Before & After: A Crumbling Bathroom Gets a Fresh New Look

The hall bathroom in Mary Ann and Frank’s Upper West Side apartment was a bit of a Monet: cute from afar, but kind of crumbly and weird up close. The apartment was built in 1929, and all the fixtures in the bathroom were original. This meant that the tiles and tub had both seen better days. After living in their apartment since 1992, Mary Ann and Frank were ready for a bathroom that was a little more ‘wow’ and a little less ‘it’ll do.’

The new bathroom stays true to the original space’s traditional look, with a few significant changes. The old, crumbling wall tile has been replaced by bright new tile in the same style. Mary Anne and Frank remodeled their master bathroom at the same time as this one, and since they chose to replace the tub in the master bath with a shower, they wanted to preserve the bathtub in this room. But they also wanted to add a separate walk-in shower.

To accommodate the new shower, an old storage closet in the bathroom was removed. Mary Ann was worried that the size of the shower — 27″ x 32″ — wouldn’t be sufficient, so her contractor taped out the space for the new shower on the floor of the old bathroom to reassure her. The glass shower enclosure helps to open up the room, an important consideration in such a small space.

To make up for some of the lost storage space in the hall bathroom, Mary Ann and Frank added an oversized vanity to their new master bathroom. In the hall bath, they opted for a traditional open vanity, a nod to their apartment’s classic style. The medicine cabinet provides space for toiletries and other bathroom necessities.

The graphic cement tiles on the bathroom floor were a last-minute addition — Mary Ann stumbled upon them and fell in love with them just before the bathroom floor was about to be installed. Fortunately, the contractor was able to make the switch, and the back and white tiles add the perfect dose of pattern and modern style to an otherwise very traditional space.

Mary Ann and Frank found their contractor on Sweeten, a free service matching homeowners with local general contractors. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.

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