Project Spotlight: Outdated Master Bath Receives a Much Needed Transformation

Outdated and incompatible with the needs of the older homeowners, the master bathroom in this Dallas home was in desperate need of a major update. The room featured many old fashioned details: carpeted flooring, an enclosed step into shower, and a partially built into the ground bathtub. The room itself was on a lower foundation and required stepping down into from the master bedroom in order to enter. While the homeowners were happy with the overall layout of their bathroom they knew that it needed a major upgrade both in function and design. They partnered with Pat Ratcliff of The Ratcliff Company to redesign the room. Once a new design had been created Key Residential was brought on board to bring the vision to life.

The first task in the remodel was solving the floor height difference between the bathroom and master bedroom. Stepping into and out of the bathroom was not a feasible and safe option for the homeowners. The best option was to raise the floor level in the bathroom to match the level of the bedroom (and the rest of the house). Additional concrete was added to the slab so that it would be flush with the adjacent master bedroom. Extra care was taken during the concrete pour process to ensure that the plumbing lines for the bathroom amenities would still be accessible after the additional concrete was added so that new fixtures could be installed reusing the original lines.


The homeowners did not want to change the general layout of their bathroom during the remodel, both because they were happy with the current setup and also as a way to help control the costs of the project. However they still wanted to replace their outdated bathroom amenities. So while updated and replaced, the main bathroom fixtures did not change location. Moving around plumbing or electrical is a quick way for any remodel budget to increase. By making minimal changes to these two items the homeowners were better able to control the cost of their remodel.

At the entry to the bathroom from the master bedroom is the dual sided his/her vanity. There are two doorways into the bathroom, one by each side of the vanity. The back to back dual vanity was a concept original to the pre-remodeled bathroom. However, some design and aesthetic changes were made to make it feel fresh and more in line with modern design trends such as new custom designed white cabinets and black countertops with undermounted sinks


A key change to the vanities was the mirror wall that separated the two sides. Originally a double-sided mirror hung via chains from a fir down in the ceiling. While it might have been a unique and desirable design when the house was first built, it now seemed strange and dated. The fir down was removed which helped give the room an even more open feel. A new thin wall was built for the mirrors to hang from. The large mirrors were framed with tram that matches other new trim installed throughout the room.


The walk-in shower was expanded and several changes were made to make it aging in place compliant and easier for the homeowners to use. Entry into the shower was changed to curbless, multiple grab bars were added, and a built-in shower bench was made. The inclusion of these features in no way detracts from the style and design of the shower, it is ADA compliant, stylish, and functional. The shower is completed with both a handheld and rain shower head and a custom built in soap niche. Long narrow windows along the outer wall of the shower allow for an influx of natural light without sacrificing the privacy expected in a shower. The frameless glass shower door and enclosure help contribute to an overall feeling of openness in the bathroom, a stark contrast from the enclosed feeling of the old shower.


A new freestanding tub replaced the old tub that was built into the ground. The new tub would be significantly easier for the homeowners to get in and out of.  The bathtub features a handheld shower wand for even easier use and is located next to three frosted glass windows that allow even more natural light to enter. The windows were not replaced in the remodel, another cost saving strategy. Green geometric wallpaper was used throughout the bathroom. Heated tile floors with a marble design were installed and match the tiles used in the remodeled shower. The heated floors extend throughout the bathroom and into both the toilet room and the walk-in closet.