Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bathroom Overhaul.

For quite some time we had been planning on remodeling our downstairs bathroom. I hated everything about it. It felt cramped, the floor tiles were not my style, plus they were cracked, and the grout was all broken up. The toilet was old. The vanity and cabinet were too large for the bathroom plus they were outdated. I attempted to paint the vanity and countertop a year ago to make it a little more pleasing until I could decide what we wanted to do with it.

Then one Friday while I was off work, I dropped Rosalie off at school and wandered to Home Depot. I fell in love with a vanity that was way on clearance and then everything else just spiraled from there.

We started with scraping the ceilings. The old ceilings were popcorn. I hated them because the popcorn creates shadows and makes the room darker. After the ceilings were scraped, Kevin had to sand before we could paint. Warning, if you do this to your ceilings, it is VERY VERY dusty.
Picking paint was another task for me. I wanted gray... but I didn't know there could be so many shades of it! The color I settled on ended up being beautiful and bright. It is a tannish-gray. It is called "Sandstone Cove". We decided to go with Behr paint and primer in one to save time since we had so much sanding to do.
After the walls were all painted we decided to install our vanity prior to tiling the floor simply so that Kevin could redo all of the plumbing and get the mirror and new light fixture in. Since that was the last we could do over that weekend's time, we decided to put it back in that way we could at least use it until next weekend since this is our commonly used bathroom.
We decided to downsize the mirror and do a framed in mirror. Literally half of this wall was mirror and it was just a plain mirror. We also downsized the light fixture. The old one had 5 valances and it looked like it was crammed in there.  As you can see we also updated our outlet covers!
We also decided to go with a much smaller wall cabinet. The one that was in there was huge, and even though it gave us lots of storage, it really made the bathroom look much smaller and it felt like you were going to hit your head off of it when you walked through the door.
The next weekend the floor began. We started by taking out the vanity, again. Then Kevin began smashing up the tiles.
After we began removing the tiles, we discovered that an area around the bath tub that the grout had cracked and water had leaked under the tiles and there was mold. So losing a day of work, we decided it was best to rip out the old subfloor (backerboard) and lay new. Thankfully the mold was only on the backerboard.
 Once the subfloor was finally down, I could begin laying my tiles! Laying our own tiles only set us back $99, minus cost of materials. We had to buy a wet saw. We bought the cheapest one Home Depot had and it did the job just fine! We have 3 other rooms/areas that need tiled so we will definitely get our money out of it.
We originally planned on matching the tile with the tile we had done in the kitchen.. but unfortunately Home Depot discontinued it. We decided to go with these awesome new tiles. They look like real hardwood, except it's porcelain tile which is much more durable for a bathroom! It also matches great against our kitchen tile.

We had decided we wanted to grout in the evening that way it would have overnight to dry and since I didn't get done laying the tile until late in the evening, we decided to hold off of on the grout.

So the next morning we began with the trim and wainscoting. Our base trim is actually composed of 4 different pieces of trim stacked together. We bought the Cape Code wainscoting from Home Depot and finished it off with chair rail. I caulked in all the nails and all the little gaps and then painted. The only piece that we didn't put on at this point was the quarter round that goes at the bottom that way I could grout tight against the trim.
That night I began grouting. I won't lie, I was nervous, but the grouting turned out to be the easiest part and it was very rewarding to see all my hard work on the floor coming together! Please note that I did somewhat know what I was doing. I had a friend that tiled our kitchen and taught me the ropes.. plus I watched countless youtube videos.
We let the grout sit for 16 hours (per the bag's instructions) and after that, it was time for the finishing touches. We installed our vanity back in, installed a new toilet, and caulked around the bath tub and the toilet. I spent probably a good hour just caulking around the bath tub because I wasn't chancing water getting down under the tiles again!

The finishing result of the bathroom is something I couldn't be happier with!  With a new vanity with a granite top, new mirror, new medicine cabinet, new toilet, new paint (we even splurged for the more expensive paint), paint supplies, porcelain tiles, tiling supplies, new fixtures, and wainscoting only set us back about $1600. Had we of hired someone to do everything we did, I can only imagine how much more it would have been.

The final before and after reveal...

Tips for making a small bathroom appear larger:
  • Remove any popcorn ceilings. These will create shadows and make the room appear smaller and look darker.
  • Choose a lighter color of paint.
  • Opt for a smaller medicine cabinet.
  • When in doubt, always go with white. This was our reason we chose a white vanity and the wainscoting. It brightens up the room and makes it appear much larger!