Bathroom Plumbing Revisited (And When “Making Do” Makes No Sense)

I feel like this bathroom is about to do me in. I keep telling myself, “Just a little more!” And yet, here I am at the start of another week, and it’s still not finished.

But I have made a decision on the plumbing. I shared last week about my plumbing frustrations and my thoughts about fixing them. I did learn (thanks to a commenter leaving a very helpful video in the comments!) that the attached and non-removable tubes on the Delta faucets CAN be shortened. It was actually a very easy process.

So that cleaned up the look of the plumbing quite a bit. I no longer have long tubes looped under the vanity. Now those tubes are cut to the precise length they need to be in order to go from the faucet handle to the valve. It definitely looks tidier now.

And I was about five minutes away from spreading out and taping up drop cloths to create a little makeshift spray booth under the vanity so that I could spray paint everything that is currently silver and black (and yes, as most of you suggested, I was going to paint them white), when I realized just how stupid I was being.

I’m often thankful for my “make it work” attitude. That attitude has saved me thousands upon thousands of dollars in the past. But I swear, sometimes I actually get on my own nerves (always in hindsight) with how far I’ll take it.

I mean, Matt and I have already spent north of $35,000 on this bathroom remodel. (I’m a bit too scared to figure the actual number right now, but I will eventually.) North of $35,000 on a master bathroom remodel, and here I am allowing myself to be incredibly frustrated with visible plumbing valves on the main wall of the entire bathroom, and getting ready to spray paint them!

What the heck?! If I were trying to do some kind of budget bathroom makeover, then spray paint is fine. I’d spray paint away without giving it a thought.

But we have spent far too much money, and far too much time on a very nice master bathroom that will hopefully last us the rest of our lives, for me to be dragging out spray paint to make do with eyesore plumbing valves on two sinks on the main wall of the bathroom.

(Good news. I got the second coat of Rubio Monocoat finished, so now the vanities and storage cabinet are completely finished. The drawer were out because they were still drying.)

So after finally coming to my senses on Friday afternoon, I texted the guy who did the plumbing in the first place and asked him if he could come over and move those valves up and out of sight. He’ll be here tomorrow to do it. 🙂

Yes, it’s going to take a little longer. Yes, there will be wall to patch and repaint. But at least my eyes will stop twitching every time I look at this wall. And at least I’ll be able to look at this wall — a wall that should make me so proud of what I accomplished — without a sense of frustration and disappointment. I put way too much effort into building those vanities and cabinet to be frustrated and disappointed every single time I look at that wall.

I could have, and should have, done this weeks ago. I knew it was going to be a problem. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to find a solution that I was actually happy with. But instead, I couldn’t get out of my “make it work” mindset. I couldn’t get out of my own way.

I know some of you have probably been yelling at me through your computer screens, “JUST GET THE PLUMBER TO FIX IT!!!” Maybe I finally heard some of you yelling at me on Friday. 😀 But for whatever reason, I’ve finally come to my senses. I could kick myself for not doing this weeks ago, but at least it’s getting done.



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  1. Great idea! It will be worth every penny spent. I would think the same thing about spending so much on the bathroom and then have spray paint on the plumbing in an effort to make it disappear. Your eye would always go right to those valves!

  2. Well, I was not one who was yelling how you could fix it… You are so far ahead of me, it’s not even a contest!!!!

  3. I don’t blame you a bit for having them come back to fix it. Try as I might, my eye was constantly drawn to the plumbing under the sink in the first picture. Hoping it doesn’t cost too much, but I think it will be worth it to do.

    1. We spent one third of what you have to hire a reputable (let me emphasize reputable) remodeling company rip out our bathtub and install a pretty shower with grab bars. It was worth every cent, I don’t think what you’ve spent on materials is unreasonable considering you had to buy the materials during this pandemic and pay the inflated costs. And just because a person does the work themselves doesn’t mean there is no value in that. You make sacrifices in other areas so enjoy your new bathroom without feeling guilty. In fact, go grab yourself a glass of wine and treat yourself to a relaxing bubble bath!

