Hello! I’m really excited to share this post with you all. Our main floor bathroom was a project that I wanted to take on for quite some time and a few months back, Cody surprised me with a weekend renovation for my birthday. The bathroom was previously painted a dark brown and had a thick laminate countertop that was a combination of colors including rust, brown, beige, grey, and blue tones. The cabinets were in good shape, but once again were that traditional oak wood that I am not a big fan of. We decided that we would once again divide and conquer, and in only one weekend we flipped the bathroom into a much more inviting and spa-like space.
We began by heading out to Discount Home Improvement to see if we could snag a new countertop at a lower price. This was our first time venturing into the store and we were so thrilled when we found a beautiful countertop in the exact size that we needed – and it was only $167! Sold. As soon as we got home, Cody did a bit of YouTubing to figure out the best way to remove and then install our new countertop. Once he felt that he was prepared… he really went to town. With the help of one of his buddies, he had the old counter torn off in less than an hour.
Fresh Paint & Hindsight
Notice that the old counter also had a thick backsplash which kind of destroyed our wall. So, we sanded until there wasn’t a “ledge” any longer and then evened it out further with some plaster and a bit a patience. We knew that we planned on installing a subway tile backsplash, so we didn’t make it perfect but we made it even enough to get the job done. At this point, Cody had already placed the new countertop on the cabinet frame and in retrospect we probably would have done things in a slightly different order. Hindsight is 20/20 they say… If we were to do this over, I would have preferred to finish evening off the wall and paint it before placing the new countertop. Instead, we used some old towels to protect the surface of our new countertop as I painted the room, and let me tell you…I was very nervous that somehow we would still get paint on it. Luckily after two coats of paint the counters still looked good as new. Phew! I also took some time to prime and paint the cabinets with some leftover Valspar® Cabinet Enamel from our kitchen project. This already made such a difference!
Subway Tile & The Lessons We Learned
Once the walls were painted and the countertop was in place – we could really see things coming together! We also had leftover tile from our kitchen so we figured we would double dip and use it in this bathroom as well. Let me warn you however, that if you ever go to a big-box store to purchase tile, even something as “simple” as subway tile, they often change or update their stock. We learned this the hard way once we were about halfway through adhering the tile to the wall when we ran out.
We figured we would be able to head out to our local Home Depot to pick up enough tile to finish the job. Once we got there though, we discovered that they had switched to a similar tile but it wasn’t exactly the same. Their newer tile was definitely not going to work and panic began to set in. We already had it installed on half of our wall! Luckily for us, one of the workers explained that we could in fact order directly from their supplier, Daltile to get the exact tile we had used previously. It wasn’t quite as cost effective this time around – one single box cost us about $5o, but we wanted to do it right so we went for it.
This was the second time that Cody installed subway tile and this time around he did an even better job than the first. He did do some things differently after some trial and error in our kitchen reno project. One major difference was that he didn’t use any spacers, and instead simply stacked the subway tile directly on top of each other using the built-in 1/16th inch spacing. Another important step is to make sure you remove the excess adhesive from the gaps between the tiles before you add the grout. Lastly, Cody was very meticulous with the grouting process and removed excess grout and used his thumbnail to painstakingly ensure clean lines. This all resulted in a thinner line of grout and made a brighter and cleaner overall appearance.
It’s All in the Details
Once we had all of the tile installed, the cabinets painted, and the walls freshly painted and trimmed the project really came into focus. We had a simple mirror leftover from a different bathroom project and decided to hang that in here. I added a bit of rustic flair by hanging a wooden shelving unit above the toilet and filling it with practical pieces like clean, white washcloths, mason jars labeled with cotton balls and q-tips, a metal letter M, and an old Patron bottle filled with lavender bath salts. We also had a charming little white birdcage that I placed on the countertop with glass orb air plants and moss for a pop of natural color. I finished the spa-like look with a hurricane vase filled with a natural sponge, exfoliating brush, and back massager.
I am seriously so happy with how this project turned out! These renovations really helped brighten up the space and now it makes much more sense within our home design scheme. This is my favorite place to go and relax in the tub and it truly feels like that at-home spa experience.
Let me know what you think about our bathroom overhaul. Until next time!