Small bathroom, basic remodel: progress

melle_sactoJune 30, 2014

Not a lot of bling in this remodel, but we've made some progress so I wanted to share. It's a small bathroom (5 x 8 -- the size of someone's super-luxurious SHOWER!!!) mostly-DIY remodel (we hired a plumber to install the new bathtub and also someone to hang the cement board). I just grouted the floor yesterday, which felt like a big milestone :-) Still wall tile to finish before we grout the walls. The tub surround is tiled all the way to the ceiling, and all the other walls will have tile up to 4'. It will be really shiny in there LOL, but I'm hoping MUCH easier to keep clean (two boys live here, 5 and 9, in addition to my DH).

I read that walls should be grouted first but that didn't happen. What is the reason for grouting walls first?

Charcoal grey floor:

We probably made a rookie error -- after DH installed the tile there was one area along the tub that had a nearly 1/2" gap. We should have started the tile along the tub but we didn't. DOH! It doesn't look as bad after I grouted, and I think that when we caulk along the base of the tub it will help to hide it a little more.

White wall tiles, can't see the shower niche is on the wall opposite the plumbing. It's a Swanstone pre-made niche, we love the one in our master bathroom (super easy to install and maintain). I'll be grouting with white because I don't like busy tile.

The vanity is bamboo from, medium-dark in color. I got exactly the same size as the old vanity, 36". It's a tight fit though, after it arrived I started reading about clearance between vanity and toilet, and there isn't really as much space as is recommended. Oh well, our house is small and lacks storage - having a larger vanity gives us a little more storage. The vanity was a major splurge, hope we don't regret it!

I ordered new lighting from HD, but it arrived damaged so I returned it and have not re-ordered. It's this light:

Originally we were going to get a new mirror, but now I'm hoping to just cut the old one down to be 36" long, exactly like the vanity and hang it back up. Fingers crossed!!!

I haven't selected a paint color yet, but I'm leaning towards either a light grey or a light blue.

This post was edited by melle_sacto on Mon, Jun 30, 14 at 20:52

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Well I think your tile looks very well done. I can't wait to see it finished. I really like your floor and wall tiles. You and your family will be so happy in the new space.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:53PM
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I like the tilework. The larger format subway tiles leek great with the floor. I hear you about the busy grout lines. I usually like them to blend in. You get a nicer more restful look with them. Be sure and post more pictures as you make progress!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:07PM
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enduring -- thank you! My DH did the tiling, and he really did a nice job. Everything is pretty even and level. There were some areas where he had to "cheat" the tiles/spacing, but he did a good job disguising those spots. I'm really impressed, it's been slow but steady progress because he works full time.

Lotteryticket -- I will! I'm going to start grouting the walls tonight or tomorrow night.

As for the mirror, we decided not to try to re-use the old large, frameless mirror.

Can anyone recommend where to find mirrors? It seems like they are all so expensive! I was thinking of trying to score a deal off CL, but do bathroom mirrors need to meet special requirements?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:16PM
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I'm not aware of any requirements or specific guidelines. Try CL and ebay. If you want a framed mirror you could find a frame and have a piece of mirror cut to fit. Mirrors can get really expensive.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:52PM
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If your old mirror is still good, you could look into the cost of buying a frame and having the local glass place cut the old one to fit.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Thanks for the suggestion, but the old mirror is not going to be easy for us to do a lot of handling, it's like 4'x5' or something. I'll probably just watch Home Decorator's site for a sale.

Also, last night I figured out why to grout the floor last: DH is still tiling the walls, and dripped thinset on the floor. So after he was done I went and washed it off. I'm not as messy with grouting, but until the tiles are all in place I'll need to keep washing the floor each time he works in there because I don't want the white thinset staining our charcoal grout ;-)

This post was edited by melle_sacto on Wed, Jul 2, 14 at 12:26

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:22PM
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You're probably already done but if not, put some ram board or other heavy duty paper over the tile floor and tape it down with painter's tape. Keep it covered until your all done with the walls. If you can't find paper then maybe use a drop cloth. It beats cleaning up at the end of each day.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:23PM
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Lotteryticket -- thank you for that idea! We are not done, and I hadn't thought of covering the floor. It's hard to get DH to even keep the bathtub protected -- I think he may have put a couple dings in the finish :-(

I have access to cardboard, so that's what I'll put on the floor for now. I agree, beats cleaning up each night! We work slowly, he mixes enough thinset to do 6-10 tiles at a time because he does it in the evening when I'm getting the kids to bed.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Drop cloths are a girls' best friend. We move at a snail's pace as well when tiling. So you're not alone.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:33AM
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I'm with Lottery on the drop cloth plan. I love those thick canvas drop cloths so much that I even have one in the cargo area of my VW Tiguan : ) I got mine at Lowes.

The drop cloth that I used (still using) in my recent bathroom remodel (not quite done) was so handy and perfect. It cushioned falling items. I used it always in my shower pan as I tiled the walls. I used thick card board, duct taped together as a mat for the freshly tiled floor.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:45AM
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Hello. I love the grey floors! Have you been happy with them? I'm thinking of something similar.

Would you mind telling me what your layout is? I'm going to be doing a bath that is 5'8" by 8'8" and I'm trying to figure out if I have enough width for storage and if so, what the best layout would be.

Many thanks!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2014 at 5:46AM
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Well, we're still not finished with this DIY all I can really tell you is that I do still like the floor ;-) We have a solatube in the ceiling, though, so it's a relatively bright room (it's a window-less closet otherwise).

I don't have a picture to show the layout, but basically when you walk in the door the vanity/sink is right there, across from the entry, and the door can only open a bit over 90 degrees or it hits the wall. To the right of the sink is the toilet, and to the right of that is the shower/tub combo. It's cost-prohibitive for us to move anything around layout-wise. We couldn't add any storage beyond the vanity, except with shelves above the toilet or hooks/bars on the wall.

Honestly, for me the best solution to storage problems in our small house is to streamline and de-clutter. All. The. Time.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2014 at 1:58PM
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