Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Toilet and Floor... the really, really important stuff {Second Bath}

We were really busy last week. We had "Family Day" last Monday, a statutory holiday observed in some of Canada's provinces (and we're happy to be in one of those provinces!). On Family Day, we took in a London Knights game, our city's hockey team, and even walked away with one of the practice pucks that came over the glass. Our youngest's love of hockey grew three sizes that day...

And, we were busy with wrapping up our second bathroom, other than a few cosmetic things. So a lot has happened since I last "saw" you. We've been using our second bath as if we had it all along, and we're loving it. *Spoiler alert*.. sometimes we just want to sit on our heated floors (yes, we went with heated floors!), and admire the work of the last few months.

But let's rewind and catch you up on a few things.. with hopes to reveal the whole bathroom next week.

We made the big decision to heat our basement bathroom floor. We didn't want to put all this effort into a new bathroom and then complain about cold floors. We could see ourselves using this shower regularly, especially the handyman after a cold day of working outdoors, and so stepping out of the shower should be a cozy, warm prospect. The heated floors also increase the room temperature by a few degrees which is nice. Plus, we thought it would be a great selling feature for future buyers (because that's always on our mind these days).

My handyman-dad installed our heated floors (we went with electrical heating, rather than hot water), and as you can see he used this orange underlay, which is called "ditra xl." It's texture allows you to weave the cables through the underlay. This isn't a thorough explanation of the process, but if there's a request for it, or any questions, I could have this handy-dad give us more details. We choose to heat the small area just outside the shower stall and in front of the vanity because this is the traffic zone, and it saved a few bucks. I can stand comfortably in bare feet and a towel (TMI?) and do my routine, and I love that.

The handyman placed the thermostat above the light switches, out of reach of little hands, and mostly out of sight. I like that it's white and blends in. I should have flipped it open for you to see, but the key pad is very simple and easy to navigate. What's extra nice about the thermostat is that it gives us the time. 

When it came to tile, we went with the same tile in our main floor bath because a. we had some leftover tile, b. the additional boxes we needed were on sale at Lowe's, and c. we just really like the look of it. It's a Nott gray procelain tile by Style Selections and the tile measures 6 x 24. We went with the charcoal grout, which unfortunately turned white on us again. So we're beginning to think it's the brand or type of grout. So far, I've done two grout cleanings with the Sulfamic Acid Cleaner, like we did here when our grout turned white, and it's slowly returning to it's original color. On one hand it was nice that we had this problem before and knew of a solution right away.

Important Note: We didn't turn on the heat until one week after the flooring was done to let it set completely.

For those who are curious about doing a small heated flooring project themselves, it cost us just shy of $500 (we're so grateful that labor was free, thanks dad!). It felt like a big cost in the moment, but it really paid off. Here's the cost breakdown for us (items were purchased from Sacwal Flooring Centre):

- Heating System $185
- Thermostat $147
- Ditra XL $74.25
- Mortar $19.95

+ tax ($55.41) = 481.61

On to potty talk...

We coined the day the toilet was installed as "Toilet Tuesday" and we weren't disappointed. The next morning, sure enough, there was a line up for the toilet and I reminded a little one of our second toilet.. and the clouds lifted (no more bowels in distress!). I completely identify with Dana at House*Tweaking who says it felt like she won the lottery when their second bathroom was done (and they have 3 kids!). We decided to go with a Kohler toilet in white with 1.28 GPF (gallons per flush), and we purchased it from Lowe's.

It's not an elongated bowl or dual flush, which we've grown to like in our main floor bathroom. But since it's a round toilet bowl it saves us a few inches of space between the shower stall and edge of the toilet (it gives us approx. 20" of space). We like that it's space-saving toilet, and that the toilet seat and lid are prevented from slamming.

Having the toilet installed was a huge wave of relief. THIS is why we embarked on this renovation several months ago! We feel like a whole new family over here. 

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