Saturday, March 5, 2016

Considering Fixture Shuffle

I am considering doing something perhaps irrational in our master bathroom remodel. I am thinking about shuffling our bathroom fixtures from one bathroom to the other. I am writing this post today hoping you guys will give me your opinion if this is just too crazy.

For background, our contractor, Craftsman Design and Renovation installed the wrong color subway tile downstairs. Yes, the wrong color tile. They were supposed to install the reproduction white (I believe it is called Avalon) but, instead, they installed gloss white.

And since we had expected to install the reproduction white tile, we ordered the St. Thomas Creations bathroom fixtures in balsa, which exactly matched the Avalon tile sample. While the color difference is not great, it is definitely there, especially on sunny days. And it bugs me. (It's hard to find a good picture that shows the color difference well.)
This is the half bathroom on the main floor. The fixtures are balsa finish, while the tile is glossy white.

Also, I bought the toilet for upstairs bathroom before I had purchased the subway tile. It is a Toto Promenade in Colonial White. It turns out, that it looks pretty good against the white subway tile, but is lighter colored than the Historic White tile we eventually ended up finding at that auction for the master bathroom.
This is the Toto Promenade toilet in colonial white,
installed in the basement against the glossy white tiles.
I had this sort of crazy idea about fixing the mismatched bathroom on the main while we do our upstairs bathroom remodel. At first, I was just thinking about buying new fixtures in the proper white color, but then it occurred to me I could just do a fixture shuffle, especially since the balsa toilet totally matches the historic white tile we ended up buying.

We can install the Toto toilet we bought for the master bathroom in the main floor bathroom and then move that balsa toilet upstairs into the master bathroom. The main problem with this, of course, is that then the sink in the half bath would no longer match the toilet, so I would have to buy a new Toto sink.

A visit to the Toto website shows two reasonably acceptable lavatory sinks: the Promenade and the Guinevere.
Toto Promenade Ped. Lavatory
Toto Guinevere Ped. Lavatory
Both of these sinks fit in the space, but the Promenade sink is bigger and totally fills the available space and is pretty tight against the toilet. Jeff is concerned it would make the bathroom feel tight and uncomfortable. He thinks the Guinevere would fit better, but the pedestal design isn't a match to the toilet. Is it weird to care that the sink and the toilet are not from the same decor line, as long as they are the same brand and color?

Overall, I'm not sure how the cost will work out, as we'll have to buy a new flush lever for both of the toilets as they're currently the wrong finish. And we may end up hiring a plumber to uninstall and reinstall the lavatory, and I'm not sure how much that will cost.

So, is it just stupid to care that these fixtures do not match the tile of the bathrooms they're installed in? Am I being too much of a perfectionist? What would you guys do?

19 comments:

  1. AGH!! I am not sure you really want my opinion, but here goes ... I think the pedestal and the toilet should match ... it will drive you crazy over time if it doesn't. The color difference might fade to your eyes over time, but the structural difference won't. HOWEVER, if the structurally matching one cramps the lav, then you might have to consider a total replacement, and try to recoup your losses somehow on the fixtures. Are you getting any financial or work-type compensation from the guy who installed the tile? I have been following your restoration, and can only imagine the headaches ... our (almost) total remodel was tough enough.

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    1. arg again ^^^^ Stephanie, dunno why it shows as unknown

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    2. Thanks Stephanie. I appreciate your opinion. I'm still considering my options. :)

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  2. I'd go with plan A. The Toto promenade coordinates better with the rest of the master bath and is probably a better match with that sink. The main floor bath looks great with the fixtures coordinating and fitting the space.

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    1. You are definitely the smart one here. I've been trying to just live with it, but it's been bugging me for ages.

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    2. Probably for the same money, you could install the toto in the master, then later replace both fixtures in the first floor half bath. Then you could have all three toilets the same.

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  3. Whites that don't match drive me crazy. I once made a tile guy remove tile he had just installed while I was at work. I gave him the tile name and he picked up the wrong white. He said he couldn't see any difference.

    My suggestion is do what you have to so that the whites match. Maybe you can resell any fixtures that don't match.

    It's a bummer but if you can see a difference now then that difference will probably never go away in your eyes. Some might not notice but you are the one that needs to be satisfied.

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    1. It's been a couple years since we figured it out. It has never stopped bugging me. I was hoping it would which is why I didn't do anything about it at the time.

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  4. If the mismatched whites have bugged you for a couple of years already, I'm doubting that it's going to stop bugging you any time soon. In fact, it may get to be more and more of a distraction. Coordinating different whites can be a total headache. I say, if you have a solution that you can live with and that makes you happy, go with it. As far as matching the sink and toilet, again, do what you know will satisfy you ... don't rationalize and have to spend another couple of years regretting your sink choice.

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    1. I'm just about ready to just ditch all the existing fixtures and just buy a new set. LOL

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  5. I'm surprised you are able to match the whites that perfectly to begin with. When I did our upstairs bath, the white sink and toilet ended up a touch lighter than the subway tile I put on the walls, but I don't even notice anymore unless I'm thinking about it. Perhaps the difference is that I got good deals on it all, and wasn't terribly worried about it marching perfectly.

    Then again, little details do drive me crazy, especially if it's something I messed up. About half the time, I re-do it, and the other half (usually of it's minor or somewhere I won't see it often, or ever), I leave it. I usually forget about them after that, unless something reminds me.

    Bottom line, I would do what you prefer and what bothers you the least (within your budget constraints, of course). After all, all this old house stuff is really just our preference anyway, so since you're doing it for yourself, donut how you want.

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    1. I suspect if I had gotten a good deal on any of these fixtures I would chuckle to myself whenever I saw the mismatched colors and be reminded about how much money I had saved. We definitely paid full price + labor for that bathroom and, in the end, THEY DIDN'T MATCH!

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  6. Crazy and must have money to burn....

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  7. You know, you might try changing the lighting (says John). That can make a huge difference in how the colors look. I remember you had a lot of those weird new lights. Get some incandescents. Put in a higher wattage bulb than you want and a dimmer. Turning down the dimmer makes the bulbs last longer and makes the light warmer. Incandescents are very true to the era. It'll cost you a lot less to do that than get a plumber to lift even his little finger.

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    1. Weird new lights? Do you mean CFLs? We've replaced them all with period style LEDs that look like the original incandescents. I believe the bathroom only has 4 watt bulbs (equivalent to 40). Thanks for the advice.

      I'm putting this on the back burner for now. If one of us gets a job I'll go ahead and replace the fixtures, but I'll live with it for now.

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  8. There is NO LED that can replace an incandescent.

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  9. I have hope for these though...

    http://www.dezeen.com/2016/01/13/mit-energy-efficient-incandescent-light-bulb-research/

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