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April 26, 2012

Retro Bathroom Shower Reveal In Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo

By Sara In AZ

Soooooo, last week we saw the sink and vanity area final reveal in all of it’s Holiday Turquoise glory.

Going from this………………………………………


To this………………ahhhhhhhhhhh, yes!


Now, we all get to see the final reveal of the other side of the bathroom – the shower and tub area! You will all remember the zillion other posts I already did on the shower rehab thus far – from installing a vintage Hall Mack soap holder, to cleaning and re-grouting the tile, we cannot forget the time we had to cut off the tub spout, and finally that blast of a time Mike had changing out all of the shower water stem valves. Let’s just say that trying to get the shower and tub area whipped back into shape took far more time than I ever thought it would, sometimes I wondered if it would EVER come to an end………..eek!

Here is where we started off on day one, this is right after Mom got the keys to the condo.

It’s SUCH a disaster isn’t it!?!


It’s so horribly disgusting with all of that mold in the caulk and grout, ughhhhhhhh.


And then there is that little problem of the big gaping hole right in the middle of the shower!

We certainly had our work cut out for us and we knew it would not be easy, but we were determined and we were NOT going to let this go down without a fight! Smile


Here is one last picture from when Mike has started removing the old handles to gain access to the valves.


And Lord Have Mercy, what a difference time and patience and A LOT of cleaning and tons Liquid Wrench will get you!!! Here is Mike installing all of the new American Standard handles and trim pieces.


Just a FYI here y’all , you can sometimes order new handles/trim pieces to match the old ones if the finish on your old handles/trim is worn or corroded. Since we had all of our old handles and trim pieces off anyway, to change out the valves, we took them down to our local specialty plumbing store Central Arizona Supply  and asked if we could still order items like this. Right off the bat they knew it was all American Standard handles and trim pieces and lo and behold, YES – we could order new replacements!!!! We were pretty excited since the old trim escutcheons were in horrible shape, but then a dilemma……… I was planning on using the old hot and cold handles, but the more I thought about it I just didn’t think the shiny new chrome trim would look right against the more worn finish of the original handles. So new handles were ordered too, and I have to say the quality is really nice on the new handles. I was worried with ordering new handles, and comparing them against the old ones, that the new ones would seem cheap and flimsy. Totally not the case at all, the new handles have a super nice chrome finish and they are  really heavy duty and well made!


And just like magic, the new handles are all installed and are exactly like the vintage handles! YAY!!!!


But, we still have to attach that tub spout and the drain over flow cover. Getting closer though………


And voila, the shower is all pretty and complete once again! Whew!!!!!!


Mom also picked out a new shower head, that she just fell in love with, from Kohler so Mike installed that for her too.


It almost doesn’t seem like the same tub and shower does it!


Mike also installed a new Kohler shower door. I never got a really good picture of the shower door that was in there when Mom bought the place, you can kind of see it in the first shower picture I show above. The door was definitely not original to 1959 and was in pretty sad shape, so Mom asked for a new one and we thought it was a good idea.


One shower door install later and this bathroom renovation is done!!!!!


To say that Mike and I were happy when this bathroom renovation was done is a complete understatement – we were on cloud 9. I’m pretty sure we had smiles from ear to ear for weeks on end!

Come back next Thursday when we install the new knick knack shelves in Mom’s condo!

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27 Responses to Retro Bathroom Shower Reveal In Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo

  1. Deva @ Fresh Pastry Stand Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Great job! We have the same tiny tub in our hall bathroom. Did you get it reglazed?

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Thanks Deva! 🙂 You know, it’s a funny thing with that tub…….I did not realize initially that it already had been reglazed by the previous people who owned it and rented it out. I finally figured it out after spending SOOOO much time cleaning in there! The finish was a bit pitted though so we knew we had to do something about it. We contacted a company about getting it reglazed and were all set to do it, then when they came out they started out the process by stripping off all of the old glazing and we had them stop right there, we thought the tub looked just fine as it was. The refinishing guy was nice enough to fill in a chip on the tub edge (under where the shower door closes), but that is basically the original tub finish that you see now!

  2. Charlotte Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Looks great – and hey, that’s my showerhead your mom picked out!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks so much Charlotte! Yay for matching showerheads too! 🙂

  3. Sherree Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Looks wonderful. I love the fish tiles 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you Sherree! 🙂 Those fish tiles are my absolute favorite thing in that bathroom!!!

  4. SusanD Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I am so impressed with everything that you did, especially the cleaning the grout. I just spent a small fortune to get mine professionally cleaned and your grout looks better!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Thank you so much Susan! 🙂 We really debated getting that grout professionally cleaned too, but I wanted to try it myself first. It definitely takes time and patience if you do it yourself, but it can be done!

  5. Silvercat Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Yay! There’s nothing so horrible as a perpetually dirty-looking bathroom. And now it looks all clean and awesome!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Amen that that Silvercat! 🙂 I knew there was NO WAY we could move my Mom into a bathroom like the way it originally looked! Yay for everything having a fresh, new, clean feel- but still looking retro.

  6. Martha K. Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

    What a GOOOOOOOOD daughter and son you two are and what a spectacular result! It really looks wonderful.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Awwwwwww, thank you SO much Martha K! 🙂 That is so very kind of you to say, I really appreciate that!

  7. Andrea Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    That looks fantastic! You guys did such a great job, wow! Smart choice on getting the new handles, I think.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks Andrea! 🙂 Yeah, I’m really glad in the end we wound up getting the new handles, you’d never know the difference anyway!

  8. RetroRuth Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    It looks so amazing, Sara!!! You guys did such a great job and I am SO GLAD that you were able to save that awesome tub and those cute fish tiles!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks Ruth!!! 🙂 I think it would have forever devastated me to have had to rip down those fish tiles so I am SO glad we were able to keep everything just like it always was!

  9. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    That doesn’t even look like the same place. It’s wild how different it looks. Once the virtual tour is done, do we all get to board a bus and come see? I want to see in person! (okay, and kidnap you and Mike for my own selfish remodeling purposes)

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Eartha, we were discussing the possibility of giving tours through the condo, since people may want to see it in person now, and we have decided to start tours up this summer! We’ll even give you the little headphones so we can talk you along through all of our projects! 😉 hee!

      • RetroRuth Reply

        April 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        I would totally take that tour!!!

  10. kelly tom4 Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Love this! So pretty!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 27, 2012 at 2:09 am

      Hey Kelly! Thanks for the comment, I’m so glad you came for a visit. I just know Mom’s place is right up your alley, heck I want to live there too!!!! 🙂

  11. Laura Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I would love for you to invite Mr. Plumber back to the bathroom so you can wave your hand all around your Mom’s fabulous new shower and say see? Valve stems? Voila! And you said it couldn’t be done. (But I’m a total stinker that way. 😛

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 27, 2012 at 2:11 am

      Oh my gosh, I totally should!!! That would be like the ultimate burn, wouldn’t it! Hmmmmmmm, I’ll have to think about that one! 😉

  12. sablemable Reply

    April 27, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Great job, Saraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

    Can I hire you, Mike and Mom to do my kitchen, LOL?

  13. jan Reply

    November 8, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    looks great! what did you use to clean the grout/tiles?

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