The IKEA DOMSJO sink was discontinued – now what?

If you’ve found this blog post, there’s a good chance you Googled “IKEA DOMSJO sink replacement” or “IKEA DOMSJO sink discontinued”or “IKEA DOMSJO sink alternative”. And the worst part about that means that there’s a good chance you’re one of the thousands of people who bought one over the past decade and suddenly something happened to it. It broke. It cracked. You dropped a cast iron pot and it shattered. Some expletives were said out loud.

Then you calm down and think to yourself, no big deal, I’ll just go get one from IKEA because it’s been there forever. Only to discover that the world has plotted against you and the IKEA DOMSJO sink has been discontinued since you put yours in your kitchen.

Now you’re staring at the your countertops, that obviously were cut out and modified to fit the DOMSJO and you’re like, “Ok, there has to be a counter depth sink that I can buy to replace it. Surely IKEA would have come out with a replacement for it, I mean it has a 25 year warranty.”

Well my friend, you’re about to find out how screwed you are.

The IKEA DOMSJO sink was discontinued and it gets worse…

Not only does IKEA not have a replacement for the sink, the one that came after the IKEA DOMSJO was discontinued “as its replacement”, was the HAVSEN sink.

IKEA’s HAVSEN Double Bowl Sink

The HAVSEN is a lovely farmhouse, apron style sink, but it’s definitely not a counter depth sink. It is much smaller than the DOMSJO in terms of bowl depth and is missing the famous back ridges the DOMSJO was known for.

Our friends have one in their new kitchen. I suggested they buy a spare.

The back end – meaning the ridges of the DOMSJO sink by the faucet – was one of the selling features of the DOMSJO. There were many people that hated them and preferred an undermount apron house sink.

BUT the full counterdepth factor of the sink, was actually a very practical thing.

  1. It allowed owners to have straight cuts made into their countertops to match the sink versus a custom cut out. What does that mean? Major cost savings in a kitchen renovation.
  2. If you have butcher block countertops, you don’t have to worry about water damage around the faucet. Which is why it was a huge favorite of butcher block countertop fans.

IKEA’s now discontinued DOMSJO sink

But it’s gone.

So gone.

Now what do I do? I need a new sink! HELP!

After reading that you may be staring at your kitchen right now about to Tweet IKEA with rage. Join the club. We have double bowl DOMSJO sink and while ours is still in one piece, a mere two weeks after we put in, two small chips appeared on the bottom of the left side bowl.

They’re tiny but I guarantee one day, something will inevitably get worse and we will be needing to replace it.

I’ve messaged IKEA before about this and that’s one of the reasons it was discontinued. Issues with cracking and chipping.  If you still have one and it’s in great condition, this is your warning to be extra careful with it. Otherwise you will join the rest of broken DOMSJO sink owners who are internally screaming right now, wondering how much it will cost to replace their kitchen countertops.

And that is why I wanted to write this post.

To help you and most likely us in the future with design and sink options. There are at least half a dozen threads on Reddit about this topic already, so it’s starting to become a problem.

First the basics.

The IKEA Double Bowl DOMSJO sink measurements (in North America, see notes about sizing***) are as follows.

Width: 36 5/8 “

Depth: 27 “ 

Height: 9 1/8 “

NOTES ABOUT SIZING***

Apparently the DOMSJO sink has had different measurements depending what year it was made (as in the AKURUM kitchen days) versus the IKEA METOD / SEKTION years. 

IKEA kitchens in the United States and Canada are called SEKTION where as Europe and Australia’s kitchens are called METOD. You can read about the differences on Inspired Kitchen Design

We live in Canada so this post is about the North American sized DOMSJO sink.

The top of the DOMSJO is 37” wide. It has a lip on both sides of the sink that lets it sit on top of the edges of your countertop. 

When you measure just the front of it, it’s actually 36”. This is ours when we first put it into our kitchen (we still have no backsplash).

IKEA’s installation instructions for the DOMSJO show photos of the countertops being notched out at the front of the sink, to accommodate the apron front counter that sticks out.

We did not do this with our butcher block counters.

The edges of the butcher block countertops were cut straight and the DOMSJO was placed over it, with reinforcements from underneath. You will have to check yours to see what happened on your installation.

The goal here is to get you to replace your sink and at worst your sink cabinet and hide stuff with trim, instead of thousands of dollars in Soapstone / Granite / Quartz replacement countertops.

Here are several blog tutorials from people who installed the DOMSJO (so you can see the side and underneath of it):

One Project at a Time

Remodeling Calculator

Remodeling Calculator Video of the above blog

How to Install an IKEA DOMSJO farmhouse sink (video from Tom Tarrant)

In this post I discuss and look for replacements for the double bowl DOMSJO sink. For those of you who have the single bowl, here are the measurements for the IKEA single bowl DOMSJO sink (North American sizing):

Width: 24 3/8 “

Depth: 27 ” 

Height: 9 1/8 “

SINK MEASUREMENTS AND CABINET MEASUREMENT ISSUES

One thing to keep in mind is that sink measurements overall can be deceiving because of curved edges and sink designs. As someone who has gone into stores to measure counter depth fridges for example, there’s usually a 50% chance that the measurement is off by an inch or centimeter compared to the ONLINE measurements in the product description.

This is actually the case with one of my favorite refrigerators from Fridigaire. The online measurements say 27-1/8″ but I’ve measured it in person and it’s actually 26.5”. 

This is also why a brand’s technical drawing specs are very important, but so is your ability to measure *your* space properly.

Not everyone has the same kitchen counter depth measurements or sink cabinet measurement. Maybe your DOMSJO sink is in an island and not a standard countertop along a wall. Maybe you have something else besides a dishwasher to the side of your sink and there is more trim hiding a gap. All of this will matter.

Common sense dictates that , if you can see a sink in person, absolutely do so. Otherwise make sure there is a really good return policy.

IKEA DOMSJO SINK REPLACEMENT OPTIONS

I’ve done a lot of searching for Counter Depth sinks and I am not the only one who wants one, even outside of the DOMSJO sink issue. You’d think there would be more on the market.

Before I begin, here is a link to a universal measurement converter because you could be measuring in centimeters and someone else could be measuring in inches, depending on where in the world you are:

https://www.ginifab.com/feeds/cm_to_inch/

Just to keep this post consistent and for comparison’s sake, I am using inches for each example.

SINK OPTIONS

1) KOHLER VAULT stainless steel apron front sink. Here are the measurements and specs on KOHLER’s site

KOHLER’s version does require a 36” base cabinet like the DOMSJO, but the KOHLER’s measurements are as follows:

Width: 35 3/4″

Depth: 24 5/16″

Height: 9 5/16″

While it’s not a white apron front sink, there’s an actual testimonial on Amazon from a customer whose IKEA sink broke and they replaced it with this one. 

SOURCE: KOHLER (also available in a single hole faucet)

2) Kingston Brass Gourmetier Edinburg Double Bowl Kitchen Sink 

Width: 35 3/4″

Depth: 24 5/16″

Height: 9 5/16″

I am assuming (and seriously we all know what happens to people who assume) that this would require a 36” cabinet as well. Here are the technical specs for the sink.

SOURCE: Kingston Brass (also available in a single faucet hole version)

 

And again, not farmhouse, ceramic white. But these two above are the closest measurements of current sinks on the market that would fit the DOMSJO double bowl space. I reiterate, closest, not exact.

The biggest issue would be sink depth. The IKEA one is deeper. So you can cheat around that by adding support at the sides of the sink cabinet to fill in that gap, or replace your cabinet. Which if you have Quartz countertops, is cheaper than replacing your Quartz countertops.

3) Villeroy & Boch Double Bowl Butler Sink (UK brand)

Width: 35 1/4”

Depth:  24 13/16”

Height: 8 11/16”

SOURCE: Villeroy & Boch

Here is a link to the technical specs and measurements for it. Measurements are in Millimeters because it is a UK company. 

4) Kümbad KIWI Double Bowl sink

This sink is sold on a site called Cuisissimo located in Paris France.

The Good News? They actually have several different counter depth sinks from different brands. Some with single bowls and a washboard and others with a double bowl. It’s worth peeking around to see what they have. Here are the technical specs.

Bad news? If you live in North America, you’re out of luck. They don’t ship here.

Width: 35 ¼

Depth: 24 13/16

Height: 8 1/4

Neither of the above two are as wide as the DOMSJO according to the website measurements. But remember what I said about measurements. If you’re interested in them, contact the brands and get them to actually measure a sink for you with a measuring tape or explain your issue. Any reputable brand should be able to have inventory somewhere that they can share with you.

5) Have a sink custom made. Here are several companies who offer this service:

Haven’s Luxury Metals

Texas Lightsmith

Elkay

Vermont Soapstone

I WANT MORE OPTIONS. WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

I get it. It’s hard when you have a vision of something in your head and you’re unable to fix it or let alone have the money to fix the problem. All of those above cost more than what you paid for your DOMSJO and most are not a white farmhouse sink.

Here are some ideas that may help. 

1) For the Butcher Block Countertop owners:

If you have butcher block countertops, you’re probably in what I call the least financially bad replacement option category.

Butcher blocks, especially if you got yours at IKEA or Lumber Liquidators, are not the most expensive countertop to replace, So the least stressful option is to get a new block of them, get a new sink of your choice that fits into the 36” cabinet (undermount or otherwise) and get on with your day.

Another option for butcher block or any countertop for that matter, is this genius little trick by Devol Kitchens, who if you haven’t discovered yet, you will fall madly in love with their kitchen designs.

 

In a galley kitchen, they used a butcher block countertop and apron front sink, but instead of mounting the faucet into the butcher block, they put a piece of stone behind the sink and put the faucet into that. So basically creating a ledge behind the apron front sink. It looks amazing!

They do this in several designs and it’s a really brilliant look. PS – YOU CAN DO THIS WITH A COUNTER ASIDE FROM BUTCHER BLOCK.

 

You can take the HAVSEN, IKEA’s quasi replacement sink for the DOMSJO and leave your existing countertops as is. Just get a piece of stone or marble cut out in the dimension between the sink and the wall and slot your faucet into that.

2) Design idea from Beginning in the Middle

Catherine and Brian from Beginning in the Middle have the most amazing kitchen and they have their sink in an island. It is a combined marble and walnut surface island and this is something that can absolutely be done to accommodate a new sink around the sink cabinet. 

 

3) Get a wall mounted vintage sink instead

Choose a new 36” apron front sink and create a shelf behind it, similar to this one that Jean Stoffer Design did in this laundry room. A lot of people do this with wall mounted vintage sinks when their countertops are not deep enough to accommodate it.

 

Which is in itself a very cool look with the wall mounted faucets.

