Bathroom Reveal | Pinterest Challenge

From the wall tear out to the floor install, it’s been a long time coming. Now that the faucet is installed, I’m extremely proud to introduce you to the official after shots of our upstairs bathroom (sans a mirror). ūüėČ In spirit of the image that started it all, I’d like to present my pinterest inspiration photo. Rubber ducky and all.

Herringbone Subway Tile
Herringbone Tile | Inspiration Photo

Here are some after shots of the tub surround and built-in. I love how much more open and airy this room feels now. Big improvement! Here is how our bathroom compares to the inspiration shot. I still need to get a rubber ducky to complete the look ūüôā

Herringbone Subway Tile
Herringbone Subway Tile

Probably one of my favorite details about the new space is this little hutch we found at Homegoods. I thought that it would definitely be too large to fit into the tiny space, but I think it really works. It’s the perfect place to stash all our toilet paper rolls. ūüėČ

Small Bathroom Storage
Small Bathroom Storage

I’m also totally in love with the sink and tub hardware. Both are Kingston Brass, and after purchasing this brand for the first time with this renovation, I can say I am a huge fan of the quality and workmanship with these pieces. They really make the room feel a bit more old school authentic to me, and I love that.

Kingston Brass Cross Handle
Kingston Brass Faucet

Storage wise, the built-in has been a life-saver for us, and it completely¬†transformed¬†this bathroom from a very non-functional space, to a much, much more practical room. We actually have a place to put our toothbrushes now – go figure! ūüôā

Bathroom Builtin
Bathroom Built-In

And although the sconces are not what I original had envisioned for the space, I’m pretty glad that I came in $120 under budget on these. Life lesson. Being flexible can save you money.

Completed Bathroom Renovation
Bathroom Renovation

This room has come a long way! There are still some minor revisions that need to happen (door threshold, etc), but I think it’s safe to say that we are back in the bathroom business.

Marble Hex Floor Tile
Marble Hex Floor Tile

To bring y’all back to the beginning, here is how the bathroom looked when we moved in.

Downstairs Bath | Before

And since seeing a room reno is no fun without knowing how many dolla bills went into the mix, here is the total cost breakdown for you. (I rounded up to the nearest dollar)

  • Marble Flooring (including grout, mortar, a new tile blade, a few new tools and sealer) $296
  • Subway Tile $84
  • Backer board $42
  • Paint – Free! (used a color already in the house)
  • Sconces – $80 (Lowes)
  • Built-in (including wood, supplies, veneer and¬†accessories) $74
  • Sink (splurge…) $282
  • Tub Hardware $108
  • Sink Faucet (including plumbing) $162
  • Spray paint for tub hardware $4
  • Privacy screen for window $17

Grand Total: $1,149 

So although this certainly was not a cheapity cheap renovation, I’m pretty glad to have this sucker d.o.n.e. We laughed, we cried, we went home happy. Actually, there was probably more crying than laughing – but in the end – we definitely went home happy. ūüôā


This is the Bathroom Remodel That Never Ends

Yes, it goes on and on my friends. Some people, started renovating it, not knowing how hard it was, and they’ll continue renovating it forever just because. This is the bathroom model that never ends.

Yes, yes indeed it is. Did you think I was going to go into another verse there when you saw “yes” again? He, he. The things I do to entertain myself – anywhooo… Between the tile, the sink, the insulation, the backerboard (etc, etc) we are feeling like this guy could be done any day now. But then, we wake up, and we still have a dusty, unfinished, messy bathroom. Oye. Atleast it’s not our only one (bathroom), right? Been there, done that, and it ain’t pretty. Here’s a picture of our dust saturated table – over it! I was like dusting on the hour.

Messy house!
Bathroom Remodel Mess

Last week brought lots of progress in this little room though, so I thought I’d share some updated photographs so y’all can see what awesome work the hubby has been doing. Here is a before picture of the floor. I was pretty nervous I was going to hate the grout (it was so dark before it dried completely) but I am totally in love with it. I think the gray works better than white for the floor. Easier to keep clean and it ties it the tile color better in my opinion.

Marble Hex Tile
Marble Hex Tile

We decided to cheat a bit on the floor install ūüėČ Anything to avoid an extra cut! Where you see all the gaps, we will be adding quarter round. Hubby’s idea. By this point in the process I was too tired to even resist. Rare, very rare. I said, as long as it doesn’t look janky – go for it. Quarter round for the win. The bottom portion of the photo is the tub, and that will have quarter round as well. That’s where the cheating part comes in. ūüėČ Jay’s justification (which I agree with) is that the tile would have been very difficult to cut, and may had¬†inconsistencies¬†we had to cover up anyway (with caulk, or trim), this way, we were able to avoid making any cuts, and to still get the same¬†aesthetic¬†result. Boo to the ya.

