Nothing has been easy about this bathroom renovation but I've decided that all of the setbacks and problems are going to make me appreciate the finished room that much more! Gratitude is my word for 2016. In other news, instead of renovating the kitchen (because who wants to go through this again, on a larger scale?), we're buying a boat.
Before I explain the problems with the new counter - and what stone I almost impulse bought instead - here's a look at the quartzite counter and those aqua sinks from Kohler. I've been teasing you with these things for about a year, so it's not fair to make you wait any longer...
Gorgeous, right? I can't get anything done these days because I spend all my time leaning against the bathroom door frame, staring into the bathroom all googley-eyed. Hopefully the new replacement drawer fronts will arrive soon because that's where my eye wants to wander.
After the tile and granite shop bunged up the bathtub (among other things), I canceled my order for stone counters from them, which means that this slab is not the slab I put a deposit on, way back when. Here's a look at the new slab:
Wandering the stone lot, on our way to pick out which corner of the slab we wanted, I fell in love with a different slab, another type of quartzite:
Isn't it pretty? It's so light and airy. I almost changed my mind but this slab was 50% more expensive, plus it didn't go with the aqua sinks. As well, I picked very plain tile because the white fantasy quartzite I wanted is so busy. With this stone, I would have chosen completely different tile. So I stayed the course, but spent a few nights pining. When we eventually renovate the kitchen (100 years from now - I'm really not kidding about the boat), I think I want this stone instead of the white quartz I'd decided on. Now that I have natural stone, I don't think I could ever be happy with a man-made material. Picture the slab above with all white cabinetry (or even walnut lowers and white, glass-fronted uppers), paired with some Fireclay tile. So dreamy...
Anyway - back to reality!
The quartzite counter was originally delivered Monday morning but the second it was set in place, I noticed a problem: the front right corner was really rounded. I had ordered as tight a corner as possible (in other words, as small a radius as possible) and, while the left corner was done correctly, the right hand corner was not. It bothered me so much that they were done differently!
I was so disappointed and wasn't sure if it could even be fixed. Luckily the installers were awesome and so helpful. I couldn't reach anyone at the store who could help, so they made some calls to figure out my options and encouraged me to send it back. I wasn't sure if the shop would re-cut an entire slab or if they could shave off the edge but I was hoping I could keep my slab because it was cut so beautifully. They had positioned the sinks so that a really prominent vein ran diagonally through the sink holes and it was just balanced so beautifully. I had been worried about half being really patterned and busy and the other half looking completely plain, but my worries were unfounded:
Once the slab was back in the shop someone looked up my file and, sure enough, I had requested a 10mm corner but had been given something different (we guess a 20, maybe 25?). I was asked to double check the length of my cabinet and they shaved off some stone from the right side to re-shape the corner (there was a bit of an extra overhang, so they re-cut the corner). Now both corners matched and are as blocky and squared off as possible. We drove into town before they delivered it to double check (something we should have done before delivery the first time).
Now the corner is perfect - as sharp as can be before it becomes slicey - but the right side overhang is 1/2 cm shorter than the front and left (which are the same). But the left butts up against the linen tower, so I haven't yet decided if the difference is noticeable.
I'm SUPER irritated that it couldn't be done right the first time because I spent an embarrassingly long time explaining what kind of corner I wanted and pointing to what I did and didn't want in the showroom - the corner shape was a big issue for me. I'm not always super particular, but that was something I was very specific about. It's fixed, but the solution isn't ideal.
Plus, there might be another problem: we have yet to install the faucets but I'm 99.9% sure that the faucet hole above the right hand sink is off centre by about 1/2". I'm waiting until we put on the faucets before ringing any alarm bells - it might look fine once the faucet is installed. Fingers crossed!
Despite these problems, I love the stone itself and am really happy with my choice. There are so many beautiful pockets of gleaming blue flecks in this slab and the veining is gorgeous. I can't capture in photos just how luminescent and light reflecting the stone is. It really looks like a frozen lake.
There is so much variation in the greys and I love how perfectly the organic quality of the stone pairs with the walnut wood grain (that's no accident!). I kept the floor tile really simple to highlight these two elements - and, of course, my dreamy aqua sinks. This is the only splash of colour so far and it's perfect, just a little peek of turquoise. It's the Serif undermount sink from Kohler, who partnered with me for this bathroom renovation. The colour is "Vapour Green".
In other news, we finally installed the Persuade Circ skirted toilet (also from Kohler) after sweating over drilling holes in the tile for it. Plus we're all done installing and painting the trim - which is one of those jobs we usually tend to drag out!
We still have some work to do, but we're getting there! Our bathroom to-do list has shrunk by leaps and bounds and all that is left is to:
- Finally acquire drawer fronts and put them on (soon, I hope)
- Install cabinet pulls
- Plop in the faucets and hook up (hope that hole looks more centered!)
- Hook up plumbing for the sinks
- Measure for sheet mirror and order it
- Get mirror installed
- Install sconces (SO excited for them)
- Install the new toilet paper holder (from Kohler - it's a thing of beauty)
- Get a replacement valence for our new blind
- Put up a shower curtain (I have an unusual plan)
- Sew a fun little shower curtain hack
- Get the tub fixed and finally deal with tile shop (uuuuggghhh, don't wanna)
- Try to get the permanent marker off the tile (sigh)
- Figure out why the tile creaks and squeaks (ditto)
- Make/find some art
- Accessorize! (Yay!!)