There’s a company called nbi Drainboard Sinks that makes a 36″ x 24″ one. This way you you can fix the front of the cabinet to mask the apron front and get a new wall faucet instead. (NOTE: they do not deliver to Canada)

SOURCE: nbi Drainboard Sinks

4) Have a matching or custom piece of countertop added behind your new sink

If you have a stone countertop and cannot afford to replace the section with the sink (which is about 90% of us), your best bet is to choose a 36” wide apron front sink with the deepest sink depth you can find, and get a match piece of countertop cut out for behind it.

Then hire someone who is an expert at installations and get them to install the matching piece and minimize the seams on either side of your new sink, as much as humanely possible. 

I hate seams, so if you’re like nope, that’s not what I want, I understand. But it is more economical than replacing an entire section of counters, until you can save up money to replace that section with the sink.

5) Find an old DOMSJO second hand online

Keep checking Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji. People are always renovating and changing things up. Post a notice saying you’re looking for a DOMSJO sink so that people can find you if they’re getting rid of one. It’s a long shot, but it’s a big world.

ADVICE FOR KITCHEN RENOVATIONS 

I feel like this is a good lesson to keep in mind for any kitchen renovation, in that finding a sink that has common measurements and is offered by different brands, is a HUGE deal. Because farmhouse style, apron front sinks are known to break and chip.

And if you ever need to replace one, IKEA or otherwise, you need to be able to find one. 

We never think they’ll get damaged but it takes one bad cast iron pot to slip out of your hands and you’ll find yourself in the depths of sink replacement hell.

IKEA BREDSJON SINK

IKEA has come out with a stainless steel, counterdepth sink called the Bredsjon. It is not available as a top mount, apron front in North America. I asked in the comments if it was and so did someone else, but they were advised against offering it here.

It doesn’t matter anyway as the measurements do not match that of the DOMSJO. Click right on the Instagram image to see it.

View this post on Instagram

And the cool design is not even the best part about the BREDSJÖN sink🤩 I believe it looks awesome and the generous bowl or bowls are super functional. On top of that, it’s made from heavy-duty stainless material. But I believe one of the great benefits with this sink is that it’s designed to be installed in a way that you might be able to avoid some joints in the worktop if you wish to select precut worktops for your kitchen. Also in the picture, the RINGHULT white kitchen, SÄLJAN worktop light grey mineral effect, TÄMNAREN sensor tap and BAGGANÄS handles. . . . #kitchensink #kitchen#kitcheninterior #kitchenideas#kitchenstyle#kitchendesign#kitcheninspo#kitchens#kitchendecor#kitchenideas#kitcheninspiration#interior#interiordesign#interiorismo#interiors#interior_design#interiores#interiorstyling#interiorinspiration#interiordecor#interiordesigns#interiordetails#ikea#ikeakitchen#design#stainlesssink#tap

A post shared by Anki Holmqvist (@ikea_kitchen_stories) on

 

I do hope that IKEA comes out with a new full counter depth sink in the future, made of better materials. One that actually replaces the DOMSJO. I think if you’re going to offer a 25 year warranty, you should have a comparable product to honor that. 

In the meantime, if you’ve come across any sinks or solutions to this or have experienced this yourself, leave a note in the comments and let us know what’s out there or what you did to solve this issue.

PS – If ours broke tomorrow, because we have butcher block, I would just get the HAVSEN and do the Devol trick above. Then I can finally get the bridge faucet I have coveted for years. Until then…

 

The Reality of having Butcher Block Countertops

Lean in really close. I swore I wouldn’t put butcher block countertops in a kitchen again. No really, I had a whole Twitter conversation about this.

After our previous kitchen renovation where we had butcher block from IKEA, I was like nope. I can’t do this again. Because I know the pros and cons and the reality of using butcher block countertops on a daily basis.

Then some time passed. And I realized that a great deal of why I didn’t want a butcher block counter top again had to do with several key issues with the previous one we had, not butcher block itself.

So seeing as we did put in butcher block into this kitchen I obviously had a change of heart.

In which case, as part of the kitchen renovation series, I thought it would be a good (and helpful idea), to take the time to write a post about the pros and cons and reality of having a butcher block counter top for everyone out there debating on whether or not to put one in.

The Pros and Cons of having Butcher Block Countertops

1)

First the basics. Remodelista has a great post about what exactly butcher block is (how it’s made), the types of butcher block (there are different styles) and the types of wood used to make them. It’s a good primer for butcher block 101.

2)

Secondly, I wrote a very long post about staining butcher block where I break down different stains, oils and link up to a lot of great bloggers posts using different stains. If you’ve decided to get butcher block and you’re confused about what to do for stains and how to protect it, read this post.

3)

Third, I wanted to share which butcher block counter tops we went with this time, so you know which ones I am talking about to compare my experiences with in the previous house vs this one. And the ones we went for for this kitchen were from Lumber Liquidators.

Yes, Lumber Liquidators the flooring store, they sell butcher block countertops.

Quite a few of them actually.

They have the following butcher block counter top choices:

  • Maple
  • American Cherry
  • American Walnut
  • Acacia
  • Oak
  • Hevea
  • Teak

Some are made for islands, others are made for longer counter tops. They carry butcher block counter tops up to 12 feet long. You know what that means?

No ugly kitchen counter seams.

It’s like the whole curtain length debacle. 84″ length standard curtains are commonly sold everywhere, when most people need far longer curtains than that. No one likes counter top seams, aka the unnecessary evil of longer kitchen counters.

WE CHOSE WALNUT BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOPS

Now we had wanted walnut counter tops since even before the last kitchen renovation. I love walnut wood and I love how strong it is. The variations and warmth in the tones of the walnut.

I mean look at this:

I didn’t realize that Lumber Liquidators sold butcher block prior to our previous renovation and had I known, things would have gone very differently.

But then I wouldn’t be able to tell you the differences between the butcher block from the place that sells furniture and Swedish meatballs and Lumber Liquidators. So this is a little learning experience bonus. I did a lot of research on this counter before we decided on it.

Let’s break down the most popular concerns and questions people have about Butcher Block.

THE FOOD SAFETY ISSUE

There’s this never ending rumour about wood counter tops being worse than other materials for bacteria and food. This NY Times article helps to dispel that myth.

Turns out your plastic cutting board is probably leaching more stuff than you want it to. The real food safety issue with wood counters comes from the sealers used on the counter tops to protect them from water damage. A lot of them obviously are not food safe.

I discussed all of this in the post about staining butcher block. The very obvious way of getting around this, is to use an oil to protect your counter tops vs a polyurethane sealant.

AN UPDATE SINCE I WROTE THIS SECTION ABOUT MINERAL OIL

At the time that I wrote this blog post, I was using plain oil mineral oil. I say as of the time, because things change and I have since switched from mineral to something else.

That being said, this is is ONE coat of mineral oil on the walnut butcher block. One coat. Look how pretty that is.

If you insist on staining your butcher block, use a Tung oil like this one from the Real Milk Paint Company:

Or buy the counter tops in the color and species of wood that you want your counters to look like.

In the first kitchen we put butcher block counter tops, I wanted a dark counter. This is obviously not a dark counter. I could have stained it and used Waterlox over it to protect it:

…but again, read the butcher block staining post and you’ll find out why I didn’t go that route.

INSTALLING BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERS

I was going to write a big post about installing the counter tops but it literally took our contractor no time to get them done and it was nothing fancy or complicated.

The counter tops were cut and screwed into the base cabinets from underneath. Why is it easier this time? Because we were doing a Butt Joint (2 cuts side by side) vs a Miter Joint (45 degree angle) in the corners.

In our last kitchen we did a miter joint due to the proximity of the sink to the corner (it would have looked ridiculous to have a butt joint leaving us with a slab of butcher block the size of a cutting board next to the sink).

But it’s a little more complex underneath and requires really precise cutting, so if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can wind up a complicated mess.

Ignore the notches gone wrong. Long story.

If you want a great tutorial on a miter cut for butcher block, go read the Fisherman’s Wife Furniture post on how they did their miter cut as they also used the walnut counter top from Lumber Liquidators. And they used Waterlox. Which leads me to…

WHY WATER AND BUTCHER BLOCK ARE NOT FRIENDS

(and the reason I started to hate my old butcher block counters)

In our previous house we did an under mount sink in the butcher block counters. Looks very nice right? That’s where it ends.

The problem with the under mount sink and that previous IKEA counter top is an interesting little story

Within 3 months of that photo above, the wood started splitting and buckling around the faucet, for the sheer reason that it was not coated with something better to protect it against water damage in an area where it will always be damp (duh). 

Mineral oil was not enough.

I just could not stay on top of wiping the water around the sink area. I started to joke that having butcher block was like being in a high maintenance relationship and an exercise in patience.  

The area around the sink was always darker than the rest of the wood but once it started to bubble up and split I was just so disappointed.

After all of that, I still didn’t use the Waterlox due to reading about one too many bad experiences with the product and because it leaves a sheen. I am not a fan of glossy wood counter tops. That’s just a personal aesthetic issue and I like my counter tops to feel and look like natural wood.

To solve that problem with this kitchen we went with the IKEA DOMSJO farmhouse sink. It is a full counter depth sink that has no faucet installed directly into the wood.

(Note: our kitchen renovation is not done at the time that I am writing this, hence a lot of the process shots and oh yes, the DOMSJO sink has been of course discontinued).

The other issue was the IKEA butcher block itself.

To compare IKEA’s butcher block to this walnut one we have now? There’s no comparison.

In fact Sarah from The Ugly Duckling House uses an oil that is a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil on her walnut Lumber Liquidator countertops (told you, I researched these before we decided on them) and her under mount sink is fine.

That’s because this walnut butcher block is better. Period.

Our contractor who worked previously with IKEA and their kitchens for 10 years, as soon he installed ours, he was like this is way better stuff. It’s heavier, denser and far better quality.

Our old IKEA counter? It also started splitting in places far away from the wet sink. Never mind that our first slab of butcher block from them was warped after we opened up the box. I became that disgruntled customer.

With this species of wood? No issues.

I have water dropped on this and rings from cups staying on it that dry without wiping and you can’t see a thing. In fact water pools differently on the walnut counter tops. It’s as if it doesn’t soak in. I credit that to the product and also the species of wood.

Walnut wood is incredible.

If you are unsure of what species of wood to use for your counters, talk to a professional at Lumber Liquidators and they will help you to decide on what type of wood will work best for your home.

Just a side note, I have updated this post after having the counter tops for almost 3 years now and they are still in perfect condition and I treat them like crap most days.

SCRATCHES, DINGS, CAST IRON PANS AND KNIVES

In previous homes I have experienced granite, marble, laminate and of course butcher block countertops. The worst one hands down for me was marble.

