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Things I’d change in Mom’s bathroom: Only 2! Okay, only 4.

height of a recessed medicine cabinetI can hardly believe it, but there are only two “mistakes” that I think I made in the quickie remodel of Mom’s bathroom. Above, we set the recessed medicine cabinet above the vanity too low. As I’ve tried to show with the arrows, when you open the doors, a typical bottle or the electric toothbrush are in the way. Oops. I am sure there must be a “standard” for this. Which I did not know about. #2….

low flow toilet

#2 is the golldarn toilet. It is a comfort-height, low-flow American Standard model. The complete “kit” from Lowe’s, a budget $98 for everything. But you must get what you pay for, because after the install, I could see that the water only flushes “up” — and in a “low flow” volume — from the hole thingie below. No flushing of water “down” from underneath the rim. That means… ummmm, solid waste may sit higher up in the bowl and not be flushed clean from above. Ick. So sorry to have to over-share. Please learn from my error, do more research, pay the price, and get a toilet that flushes every which way humanly possible. Sorry, Mom.

height of a recessed medicine cabinet

#3 Okay, I can’t stop myself at two. I don’t consider this “my” mistake, but that trim piece around the medicine cabinet (you see it in white here, it has now been painted grey to blend into the wall) only had to be put in because the “rough in” was too big. We added the molding to cover the extra space. The molding was “around somewhere”. I do not like it. In the future, I may swap it out for something flatter (even more “receding”).

Okay and #4: The towel ring can go higher. Not that anyone’s using it. We’re too in love the with bling draped over. Pritty.

But that’s it, not too bad at all in terms of “design regrets”!

  1. Pam, in my experience only four remodeling “regrets” is spectacularly successful – great job!

    Re: choosing a replacement toilet (or any other fixture or appliance, for that matter) we have had excellent results using Consumer Reports and now their online website. Yes, you have to pay a little (less than $6 if you just want to subscribe for a month) but their unbiased research is worth much, much more, and has saved us from a number of potentially bad decisions over the years. Among other decisions, we replaced two different toilets (7 years apart) using their recommendations, and no regrets!

  2. Amy in Sacramento, CA says:

    Suggestions: 1) find a shorter dispenser into which the tall bottle’s contents can be transferred (can be something retro, repurposed…) 2) move the toothbrush into the mirrored cabinet (yes, the cord will stick out.) Not only will it no longer be in the way of the mirrored door, but this will keep the toothbrush from being out in the open in the same “air space” as a flushing toilet.

  3. Connie says:

    Three years ago we needed to replace the original (1920s!) toilet in our house. We ended up going with a Kohler Bancroft. Its a 1.6 gallon, low-flow, comfort height toilet. I just looked it up online and it definitely pricier than I remember but we bought it through the guys who were doing a bunch of plumbing for us (had to replace all our galvanized pipes with copper) and so they got a contractor’s discount.

    What you’re saying about getting what you pay for though is definitely true. We’ve had almost zero flushing problems with ours and would happily pay extra for another if we had to.

  4. Handyandy says:

    I rarely comment, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share that we found our perfect 1940’s toilet…….along side the road at a demolition site. When my husband asked how much, the workers couldn’t answer for laughing. It was free. I have no idea what brand it is, but has worked beautifully for 10 years. We are purists to the max.

  5. Linda says:

    Was the opening for the mirror too big at the top as well as the sides? Take the mirror out and reinstall it with wedges underneath. Fill in the gaps with refuse wood strips. Install a width of bull nose tile on both sides and the top, or run the tile up beyond the light to match the height of the window. Install additional tile under the mirror down to the sink insert. From the picture it looks raising the mirror a little might give you enough clearance for the bottles.

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