  4. Sometimes, the easiest fix is the hardest one to see. We have been remodeling for 10 years, and sometimes we get in our own way too. You just get so caught up in your design and the end product you can’t see there maybe more than one way to do something, and sometimes spending a little money gets you the fastest, easiest, prettiest results.

  5. Ahhhh! I am very happy you are doing this! As you said, too much time and money put into this room for it to bother you in any way.

  6. I am glad you found a solution. That’s a big effort in money and your work for this bathroom. You did so much of the work yourself, is your work in the estimate? I have moved plumbing and patched walls to make it “just right” to the head shaking of others. The reward is not dreaming about it at night!

  7. I’m glad you found a solution that will work for you! It would not have occurred to me to have the valves moved…but I’d have built a hidey box long ago. 🙂 What are your plans for the PVC portion of the drain? They won’t be able to move that up, will they?

  8. Things like this are why i follow along with you. You are never afraid to change something you dont like. You always find a solution. It really helps me be able to say no, i dont like that. Once things are done i am not a changer so doing it the way i love is really important. Thank You

  9. That custom bathroom would easily have cost $100,000 if you had paid to have everything done for you. Yes, you spent a lot on the bathroom, but because of your spectacular ability and work, you saved a fortune. . Well done Kristi!!!!!! You’re amazing!!

  10. Some things are worth paying for and scheduling the plumber is one of them. I am happy you chose to get some help from an expert. Not that you are not capable…you and I both know you are. It will make life easier on you with the plumber’s help. 😊

  11. I predict when you wrap up this project your energy will rebound, your perspectives will lift. Project fatigue is real even with the best attitude & skills…..

    You’ve done a lot.

    I’m trying to wrap my head around a bathroom remodel. Last thing on our list of major to do’s. I want it done as quickly as possible but things come up. I need to rally my mind set before we start. I am so great & gusto for most of it, then near the end I occasionally get tired, a few details wither. Then I finally get the last tidying, putting away, finishing done.

    I’m getting better at sizing up projects, biting off segments, staying on top of things, controlling messes. Even supply chain issues can get old.

    You’ll be so happy when you get this and the workout rooms done.

  12. Holy moley ! How does one afford that !! You have never mentioned that either of you work . I bought my house 22 years ago for 50,000 and never spent more than 1500 per room and i work full time. I just don’t understand people anymore spending money ridiculously

    1. I think there’s a big difference between prices 22 years ago and prices post pandemic/supply chain issues. The size of the bathroom also plays into price as you need far more materials (like tile, etc.).

      Also, while unconventional, blogging is definitely work and can pay really well!

      As for how can you afford it? It’s all about where we choose to spend our money 😊

  13. I think that DIY’ers like us are so wrapped up in “the do it yourself brain” that we sometimes can’t imagine hiring someone to do things that we could do. We have conditioned ourselves to not even think of hiring it out! I know it takes me a long time to convince my husband to hire someone, but as we get older, he is more inclined to pay someone to do a job he could have done. Good on you to seek a pro to do the proper work. It will pay, every time you soak in that tub!

  14. Well, now, doesn’t that feel better? That’s how you know it’s the right decision, lol. Good for you, Kristi!

  15. Perhaps others in this group can chime in for cost context on bathroom remodels. 4 years ago we redid a 6X10 bathroom…… tile walls/floor, nice tub, new stool, vanity/quartz top, lights. Not fancy, but nice quality, no structural changes. $7000. All pre-pandemic costs…. and worth every penny. It increased sale value. When we do another bathroom will also be doing additional features for safety anticipating need as we age, separating tub/shower, etc. Again, nothing fancy nor big but will be nice, a touch bigger. I’m certain will probably be at least double that cost, maybe more. To do a bathroom as you have featuring safety and access is a significant, necessary and worthwhile investment. A project you have done with considerable thought and industriousness, grace, beauty and love/respect for one another. One can not understate the value you have created in your and Matt’s day to day lives….. much deserved and all while improving the value of your property. I hope your end results of this incredible project yield comfort and safety with a heaping dose of joy and inspiration. Surely it will deliver ease in some of the complications in life as only YOU can know and experience it.

  16. Why not put a curtain on the back and just hide the plumbing. A tension rod and nice fabric would cheaply solve the problem.