A Bath Refresh: From Leaky to Luxe

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A renovator redoes her bath out of necessity and finds beauty in the remodel

Project: Fix leaky plumbing in a Manhattan co-op and while youre at it, renovate the entire bath

Before: When commercial photographer, Veronica, moved into her Upper West Side apartment in 2014, she considered it move-in ready. All I had to do was paint and tile the kitchen, she explains. I hoped to redo the bathroom one day, but it seemed like an overwhelming and big joband especially expensive in New York City.

Cut to a few years later. She received a complaint from her neighbors directly below and after investigating, it turned out her tub was leaking into their apartment. I had a plumber check it out, and he confirmed Id have to get the tub replaced to fix the leak, says Veronica. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), that meant the attached surrounding tile would need to be replaced. It kind of became a domino effect of redoing everything, but I figured it was a good time to make some upgrades, she says.

Veronica was more than happy to get rid of the outdated beige tile and grimy old jet tub and posted her project on Sweeten, a free renovation platform that matches homeowners with licensed general contractors and tracks their projects. I was really looking forward to designing a bathroom that had a walk-in shower with a glass door, she says. The light fixture didnt work and the vanity was small and crammed in next to the shower so it was a no-brainer to replace those as well.

After: The bathroom was transformed from a basic beige bathroom into a rich, modern space. Through Sweeten, Veronica found the contractor who would renovate her space with her vision in mind. The bathroom got very little light to begin with so I decided to embrace the cave-like atmosphere and go dark, Veronica says.

Black bathroom tile

She added matte brass fixtures for warmth as well as marble floor tile for texture. My favorite thing is the walk-in shower, says Veronica. Its so much easier to clean, it makes the tiny space feel more open, and it gives a modern look and feel.

Having a wall-mounted sink without a vanity also opened up the room. Veronica was glad not to have crammed in an 18-inch vanity that doesnt hold much anyway and visually disrupts the room. Initially, the plan was to install a wall-mounted toiletbut found out that it was out of the budget and required permits.

black and gold bathroom

Bonus: Acabinet above the bathroom door serves as added storage for towels and other supplies.

Style finds: Metro collection floor and wall tiles in graphite:Nemo.American Standard Decorum 20 sink: Build.com. Kohler exposed hardware, #K-9018-BDGp-trap with long tubing outlet;set of twonpt angle supplies; Glassware House frameless fixed glass panel, #GW-SFP-35.5-PB; San Souci elongated one-piece toilet: Wayfair. Mirror: Pottery Barn. Dewdrop Globe vanity light: Shades of Light. Paint in Days End: Benjamin Moore. Cabinet above door: Ikea.

Thank you, Veronica, for sharing your new bathroom with us!


Check out another stunning renovation born out of a water leak.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each projects location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Followthe blog, Sweeten Stories,for renovation ideas and inspiration and when youre ready to renovate,start your renovation on Sweeten.

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