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Home Location : Minneapolis, MN
Home Built : 1927
Photographer : Joy Watson, Modern Joy Photography

Summary :

We added a spa bath in the formerly unfinished basement of this 1927 boiler-heated home. The old lonely blue toilet stall against a concrete wall in an unfinished basement was transformed into an inviting and spacious bathroom. Now you step out of this curb less two-person intricately tiled Steam shower, open the frameless glass door and take a warm towel from the new hydronic towel warmer. Custom cabinetry, Silestone countertops, and light fixtures are seamlessly aligned at the Chocolat and Crème tiled walls and around the new plumbing fixtures. Linen cabinetry hides an angled laundry chute and provides even more bath storage around the new energy efficient toilet. To elegantly access the bathroom, a finished hall and new matching horizontal paneled doors and hardware were installed. A fashionable and calming retreat in the metropolitan area was created and is enjoyed.


Awards & Achievements :

See other projects we did on this home :

Scope & Objectives

Light abounds! Natural light from the glass block window, recess lights in the shower and general bath ceiling, and the Kichler wall sconces at the sink make you forget you are in a basement.

Tile intricacies are everywhere! American Olean Crème and Chocolat Porcelain tiles were used in the border pattern running completely around the shower – through the recess shampoo niche, the pitched drain floor, and on the angled ceiling-not an easy task to do when you have tile pitching in different directions. Plus, two different grout colors were used – light on light tile and dark on dark tile. Tile patterns relating to plumbing and electrical fixture centers were carefully calculated so that the end result appears seamless around all the various materials and applications in the steam shower and at the sink wall.

Custom stained Aniline-Dyed Rift-Sawn Oak cabinetry and Yukon Blanco Silestone countertops next to the pedestal sink add even more storage and look fantastic.

The new horizontal paneled Wood Harbor doors and Emtek Crystal hardware were selected to match the existing originals in the rest of this 1927-built home.

In the new plan, the toilet location was moved to the opposite wall. Typically it’s preferable to hide a toilet from initial view when you enter a room; however, this layout allowed the new attractive Kohler plumbing fixtures to be designed into easily serviceable locations, in addition to design the layout to achieve the customers’ wishes and other reasons mentioned previously.


Challenges

The homes original laundry chute location came down from the 2nd floor into the new basement bathroom. This potential obstacle actually helped us figure out the overall bath layout because we didn’t want wasted space on unnecessary walls, and so the custom linen and new toilet location made the perfect solution. Custom metal bending created a diagonal chute attractively hidden and drops the contents right into the laundry room on the other side of the sink wall.

There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into Steam Showers, like proper insulation, water-proofing, a pitched ceiling, mechanicals and concern for moisture control long-term. In addition proper steam sealing gets trickier when using a frameless shower door. We creatively placed this shower under the stairs to accommodate two people and all shower controls/handheld sprays and left room for the owners’ free-standing seat. This location allowed a place for the steam unit and valve access tucked under the stairs in the hallway.

The glass shower door, panel, and operable transom complicated planning because the panel sizes were dependent on the door swing and the cabinet bench depth. Low ceiling height caused us to choose an operable transom within the panel rather than above the door, which is used for general showering, not steam. The shower door opens into the largest part of the room so that it can stay open when unused without conflicting with the bath entrance door.

The existing concrete floor was removed in the new bathroom and hall areas for plumbing, electric and hydronic heat. Several meetings with the plumber, tiler, and concrete company were right after demolition to be sure all heights were perfect and therefore finish work would be problem free.


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