And then you think of granite, what could possibly be wrong with HGTV House Hunter’s mandatory preference of granite? Ever have oil or wine stains absorb into granite?

Good luck getting the stain out and it even shows in dark granite. And here’s a surprise to a lot of people, both of the above can chip.

Laminate counter tops? Durable, heat resistant, still crappy around faucets over time (our previous faucet rotted into the counter top). I have not tried Quartz or Soapstone or Concrete (so please chime in to dispel any myths or pros and cons on those).

Bottom line is every kitchen countertop has had its own issues.

Butcher Block is no exception.

Here are several key issues with butcher block countertops.

1. SCRATCHES

They will happen no matter what you do to try and avoid them. You either accept this or you don’t get butcher block. The best part of this though is that unlike the travesty of trying to repair chipped marble, you can sand these down, re-oil and they will look as good as new.

2. ROUGH TEXTURE OF WOOD

Speaking of sanding, when wood gets dry, it can become a little rough. So if you’re used to wiping the counter with paper towels, imagine running a paper towel over this. You will have paper towel shreds over your counter and it won’t be fun to clean.

The key thing here is to sand properly before oiling and to ensure proper maintenance by oiling your counters at least once a month. I am currently using HEMP OIL and BEESWAX and you can read about that here. 

3. BURN MARKS AND CUTS FROM KNIVES

If you place a hot pot or cast iron pan on the counter top or chop directly on it, you’d better not care about burn marks and cuts on your surface. It’s one of those things where over time the dings and cuts and scratches all add character to a butcher block counter. However.

Cast iron pans WILL LEAVE A RING on your counters. A dark one.

The average warm pot, usually won’t but it “could”.

However if you’re one of those people who is adamant about making sure your counter looks immaculate, make cutting boards and table mats your best friend. On a side note, I cook *a lot* and it just becomes second nature to do this.

But now? Now I put hot pots directly on the wood (despite this photo below depicting otherwise) and the counter tops are fine. It’s several years later and I never use anything to put my pots and pans on top of. They go directly on the butcher block and all is well.

No rings, no burns. Nothing. Except again, cast iron pans, those will 100% leave a ring. A big one.

WHY WE PUT THEM IN AGAIN 

Here are my top reasons that I personally love butcher block:

    1. At the end of the day, I find that if you’re even considering butcher block, it’s because it’s up there in your list of Ride or Die counter tops. That’s just slang for the highest level of companionship with a friend/lover. In this case, an inanimate object. It just looks so damn good in any kitchen. Whether it’s the entire counter or just an island, it’s usually the first “Oh my God I love that!” reaction you get from your guests. No matter how many times I think I want something else, I always wind up pinning a kitchen with butcher block somewhere in it.
    2. It’s quiet and absorbs sound. I despise clanking or drumming noises. Putting away pots and pans causes me to flinch. There is no clanking of any kind on this counter with any dishes and if anything is dispels the noise level (well at least that’s what it seems to do in our kitchen around our kids – wishful thinking?)
    3. Cost effective. It is a very budget friendly choice.
    4. Warmth. It just makes the entire room feel cozy and warm.
    5. Easy to clean. I wipe down everything with a natural disinfectant spray (PS – please note I do not prep food directly on ours) or with just soap/dish detergent and water.
    6. Eco friendly. It has a low environmental impact due to how it’s made.
    7. The walnut color and species hides stains. If I tried to get you to tell me where any scratches are on this just by looking at it standing in the room, you wouldn’t be able to do so. With our previous counter top, every single mark could be seen from miles away. With this Walnut wood and tone, it masks anything. No extra wood stains needed. Just its natural color.
    8. Refinishes easily. Again, to make it look new with any scratches or dings, it’s as simple as sanding it down and re-oiling.
    9. The 12 foot length. Lumber Liquidators offers a 12 foot length in this – again, no unnecessary seams.
    10. If it’s good enough for Nate Berkus’ kitchen, it’s good enough for your kitchen. Take that HGTV House Hunter’s and your granite.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask in the comments any time!

This post was originally written in 2017 but I have updated it in 2020, as we have had the counter tops for 3 years now. I have a full series of posts I continue to write about butcher block to showcase how they’re holding up over time.

Disclaimer: I’d like to thank Lumber Liquidators for working with us on our kitchen renovation.
They provided us the kitchen counter tops. As always, opinions are my own.

Laminate flooring for your home instead of hardwood? Absolutely!

I know. Every real estate listing on that planet that reads “Hardwood floors” is supposed to make your eyes sparkle. Expensive, gloriously pretty hardwood. I get it. But we chose laminate flooring over hardwood for our home. Why? Because we had engineered hardwood in our previous house and in all honesty, we were not that impressed in the end.

You’re re-reading that sentence like how is that even possible? You have or had engineered hardwood and you love it. Well, not all brands are created equally and the one we chose, dinged so easily that if I dropped a fork in the kitchen, it would leave a mark. And for how much it cost, it was very disappointing to say the least. Had we known then, what we know now, we would have never put it in.

Now. Real hardwood flooring, the type that you see in 100 year farmhouses, that’s the good stuff. I’ll happily take that. I am a sucker for old wood floors, especially pine or maple floors. I love, love, love natural, unpainted wood furniture and my butcher block counter tops

But when you live in the suburbs and your house is made of plywood and faux brick exterior walls, you’re not unearthing that type of hardwood flooring under your 80’s carpeted stairs. In fact, many time investing in expensive things like hardwood, is not always the way to go, depending on where you live and what your market is like.

Here are the top 3 reasons we chose laminate flooring over hardwood for our home

1) DURABILITY

We have kids and a dog and sometimes I sit back and wonder who is harder on the floors. Their LEGO, themselves or the creature that actually has sharp teeth and claws. Hint: it’s not the dog.

Between the Nerf guns, cutlery dropping, chair legs missing felt pads and being moved around 24/7 to make forts and running in and out of the house in their boots remembering that one toy they forgot…again, our floors take a beating.

Ok and I lied. It’s a little bit of the dog. Have you ever seen the energy level an Australian Shepherd puppy has when they have zoomies at night?

May I present our then 10 month old Nola (who has her own blog – I am not even joking) running up and down our hallway, on that laminate floors.

It’s even more fun when the kids get involved with throwing their toys and she goes to catch them.

Anyhow.

 

Here are our old laminate floors. While shiny and not our aesthetic preference, they were beyond durable. 

 

2) PRICE

Look. If you can afford an expensive, durable hardwood floor that doesn’t ding, scratch or can easily be refinished, you’re probably not Googling “laminate flooring vs hardwood flooring”. The average family doesn’t have some endless income and with hardwood floors, the good brands are NOT cheap. They can run an average household easily $10,000 just for the main floor of an average suburban house. We’re in Canada. It is much more expensive here. Everything is.

Often times decisions for a household upgrade start with your bank account, whether you like it or not.

And to put yourself into severe debt to have a pretty floor is at the end of the day, is really something only you can answer. For us it was not even remotely happening.

While I do believe that hardwood floors can be a very good investment and do look gorgeous, so much of this is dependent on where you live, your real estate market and even what is expected of homes in your neck of the woods.

Seriously though, if someone is going to come into your home and be like, “Oh. Is that lahhhminate flooring? Hmmm.” You need better friends. Our front room hasn’t had a light in it in three years and the drop ceiling coiffure is still painted light green.

Did you notice the popcorn on it too? No? Because you’re looking at the shiny laminate floor on the ground. I am kidding. My point is, the only person that will notice anything, is you.

Don’t go into debt to impress yourself.

 

 

Goodbye shiny 80’s laminate.

Our house was probably built in a week, with plywood and the minimal amount of effort it took to get the first set of homes up and done, in what is now a 25,000 person plus community. However, the big bad wolf could probably blow this house down.

In our case, while hardwood would be “nice to have”, it’s not a “need to have”.

This is not a Victorian style house that is deserving of a restoration that makes you think you walked back in time. If it was, this post would be very different and involve a lot of wood refinishing steps. Our house is the same as 50 other homes in this town. Half of them have IKEA kitchens. 

Laminate flooring is so, so, so much less expensive than hardwood. Especially if you are comparing the nice modern wide planks. We just put in luxury vinyl waterproof planks on our master bathroom floor and love them! If you had told us we would have even considered using LVP in there, I would have laughed and said “Never! Only tile.”

Now I am like, “Ok so the entire upper floor needs to have this flooring”. It’s that good. 

 

 

 

 

3) LAMINATE FLOORING HAS COME A LONG WAY

When most people think of laminate flooring, they think of that glossy, super thin, easy to chip, easy to bend, and easy to damage, super thin and uncomfortable to walk on, planks of 80’s. I have had those floors in previous homes and definitely in our first condo. They didn’t last one shower water leak.

PS – I refer to the 80’s a lot in decor because I feel like we’re finally hitting our stride when it comes to developing materials on everything from floors, to lighting and even day to day home products. 

I’ve seen laminate flooring samples placed next to hardwood flooring and not only have I not been able to tell them apart, I have actually preferred the laminate ones. A decade ago, that would not have happened.

You can buy laminate flooring that is as thick as hardwood, is waterproof, dent proof, scrape proof and super easy to install. 

 

Red River Hickory Laminate Floors are what we chose

Our floors that we choose after looking at hundreds of samples (I am not exaggerating) are the Red River Hickory laminate from Tosca Floors. They’re made in Germany, have a 30 year warranty and are 10 mm thick. They’re also fade resistant (something our engineered hardwood was not) and extremely durable. And they look pretty damn good.

Way better than this shiny skating rink that we got rid of. This was the type of laminate that had that faux photograph of wood, with what felt like a bad layer of liquid varnish over it. It was also installed very poorly by the previous owners of our house. But again, it was insanely durable.

Aesthetic preferences aside, it was a really good product. Like I have tried gouging that with a knife after tape and glue has gotten stuck to it and it did not budge. The brand FYI, was Armstrong Flooring

 

This is the new laminate flooring.

 

Want to know why we got rid of the first laminate flooring?

Our Air Conditioning broke and the A/C installers accidentally drilled a hole through the floor while attempting to install the thermostat for it. They miscalculated and missed the inside of a wall it was supposed to go on and drilled right into the floor from the basement ceiling.

We did not have extra planks because the floor was quite old.

If you’ve read our nightmare bathroom renovation experience, you’ll know I can’t make this stuff up. Every time we make any changes to this house, it’s because of something like the dishwasher flooding the kitchen or bees flying inside our house after turning the wood windows into their own hive. 

So yeah. Bad A/C install = new floors. 

 

And the dog likes them too.

 

The next time you’re contemplating selling your soul for floors, remember – you could have floors and a perfectly good vacation to somewhere warm with margaritas on a beach. We chose laminate flooring over hardwood and have no regrets.

Do it. 

