To free up valuable floor space, I removed the cast-iron radiator and installed Warmboard radiant-floor heating after leveling the floor by sistering 2x4s to the existing joists. One advantage of Warmboard is that its 1 1/8-in. thickness makes a very stiff floor. I used it to heat approximately two-thirds of the room and purchased an extra 1 1/8-in. filler panel to heat the other third where the shower drain and the toilet waste pipe exit.
I had no idea how long it would take to install a waterproof shower system, but after a lot of research, I decided to use the Schluter-Kerdi system. I made the shower as large as possible (which was expanded during rough-in), and the final inside dimension is 48 in. by 38 in. In the corner, I incorporated a small shower seat from A Better Bench. It is a stainless-steel unit filled with dry-set mortar and then tiled.
Interestingly enough, one of the ways I was able to save on the purchase price for many products was to get them on eBay. Some of my eBay purchases included the Schluter-Kerdi components, the ceiling fan, the storage-cabinet lights, and the electrical wall plates.
The economical built-in storage consists of two Ikea kitchen cabinets: a 24-in. pantry cabinet for the main closet and hamper storage, and a 24-in. sink cabinet that I cut down to 22-in. depth to make a custom vanity. An LG Hi-Macs solid-surface countertop and sink were fabricated to complete the custom vanity. A mirrored medicine cabinet adds to the storage in the bathroom.
The electrical system includes four separate lighting circuits, sconces on each side of the medicine cabinet, two shower lights, one light for artwork above the toilet, and the storage-cabinet lighting system, which works off its own door switch. All have separate dimmers. An electronic timer is used to power the Panasonic exhaust fan.
After many trips to the tile store, we made our final choices. The tile in the room is natural stone or marble. Green marble tile is carried throughout the room as baseboard, trim, and wall tile, and is included in the floor as an inlay.
I installed an awning window in the shower to replace the old glass-block window with the help of Jayhawk Exteriors Inc. Because the neighbor’s house is about 20 ft. away, I put the window above shoulder height, which eliminated the need for a window treatment. The height also minimizes exposure to water during showers. We chose a Jeld-Wen AuraLast wood window because of the 20-year warranty. I used a single coat of oil-based primer and two finish coats of oil-based paint to treat the window. Proper ventilation is also a key factor in the window’s longevity, so I installed a fan and an electronic timer that operate for 60 minutes after a shower.