw it in the tile shop, I was like "Yeaaaaah!" And then suffered through three months of renovation for it. LOL

    It's not the easiest thing to lay, but my tilesetter is pretty amazing. I'm quite pleased with it!

  • scottie mom

    Here's a couple more of that floor. I photographs much more "ivory" than it looks IRL. I used Mapei Frost on both floor and walls, if anyone is wondering. I wonder if I should't have used a softer white on the wall tile--it's a bit harsh. And yes, I did tell him *exactly* where I wanted that drain--or I should say, how that tile needed to align with that drain. I mean...any good tile setter would have done that, but after seeing some of the photos of curious choices that people make, I was extremely explicit. He's as pleased with it as I am, and I know it wasn't easy!

  • leela4

    I love that floor and drain. Wonderful choices and kudos to your tile person. Beautiful bathroom all around.

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  • scottie mom

    Thank you Leela! Much appreciated :-)

  • North Texan

    The floor is beautiful! The laundry doesn't appeal to me, however the execution looks very well done, kudos. Was there any discussion of a door for the laundry stack, some sort of sideways rolling wood slat style? I can see how a curtain or such would detract from the esthetic. Love the vanity choice.

    scottie mom thanked North Texan

    I love everything about your renovation. Lovely! I happen to find the view of the w/d quite pleasant. Your laundry supply slide out shelf is great. Thank you for sharing. It was fun to see.

    I don't see a door on the shower. Did I miss it or is there none? (I understand I might live under a rock regarding nice and modern showers...:)

    scottie mom thanked SEA SEA
  • scottie mom

    Thank you! We did think about a door, but it’s not good for the machines, and they are good looking. I’d rather they be out and proud than concealed behind doors. The space is rather tight. Sliding doors don’t appeal to me at all. Laundry is what it is, and we are thrilled to be able to do it on the main level!

  • scottie mom

    Thank you @Sea sea! You have a good eye. No glass on the door at all. It‘s always been a walk-in, and it feels like the perfect size. You don’t live under a rock! Everyone has a different idea about what works in a bathroom. I’m glad you like the pictures!

  • smalloldhouse_gw

    Wow, that's just awesome. I love all the finishes together - it's simple but elegant (esp the shower floor.) We are starting a bunch of renovations and are considering moving the stacked laundry into a main floor full bath. It's nice to know it can look so lovely in the end! Can I ask what the overall dimensions of the room are?

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  • scottie mom

    Oh thanks! It’s a long skinny room: about 5’-6” by 17’. I probably wouldn’t have done it (the laundry,) but for the new Miele machines, which had literally just come on the market in the US. I was intrigued by the heat pump dryer, and it is indeed a brilliant idea. It allows so much more flexibility for location: no need to vent, and no need to run a 220 outlet. There may be less expensive options for truly compact and efficient laundry machines by now, but I have no regrets.

    Good luck with your project! A small, old house is just what I’ve got here. Improvements like this are challenging, but with some careful design, you’ll end up with something truly special.

  • Annette Holbrook(z6b-7a)

    Love, love everything! I’m loving that you posted this reveal as I’m dealing with a similar issue. My laundry in my new (to me) cabin is in the main floor powder room. After a few posts here the consensus was to keep it where it is and make it attractive. So your reveal shows how well that can work.

    Do you use the pull out cabinet next to the W/D for folding or is it too small? I’m trying to figure in some folding space in my situation.

    I just went through your kitchen thread(enjoyed it immensely). So am I reading correctly that you didn’t do a big Reno on the kitchen yet, but can now move forward as you’ve addressed the laundry issue?

    I just ordered some of the Puracy Stain Remover, how do you like it?

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  • Sheri
    You're bathroom is beautiful. I think you did an amazing job picking out all of the finishes and colors, they all work very well together. Do you have information on the tile you used for the shower walls and floor? I've been looking for our master bath and I love both of your tile choices.
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  • scottie mom

    Thank you Annette! I'm so glad that this is helpful to you. Indeed I did struggle with bringing laundry into a space like this. I studied a lot of smaller laundry spaces, and I was able to make every inch count. The Miele has an optional stacking kit that includes a drawer, and we decided to roughly line that up with the base pull-out. The little drawer is handy for storing small laundry-related items (mostly the manuals and cheat-sheets for learning these things LOL.) I also offset the sink in the vanity in such a way that it leaves some folding space.

    To me, the machines are attractive (they should be, for that price!) But the little drawer is absolutely brilliant. And my cleaning pull-out is also brilliant, if I do say so myself ;-) Credit to my very skilled and patient cabinetmaker. You can probably barely see the slim door at the very top of the tall cabinet. it's got a flip-up lid, and can hold skinny things.