Your kids Lego, your pup and your bank account will thank you.

 

The Master Bathroom Renovation – Before and After 

Let’s get into everyone’s favorite part. The master bathroom renovation reveal, before and after photos and all the product reviews. Which let’s be honest, is really is what everyone really wants to see in any renovation project. That moment where you look at a space and go “Was there really a soaker tub there?” Yes there was and now there is no bathtub and please don’t send us hate mail, we are not bath people. Back to the master bathroom renovation reveal.  

FRUSTRATIONS WITH PRODUCT PHOTOS IN BATHROOM IMAGES

One of the things as a consumer that I find very frustrating when it comes to master bathroom renovations, and room renovations images in general, is the way brands often present their products that you are considering buying on their websites.

A product is usually photo shopped to hell and back, on some fake photo background, that resembles nothing like your real home environment. I personally like to see appliances, fixtures and flooring in people’s spaces. Nice shots with real shampoo bottles that we buy at Costco and such. 

I hope that we can show you some items we used that you will find photos of on the brand websites, being used by real humans (that’s us), in a normal home.

Disclaimer: Nothing is this post is sponsored. We purchased everything ourselves. Despite how many times I refer to Costco in this post.

THE MASTER BATHROOM RENOVATION REVEAL

You ready? Ok. Here is the before and after series of images and then I’ll dive into the products we used.

THE MASTER BATHROOM BEFORE

THE MASTER BATHROOM RENOVATION AFTER

THE BATHROOM VANITY

This was one of the first things we picked out.

I’ll be blunt. If you’re on a budget for your bathroom renovation, the absolute cheapest place to buy a bathroom vanity is IKEA. That’s it. That’s the honest truth.

You will not find a more economical option. However, not everyone wants the IKEA aesthetic in their home because we all have different tastes.

We wanted a vanity that had a classic feeling and an open bottom.

Originally this was supposed to be a solid wood vanity. And then we look at the comparable vanities of this style on Pottery Barn and wept salty tears, wondering why we hadn’t won the lottery yet. I have this one from them pinned on Pinterest forever.

At almost 5K, that ain’t happening. Seriously, if you have $5000 to spend on a bathroom vanity, there is a good chance you are not reading this blog post and neither is your designer.

Enter Costco.

Did you know that Costco has a ton of seriously amazing and affordable (compared to everywhere else) bathroom vanities? So we found this pretty little thing. The Ove Decors Palm Spring, 60 in. bathroom vanity in Seaside Blue. 

Image: OVE Decors

A LIGHT BLUE BATHROOM VANITY? WHY NOT?

I was hesitant on the blue but my husband insisted we give it a try because it seemed like a really nice looking vanity. 

We originally paid around $1500 for it but it’s since gone down in price to $1349.00, so amazing news for you!

The vanity is a true baby blue color. Think baby blue blankets in the nursery or infant section of a store, but it is SO nice and that counter top is a clean, white marble. No veins. No unnecessary nonsense. 

The drawers on at the top on the right and left do not open to accommodate the plumbing behind it. It’s been really wonderful to use so far.

The only thing that would make it better would be to offer it in a single hole or double hole faucet counter top option. I am partial to single handle faucets and was unable to use them with this one.

If you have any questions about it or the install, please ask away in the comments. Highly recommend this one if you’re looking to add some color to a neutral bathroom.

THE TILES

Subway tile was always in the plan for the shower walls but the hex floor became a saga on their own.

If you read the previous post, it explains why we switched from the thin, inexpensive black hex to the Nero Marquina marble hexagon tile.

We originally wanted the honed look, but honestly, marble on its own over time becomes honed – especially in an environment like a bathroom or kitchen.

IS MARBLE TILE IN THE SHOWER A GOOD DECISION?

If you don’t want to deal with sealing your tiles and ensuring they are protected from potential damage such as harsh cleaners, do not get marble tile. We talked to the very helpful tile people at Whitby Tile (who have outstanding customer service) and then gave us the low down on what it would be really like.

We went for it anyway, using a black grout as I do not like contrasting grout lines, figuring we’ll deal with resealing.

It’s been 3 months of use and we are already going to have to reseal them, because this shower is used by everyone in this family. At this point between soap and harsh cleaners, it’s losing its lustre and the grout is always covered in white soap residue, which is either soap scum or efflorescence. Some areas are looking honed and others are glossy.

This is NOT a low maintenance tile but we still love it. We really do. If it looks older and vintage, it suits the look we wanted. But you have to go into black marble tile, especially your floors, knowing what you’re in for.

THE BATHROOM LIGHTS

We have LED pot lights everywhere because there is no window in the bathroom and we needed a lot of lighting. The vanity lights are from Amazon and they’re called the Permo Vintage Industrial Wall Scone.

While they look really pretty, they were a huge pain in the ass to install. 

We had to go buy a separate plate from Home Depot to attach them to the wall because the back screws and the plates they came with, did not match outlet box that we had installed.

So they look and function great once they’re up, but be forewarned you may think you’re installing IKEA lights with an allen key with these. 

THE WALL PAINT

The walls were all painted using Behr Ultra Pure White and my husband cursed the whole time he was painting them. This is one of my favorite white color paints, but the final coat was done in Dulux Kitchen and Bathroom paint in white because honestly, the paint is thicker, better and way easier to apply. 

THE SHOWER FAUCETS AND THE VANITY FAUCETS

I feel like this needs a separate blog post called “Why I may never buy a polished nickel finished faucet again”.

We naively (and this is 100% on us), did not realize how high maintenance polished nickel is. If you google polished nickel, everyone says it’s so easy to maintain. Just wipe and go! Use a 50/50 water and vinegar mix to clean with any dark spots. You’ll love it.

WRONG.

We invested in these faucets from the Nostalgia collection from Disengo / Aquadesign because we wanted a well made product to avoid nightmare bathroom leaks and so on.

They’re just gorgeous. The whole collection is a nod to vintage faucets which we wanted as part of this modern apothecary feel for the bathroom.

These photos were taken right after the install as we were testing them out and so forth.

As of the time I am writing this, Aquadesign is currently trying to source someone to replace the fixtures for the same ones, because they were damaged in the first month of us. I am leaving that subject on that note, as I don’t feel comfortable discussing this matter at this point in time. 

We are grateful that the company is standing by their products as we really and truly love the aesthetics of this collection and the rain shower is phenomenal.

The finish choice aside, the collection and brand is VERY well made.

The shower head on the left hand wall, is not from the Nostalgia line and rather it is from Riobel. It’s nice to look at but the water flow is awful.

I have long hair and I could stand there for 20 minutes trying to rinse suds out of my hair. That will eventually have to be replaced.

THE VINYL PLANK FLOORS

Highly and I mean highly recommend using waterproof vinyl plank flooring in your bathroom or your home. 

If f you’re on a budget or don’t like the look and feel of tile floors. We used the DURACLIC Black Walnut Luxury Vinyl Plank that we got on sale at Lowe’s and we absolutely love them.

My husband installed them himself in a couple of hours and we are so happy with their performance.  

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of vinyl plank and water.

These are completely waterproof and our shower is encased in its own separate area, so it’s not like we’re throwing buckets of water on the floor. Even when our kids do, the water just stays on top and doesn’t disappear under it.

We like it so much we’re considering using it for the entire second floor.

THE BATHROOM ACCESSORIES

I feel like I sold my soul to the devil because I was like we should find some unique and vintage amazing toothbrush holders and hooks and blah blah blah.

Enter IKEA, Dollarama and Amazon. No really. The shower hooks which as a stick on’s are from Dollarama for the big towels and for the smaller side pieces are the TISKEN series from IKEA. Both work really well.

The above is technically for a hose reel for a freehand shower head but it makes for an excellent razor holder.

The fancy black toilet paper holder is from KES toilet paper holder from Amazon and costs a whopping $21.00 CAN ($14.50 US).

It’s great, easy to install but be forewarned if you use the jumbo Costco sized toilet paper rolls, the edges will be hard to move until the roll gets a little smaller. 

 

EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE BATHROOM

  • The black cabinet is a now discontinued IKEA HEMNES cabinet that we picked up for $99.00 on clearance and now wish we had gotten two to put another one downstairs.
  • The black framed mirror is the IKEA NISSEDAL mirror and it is only $69!! 
  • The toilet is one we bought 5 years ago from Home Depot and is the American Standard Cadet, Dual Flush Elongated Bowl Toilet. We have two of them in the house and love them both. 
  • Vintage inspired “Goods and Supplies” baskets are from Real Canadian Superstore.
  • Swiss cross first aid kit box is from Winners (basically Canada’s version of TJ Maxx) though Amazon has tons of vintage options that are similar: 

We still do not have a towel bar because we can’t agree on a towel bar versus a ring versus hooks.

And this is what the shower looks like with real shampoo and conditioner bottles from Costco.

Behind that shower head wall is where the original shower was, is now a closet that you access from the hallway on the upstairs floor. This provides us with a lot of badly needed second floor additional storage.

It’s going to be a LONG time before we attempt another bathroom renovation. When we do, at the very least we will know who to hire and what to choose.

As with every renovation we have done, including a basement, an IKEA kitchen and the IKEA kitchen in this house, you learn something new every time. 

I hope this series can help you with your master bathroom renovation planning. If you have any questions about the products, let me know. 

And do send your recommendations on marble tile sealers. The one we are using we are not crazy about at all. Help!

READ THE WHOLE SERIES:

PROLOGUE: The expensive reality check known as your bathroom renovation

ONE – Our bathroom renovation nightmare

TWO: The contractors who saved our bathroom renovation nightmare from hell.

THREE: Thank you for reading it!

PRODUCT SOURCE LIST

Subway tile – Ceramic Tile World 4 x 12″

Marble Nero Marquina hexagon shower floor tile – Whitby Tile 

Shower edging and bench tile sourced via Tileworx

Vinyl plank bathroom floors – Lowe’s

Bathroom Vanity – Costco via Ove Decors 

Glass shower doors – Superior Glass and Mirror

Shower faucets and bathroom vanity faucets: Plumbing and Parts Home Center

Shower and bathroom vanity faucet brand – Disegno Nostalgia Collection – Aquadesign

Baskets under vanity: Real Canadian Superstore

First Aid box – Winners

Bathroom mirror – IKEA NISSEDAL 

Bathroom stuck on hooks and hangers – IKEA TISKEN Series and Dollarama

Toilet – Home Depot American Standard Dual Flush

Toiler paper holder – KES black matter holder via Amazon 

Cabinet  against the wall – IKEA HEMNES (now discontinued)

Bathroom soap pumps and toothbrush holder – IKEA EKOLN series

Bathroom faux marble tray – Real Canadian Superstore

The contractors who saved our bathroom renovation nightmare

Almost everyone has heard this expression, that if you find a good contractor, you hold onto them for dear life. That should not be the case, but until changes or an oversight board is created for this industry, homeowners often take a deep breath and hope that the contractor they hired to renovate their homes, will be someone who does good work and won’t leave them stranded. The contractors who saved our bathroom renovation from hell, are who I want to take the opportunity to write a post about and thank them for stepping up, when others would not. 

