Shower Doors and Snowcaps

I’ve been putting off buying a shower door for about…oh…a year now? I knew it wouldn’t be an inexpensive item, and I’ve been hoping/waiting for an awesome sale or a floor model/open box to be available. I wasn’t really expecting that since it’s not exactly the type of thing that goes on sale or that they display in-store and switch out often.

So, I finally narrowed down my options to a couple of choices and asked the hubs which he preferred. We easily agreed and decided we better just do it already unless we want to shower upstairs until eternity.

Thankfully, our shower is one of several “standard sizes” and therefore we could buy a pre-made door even though it would have to be special ordered (non-stock item). That meant we were looking more at about $1k from a big-box store instead of $2-3k for a custom one from a local glass place.

Don’t let me lie to you. You can buy a new shower door for a couple hundred bucks if you don’t mind the sliding kind with a frame. We’ve saved our pennies on other items in the master bathroom specifically so we could get a frameless shower and still be under budget for the entire room. I just knew that I’d hate it if we didn’t go that extra step.

I chose the Dreamline Unidoor Lux in brushed nickel.

shower door

Home Depot had it for $20 less than Lowe’s, so we asked Lowe’s to price match. Both stores have similar price-match policies.

price match

They’ll match the price, plus beat it by 10%. This only applies to items “…at a local retail competitor.” As in, stocked items at my local stores. Neither Home Depot nor Lowe’s stocks this door, so we didn’t think it qualified for the extra 10%, but the hubs went in to clarify.

Lowe’s wouldn’t beat it by 10% (an extra $70), but they did price match it and knock off another ten bucks. The guy explained to the hubs that he couldn’t take it down another 10% since it wasn’t a stocked item. To which the hubs said he understood. Then the Lowe’s guy said he’d take another $10 off just because he likes to be good to their customers. Awesome. That’s a couple of overpriced lattes in my belly!

So, that brought it down to $689 and then with our 5% Lowe’s discount, it was $654. Not inexpensive by most standards, but way less than the $1k I had anticipated.

Oh yeah, they’re also going to deliver it for free in a couple of weeks. In the mean time, let me continue showing you the other two bathrooms in this house.

So far in the upstairs bathroom, you’ve seen the painted vanity and new hardware, the concrete countertop, the sink, faucets, light, mirror, and the tiled floor and walls.

We also changed the outlets and switches to white, like we’ve been doing all through the house as we go.

white outlet

I changed the door knobs to oil rubbed bronze from brass.

Metal takes spray paint really well, and there are some great spray paints on the market these days. In the past, we’ve been able to spray paint door knobs instead of buying all new. It’s not like they cost a fortune, but at $15-20 each, they add up really fast if you’re updating the entire house.

The door knobs in this house were not in good condition. I guess there was some sort of factory clear coat over these original brass knobs and it was looking pretty bad.

old doorknob

I suppose I could have sanded down every single door knob and sprayed them, but sometimes it’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars rather than spend a million man hours. If I was young and had one little baby and all the time in the world, but no money, I’d totally sand these down. But I’m so not young and I have zero babies and my days are very busy with educating my children.

I remember that they did this over at YHL once, so if you’re curious about the process, check it out. We have painted door knobs in rent houses that have lasted for over ten years, so it’s definitely a durable DIY project. If your knobs are in decent condition and wouldn’t require any sanding, I totally suggest it as an easy update if money’s tight.

But I just bought new. We’re going so slowly around here, that I’ve had plenty of months of deposits into my home improvement account. New door knobs didn’t break us.

I also wanted to paint the doors and trim in the boys’ bathroom. It wasn’t in great condition. There are two doors, one entering from each attached bedroom. One of the doors opens against the tub and had apparently suffered some water damage over the years.

Of course I snapped an excellent picture of that for you.

water damage

I’ll mention again (for those of you who haven’t been reading from the beginning) that I’m not a wood purist. Neither am I someone who wants to paint every piece of wood I can get my hands on. I fall somewhere in the middle; I don’t mind painting wood when it needs it.

I suppose I could have tried to restore this wood and match the stain to the rest of the wood in the bathroom, but since I wasn’t crazy about the color, I was more than okay with painting it.

Normally I choose ultra white or bright white. I love a true white! But, we were keeping the original shower tile.

shower tile

It’s not what I’d install today if I had my choice, but it’s in great shape and it’s not a funky color. It was definitely worth keeping, in my opinion.

It wasn’t a bright white, though, and I knew if I painted the trim a bright white up next to that tile, it would emphasize the fact that it’s kinda old and maybe a bit dingy (though I think that color was intentional just like all the almond outlets that look nicotine stained to me). Thankfully it wasn’t nearly as dark as the old outlets and switches. Definitely not almond. Just not bright white.

There are a million white/off-white/almost white paint colors out there. I brought home several paint chips and held them up to the tile until I found one that wasn’t too white, but that wasn’t an exact match to the tile for fear that it would make it overwhelmingly obvious that the sink and toilet were brand new, shiny white while the tile was old (and the paint would look old and yellowed).

Yellowed and old was not the goal. Subtle variation was. I chose Snowcap, which isn’t nearly as dark as it looks online.

It’s actually so subtle, and the bathroom is so bright, that (in the absence of bright white primer) it reads like a true white. I’d never even realize that it wasn’t the same white that I’ve used on the rest of the woodwork that has been painted throughout the house so far. But, it’s soft enough that it’s a perfect middle color to balance the brand new sink and thirty-year old tile.

In the following pic, the trim just has bright primer still, while the door has been painted Snowcap. See how it is closer in color to the tile? (I’ll show you more pics at the final reveal, of course.)

trim color

See that brass shower knob sneaking into the picture? That’s the only thing left to update in this bathroom. And the guest bathroom is completely finished! I’ll show you that next time.