Monday, June 23, 2014

Small Bathroom Redone in a BIG Way!

Hey all! It's done!!! The master bathroom is really truly done. Well, I do want to make a curtain to close off the closet area, but I promise, that's it.  This was a big undertaking for me, but I had a lot of help from borrowing tools from the neighbor (thanks Ken!), to Joe dealing with a torn up bathroom on and off for a month (thanks Joe!), and then there were the 4 days my dad was here supervising the tiling job (a HUGE thanks Dad!). Also thanks to all of you for the encouragement and ideas on the tile choice. I think it makes such a difference. 

Here are some pictures of the bathroom before the remodel. The floors are green vinyl, the walls are yellow, and yes, you see a really sweet porcelain soap holder, and there is a toothbrush holder next to it. They were clean and worked still, but they just weren't my style.

This is a small bathroom: 30 square feet of open floor space. I understand why they only had one towel holder because that is the only open wall space big enough to hold it, but really, this is a master. Usually two people share this room. I took this towel bar off and put up a double towel bar so we can both hang our towels now.

I started the renovation by removing the trim so I could paint the walls and tile the floors.

Look at the color of the air vent. Yep, I painted that white one day when I was outside painting doors.

I even uncovered a little area of the wall outside of the shower that just crumbled off. Fortunately there was no mold, and I found the leaking spot in the shower and sealed that with some silicone caulk. We were able to put a little drywall patch up during the tiling job. I even took off all of the old caulk in the shower, reglued one of the sides that was coming off and then recaulked the entire thing. Everything should be nice and waterproof for a while now!

Remember those porcelain wall mounted holders. Yeah, I tried to forget them too. I used my trusty pry bar and got them out of the wall. No more hitting my hand on those things when going to turn on the water. :-) I had to do two drywall patches using a metal patch and joint compound. It ended up nice and smooth. And the upside is that some nice person bought them off of Ebay for $12. One man's trash...

I also really wanted to change this light. I was just not feeling the polished brass in this room with everything else being either blue, white or brushed nickel. I didn't want to spend a lot of money overall though, and I liked the shape of the light fixture. So I decided to try spray painting this with a nickel finish. I think it turned out really well. I know it's hard to see with the lights on, but you get the idea.

My next step was painting the walls in Valspar Lucy Blue. It was the color I had planned on using as the accent wall in the master bedroom, but it just didn't look right there. I think it looks pretty good in here!

The biggest part of this bathroom redo was the tiling. I love tile in bathrooms. I think it's just a really nice finish. I also admit to wanting that green vinyl covered up ASAP! This is where my dad's help came into play. He's tiled a lot of rooms, and I've even helped him in the past. So, I asked him last month if he had any time to come and help me out. Yep! He sure did. This is a small space, so he said he'd supervise and cut the tiles and I'd do the work of laying the tiles. I was certainly amenable to that arrangement since I wanted to learn how to do it for future jobs.

The first thing we did was lay the underlayment. Now if you've ever tiled before, you'll know that usually you have to tear up the vinyl and possibly the flooring that the vinyl is laid on, and then you lay concrete subfloor and then the tile. Well, my dad discovered this product that made the prep work a breeze. He used it successfully in a bathroom of his own a few years ago with wonderful results. This pretty orange plastic waffle is called Schuter Ditra. It's part of a whole system designed to be the subfloor for laying tile instead of concrete subfloor. It's incredibly easy to work with and it's designed to be waterproof. You can install it over the old vinyl with thin set mortar and start tiling immediately. You cut it with scissors or a utility knife. It's about $1.50/ sq. ft. and it's worth every penny. It's also supposed to make your tile last longer and prevent cracks in the tile and grout. It's designed to move with the contraction and expansion of your house unlike concrete subflooring. Really, I can't say enough about how great this product is. 

After the getting the Schluter Ditra installed, it was time to actually tile. Of course I chose a small mosaic tile which is some of the most difficult tile to work with. What a smart move on my part. Sure, go ahead and pick a difficult tile for your first tiling job. Why not? The thinset mortar kept oozing up between the tiles, but I'm more stubborn than mortar. With a lot of wiping and careful placement I finally got all of the tiles laid. I know it looks impressive to see all of those individual teeny tiles, but realize they do come in a 12"X12" square with the tiles joined together with little rubber joints. It made spacing and laying them much easier. In case you're wondering, I got this tile at Lowes. It's American Olean Sausalito White Ceramic Tile on the floor and American Olean Starting Line White Gloss Ceramic Bullnose Trim on the wall. 

The finished tile before grouting

The final task that I had to do after tiling was to grout the whole thing. Again, did I pick an easy tile for my first tiling project. Nope! Look at all of those wonderful grout lines. Ugh! But again, I'm more stubborn than grout, and I was determined that this was going to work in the end. I went with Keracolor Sanded Grout in Pearl Gray. It needs to be sanded grout if it's on the floor, and I went with gray to make the white tiles pop. I mixed Grout Boost in right away which supposedly means that I don't need to seal the grout in the end. (If you've used this and discovered that to be untrue, please let me know and I'll seal my grout!)

So here is how the bathroom turned out!

Isn't that such a nice double towel bar?

Bad lighting, but from the other direction. So much more space by the faucet handles without those porcelain wall mounts.

Thanks for checking out the bathroom remodel. Maybe I'll add a final post once I get that curtain made for the closet. I'm close to having my sewing desk painted and set up. Maybe next month?

I'm sharing this with:
TDC Before and After