A Controversial Master Bath Project: Jet Tub Cover Up. Part III: Towel Bars and Shelves.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

finished shelves and towel bar
Does this take the cake as the longest blog post title I've composed to date?  So yeah though, come join me back in the bathroom with this Controversial Master Bath Project:  Jet Tub Cover Up Part III, Towel Bars and Shelves.


Last we left off, the bathroom took a dramatic turn with the cedar walls.  

cedar slat wall DIY in bathroom
Right?  Drama!

If you're just joining me or need a refresh on this doing-everything-backward bathroom adventure, you can check out Part I here!

Ok so back at that boxy jet tub cover up shelf unit area there, I had plenty more work to do.

Since I am doing everything backward and totally out of order, I realized after I (we, I needed Mike’s help) put a big slab of plywood up to enclose the soon-to-be shelf area and hide the shower head/tub filler stuff that oh dang it, I didn't want to put that up just yet.

hidden support pieces for plywood
Here's how I attached this large piece by the way -- I screwed a 2x4 down to the jet tub plywood cover, a piece near the top, slid the vertical piece up against it, nailed it into the 2x4 and 3/4" edge of the other vertical plywood.
Why?  Towel bars!  DIY red oak towel bars.  Gahhh.

So, heh, I yanked that big plywood panel back off.  Because, planning, or doh, all my lack thereof.  This is the way.

Some projects are, just, ya know, like this.  As I shrug and hang my head in embarrassment.

All right, towel bars.  Back over at my second home Menards in the fancy pants wood aisle, I grabbed two sticks of one by two by eight foot red oak.  

tools and supplies for towel bars
How we're not all on first name basis' by now is confusing.  I do see some folks there who look at me like ah, there she is again.

Anyway.  The two sticks of red oak were definitely less expensive than purchasing two ready-made towel bars.  And, you know me, I like unique-to-me.

Real simple here:  I made rectangles.  Of course my first go-around, yes first, I made the depth too short and it was a super stupid struggle to get bath towels in and out.  

Not prepared to admit defeat in the error of my ways, this took me a bit to re-address.  Because...

Yeah....based on my installation....you know where this is going....I had to take that big plywood panel off a second time, uninstall the towel bars, rebuild them, and then reinstall everything.  Hence my hesitancy, you see.

Surely no surprise there are lots of this is how we learn and SMDH's goin’ on over here.  Never a dull moment.

But right, the towel bars!  I cut four pieces at thirty inches and in the end, the wood block spacers to a depth of two and three quarters .  Just glue* and nail.*  I used pole barn screws* on the front to add a lil' jazzy pizazz and well, because I have nearly a full box left.

cut pieces of red oak for towel bars

Sure I could have gotten grandiloquent (what is that word, thesaurus?!) and cut the ends at forty-fives and not do lame butt joints.  Maybe another time.  To be honest, I was pressed for towel bar completion and forty-fives on such small pieces made me skittish.

assembling the red oak towel bars

finished custom made red oak DIY towel bar
Back upstairs, I measured the towels* folded in half then oy me, math, I then calculated where to attach the towel bars based on what I shorty can reach and what tall-y Mike can reach, along with sort of aesthetically spacing them on the plywood panel.

Yeah.  Ouch.

From the inside side of the plywood, I pilot drilled* holes and yes this was challenging with a large flopping piece of plywood, me on a ladder measuring and drilling* and holding things with insufficient-for-this-project arm length.

But, that's when resolve kicks in because I did not want to see attachment devices from the front good side.  


I have no photos of this for now-obvious reasons.

So I screwed the towel bars from the hidden inside onto the front side.  Mike says his bar is a bit loose now, likely due to my temporarily insufficient arm length so now, with everything since assembled, stained, and sealed, I need to uh figure that out.  Hm.

Ah backward.

Right, ok, so the towel bars are on and they look darn cool if I do say so myself.  Right?  Custom oak towel bars!  They're not perfect but still, custom DIY oak towel bars.  Right?!  Look at me go.

You would if I had taken pictures then too but alas, I suck.


So once the towel bars were on, it was time to finally reattach that darn plywood panel.  Which I did.  With my spiffy Bostitch air compressor and nail gun.*  Sweet.  

Since that was a go, I was able to take steps forward instead of backward!  Whew.

Time for shelves inside my newly shaped err reshaped and reshaped boxed out unit!

Here I cut down a one by twelve better-grade pine into four pieces.  Why pine and not matching plywood?  I was essentially out of the plywood, one-by is solid wood, and since I figured out how to stain pine nicely, I opted to save money.

preparing to install shelf pieces
No harm no foul, you’d never know.

Ok, so on the underside of two shelf pieces and the tops of the other two, I drilled out pocket holes* then dashed upstairs to install.

The two pieces with pocket holes facing up (yes I know there was no difference between any of them until installation thank you) were for the upper shelves and then, well, holes down, the rest is obvious.  This way no holes of any kind would be seen.  

Get the idea I like hidden stuff?  Yeah.

For the upper shelves, I did glue in pocket hole plugs* just because why not.  Mike’s tall enough; I didn’t want to fire up any OCD-related hackles.

installed shelf piece
I know, not the whole view as I was really spacing on the photos overall but more will come, you'll see.
And voila, with two small seemingly insignificant concoctions, I finally advanced this controversial master math jet tub cover up project with some rockin' functionality!  

installed DIY red oak towel bar and shelves
Clearly I'm posting this project backwards and totally out of order too as this is several steps ahead by this photo!

*The PC Universal glue, bath towels, flip drill bits, and pocket hole plugs are Amazon affiliate links.  The Bostitch nailing and air compressors are Lowes affiliate links.  The pole barn screws, Dewalt cordless drills, and pocket hole tools are Home Depot affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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