The contractors who saved our bathroom renovation nightmare

I’ve written about the bad part and what happened with our master bathroom renovation in a previous post. When it was torn down to the studs again, we sat there and felt sorry for ourselves for a sweet minute. Then we started to look for someone who could and would even care to fix the mess that our first contractor had made.

WHAT DID WE DO DIFFERENTLY THIS TIME? 

  • Poured over recommendations in local Facebook groups for contractors. We refused to use anyone that had not been personally used by someone in their current home.
  • Then we messaged *everyone* who posted a name in the comments sections and asked to see photos of their homes and projects. We asked for very candid opinions and photos.
  • We decided to look for specialized trades. Meaning instead of having a General Contractor do the whole bathroom, we decided to look for a tiler to do the tile for the shower, someone to prep the shower for the tiler and then a plumber for the plumbing.

WHO DID OUR SHOWER PREP

We were introduced to Dana at DCL Consulting and Contracting through Phil at Tileworx (who wound up doing our shower – more on that later in the post) as he had worked with them on several projects.

We had explained that we needed someone who was willing to take on basically a redo of the shower and bathroom walls, while still allowing Phil and his team do to the tile.

A lot of contractors want to be able to do the entire project, but Dana was happy to work alongside Phil’s team and given our nightmare experience, understood why we wanted someone who lives, eats and breathes tile, to actually do the tile.

Dana completed all the prep work for the shower itself and the bathroom walls. In the process he found so many additional mistakes done by our previous contractor, that he then fixed.

He caught that the shower piping was not adhered properly to the wall. The floor drain was old and pipes were moving around when they were not supposed to.

The wall between the shower was not built straight. The shower height was incorrect and there so many issues with the remaining shower bench (which we had originally left thinking that was salvageable) but nope.

The waterproofing was also not done properly by our first contractor, so Dana fixed all that too.

 

His work was very thorough and he explained everything he was going to do before he did. He measured and created a niche for our shower to correspond to the tiles we were using. This is so that when Tileworx did the tile, there would be no unnecessary ugly tile cuts.

He prepped additional support for the sliding handrail for the shower. So many “little” things that made a huge difference in the overall finished product. 

We would absolutely recommend hiring Dana from DCL Consulting and Contracting to help you with your home renovations and we will be hiring him to do any future bathroom renovation.

WHO FINISHED OUR SHOWER TILING

We wound up working with Tileworx after several exemplary recommendations from people in our town who had hired them to do their tiling. Tileworx was founded by Phil Turkiewicz back in 2013 and their reputation and exceptional workmanship led them to working with such household names as Bryan Baeumler on his resort build Island of Bryan.

Again, we cannot even begin to express the difference in the caliber of work Phil and Tileworx team member Pat did for us.

First of all, Pat who completed most of the shower, took a full day just to measure out the locations of the tile (we wanted classic subway tile, which was 4″ x 12′).

This is so that they would avoid unnecessary cuts and have a smooth, transitional flow across the niche in the middle of the wall, but also to avoid small cuts in the corners. 

I still get very emotional looking at this photo. To people, it’s just a tiled shower wall in progress.

For me it’s the end of a nightmare.

To show you the difference in the time and care in the shower tile, Tileworx took two weeks to complete our shower tiling. This included the floor base versus 8 rushed hours by our nightmare previous contractor.

Every tile was laid down and made sure it was level and flat. All cuts were complimentary  to the shower wall, especially around niches.

Tiling Around a Shower Niche

Seriously.

Look at this niche.

Dana’s planning allowed to have Pat from Tileworx work in almost a symphony of tile cuts around the niche. No small slivers of tile and all the lines just flow horizontally.

I dare you to go and look at bathroom photos with shower niches on Pinterest. You will be able to tell who pre-planned their niche and who just winged it, by how the tile is trimmed around and through the niche.  

These little details matter.

Period. Because they show care and quality in a project.

TILING TIP

Another great recommendation made by Pat was to source not only a different grout brand but a different floor tile. We wanted a classic hex floor for the shower floor, but our house tends to shift drastically as the seasons change.

This is one of the reasons that causes the tile grout to pop out of the floor tiles in our kitchen floor. Blame it on poor quality suburban house builders, all the houses in our pocket have similar issues.

A different brand of grout would help with not only adhesion but also would help to remain the same color grout. We wanted white grout for the walls and we all know white grout, can go yellow. Not all brands of grout are created equally.

Secondly, having a thicker tile allows the tiler to push that into the floor.

For example, if your house is old and prone to shifting like ours is (i.e. Your front door is impossible to open in the winter but easy to open in the summer), it’s a good idea to get a thicker tile for your shower floor. The tiles will be embedded more securely than a thinner tile, which essentially almost lays on top of the mortar.

Pat said he didn’t want us calling them back to fix popping tiles in 2 years, so he strongly recommended sourcing a thicker hex tile.

This was undoubtedly a good decision based on our home.

Looking back on our kitchen renovation, our contractor really should have used an uncoupling membrane to allow for this type of movement that our house is prone to, but instead they did the wire mesh.

We believe has led to the problems we’re having with the kitchen tile popping all the time and the grout constantly coming out. And yes they added support to the beams under the floor and that still was not enough.

File that under why you should hire a tiler to do your tile!

These are things that someone who works with tile all the time, can tell you and as homeowners, we greatly appreciated them doing things right the first time, to save them from having to come back again.

When your reputation is important to your business, this is the type of information that your customers need. It’s why we will never ever hire anyone else to do our tile again. Tileworx will always be our preferred contractor for tile. 

WHO FINISHED OUR BATHROOM FLOOR 

That was my husband. After all the hexagon tile mess from our previous contractor, not only were we out of money and could not afford to tile the bathroom floor, but we could not stand to look at the contrasting hex mess left behind.

When you walked on it, it was bumpy and individual hex tiles were higher than others, so you would actually stub your toe on them.

Every time we looked at the floor, be it online or in person, it just reminded of us the nightmare bathroom renovation. I used to love contrasting hex floor.

Now? I just see all the mistakes that are often made by people who have no business installing it. The idea of redoing it, again, was out of the question. And again, money played a huge part.

So we tore it out.

We would up going to Lowe’s and getting their DURACLIC Black Walnut Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring. On sale no less!

The bathroom floor cost us about $400, taxes in to complete. We are super happy with this decision as we are huge fans of wood floors.

While these are not wood but are wood-look alike, they’re easier to install than wood tile. They are durable, waterproof and so, so, so easy to clean. Not grout lines or anything to worry about.

This was the blessing in disguise part of the bathroom as we far happier with the floor now, having this waterproof vinyl tile, than we would have been with the hex tile.

It is a very good product and we like it so much, we’re debating on using it for the entire upper floor.

WHO DID OUR PLUMBING

Our plumbing was a trifecta of Dana from DCL Consulting and Contracting, my husband and our plumber of a million years, Aaron from Aaron’s Plumbing and Gas (APG Plumbing).

Aaron had done all our gas stove and plumbing for our kitchen, fixed many toilets over the years. After my husband tried to get the plumbing started for the bathroom vanity, we realized it was not going to be an easy job for him.

We called Aaron last minute and caught a ton of things that made installation better for us.

Such as better fittings for the pipes that the manufacturer didn’t provide to ensure better waterproofing and prevent leaks, that make you understand why it’s important to hire specialty trades for the job you need at hand.

If there one huge lesson I can give anyone doing a home renovation, it is to find specialty trades.

Hire people for the job you need.

You wouldn’t hire a chef to do paint your living room and you wouldn’t hire a gardener to fix your car. Any renovation we do in the future, will be along these lines. That’s everything from framing to drywall. So you can be as relaxed as this guy in the tub.

Even though we tore ours out. Don’t hate, we’re just not bath people. He’s kinda cute though and on sale at Michael’s post Halloween. 

WHO INSTALLED OUR SHOWER GLASS DOORS

The final piece of shower was the glass shower doors. At this point we were really negotiating between a curtain and glass doors and wound up going with glass.

Superior Glass and Mirror are who we chose to make and install our shower glass. They came to measure our bathroom, placed the order and 3 weeks later came to install it. This process took about 30 minutes.

When I saw the glass put in, it was the final puzzle piece in a renovation. One that I never want to experience again.

Superior Glass and Mirror’s work was very thorough. They took the time to explain how to for care the glass and how it was sealed for waterproofing. We love that we could also support a local company.  

We are very grateful for all the contractors who stepped in to help us fix our en-suite bathroom.  It now looks AND functions incredibly.

Majority of the contractors are located in the Durham Ontario or even Greater Toronto Area. Do not hesitate to reach out to any of the individuals we have mentioned. They were all who we should have hired to begin with.

You can find their contact information here:

Contractor for shower prep: Dana from DCL Consulting & Contracting Inc.

Tiling: Phil and Pat from Tileworx

Plumbing: Aaron from APG Plumbing

Shower glass doors: Superior Glass and Mirror

In my final series of the master bathroom renovation, I will be go over the products we used. Because I know you want to know where you get that light blue vanity. It’s Costco. Seriously. Costco.

READ THE WHOLE SERIES:

PROLOGUE: The expensive reality check known as your bathroom renovation

ONE: Our bathroom renovation nightmare

 TWO – you just read it

PART THREE: The Master Bathroom Renovation Reveal – Before and After 

Our bathroom renovation nightmare – How it all began

No one wants to experience a bathroom renovation nightmare. In fact, it has taken me a really long time to gather up my thoughts to be able to write this post. Even looking at the photos makes me feel sick. Truthfully, I didn’t want to write this post, simply because I didn’t want to go over it all again. When you save up money for a bathroom renovation and it turns into a bathroom renovation nightmare, it’s the stuff that you know happens to people and that you hope it doesn’t happen to you.

Well it did.

Again, as much as I don’t want write about this, because I want to give credit to the people that wound up helping us in the end and I can’t do that without the backstory. So here we go.

Our bathroom renovation nightmare – Part 1 – how it all began

No one goes into a bathroom renovation thinking it’s going to be a bathroom renovation nightmare. Usually you’re excited and looking forward to having an updated, clean space that doesn’t have a giant 80’s soaker tub in the corner acting like a glorified, over-sized laundry basket.

We did what we thought was the right thing. We interviewed multiple contractors. Checked their portfolios. Read reviews. Met with several of them again to see if there was a good chemistry with us and them. When you’re going to have strangers working in your home for at least 3 weeks, especially people going through your bedroom on a daily basis, you’d better be comfortable with them being in your home.

