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My Sweetened Bathroom: The Very First Shower

The old bathroom

The demolished bathroom

The new bathroom

The first shower I took in my new bathroom was The Best Shower I Have Ever Taken. I believe I enjoyed it so much because it was the fist tangible fruit of the long, uncertain and draining home remodeling process. I stepped across the new tile floor, into the newly glazed tub, turned the gleaming shower controls and soaked under the powerful new showerhead. It was almost surreal being in a place I know so well and having such a fresh experience. I soaked it in, literally. I stood there until the skin at my fingertips wrinkled.

The bathroom design is not perfect. If I had the opportunity to do the room again there are things I would do differently: I would lower the shower curtain rod, raise the tub controls, slide the shower niche further away from the showerhead, and specify a different, darker-colored floor tile and grout.

But there are also things that, almost magically, turned out more perfectly than I could have planned. Although the existing walls of the room were laminated with a 3/4″ backer board to provide a level surface for the tiler, pinching the room in both dimensions, the space feels higher and grander than it did before. The size of the medicine cabinet and it’s height off the floor are perfect. And the almond-colored grout in the wall tile throws a subtle, golden glow over the entire room, giving it an unexpected warmth.

I wonder why I hesitated for so many years before undertaking my bathroom remodel. The results seem simply amazing.

(Photography by Jeffrey Kilmer)

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