I am a crazy person, so what. - [image: 5b155425d4c0fb39064381fe60cd9cbb] This morning I woke up with a headache. I also woke up with a nagging sense of discontent. This week while Mic...
14 January 2010
Apparently the reality check is a recurring them.
After a visit from one of many contractors clamoring for our business, all referred by ServiceMaster (hint, don't ask for a quote unless you want a barrage of calls), I've had to take expectations down another notch. Five to six grand in contractor charges, just to replace the bathrooms' flooring, install a light fixture or two, and knock out an unnecessary soffit over the master bathroom shower. That's not even to replace the tile tub and shower enclosures. And it doesn't include any of the actual fixtures or materials. Oy vey. (The contractor also took care to remind us that our job is "much smaller than the jobs they usually do." Thanks. Make us feel bad on top of it all for wasting your time.)
While this is certainly a drag, in a way it was a good moment to say, "You know, we really don't need to completely redo the bathrooms." And it's true. Even a few cosmetic and surface upgrades would make a big difference. Fundamentally the tile is in good shape. And the room layouts are about as good as they will get. But nonetheless, when the contractor left, I felt (in my second Clueless reference of the week) like Cher after she fails her driving test: "I had to get out."
And out I got, to the lovely home improvement emporia along Pico Blvd in West LA.
First stop: Lumber Liquidators, to check out the cork flooring.
Cork is very hip right now, though I'm still not sure if I actually like how it looks. But it would feel nice to step out of the shower onto soft, warm cork rather than cold, hard stone or ceramic tiles. Still, does cork actually look remotely good in a bathroom? (Please feel free to comment.)
Next stop, Euro Design, an astonishingly well-stocked kitchen and bath shop on Pico. I was especially intrigued by their selection of toilets and bath vanities, though their selection of stone and tile is really something.
The friendly TOTO toilet by the front door that opens when you walk by, as though it's saying "hello"
The toilet on the left is the TOTO Supreme, my new favorite -- it has the same low height and minimal depth as the Kohler Rialto, but is much slimmer through the hips
Many fancy fixtures
A vanity similar to the one we're looking at, but with a preferable porcelain bowl and a narrower footprint... but would future buyers find it too small?
Another option in lighter wood
A bevy of vessel sinks
Stop #3: The tile superstore across the street from Euro Design. Really an amazing selection, almost overwhelmingly so. Going in and asking for 12" carrera marble tiles is like going to Starbucks and asking for a cup of coffee. That's not nearly enough information for them. Polished or honed? Parallel striations or irregular? More white overall, or an even mix of white and gray? Are you sure you just want 12", not 18" square, or 12" x 18"? I also learned that you can get ceramic tile in virtually any faux-stone look you want. And some of them are actually very convincing. Though I still think I'd prefer either the real deal, or a ceramic tile that isn't posing as stone.
All of these tiles are ceramic, not stone
Last stop: Sherwin-Williams at Westwood and Santa Monica Blvd. I pulled every color strip with gray tones, the full spectrum of whites, as well as a whole pile of other neutrals.
The day's quary
So we have a lot of figurin' to do now: proceed with the original plan despite the higher-than-expected price tag? Change the plan and go minimal? Stay tuned...