So yes, getting along with the person and their crew members, is a big deal. Budget was important, but most of the contractors we interviewed, their estimates fell in along the same lines so that was not a make or break it point for us – at the time.

BATHROOM RENOVATION NIGHTMARE TIMELINE 

In order to make it as easy as possible on the timeline, here’s a list of memorable points about our en-suite bathroom renovation:

  • Our en-suite (master) bathroom was torn out on January 3rd.
  • It was only supposed to take 3 weeks to complete.
  • Our master bathroom was not finished until October 15th.
  • It went $10,000+ over budget.
  • The bathroom vanity sat in our garage for over a year.
  • The bathroom was “renovated” and had to be torn out to the studs again and started from scratch in April, after we fired our first contractor.
  • New contractors started in May.
  • Then we had to DIY the rest ourselves due to lack of finances to be able to pay the trades people to finish the rest of the space outside of the shower – hence the extended timeline.
  • So if you’re following along, we paid MORE than the bathroom renovation would have cost and still had to DIY the rest ourselves.

The reason we hired a contractor in the first place is because we did not have the time to do this ourselves and we wanted the tiling job to be perfect. My husband had never leveled a shower floor and after tiling our previous kitchen, had grown to hate tiling. You know that old adage time is money? In this case it was the #1 reason we wanted to hire this job out. We thought that by hiring professionals, we would have a better end result than the stress that often comes with a DIY renovation.

So it’s like added salt on a wound that we had to finish this ourselves and go over budget. And by we I mean, mostly my husband as I am about as useful with a drill and a miter saw as I am with baking cakes.

FOLLOWING YOUR GUT FEELING

The first inclination that something was not right came in the form of that voice and gut feeling in your head when our first contractor, showed us photos of a previous clients bathroom renovation they had done. He mentioned off the cuff they had to cut a 12 x 20 tile in a different angle as to accommodate the floor slope. Basically making the shower tiled floor look really bad. I remember thinking at the time, that’s not going to fly here but of course, didn’t say anything to him. I thought surely there were extenuating circumstances.

To explain to you what we wanted to do, was that we were getting rid of a corner bathtub and turning that space into a walk in shower with a double vanity adjacent to it. The old shower space was to become a closet that you could use from our upstairs hallway, giving us badly needed more storage. 

BEFORE

AFTER

The corner below used to be the whole shower.

It was turned into a closet with the entrance from the exterior hallway. 

After our master bathroom was torn down to the studs, little things started to go wrong and then the big things started to go really wrong. I could write a horror story about all of the mistakes that happened and turn it into a thesis.

But here are the highlights:

  1. They couldn’t figure out how to fit the vanity plumbing into a specific part of the wall and wanted to build a box outside of the wall to accommodate it. My husband nixed that and told them how to fix it.
  2. The shower drain could not be moved to where we wanted it to go (Hint – it could they just didn’t know how) and they reused the old tub drain from the original renovation, which was an old piece of crap.
  3. The shower bench was built too high.
  4. The gaps in the shower boards were not properly sealed and waterproofed before they started tiling.
  5. The plumbing was barely secured to the studs and could have easily fallen off. 
  6. The pipes were loose and moved. Everywhere.
  7. The additional shower wall by the vanity was supposed to have a window as a cool look vintage feature, but that was scrapped due to time and budget and the wall was built crooked.
  8. All of the above we only discovered by our new contractor AFTER the shower was torn out – it was all hidden.
  9. They did not use an uncoupling membrane to allow for expansion under the bathroom floor tile and this resulted in constant popping tiles. They tried to fix these patches which resulted in an ugly main floor with elevated and crooked hex tile pattern.
  10. But the real nightmare became the shower tiling. We had to reorder floor tile four times and wall subway tile twice because they had attempted to redo the floor three times to try and get both tiling and leveling right because the entire floor was wavy and crooked each time. One time it flat out sunk on one side. Even the final hex floor was not what I would deem acceptable but by that point we were exhausted with this reno.
  11. Then when we saw their finished shower wall tiles, we knew this was over.

I have videos of the above which show the damage in a way photos don’t even do it justice but I can’t bring myself to upload them here. 

THE REALITY CHECK OF BATHROOM RENOVATIONS ON BLOGS AND INSTAGRAM

Despite what you may see on Instagram and home decor blogs where the average family seems to have some endless budget to build a custom farmhouse outfitted with a Lacanche gas range and a SMEG fridge to accommodate their kitchen pantry, we are not some wealthy family that could afford even this. Full stop.

The old shower had leaked and this had to be done. We tried to find someone to repair just the shower initially and could not find a single contractor willing to do this. Everyone wants “the big jobs”. I remember walking into the bathroom and taking a look at the subway tile in the shower after they were done tiling and I just started to cry.

Then I called my husband at work and sent him these photos.

The feeling of watching our money being squandered at the expense of such incompetence and irresponsible, lazy workmanship, was horrifying. This was three months in and three months of contractors walking through our home and up the stairs, in and out of the bedroom. Our carpet, including the stairs, is pretty much destroyed at this point too due to the traffic, work boots and materials.

I stared at the shower and just kept going over math figures in my head as to which line of credit we would pull from to have this fixed and who on earth we could find to even be willing to step in and fix this? How could we trust any contractor at this point? 

Looking back it’s painfully obvious we should not have even accepted a second time fixing the shower floor. There we so many errors made and justifications for the errors, that we should have cut ties right when the excuses started.  My favorite was, “The house walls are uneven so the shower tile is not even.” PS – They built those shower walls.

We should have at least been smart enough to recognize that our contractor and his crew, really had no idea what they were doing. But because they were “nice people” we kept giving them chances.

I have thought time and time again, whether or not to name the contracting company. It’s very easy in this day and age to tag a brand’s Facebook page and website and ruin their reputation. They’re still advertising on the radio and social. There have been days where I look at the debt we have to pay down now and think, what if they do this to another family? Have they done this to another family?

The truth is, we had a big discussion with the contractor, he apologized and then at our request, him and his crew tore everything out to the studs again. We left on very uncomfortable terms, as anyone would expect. It was painfully obvious that they had gotten in way over their heads with this project and did not have the necessary skill set to renovate “a bathroom” let alone, finish the tile or plumbing. We haven’t named them because we said we wouldn’t.

And while we are unhappy with their work, it’s not going to solve anything. It’s also not going to give us back the time and money we lost in this bathroom renovation nightmare. They did not charge us for any of the repeated floor and shower tiling work because it was their repeated mistakes.

But sadly in the end we realized we basically paid them $8000 not including all the extra tile that we had to buy, to frame our bathroom, do some minor plumbing, put up some drywall and build an unfinished closet. No painting. No finished mudding. Pipes had to be changed.

In the end, almost everything had to be redone.

The torn out shower

THE NEXT STEP – PLAN B

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE BATHROOM WAS TORN OUT AGAIN

The sad part is, we are the luckier ones in the bathroom renovation nightmares that people talk about online and in forums like Houzz and in Facebook groups. Tales of contractors leaving halfway through a job, leaky fixtures leading to water damage on the other floors of the house, tile jobs where things are cracking and botched and even contractors showing up a year later to demand payment to scared, elderly Senior Citizens, threatening them.

You’d think in this day and age there would be a board overseeing the home renovation industry. But there isn’t.

I’ve talked to many people in our town, including a couple that are living in a $50,000 disaster of a kitchen, that is falling apart and were told by their lawyers, the probability of getting their money back is slim to none. Most courts won’t even take your case unless you’re into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. So the average person loses their ten, twenty, thirty thousand dollars and then wonder why they didn’t get into a trade like carpentry instead of a marketing job.

Financial issues aside, we were lucky enough to find (after a lot of searching and speaking to clients directly), several people – various specialty contractors – to help us out. I don’t want to name them in this post as I don’t want their names linked to this particular blog content when people search for them online, and be led to these images. Which absolutely do not speak or reflect their work.

You can find who helped us in Part Two.

PROLOGUE: The expensive reality check known as your bathroom renovation

PART ONE – you just read it

PART TWO: The contractors who saved our bathroom renovation nightmare from hell.

PART THREE: The Master Bathroom Renovation Reveal – Before and After 

Bathroom renovations – the expensive reality check!

If you want your kids to go to college, do not renovate your bathroom. I’m serious. I thought kitchens were expensive to renovate, until we got the reality check that they have nothing and I mean nothing on the cost of bathroom renovations. So let me tell you a story, of how we are now embarking on the bank account draining renovation of our en-suite (master) bathroom.

Bathroom renovations – the expensive reality check!

Get comfy, I write long blogs. This isn’t Instagram or Twitter.

Once upon a time my husband and I bought a twenty year old home in the suburbs. Like many of the other similar model homes in the our neck of the woods, it had a claustrophobic 32 x 32 shower in the en-suite bathroom.

Not to be outdone by the then required 1980’s big corner bathtub. Which decided to start falling apart, tile by tile.

Totally looks like an inviting place to have a shower. Not scary at all.

This was no surprise to us given our home inspection had shown a lot of hidden problems and attempted patch jobs by the previous owners, instead of fixing things around the house right the first time.

Such as putting an empty, plastic vinegar bottle on plywood in the attic to catch water from the leaking roof, as opposed to redoing the roof which was causing the rainwater to pour down the walls on the inside of the house.

I wish I was making that up.

You cannot even understand the amount of work we have already done to this house. If you really want to, you can read about it here

What I need to be clear about is that water and us, in terms of home ownership specifically, are not friends.

In fact, let me be very specific about how much water and us are not friends.

  • We lived through major water damage in our first condo due to improper valve sealing of a shower faucet that caused water to slowly trickle down behind the shower wall over time. All the way into our living room, thus destroying the floors and walls.
  • A broken bathtub faucet in our first home caused a slow leak and poured water into the bathroom below it. I had just finished painting the entire bathroom, including the 12 foot ceilings, a week prior. The next day I looked up and the entire ceiling had was soaked and dripping on my head. That was awesome.
  • Four – that’s right, FOUR – failed dishwashers (all different brands). All of them leaking, with one major leak destroying our entire kitchen in our current house forcing us to renovate the kitchen (which is still not finished by the way) much sooner than planned.

So when our en-suite shower on the second floor started showing glaring signs that said “Are you in the mood to redo your ceiling on your main floor?”, we cautiously slowed down using it.

Then one day my father in law came over and within an afternoon the inside of the shower was ripped apart. And now we really needed to fix it.

It was supposed to be just a shower repair.

Originally we went looking for a contractor to just repair that tiny 32 x 32 shower because at this point, we’re not made of money. Despite what Instagram would like you to believe about every blogger and social media “Influencer” type of person these days.

