Could use some advice on a small powder room re-do

vicki802August 19, 2013

We're currently redoing our very small downstairs powder room. It's 3 ft. wide x 5 ft. long, and when you walk into it, the toilet is on the left, and the sink and vanity are to the right. We weren't planning on doing this now but necessary repairs have forced our hand, so we're doing this on the cheap-as-possible.

We're trying to figure out what to use for the vanity top and the flooring. We're keeping our existing builder-grade vanity cabinet, which is one of those deals that is pre-built into the bathroom and snugs in on 3 sides. My husband is just building new shaker style cabinet doors. We'll paint the cabinet white or antique white.

We're looking at quartz vanity tops, specifically either a mid tone grey that looks like concrete, or a warm white with a little sparkle to it. The vanity top will be 35" wide x 22" deep, and while the rest of the house is more of a cottage style, we do like a clean, somewhat modern look.

What we can't figure out is what to use for flooring. If we choose the grey concrete look for the top, with the white cabinet, would we want white flooring? Or a travertine look? Or if we choose the warm white with a little sparkle, would white be too blah? And what's better for resale?

The rest of the flooring in the house is medium toned cherry hardwood and we have no intention on redoing the flooring any time soon.

Thank you for suggestions!

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sounds like you have our bathroom! We just redid ours, which sounds like it is the mirror image of ours. We did both our guest bath and the powder room with the tile from the Vitality series -- the names are earth, wind and fire . . . I just can't remember the two we used . . .

This is the tile in the powder room:

and what we used in the guest:

Most people think that it is travertine, rather than porcelain. We really like the way it turned out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vitality tile series

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:20PM
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I meant to add that we also have cherry toned-hardwood throughout the house that abuts to the guest BR -- flows well.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:21PM
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Could you add medium toned cherry hardwood to the powder room? You don't have to worry so much about water on the floor in a powder room.

What do you have in the kitchen?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:59PM
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I would probably use something with a little color in it rather than white.

I have a question for you and RJR220. We are putting in a new powder room, about your width and a little more than 6 feet long. Did you use a regular swing door or a pocket?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 2:58AM
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I think a gray-toned tile would go well with either the white or gray countertop.

Since you mentioned resale, go with tile instead of wood. If you really really want that wood look, then find a wood-look tile that matches your wood, then that might be appropriate. Unlike the photo below, I recommend using a grout darker than the color of the tile.

But sometimes it's probably be better to shift gears completely with a standard porcelain floor tile than trying to match the tone of the wood flooring in the rest of the house.

Consider the lighting in the room too. With limited light, a lighter colored floor may be better.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:54AM
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My first choice would be the cherry toned hardwood like the rest of the house. Love HW in powder rooms!

Don't know what my second would be without seeing all the contents, paint, etc.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:44AM
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RJR it looks like we have the exact same bathroom! It's actually about 6 ft long, btw. Palimpsest, right now, the cherry hardwood flows throughout the downstairs, including the kitchen and powder room. It's engineered hardwood and the color is no longer made (we looked into it). We need to rip up the flooring because the toilet leaked and ruined the floor. We want to use tile because we'd never be able to match the rest of the flooring and we really can't afford to replace all of the flooring at this point.

Oh and the bathroom doesn't have any natural light, fwiw. The only thing we're completely committed to right now is a painted vanity since we can't afford to replace it.

Rjr, is there any way you can post a pic of your vanity top, especially for your bathroom with the cream colored cabinet?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:24PM
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I would coordinate the floor and countertop first, probably going with slightly darker grey to coordinate with the mid-tone grey quartz; or with a tile like shown in the second picture above to go with the white/sparkle countertop, and then finalize the paint color of the vanity once those are chosen. You have the most limited choices for counter, more, but limited, options for flooring and the most options for paint, even with "white" . (There are 140 Off-White Colors at Benjamin Moore).

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 12:34PM
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I would go with the same HW as the rest of the first floor. We've had HW in our powder room for 20+ years and it's been great.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Unfortunately we can't go with the same hw because it's no longer made, and the way that it was laid won't allow us to just replace a few boards around the toilet. The floorboards run straight into the bathroom from the hall. In other words, when you walk into the door, the toilet is on the left, the sink is on the right, and instead of running the length of the bathroom, the planks run from side to side (if that makes sense).

So bottom line is that the wood is too damaged from a toilet leak to keep and we can't match it.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Divotdiva; We stuck with the original swing door, but a pocket door would have been nice. We were trying to keep expenses down.

Vicki -- here are a couple pictures of the vanity top. The vanity itself is a custom vanity painted BM Revere Pewter, the top is a remnant of Galaxy White.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:28AM
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If your quartz countertop is solid or just has flecks of sparkle, it's nice to bring some pattern in with the floor tile. You can also add some pattern to the floor with the way you lay the tile. Try to find a tile store that also sells quartz so you can coordinate the two.

Be aware that you may have to add a new subfloor for the tile, which would make the tile higher than the hardwood in the hallway. This happened in our kitchen when we replaced sheet vinyl with porcelain tile. I do not like the wooden "speed bump" strip between the hardwood and tile. We would have liked to use porcelain tile in our guest bath remodel, but again, it would be higher than the adjacent carpet. We used Armstrong Alterna LVT. There aren't as many color and pattern choices as porcelain tile, but it it has a limestone composite base and is grouted just like real tile, so it's not really vinyl-y. Nice stuff, and a lot cheaper than porcelain tile.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:30AM
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