    And thanks for reading my crazy kitchen thread! You are correct, I did not do anything more to the kitchen. For the past couple of years, I've been thinking about a big addition which would make the kitchen work and allow for laundry, but that's just going to take too long. Every time I went down those stairs (a ladder, really,) I felt like I was taking a risk. The Miele is not an insignificant purchase (not to mention the plumbing, tiling, etc etc.) But I consider it an investment that may prevent a much more costly consequence. Plus, I just hated dismantling that kitchen every time I needed to do laundry. I read a thread here called something like "What's your biggest laundry gripe?" and it's full of people complaining about going down into an unpleasant and/or unsafe spider-infested space to do the wash. It really got me thinking about quality of life. Everyone has to do laundry, for the most part! And until recently, you really needed to be able to vent the dryer. Condenser dryers just don't work, especially for most Americans who are used to a more "robust" level of dry ;-) The heat pump is very different. There is no heat and humidity added to the room, and the thing actually dries. And it's insanely efficient, to boot.

    So I took a gamble on the Miele, and basically designed around it. It makes me so happy to hear you say it looks like a finished space. There were a couple of schemes that would have been easier to achieve (placing the machines side-by-side where the tub used to be,) but then I'd lose the vanity. I should share a photo of the tiny thing that used to serve as a vanity. It's barely suitable for an entry powder room! So I figured, might as well make the vanity really gorgeous! Honestly, the bathtub was mostly used for laundry baskets that we didn't want to take downstairs yet. So adding the laundry and some really thoughtful storage worked out very well.

    Oh, you've got a good eye! The Puracy is nice. I actually got the "starter kit" for my mom when she moved. That's a good way to try one of everything. I read about it on The Wirecutter and have been using it ever since. It doesn't smell much, and it seems really clean.

    I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing what you do with your cabin. It's a journey, that's for sure. Thanks for your comment :-)

  • scottie mom

    Thank you Sheri. The floor tile is from a company called Terra Bella, and it is called Riviera. The wall tile is Marlow Anatolia in Cloud Glossy. There are other nice neutrals in that range, and it's very inexpensive. Worth noting that there's a pencil liner but no bullnose in that wall tile. We worked around it, but I didn't want pencil liner in the niche, so it's lined in marble. The mosaic was a bit of a splurge, but worth every penny.

    I should add that I work with an excellent local tile shop. There's so much to know, and it's worth going through someone local to get exactly what you want. I've learned a lot through this process. Good luck!


    Op wrote "It makes me so happy to hear you say it looks like a finished space."

    Scottiesmom, please, feel confident about your finished bathroom and laundry area. It's gorgeous, functional and I can really feel the care and thought that went into it. I was tired last night when I made my post upthread and upon seeing it again tonight, I could have been more complimentary (wordy) instead of so spartan in my words. I really tune into your new space and in some parallel life where my house magically becomes functional to my liking, I would like to have a space like yours to enjoy :) My house is an older, originally very small, and not well planned out series of additions over the course of 60 years, so I understand very much about trying to make sense out of some of these crazy quilt types of houses. I am very proud of your accomplishment. Yours is one the 'afters' that truly brings a smile to my face and an audible 'atta girl'.

    Enjoy that beautiful counter for folding and those Miele machines, well, you will be so happy! Good for you! Congratulations.

    scottie mom thanked SEA SEA
  • Nancy in Mich

    Wow, that floor! Love it, and love how you framed the entry of the shower with the wall tile on the outside. The room looks so warm and totally user-friendly now. Comfortable. I would have done the very same thing with the laundry if faced with having to open a hatch in the kitchen floor to access the basement laundry area! So smart, and so nicely done. good job!

    I gotta ask, what are the switches low on the wall next to the toilet for?

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  • PRO
    KT tile

    The shower floor tile is awesome! Really catches the eye!

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  • scottie mom

    Thanks so much! Sea_Sea, you're very kind. Not to worry at all! I was not at all offended by your thoughtful comment. And Nancy, I've been so impressed by your own bathroom renovation. Talk about working out the details! It’s inspiring to see someone jump in with both feet and do all the right research. I find that so much design (especially for aging-in-place,) is about experimenting and listening, rather than looking at standards. You’ve got an amazing record of your work that will no doubt help a lot of people down the road.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I am an architect, and I do this kind of thing for a living. Lately we’ve been getting a lot more interest in laundry spaces. When I work on my own house, I treat it as an experiment to make myself a better designer. And being a client is one tough job, so it's important to check in with that role from time to time. (I do have a "pro" account on here that I use very rarely, because I have mixed feelings about Houzz as a place for marketing. I’d rather just learn as an “amateur,” which has been incredibly enlightening.) So for anyone who thinks I’m just good at it, believe me: every last 1/8th inch of this space was drawn, redrawn, and drawn again. Some drawings are for explaining what the plumber needs to do, and others are to work out cabinet details. I see people post here when they’re disappointed about a tile layout, or when they’ve misunderstood what the cabinet guy meant by “built-in.” If you’re not good at visualizing things, hire someone who is. Then get yourself some graph paper and work out the dimensions for yourself as needed. Inspiration photos are good too, but you’d better mark on that photo in writing what exactly you see, because believe me, everyone else sees something different.