Who for the record, all seem to have 2.5 kids, a dog and enough money to buy a 10K Wolfe gas range and build a custom farmhouse from scratch on 5 acres of land at the mere age of 24.

But no one would take the job.

Like no one. I called and emailed so many people for almost a year. Contractors as we have learned, do not seem to enjoy small jobs. 

Our friends even tried to hook us up with a contractor who worked on a very well known and reputable HGTV show known for helping homeowners. He showed up, said he’d get back to us, then nothing. At that point the reality that we were going to have to gut the whole room in order to find someone to fix anything set in. 

Apparently contractors only like bathroom renovations that are expensive.

We had never renovated a bathroom.

Neither of us has any experience in DIY renovating a bathroom or even fixing a shower tile floor.  This was the one room in the house where we really did not feel comfortable attempting to do on our own.

The builders had skimped on so much stuff when this house was built, that we just did not want to start breaking tiles and finding ourselves in over our heads. At least not with a first bathroom renovation.

Given that we shop at IKEA and Costco a lot and had previously renovated a basement and two kitchens, we thought we had a good idea of what to expect in terms of a budget for the reno.

But honestly, nothing could have prepared us for the quotes that we were getting for the bathroom.

Most of the quotes were twice, if not three times the cost of both of our kitchens combined.

IKEA KITCHEN # 1

Our first IKEA kitchen was approximately $3000 in cabinets and $1300 for the floor for what I believe was about a 200 sq/ft room.

IKEA SEKTION kitchen

IKEA KITCHEN # 2

Our current IKEA kitchen for a 240 sq/ft room was approximately $4300 for the cabinets and $2000 for the floor.

I am showing you the ‘pretty’ angle because behind me. The walls are empty and the range hood is still in the box on the basement floor due to a screw up in the outlet placement. And the floor in this photo looks clean, as if it’s like that every day.

The reality check of bathroom renovation costs starts now

This bathroom?

The 60″/ 152.4 cm / mere 5 feet vanity alone was $1449 not including 13% Ontario sales tax and that’s on the seriously cheap end of things only thanks to our beloved Costco membership.

I really should work there. Yes it’s pretty (you can see it here). That’s all I’ve got. A bathroom vanity cost half of what our entire first kitchen cabinets did.

This is the old vanity. Everyone I know grew up with this vanity in their homes.

Bathroom vanities are expensive.

The average price of any respectable vanity these days is usually $2000 and up. Don’t believe me? Go on Wayfair and search for 60″ double sink vanities and find one that you really like. I’ll wait. You’ll be back going “What the hell was that?”

IKEA would have been ideal, except they don’t make a 60″ double sink vanity that has a lot of counter space.

Which they should because they are by far the most economical choice for bathroom vanities when compared to other major retailers.

But they stop at like 55″ and their double sink counter top designs don’t actually leave you with a lot of counter top space. Lots of sink space though.

Bathroom vanity countertop space IS a big deal.

If you don’t think two extra inches of counter top space a big deal, you have not shared a bathroom with anyone. Make a 60″ vanity please IKEA. Possibly even a 72″. And a basic, bright white, shaker style kitchen cabinet front already.

So, bathroom vanities = expensive as all hell.

Then there’s the extremely important job of waterproofing behind the shower walls and the plumbing.

Let’s talk about bathroom tile costs.

You want a marble hex floor that’s in every Studio McGee bathroom? $37 a sq foot is calling you.

What about those mirrors with curved rectangle edge that are on Rejuvenation? That’s going to cost you too because unless you luck out, HomeSense and Marshall’s never seen to get two of the same mirror in stock at the same location, at the same time.

Even your toilet paper holder is going to cost you a fortune.

Perhaps you want toilet paper holders that don’t feel like cheap plastic and that doesn’t seem like a lot to ask for does it? Hello $84 CAN ($54 US) gorgeous Delta Champagne Bronze.

But the faucets.

The faucets are the most expensive part of the bathroom renovation – if you want quality items.

Dear God the shower and vanity faucets. The kids need to get part time jobs in high school to pay for college because I cannot get over the costs of bathroom fixtures. In fact I am going to encourage them to go into trades.

If you want anything to look remotely “not chrome and from the 80’s” or that screams “we didn’t get the upgrades offered by our suburban home builder”, you better hope you have an extra kidney to spare.

You can see the whole Nostalgia line from Aquadesign here. I absolutely love the line and it’s perfect, but I am still not over the price tag.

There is so much more to learn about faucets and their finishes than I ever realized.

FYI – we pay more for *everything* in Canada, especially when it comes to appliances and all of the above, compared to our neighbors to the south.

If you’ve read this far you’re probably like “Aren’t you a blogger? Don’t you guys work with brands? Why don’t you just pitch some brands?” Yes. We do.

But my Instagram (everyone’s social media darling of the moment) isn’t cool enough to warrant that special privilege at this time. I’d need about 50K more followers on there to impress brands, even though this blog pays for our mortgage every month – thanks Mediavine!

Also, remember when we all counted Facebook Likes and thought that was the most important social status symbol for bloggers? Yeah, neither do I.

There is nothing in this bathroom renovation that is sponsored by any brand.

We bought everything. And our in-laws are helping us out with the costs of the reno and I am not sure if that’s even allowed in blogging these days but here we are. This is real life, not a curated and staged Instagram photo. And real life is messy and not always cheap.

Except classic hex tile. It’s cost effective, timeless and what will be on our floors. I love you marble but you’re not happening. (Lies: we changed to marble floors). 

As the renovation moves along, I’m going to be breaking it all down per post to provide more details on each aspect of the bathroom from the faucets and why we chose them, the style we went with and to things I really wish I had known before we started.

We may know kitchens, however this is our first bathroom and it has already been a huge learning experience.

But the most important thing we have to discuss first, is who the hell thought these bathtubs were ever a good idea? You can argue with me about why we decided to take out the bathtub in the master bathroom in my next post.

READ THE WHOLE BATHROOM RENOVATION SERIES:

PROLOGUE:  You just read it

ONE – Our bathroom renovation nightmare

TWO: The contractors who saved our bathroom renovation nightmare from hell.

THREE: The Master Bathroom Renovation Reveal – Before and After 

A review of our Logan & Cove mattress and why you should get one

Our new bed frame has been sitting on our dining room floor since last November. Why? Because we haven’t been able to agree on a mattress for it. That is, until we found out about Logan & Cove.

A review of our Logan & Cove mattress and why you should get one

After testing out many mattresses in various stores, debating over cost vs quality vs comfort, we were growing really weary of everything out there. Mattresses that said they were luxury, felt anything but luxurious. We weary of certain materials (I’m looking at you memory foam). And the prices. I mean, our kids deserve to go to College. As well, our last mattress purchasing experience did not go well. We bought what we thought was a good mattress (I won’t name the brand/store) and by the time the first 48 hours were up, it was a nightmare to sleep on. Then buyers remorse set in and so did the reality of a non-returnable, very expensive purchase.

During our mattress hunt, the one thing I started to notice was the rise of mattress companies that sold mattresses online. Let’s be candid, for a couple who couldn’t agree on a mattress after testing out mattresses in person in stores, ordering one online without having ever sat on it, seems like the craziest idea ever right? I think any purchase you make online can be daunting, but a whole bed mattress? It’s like buying a car without test driving it.

But it peaked my interest and I began researching online mattress companies to see what our options were if we went that route. I found that I kept going back to Logan & Cove, who got consistently better and more favorable reviews than other brands. As an athlete I’m well aware of the impact a good night sleep can have over performance, so I reached out to ask them about what they were offering. This was something that I really wanted to make sure that was the right fit for our lives, given that I would be sleeping on it every night, so I did my research and Logan & Cove stood out.

If you’re new to Logan & Cove here’s a bit of a background for you about the company and mattress itself:

  • Logan & Cove was founded by Novosbed to deliver the most comfortable, durable, and affordable mattresses in Canada without the hassle-laden, opaque, and high-pressure shopping experience that mattress retailers are known for (I can vouch for this!)
  • Their mattresses are only available in Canada and are also made in Canada.
  • Logan & Cove is a luxury, hybrid mattress. Meaning it has several different layers (foam and coil among them) which I will explain below. It also has edge to edge support so you won’t roll or slip off.
  • It is a Medium Firm mattress, 14″ high and is also hand crafted. You can find out more about their size specifications here.
  • You get a 120 night sleep trial where if you have up to 120 days to decide whether or not to keep your mattress. They do recommend you try it out for a minimum of 30 days as often times there is an adjustment period to getting used to the feel of a new mattress.
  • If after that time you decide that you don’t want to keep it, they offer a FREE returns policy, 100% refund and any returned mattress are donated to local charities.
  • You get a 15 Year Warranty – Fifteen years!
  • Very competitive pricing. Don’t believe me? Here is a chart to show you how Logan & Cove stacks up with other bed mattress brands to see how much their mattresses cost versus how much you’ll be saving with Logan & Cove for a far superior product.

Let’s get to the review.

When our Logan & Cove mattress arrived at the door, it came rolled up in a box. To give you an idea of size, that’s a King size mattress in there.

When you take it out of the box, this happens.

Then you remove the plastic cover and it pops open. I marveled at this given that I somehow naively assumed that you can’t do that with an innerspring mattress but surprise! I had only seem foam mattress be packaged like this before.

The first thing we noticed right away was the quality. The details and craftsmanship that went into this product are pretty stellar. Every contour on the pillow top, every stitch. Even things like the side handles to be able to move it around for changing bed sheets – which for the record is a very big deal with a King sized bed mattress.

Let me take this opportunity to break down what exactly the mattress components are.

A – Eucalyptus-derived Fiber Top Cover
Silky smooth and wicks moisture away

B – Silk Blend Pillow-Top Fill
Temperature regulating and breathable

C – 1” Cooling Gel Foam
Dissipates heat while it cradles your body

D – 1” Contouring Eco Foam
E – 2” Supportive Eco Foam
Cushioned contouring support

F – Individually Pocketed Coils
Adaptive, responsive, motion isolating support

Logan & Cove has a great detailed internal diagram of the mattress components on their site.

So what do we think of it? 