Marble Hex Floor Tile
Marble Floor Tile

From the doorway, things are looking much more bright, airy and open. Notice anything different from this view? The sink is in! For the first few days, this sink was like looking really big. Really, really big. I think we got used to not have anything¬†in the bathroom so this addition felt really intrusive. But … we needed a sink. As¬†spacious as the room felt without it, it’s not very practical to ditch it all together. After a few days, I’ve¬†cautiously¬†befriended the sink and I’ve decided it’ll do. That’ll do pig, that’ll do.¬†¬†Plus I like having a close and¬†convenient¬†place to suds my teeth and face, so that puts the sink up a few pegs on my list as well.

Marble Hex Bathroom Floor
Bathroom | Progress

We debated back and forth on the sink we wanted, and eventually, we pulled out the big guns and went with this Porcher pedestal sink. Ultimately, although a smaller sink is nice for flow in the room, we opted to add 2 inches in the name of storage on the sink basin and general functionality. My poor husband had to squat down a few feet to use the last sink. Good for your buns and thighs, not so good in the function category.

Porcher Pedestal Sink
Porcher Pedestal Sink

Plus, I felt paying $70 bucks more for a sink you actually loved, and one that function better, was just a better investment for us in the long term. So, we shelled out some extra simolians and called it a day. Look how lurverly it looks up close. Tres chic.

Porcher Pedestal Sink 24"
Pedestal Sink | Porcher

Still to do before we call this room good and D.O.N.E.

  • Paint window trim (again)
  • Paint and install the quarter round
  • Purchase and install the lighting
  • Purchase and install the faucet

Almost there!

How Great thou’ Grout

Wham bam alcazam. This bathroom is actually starting to look like a room again! Three cheers for the hubby, who’s been slaving every. day. after work to get this BEAST done. Grout is one of the more satisfying items on the long check list. Because for once – your not tearing something out – or making a huge mess. Your making progress. Your finishing something. It’s a good feeling. Here it is in all it’s post grout glory.

White Grout Subway TIle
Grouting | After

We’ve worked with many different types of grout in our day, and I gotta tell you – unsanded is where it’s at in our book. Why you ask? Less mess, looks better, and easier to work with. Win. Win. and Win. With any¬†grouting adventure, you got to start at the beginning by mixing your batch up. Our instructions indicated we needed a¬†mayonnaise¬†like¬†consistency.¬†¬†Easy enough. Doesn’t really look lake mayonnaise, but who am I to judge.

White Grout Subway Tile
Mixed Grout

When I first saw the grout being mixed, I thought it looked way too dark. We had purchased white grout, and when it’s wet, it looks quite a bit darker. Don’t fret (like I did, I was ready to hop in the car and return the stuff), it will get quite a bit lighter as it dries.¬†Grouting is pretty straight forward, but tedious. First, you’ve got to slather it all up and fill all those gaps galore. We purchased a new float this time around from the tile shop (this one), and we are pretty impressed with it’s¬†flotation¬†abilities. Plus, our last one busted after one reno project. Not cool. The man at the tile shop promised us this one should last forever, as long as we take good care of it. We will see how nurturing we are, since I don’t see this thing lasting till kingdom come, but here’s to hoping.

How to Grout

As you can see, this grout was not white. Nope, I would call that grey ūüôā Or gray. I never know which one it is. After you’ve grouted, your section of tile should be looking like this. Note – the black spots on the grout are bubbles of air that fill after you come back the sponge and shape the grout.

How to grout
Grouted Tile

The grout is definitely IN the spaces – but it still needs to be shaped. This is a very important step, since it will completely determine the look for your finished product. If you don’t take the time to shape the grout correctly, It’ll look janky. And no one wants that.

How to shape grout
Shaping Grout

Since the guys at the tile shop are awesome, they gave us two free sponges. Sa-weet! We just dipped the sponge in some water, and lightly went over the grouted areas. You want to make sure you are shaping the grout, but you don’t want to push too hard, and have the grout come up. You really just need to lightly brush the sponge over the grout line, and you’ll be able to give it some definition, and clean up any bumps, bubbles, or grout that got onto the tile.

