Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Of taps and toilets

Pushing on with the baths.  They ended up with smooth wall finishes and not stone, so my dreams of a truly rustic bath have been dashed.  We´re now headed into ¨Craftsman¨ or ¨Edwardian inspired¨. We find our antiquated tastes at odds with the design zeitgeist in general - Spanish design is noted for it´s sleek, modern lines.  Ikea is very big.  So it´s been a bit of a struggle to locate the oldey-timey stuff we prefer.

Our tile is limited to the shower stalls.  Partly this is economics, and partly a reaction to the floor-to-ceiling expanses of tile in baths and kitchens so popular here.  I think it must be considered low maintenance.  We ended up at Azulejos Peña, a ¨de toda la vida¨ shop in Madrid.  They have a fabulous selection of stone, ceramic, porcelain, and cement floor, counter and wall tile.  We ended up with an off white ¨Kent Bisquit¨ slightly irregular subway tile for the main bath and a classic white beveled subway for the second small bath, which should be on their way to Galicia.


Toilets also present a challenge.  Roca is one of the most poplar brands, but the only model with an even slightly ¨retro¨ feel was in an eye-watering 300€ range. 


We finally ended up with one from the local big box chain Leroy Merlin. It´s a Sensea, model Roncal and a more reasonable 150€.  Our builder warned us against off brands citing the difficulty of finding parts in the future, so we´re waiting before purchasing the second toilet for the small bath.  We may end up with the most innocuous, discreet Roca model we can find for less.

We´ve also been buying faucets- one for the tub, two showers and two lavs.  We looked first online, and at the big box, but ended up at another Madrid institution,  Saneamentos Pareda.  There´s a display in the lower level where the taps and showers are found, a self-service plumbing area on the ground floor and further displays of shower enclosures and kitchen installations upstairs.  We managed to find taps, compromised on a shower for the second bath, but didn´t find anything to convince us for the main shower.  V´s gotten spoiled by the fancy hotels in China, so a rainhead was important.

The one we liked at the big box store turned out to be sold out all over and they had no idea when it might be in stock again.  After searching Ebay (both UK and Spain), Amazon, Segundamano and Milanuncios, V finally found one online that we´re hopeful will work.  Fingers crossed.

We also need a small bowl for the lav cabinet in the main bath. I prefer undermount, but the dimensions of the opening are a little complicated, so we may have to use a drop in.  I´d also love to undermount the tub, but at a distance that seems like too much to hope for.  Once again, our options for DIYing the interiors is limited by time and distance.

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