  1. This is a luxury mattress. No questions asked. It feels like it costs so much more than it does. You can really feel the quality put into this.
  2. This is the first mattress that we both don’t feel overheated on. The Eucalyptus-derived Fiber Top Cover and the Cooling Gel Foam make a huge difference. We’ve had foam mattresses in the past and when you get hot on those, you get hot.
  3. I have previously never been a fan of mattresses with innerspring coils so I was really nervous about that part. Too often you feel like they either give way too easily and don’t offer support or are too bouncy. No one wants to be woken up every time your partner turns over in their sleep. With Logan & Cove, the responsive, motion isolating coil support really makes a difference.
  4. One of my favourite things is the edge to edge support. You know when you wake up and sit up over the edge of the bed trying to actually wake up before muster the strength not to hit the snooze button again? Then when you do, you feel like your thighs are sliding down off of the mattress? The edge on the Logan & Cover mattress stays the same level as the rest of the mattress. This also makes a huge difference for partners of different sizes and weights who sleep side by side. My husband is about 260 lbs and is 6’2″ (and I am not). I don’t want to have to roll down a hill so to speak when I sleep next to him. He can lay by my side and the mattress level does not change.
  5. I am a side sleeper and my husband is a back sleeper. Both of us are very happy with the support the mattress offers for the way we sleep. Neither of us enjoy soft and fluffy beds as we find that the more you sink into them, the more back and overall body pain we wake up with. Good support is very important to us.
  6. Our old mattress was a nightmare so it goes without saying this is a vast improvement. But honestly, we didn’t realize just how bad it was until we slept on our Logan & Cove for a week. When you actually get to sleep through the night because you’re not struggling to be comfortable, that’s sanity saving.
  7. I am going to need a taller side table. LOL!

But what fun is it telling you about a mattress if you can’t experience it for yourself? Well Logan & Cove are offering one lucky reader a chance to WIN THEIR OWN LOGAN & COVE MATTRESS in the size of your choice!!!

Enter in the Link below and Good Luck! Contest open to Canadian residents over the age of 18 and ends September 2018.

Logan & Cove Summertime Free Mattress Giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Logan & Cove. All opinions are my own.

Why you need a Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cord Free vacuum in your life

I hate vacuuming. No really. I avoid vacuuming like I avoid dusting.  And vacuuming stairs should have its own special hour of chore hell. So when Dyson asked if we were interested in reviewing their new Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cord Free vacuum, my husband’s reaction was the one with more enthusiasm (mixed with sarcastic innuendo that a lot of you will relate to), “Maybe this will actually get you to vacuum”.

I haven’t changed the door locks…yet. Mind you, he was also the one who was super excited to review the Dyson Hot + Cool Link and that has proven to be one of the best appliances in our home.

Why you need a Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cord Free vacuum in your life #DysonV10

We welcomed the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cord Free vacuum for a test drive and here are some things that you should know about the V10:

  • Longer-lasting battery: Up to 60 minutes of fade-free run time so you can clean everywhere.
  • Big machine suction power: With cord-free versatility for floor to ceiling cleaning that can easily transform into a handheld.
  • 40% bigger bin: a completely re-designed inline bin format for more efficient airflow and a much bigger bin means you can say goodbye to big corded vacuums of the past.
  • 2-in-1 format: Converts into a handheld so you can easily use it on stairs, upholstery and out to the car.

I know when I read reviews, I tend to look for certain things in a product.  So I wanted to take the time to answer some of the questions I had about this and what I’ve seen other customers ask on Dyson’s Facebook account.

Now we’ve never had the previous cord free Dyson models, so I cannot compare the V10 to the V8 from actual experience.

But from what I’ve read, some of the major changes have been an overhaul of the dust bin bin for easier emptying and the new inline format for a more streamlined look, as well as two different cleaning heads – one for hardwood/solid surfaces and the other for carpet.

We do however have a very old Dyson canister vacuum that was passed along from my husband’s Grandmother. And while it’s dated in its aesthetics and is rather heavy and bulky, it still works after all these years.

That’s why we trust the Dyson name so much. So deciding to upgrade to a Dyson cordless vacuum for us is more about being able to take advantage of the design changes that make vacuuming easier, compared to their previous counterparts.

Without further ado, here are some questions and answers I hope will help you decide on the Dyson Cyclone V10.

1.  Is it top heavy?

Yes and no. To me it’s not heavy at all. But I am comparing that to a canister vacuum, which is a huge pain to lug all around, especially on stairs. If you try and stand it up on it’s own, it will fall over.

But in terms of actually using it, you will not find that top part is overwhelmingly heavy and hard to push around. This is a big deal for people who may have physical disabilities or back problems.

2. How long does a charge really last?

This depends on what mode you use it on and what cleaning head you use. The Torque drive cleaner head (for carpets) has a setting you can change to Max for 25% more dust removal. This does have an impact on battery power.

The good news is you really do not need to use it on Max. Even on the low setting, it sucks up everything.

The battery power on the V10 is said to provide 60 minutes of use (though I don’t know anyone who has vacuumed for an hour straight, but go prove me wrong). You get 20 minutes on the Torque drive cleaner head (carpets) and up to 40 minutes on the Soft roller head (hard surfaces).

The vacuum is shipped with about 30% battery, so we made sure to charge it fully before our first use. It comes with a simple charging dock that you can mount to a wall anywhere that’s convenient for you.

3. How hard is it to change the accessories and cleaner heads?

I judge vacuums a lot on this and the Dyson V10 is by far the easiest to switch cleaner heads, parts and accessories. You know that annoying feeling of trying to pull the cleaning head off and not pinching your skin under the button when you push down on it? No problems at all.

The cleaning heads themselves are so much lighter than other vacuums I have tried over the years. This does NOT affect their suction power. The canister is also easy to empty and it’s a great feeling not having to buy vacuum bags.

4. What do you find are the best features of the V10?

There are two things that stood out for me. One was the pivoting head. Game changing. No more angling yourself to get into corners or around couch legs. It turns for you with such ease. The second was obviously the cord-free aspect.

Not having to deal with a canister or any long cord is impossible to explain until you use it. You will then realize what a huge pain canister vacuums are.

I know I keep talking about the stairs but vacuuming the stairs (and yes we have carpeted stairs) is nothing short of a chore that the entire family draws straws on having to do.

With the different accessories the V10 comes with, you can easily snap on smaller cleaning heads to clean the stairs with and still have the same suction power.

Even if you decided to just use the bigger cleaning heads, it is still so much easier than dealing with a canister on every step.

(Fancy and super clean stairs!!)

5. Is the Dyson Cyclone V10 easy to use?

Here are photos of our 7 year old and our 10 year old vacuuming their rooms. The fact that they both can use it like they would say a lightweight broom, should help show you how not heavy and uncomplicated it is.

Our 7 year olds room is like a hurricane most days so the ability to do a quick clean up is a big deal.

 

(This was just the dirt from her room. Oy!)

6. Is there anything that can be improved?

The one and only caveat I have with this, is similar with other vacuums I’ve tried. And that is that I wish there was a way to lock the trigger on the handle while vacuuming, instead of having to hold it all the time to get it to run.

Depending on how long you’re vacuuming for, this can get a little tiresome and your finger a little sore.

That being said, as you can see above with the photos of our girls using it. If their smaller hands have no problem pushing in the trigger, you shouldn’t either. But this is definitely something that down the line in future Dyson models, I hope they consider adding. 

It also can be tricky if you have a pet. We now have an Aussie and there’s a full on war between these two because of her dog hair.

7. Is it worth the money?

With a retail value of $799.99, that price tag can be intimidating. The one thing however that I have learned as I’ve gotten older, is that you often get what you pay for, especially with appliances and household items.

A $25 blender for example, will perform like a $25 blender. Dyson has a great reputation for a reason. They create well built, good quality products.

You invest it in once and you don’t replace it in a couple of years. We have gone through many vacuums in different brands over the years and as my husband’s Grandma’s vacuum can attest, Dyson is a quality product.

Conclusion

All in all, honestly getting a chance to try out the Dyson Cyclone V10 is something that I affectionately joked about on Twitter, where you reach peak adulthood because you are genuinely excited about acquiring a great quality product for your home. I think if I can emphasize anything it’s that.

Having a vacuum that doesn’t hurt your back when you use it, is not heavy, environmentally friendly, certified by the Asthma Society of Canada, actually cleans better than other vacuums (see photos of the stairs as an example) and has so many great features that I am still discovering.

Most of all, it doesn’t make me hate vacuuming like old vacuums did. I’d call that a success.

To find out more about the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute, visit Dyson Canada.

Disclaimer: This post was brought to you in partnership with Dyson. As always, opinions are my own.

 

Ontario Wood Highlights at the Interior Design Show

Ontario Wood is an initiative that helps consumers identify and purchase products made locally from the provinces wood. The increasing recognition of wood’s benefits (which include its cost-effectiveness, design flexibility and reduced environmental impact) is helping to create more demand for wood products, which in turn supports local economies. As part of my partnership with Ontario Wood, I was recently invited to visit their display at the Interior Design Show in Toronto.

Every year Ontario Wood selects a team to design, build and install a temporary display at the IDS show. This year the Denegri Bessai Studio was chosen and built what was dubbed the Clover Pavilion. In Denegri Bessai’s own words, the wood “petals” were formed by tension-activated plywood panels that showcased the various Ontario Wood artifacts and objects during the show.

Objects included in the Clover Pavilion, were stunning works of art, furniture and other artistic designs, from Ontario Wood partners including:

Anglewood Custom Furniture
Baker Brothers Unique Furnishings
Brothers Dressler
Cherrywood Studio
Hamilton Holmes Woodworking and Design
Jacob Antoni Design
KROFT Furniture
Lush Woodcraft
MetalWood Studio
North on Sixty
TimberArtCNC.com

I don’t think I will ever tire of the beautiful look of wood grain. There’s something so rich and warm about it, that it offers an aesthetic for your home unlike any other material. The pavilion was definitely an IDS favourite and listed on many of the top Must See display lists for this year show.

I also feel very lucky to be able to own an Ontario Wood dining table from Lush Woodcraft in our home. We’ve had our dining table now for several months and it is the first item that people see when they walk into our home and often the first words spoken by our guests are “I love your table!”. I then get to tell them the story behind it and how it’s made from local Ontario Wood that is 150 year old barn wood.

Often times, we look at a product or a material object and forget how that piece impacts one’s home life. Our Ontario Wood dining table is far more to us than just a piece of furniture. In the short time it has been in our home, we can’t imagine our lives having ever been without it. For example, it is our craft table.

It has survived 12, seven year old’s celebrating a birthday party.

We had our first Christmas dinner on it as a family.

And every day, I find our girls here after school, doing homework and other activities together.

We’ve also begun to eat dinner together there far more often, away from the TV and fast paced world of our kitchen. Everybody has claimed “their spot” around the table. It is an item I hope to pass along to our girls as they get older so that they can continue to create their memories with it.

I am forever grateful to Ontario Wood for partnering with me on this campaign and I implore you to visit Ontario Wood’s site to learn more about the initiative. If you are looking for a home to place these beautiful furniture, check out house land packages in Victoria.

There you can find out how to become an Ontario Wood partner, learn about existing Ontario Wood partners and where you can purchase Ontario Wood products to help support our local economy.