How to install tile
Wiping Haze Off Tile

After you’ve gone over your tiles with a sponge (and after the grout has dried a bit) come back through with a mico-fiber cloth to get rid of any haze that resulted from the grout cover. You should notice a slight haze building on the tiles that are ready for this step, and depending on how moist your room is (season, etc), you should be able to do this step after 30 mins or so. We opted to do each of these steps in batchs of 10 sq feet or so, since it helped us control the process, and the timing a bit more.

White Grout Subway TIle
Grouting | After

Here is a picture of how the space looked after grouting, and for reference a before shot. Loving it!

Bathroom before
Bathroom | Before

My Love Hate Relationship with Herringbone Tile: Part II

So, yesterday we showed you some of the play by play shots of this whole bathroom remodel delio, but for those that want to try tackling herringbone themselves, I thought a wee little tutorial might be in order. Overall – I’d say it’s an 8 on the toughness scale, but by George, it’s a beaut when your done with it!

When I’m starting any project around the house, pinterest is usually the first stop. Lots of inspiration, and often, actually helpful stuff! We found this amazing tutorial on pinterest, and I whole¬†heartily¬†encourage it’s use. Here is a picture from the tutorial that sums up your basic first cuts that will set the stage for the rest of the pattern.

How to install herringbone tile
Herringbone Tile Pattern

So per the recommendations, we got a Speed Square and got to workin’! Overall, these are the tools of the trade that we used for the herringbone cut on the tile:

  1. Speed Square $10
  2. Pencil (cheap!) ūüėČ
  3. Ryobi Tile Saw ($150,  we have this one)
  4. 40 square feet of subway tile $64.00
  5. Mortar $14.37
  6. Grout $9.88
Supplies for tile installation
The Goods

It took a few cuts to get the hang of this whole triangle cutting process, and there were a few tile¬†casualties¬†along the way. That being said, subway tiles are .22 each, so it’s not the END of the world if you¬†nick¬†a few up. ¬†I told Jay he was lucky we¬†weren’t¬†doing marble tiles! ūüėČ First, we measured out the triangle with the speed square, to cut off the edge.

How to Cut Herringbone Tile
How to Cut Herringbone Tile

Things we realized along the way. You pretty much have to do this cut free hand. We tried using a guide that the tile saw has on it, but it actually landed up creating more issues, with the tiles getting all jagged, and inconsistent on the edges. Here is the line up of the first few that got added to the scrap pile.

How to cut herringbone tile
The Land of Misfit Tiles

Many of these were useful later on down the road, but with their clipped corners and uneven edges, we had to put them on the shelf for later use. As we continued to move across the wall, additional cuts were needed. Once the tile was placed up on the wall, we just used a pencil to mark both where the start of the tile should be, and where the tile should end with the grout line. This helped us to make sure we had a really good guide for the exact line to cut once we had it up on the tile saw.

Installing subway tile
Making the Cut

After you have carefully measured and marked your tile, just line that baby up with the blade and let er’ rip! I practically closed my eyes for this part each time (note – I was NOT cutting), since it made my arm pits a bit sweaty to see Jay’s hand that close to a quickly moving, sharp blade. Happy to say we made it through the bathroom remodel with all fingers intact. ūüôā

How to cute subway tile
Cutting the Tile

Jay and I had high hopes of busting this tiling job out in a weekend, and let’s just say it took more like a 2-weeks + ūüėČ Namely, since once the weekend is over, we just have evenings to work on it, so the schedule gets pushed back quite a bit. Overall, it definitely took extra time, extra patience and extra energy (I may, or may not have actually DONE all these things, ahem, patience) to do the herringbone tile, but it was SO worth it in my opinion!

Herringbone Subway Tile
Bathroom | After

I feel like my bathroom tile is a work of art now. Like a¬†Louvre exhibit. That is either highly insulting to Rembrandt, or highly complementary to my hubby’s handiwork ūüėȬ†Here is a snapshot of how it looks all up, sans grout. I’m just so stinking happy it’s done. That mother was a beast! Check out the little niche we built-in for storage. I’ll have a post with the play by play on that soon.

Herringbone Subway Tile
Bathroom | After

And a final shot of the whole shabang. Yes, one tile popped out along the bottom. Jay will pop it back in, soon. ūüôā

Subway Tile Herringbone Pattern
Bathroom | After

Now all we have left to do in this room is:

  • Paint
  • Install the new floor
  • Install the trim
  • Grout the tiles
  • Install the new built-in shelf
  • Install new lighting
  • Install new sink