This beautiful bathroom renovation in a Cabbagetown Atlanta shotgun home began with problem, a major problem. The bottom was literally falling out—certainly a crisis in the shower.
It was the result of a botched newer remodel on the bathroom, whereby the new tile job wasn’t installed properly. No pan had been poured for the base, no liner was in place, and no one bothered to install a cement backer board. I would also wager that the grout and tile had not been sealed. This quadruple fail led to water easily finding its way through the tile, wending down and through subfloor and joist. The result was that the joists, exterior sill, and subfloor were rotted through and through, even past the curbing on the shower.
In order to repair this, everything had to go and we peeled back the layers halfway to the toilet. Demo was extensive and once the rot and mold were removed, we found pooled water in the crawl space. Also we discovered that the weight bearing corner of the bathroom was missing a pier.
Structural work is the skeleton of the house and making sure that is done well, with new sill, new joists, new subfloor, then everything else stands on the top of that. Then and only then, can you turn your focus to the beautiful. And that’s the fun part.
The travertine that existed wasn’t bad, but it didn’t tie into the slate on the floor. So, we redesigned the shower using a neutral greyish-beige limestone in a subway pattern. We worked in a slate border by taking a 12×12 mosaic sheet and cutting it into three sections. I found a slate “pencil” and we used that to frame out the slate squares and we ran that around the shower at eye level. We also stepped up the design by running the tile to the ceiling and around the front sides of the walls. A custom glass shower door was the icing on the cake. The result is warm, timeless, and luxurious.
After this repair, the client wanted a new vanity, toilet, paint job, door, and wainscoting. So, we designed a custom vanity, using heart of pine wood from that Kentucky bourbon distillery flooring material, dating from 1740, and milled it into a beautiful cabinet. We topped it with Carrera Italian white marble, a period reproduction faucet, and milled a matching mirror. We removed the modern fixture and replaced that with a schoolhouse style light and replaced the non-working cans with a green, functional halogen can light. The old lights were over-heating and were smothered with insulation.
The antique white trim and wainscot are a nod to the period of the late 1800s shotgun Victorian and the overall feel of the bathroom is warm, classy and vintage.