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San Clemente Journal

Budget Busting Bathroom

Dec 04, 2014 09:41AM ● By Maggie Zeibak
by Maggie Zeibak

The buster in question, is planning. You know, that thing we’re supposed to do when we decide to spend serious money; getting estimates, allowing for time schedules and massaging the project to our whims and fancies. In addition, we should decide exactly how much money we intend to lavish on our very deserving souls. “Want” and “Need” are two very different considerations, as are “Luxury” and “Economy.”
When a family gathering came to my house, the small downstairs bathroom received a lot of traffic and I began to see it in a new light – or in this case, a bad light. The long fluorescent tubes encased in Plexiglass screamed out for a make-over of recessed can lights to soften the glare, but while I was at it, why not remove the large wall mirror and replace it with something more tasteful and fashionable? Both easily done.
Finding an elegant mirror was no hardship, but I had to find a wall paint that would show it off. Slapping paint samples on the wall, I became grumpier by the day as nothing seemed to work, until a sleazy Cinnabar Red weaseled its way in and seduced me into a resounding “yes, please.” My hopes for an updated look were about to be fulfilled and when it was finished I smiled. This little project was a breeze.
It didn’t take but a few days for me to frown when I walked in the room; the shower stall looked reminiscent of yesterday’s cold, congealed oatmeal – so very blah against the spanking new paint, especially as the tiles extended up to the ceiling.  Dismayed and disheartened, I contemplated the cost of chipping out the tiles and completely re-tiling. That didn’t last long – there was no way I could afford it, but I found an interesting new process that repairs, rejuvenates and restores old tile and decided to go that route. 
Miracle Method, with their five-year warranty, came in and covered the tile - my choice of color - with a spray-on, high tech acrylic coating and sealant. Technician Sue, meticulously masked off the shower handles, head, door and drain before starting the procedure that will extend the life of the shower, and she was done within two days. The fumes lasted a little longer, but it served to remind me of its newness. At this point I sensed my bank account’s sniff of disapproval.
Fortunately, I’d re-faced the cabinets several years ago, so they didn’t bother me and I convinced myself the sink, faucets and counter-top were just fine the way they were. But, you know where this is going, don’t you? There was an 800-lb gorilla in that room and I kept avoiding it even though it was right under my feet. Although the pretty sea green carpet wasn’t as bad as the Avocado Green and Harvest Gold shag carpets of the ‘70s, it had to join them in the carpet graveyard. I sighed and called Mark Zeni Tile for an estimate, not knowing what type or color to put in. 
Was I in for an education! Have you looked at floor tile lately? The selection and quality is amazing -who knew that I could get excited over a light textured linen-finish tile? Just walking around the tile showroom opened up new possibilities which were immediately dashed because the product I wanted was back-ordered with no estimated date of arrival. OK, I can wait. But, I couldn’t. My piece-meal renovation was dragging on and I was getting tired of inaction and if my arch-enemy guilt had anything to do with it, I’d stop right now.
Happily, there is always a compromise and a larger size was available that could be set in an attractive brick design. Briefly, I thought it would be a good time to replace the toilet, especially as it had to be removed anyway, but it was just a fleeting thought and I was proud of my restraint. After all, my bank account was wobbling furiously.
At least Mark validated my decision to do the floor last, “Most people work from the top down getting the major things done first and waiting until last for the painting and flooring. The snowball effect happens all the time and I’ve had many customers with the same challenge – everything looks dull and dingy when you change a component.”
Trying to find a balance between logical planning and impetuous urges is difficult. In future, I’ll be sure to ask myself specific questions pertaining to practicality and try not to make any rash decisions of a colossal magnitude. Yes, I went over budget, but it was a budget that didn’t exist. Yes, it took a long time, but I didn’t have a time frame and, besides, it seems we’re always swimming upstream in everyday life. And, no, I don’t immediately see something that needs to be fixed when I walk into the bathroom although I can see a new set of towels are desperately in order. Let the bank account scream.b

Miracle Method Surface Refinishing 
Mark Zeni Tile 949/361-1166