    Bathroom renovations are incredibly complicated, and they take a ton of time because every single trade needs to come in and out of a tight space that happens to be very personal to the owner. I did not need to redo all the tile in this room. I did it because I have felt less-than-well-informed when I get questions from my tile guys on job sites. I work with an excellent tile shop and relied on the owner for his design-eye, and his experience with everything from grout color to floor heat. As beautiful as that shower floor tile is, I’m more pleased to know that the pan underneath it is just as exquisite in its execution ;-)

    Thanks for all the kind words. It really does feel good to have it done!

  • scottie mom

    Oh and Nancy! The switches are for light and fan at the WC. They were at the same location when it was a linen closet, and I just kept them there, more or less.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn

    Love every piece of it! Well done! And thanks for posting the pictures - this will surely help others with their remodels!

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  • North Texan

    The laundry space here is wonderful. I've looked at it some more, and understand now the real impossibility of doors in that configuration. Of course, you being an architect makes sense with that look your achieved.

    Now, spill the secret on the top storage over that laundry slider...I assume its a storage area with sliding shelves?

    scottie mom thanked North Texan
  • enduring

    Love your setup! Very cool elements in every area. Love the floor inside the shower and out. love the sink. love the stacked W/D and surround.

    I have my Miele stacked in my narrow bathroom and am so happy with it. I love my Axor Montreux fixtures too. They've been in operation for about 7 years now.

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  • Patti

    I'm in love with your shower floor! I'm not clear on what the mosaic is, exactly. Each tiny little circle is tiled? Sorry for my dumb question.

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  • scottie mom

    Not at all, Patti! And thank you for your comment. Here is a picture of the mosaic before it was laid onto the shower floor does that make more sense?

  • scottie mom

    Thank you Enduring! Id love to see what your stacked Miele look like in the bath. The Montreaux is such a nice line, isn’t it? I think the hand shower is so pretty, and it goes nicely with the more modern valve trims. Mostly, I was just crazy about that faucet with its friendly looking handles. They remind me of jazz hands ;-)

  • Cyndy

    Love this set up! We are doing a 1/2 bath /laundry combo and I only hope I can make it look so cohesive.

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  • scottie mom

    Thank you, North Texan! Above the pull-out is a set of adjustable shelves with a hidden panel that leads to the power and water hookups. I’ve got linens in there, plus I added a convenience outlet for the rechargeable toothbrush. And it has been pointed out that a Sonos would be fun in here, so it can plug in there ;-)

  • Patti

    Thanks for those extra pictures of the mosaic. The floor is seriously my favorite shower floor ever. We're starting a bathroom remodel in a few months and I could only hope to have something as outstanding!

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  • PRO
    Lion Windows and Doors

    Love love love that shower tile! great job.

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  • Nancy in Mich

    Looking at the shower floor tile without the grout, I see that it is, indeed, round balls. This must mean that the tiler must determine the amount of grout to apply to cover enough, but not enough to immerse too much of each ball in grout!

    Am I wrong about this? If I am not, it must take one confident tiler to install these. I do love the look. It appears that the tile would feel like little nubs under the foot - or do they not sit high enough out of the grout to have that effect?

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  • scottie mom

    You‘ve nailed it, Nancy. Excellent eye! They’re like tiny gumdrops made of glass. And they poke out from the grout surface to make a truly comfortable—and grippy—walking surface. Indeed I was blessed with a skilled tile setter. I would certainly not recommend this choice for even an enthusiastic DIY person. It’s lovely, but there’s nowhere to hide, in terms of mistakes. The CQ grout feels like a great choice. He said it worked well, and I’m thrilled with the result!

  • scottie mom

    Detail photo of the mosaic with the floor tile

  • PRO
    Norwood Architects

    Awesome! Love the pull-out storage next to the washer/dryer and the pull out shelf between the stack. Really ingenious use of space!

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  • PRO
    Ronna Rosenberg - Closet Factory (DC/MD/VA)

    Beautiful tile work is an under statement! And great job on the Laundry Room. I design Laundry rooms and you really thought it through. Enjoy your new space.

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  • PRO
    Stecki Construction

    Looks great! The tile floor in the shower looks amazing! Enjoy!

