If I knew what really went into a bathroom renovation before we started, I may not have so eagerly volunteered to help, let alone do it ourselves. I was imaging a smooth process spanning two weeks, and then I would have my perfect bathroom. I’m not sure why I didn’t know better after watching many Property Brothers episodes. We ran into several hiccups along the way but lo and behold, we are finished!
Before we jump right in, let’s back up for a second. My boyfriend Jordon bought his first home in March last year. I gradated college and moved to SF in May so we painted all the rooms before I left. A few months later we tore down the wallpaper, and did some other small updates here and there when I visited from SF. Then I moved back to Iowa with him in January and being the only bathroom in the house, I was in desperate need to update it. The bathroom was easily the worst room in the house, complete with cheap laminate floors, mismatched vanity and butterfly wallpaper. Cool.
Here’s what the bathroom looked like before.
We kept putting off starting the bathroom renovation because neither Jordon or I had experience with it and it was intimidating. Jordon did lots of research so he knew what he was doing and we began renovation 5 weeks ago. It was a complete gut job and we put in all new everything without any hired help. So let’s see what we did!
First we removed all the iridescent tile on the walls and took out the old shower walls, and removed the stainless steel tub. It sounds easy and quick but it wasn’t. I won’t go into details, but those tubs are HARD. It took almost a half hour of swinging a hammer and then even switching to a sledge hammer before the thing broke so they could carry it out of the house. Then Jordon installed the new tub. He did lots of stuff in between to prep for the shower obviously, but we’ll focus on the fun stuff we can actually see :)
He ripped up the old floor and we started laying the new marble tile from Build.com. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s technically a porcelain tile with a marble look, but it was absolutely the best priced “marble” I found, and when I received it in the mail not a single piece was broke! Actually laying the tile was not a fun experience and once you start, you have to finish before the thin set hardens. Also, I had no idea that laying tile and then grouting it was two separate things. Ha. After the floor was finished we started on the subway tile in the shower. We spent a Friday night and all day Saturday putting up the tiles. I’m so happy we decided to go with an accent tile in the shower for some added color. Once all the shower tiles were finished (which took forever), things started to come together and look like a functioning bathroom. Next we installed a new Kohler touch-free toilet and DecorPlanet vanity. I’m sharing more pictures of the vanity later this week. I was leery of the touch-free toilet but so far it works well and we haven’t had any issues.
Instead of putting more tile on the walls where we took down the iridescent tile, we hung bead board and trim. It’s so much cheaper than tile (about $40 instead of $200) and I like the cottagey look. Since the bathroom is tiny, I wanted to keep decor simple and clutter free. I found the ladder at Goodwill months back and was using it in our basement, but I wanted a cute way to hang our towels and it works perfect. The art above the toilet is an overhead beach shot I’m obsessed with.
Let’s see…what did I miss? If you have more questions about the renovation process let me know and I’m happy to go into more detail. I can’t tell you how good it feels to walk into a clean and bright bathroom! It makes getting ready more fun in the morning. Be sure to check out phase two of the bathroom reveal for all the vanity and lighting details here!