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  • jejvtr


    Lovely, well appointed, function, form beauty ! Congrats

    Do you mind sharing the Meile model # and dimensions - Trying to help a friend find a replacement for her current stackable units


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  • dabjg
    Amazing!!! Love it all!
  • waverley66

    Wow!!!!! Wow! Wow! Wow. Well, the attention to detail in the planning really shows. Everything is fabulous even though I shed a silent tear that the slate went. I can understand that if one had a laundry in a living room, one might feel the need to "hide" the washer and dryer but the thought of hiding it when it's placed in a bathroom is like trying to hide a range in a kitchen. It is functional and the beauty is in its function. Besides, after paying what one pays for the MIele set, why would one think of hiding it, especially behind a kitschy curtain? That's like putting a tutu on a Ferrari.

    You may have noted the name of the grey porcelain tile floor. I skimmed through the posts again but did not see it. What is it?

    You did note that there is no extra heat from the Miele dryer. I'm curious about that. I'm redoing my laundry room to do double duty as an office and want a stacked washer /dryer. I already have a dryer vent there and was reluctant to use a non-vented dryer as I have seen reports that it can add 10 degrees of additional heat. Not much concern if it's in a bathroom or mono use laundry room but not pleasant in an office which is already on the hotter side of a house.

    scottie mom thanked waverley66
  • scottie mom


    @jejvtr It's the Miele W1/T1 combo with the 4" stacking kit accessory drawer. They have very good dimensioned drawings on their website.

    And thank you Waverley66! I didn't hate the slate, until I decided on something new. And taking it out was not easy. Shed a tear for the poor tilesetter who carried it out of here in buckets. Ouch! It's really not a great choice for a shower floor. It was flaking off and never really felt clean. The people who owned the house before me had done it, and they were enthusiastic amateurs, I'd say. The pan was done right, but there was little finesse to the whole thing, and the sharp edges used to bug me. The liner was intact below the mud-set pan, but if the material you put on top isn't going to last 20 years, that's a pity. There's a reason I picked a new material literally made from recycled windshield glass. It's tough!

    Hah! You kind of just described my kitchen, btw. I've got a Bertazzoni range that's "out and proud" with no cabinetry/"tutu" around it at all. It's partly a function of the awkward layout, but I like the more European look of a beautiful range with little embellishment. I even think the way the pressure regulator was plumbed is attractive, so no need to hide it, IMO.

    The porcelain tile is Cornerstone Slate Grey 12 x 24. It also comes in black, which is pictured in my detail of the tile samples. I almost did the black, but backed off and went with the safer grey. I use it in a lot of projects: it's perfectly neutral and very forgiving in terms of maintenance. Cheap, too ;-)

    As for the heat of the dryer, I might have mentioned that I did place a thermometer-hygrometer next to the machines. I don't see or feel any significant change, but it is winter here. From what I understand, the heat pump takes care of the humidity. One of the things that helped to persuade me was hearing from someone here who put in a heat pump water heater. Crazy, right? He said his basement has never been so dry! We live in a humid area, and the last thing I'd want is to add to that problem. So far, so good! Thanks again for your kind words. And good luck!

  • waverley66

    I have to laugh. I have just gone back to my photos of my tile choices that I was looking at in one of my trips to Home Depot 2 weeks ago. That is the tile to which I was initially attracted!!!! I was looking for non skid carrara marble lookalike. I then saw that grey which I photographed. I liked that it was somewhat textured and non slippery. (and that it is the color of catlitter, which my renegades throw around the floor. ) I did love the black though. They had a larger display of black with black grout and it looked really sharp!!!!! I'm really drawn to that but wonder if it's as practical as the somewhat more blah grey. but my partner/contractor thinks it will be too dark. That 20 x8 back entry/laundry/cat room has no windows, just a glass door panel. Care to add your opinion ?

    I totally agree with your reservations about the slate. After being on African safaris where the gorgeous accommodation and bathrooms were done in slate. I was so tempted to do a bathroom or kitchen floor in it. But common sense prevailed as the uneven, rough texture would not be good for feet, naked body parts or kitchen cabinets to rest evenly on.

    Thanks for the answer on the heat issue on the dryer. Such a tough decision. I remember buying my first washer and dryer. Went to Sears and got a machine which washed clothes and one which dried them......

  • PRO
    Door Corner

    Beautiful! Love the tile!

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  • PRO

    Lovely bathroom! It must be so convenient to have the laundry room right there! You've managed to weave all these different elements together to create a cohesive and functional space. Great tile selection. Bravo.

    scottie mom thanked HomeDecorAZ
  • jtc

    Love everything. Well done!

  • PRO
    Urban Group Contractors

    Wow! This is great! Absolutely love the floor tile. It's awesome that you posted all the pictures. Enjoy your new space!

  • PRO
    PRM Custom Builders

    Very unique! Enjoying these photos!

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