**Quick Update: I’ve recently been contacted by someone who has installed the same recycled ‘moonlight’ mosaic tile as us (the tile that’s in our shower nook) and is just TWO sheets short of finishing her backsplash! The tile is now discontinued, so if you happen to know of someone with extra – it’s a long shot – but it would be awesome to help her out . Email me at: morgan at pepperdesignblog dot com.**
We’re on to flooring over here in the new bathroom. Most of the floors throughout the house are the original wood floors, one room is carpeted (read why here) and the kitchen is tiled because it was previously a bedroom and closet (before it was a den) making for some unusual wood flour patterns. Man I love the look of original wood floors! But since that’s generally a no-no for a bathroom, we checked out plenty of different tiling options.
But that $70 bathroom update that is the BEST EVER? It’s this little guy:
Such a great price for a tootsie toaster that is under the tile in the entire bathroom. This radiant floor mat is installed under the tile and our layer of subfloor and when turned on heats up your toes after getting out of the shower or in the cold early mornings. I’ve seen this in newer construction and have always oooed and ahhhed at the feature while secretly thinking it must have cost a fortune, but really it’s totally attainable for anyone who’s remodeling their bathroom. I cannot wait to test it out. Who knows, during the winter I might move my office and make myself comfortable on the floor of the bathroom.
But back to the tile.
It’s important to us that this 1930s home isn’t crazily remade into a modern should-have-been-built-in-the-year-2012 home. We love the original architecture found throughout the space and we’ve always had the goal in mind of paying homage to the year it was built while updating it to meet modern needs. We tried to do the same for the kitchen by using warm woods, oil rubbed bronze details and subway tiles (albeit modern glass ones). So when it came to tiling the bath my first choice was a beautiful older hexagon floor tile like this. How stunning! and that look and feel has and will survive the decades. Option two for me was to bring some continuity to our flooring situation (by not adding a fourth style of flooring into the house) by using the same dark slate tile as the kitchen.
Kevin loved the kitchen floor tiles and the dark grey grout (talk about easy to clean – white grout on the floor is a wee bit trickier) so we went with it. To break it up a bit though, and to create a newly defined space, we ordered tiles in 12×12″ squares rather than the 12×24″ panels that are in the kitchen.
You can see the break here (despite some of the missing grout and a tile that’s waiting for its cut):
The grey tiles below represent that dark slate that we were debating on with our initial color plan for the whole bath:
We were still debating option 1 & 2 at that point, but liked that the kitchen tiles worked well with the color palette. Now that the flooring is more modern, I’ll really have to work hard at finding other ways to incorporate those older, original-to-the-home accents.
The first step in tiling the new floor was establishing a pattern.
You can tell from one of the previous pictures above that we chose the second option or the square pattern (the real name is Jack on Jack pattern – who remembers that?). That diamond or ‘point’ pattern would have been great, you couldn’t have gone wrong, but I was leaning towards the latter. (Side note: we also tried the square version in the brick pattern (Running Bond pattern) we used in the kitchen but that was the first option to go). I wanted to keep it simple, simple, simple.
And so the tiling began (here are a few tips from the pros over at Lowe’s to reference too).
On top of the original wood floors a layer of hardibacker subflooring was drilled in (if you’re remodeling a bathroom it’s essential that you remove all original tile and really take care to focus on the subfloor – a tiled bathroom is only as good as your original floor and could create for later issues or an unlevel surface). Next our amazing electrical toe warmer was unrolled and installed. (Very sad I don’t have pictures of this but that’s how quickly it took Kev and his two buddies to install. Minutes.) The one picture I do have is of the electrical to the new radiant heating mats, our electrician tied it into the circuit when he installed all wiring.
On top of that went the tile.
The tiles were installed from the center out in this fashion: adhesive, notch end of trowel to create divets, add tile. Using the first tile as a guide, the rest of the tiles were lined up directly off of it.
Spacers can really help to create perfectly even grout lines.
If you’re working on a tile project at home and use spacers, be sure to remove those puppies before the adhesive you’re using (check tile directions) sets, usually between 20-30 minutes. That’s your time period for cleaning up adhesive that has smooshed it’s way out between or on top of the tiles too. Remember that this is just the adhesive step and not the grout.
It’s a bit repetitive but soon you’re well on your way to having installed all full tile pieces.
For those trickier edge pieces, we used a wet saw (a tile saw that helps to smoothly cut tiles by keeping a steady stream of water pouring over the tile while it’s under the blade). Kev and a friend went in on the cost of a tile saw years back and this puppy has seen plenty of use.
Definitely a smart investment for us.
I’m seriously breaking the blogging cardinal rule on this one for not having a proper ‘after’ photo but my after pictures of the newly tiled bathroom are too dark (I blame it on the midnight tiling and me forgetting to take photos in the morning ) but you’ll be able to see that finished floor soon after our tiled subway walls are complete!
More building a bathroom posts: a quick catch-up on our work on the bathroom in 2011, tiling with recycled glass, choosing and installing a bathtub, demo time!, a peak at the layout, initial inspiration, partnering with Lowe’s
We partnered with Lowe’s on our bathroom remodel and received some product at no cost and some product at a discount. The ideas and stories shared in this post are entirely our own.
Tags: Blue, Construction, demo, DIY, Home, Our Bathroom, Turquoise
Posted in Construction, DIY, Home, Our Bathroom, Renovating Adventures | 8 Comments »
We have a project over here that’s been underway for some time. Eight months to be exact. For those eight months we’ve had a rather large hole in the very center of the house, a hole waiting to be filled with a brand new full bathroom.
We’ve always known that adding a second full back to the house would be a necessity at some point, and it was about a year ago that we decided to take on the monster task of converting three adjoining hall closets into a bathroom complete with tub and shower.
But what I think I always glossed over (funny how that happens) was that this bathroom was, much like our kitchen, going to be built from scratch. So before we could pick out pretty tile and I could get excited over lighting and vanities, there would be serious demo, electrical, plumbing (oh what a messy, time consuming project – if your hubby tells you not to use the bathroom while he’s cutting into the main sewer line, DON’T forget no matter how badly you have to pee), venting, sky light placing, wall building, dry walling and plastering to do. That plus creating plans and getting approval from our city’s inspection office to determine that those crazy changes were in fact structurally sound. Wait, are you still laughing at the plumbing part? True story.
So we were way ambitious on breaking ground in March of 2011 and overshot our projected two month timeline after many delays that we just couldn’t prevent. Two months turned into eight and eight felt like for.ever. Here’s the visual:
Just four months old!
And here she is at almost a year.
So much bigger! Eight months can feel like a long time. I’m so ready to patch up the 10×10′ hole in the center of the house!
As you might recall, we’re partnering with Lowe’s on this project to get it done! There’s a Lowe’s just around the corner from us and we’ve conveniently shopped there for so many different projects in the house (kitchen cabinets, guestroom, outdoor kitchen…). They’ve always had a much greater selection of decor related items too, Lowe’s is where I found an awesome silver leafed full length mirror a few years ago (see master bedroom), a nice selection of wallpaper (credenza project) and have you checked out their recent line of Waverly curtains? They carry this brown trellis fabric that I recently found at Ballard Design for $40/yard before snatching up a single panel curtain (3 yards!) for $14.99 in the exact same design.
Needless to say we were so excited to team up with Lowe’s to create a unique bathroom that was us and that fit our little bungalow well.
It’s been a while, so I’ll quickly catch you up to speed on the progress that we made back in April, and then the few weeknights that we tore back into her in an effort to speed things up. The story starts with a set of three hall closets that sit in the middle of a rather large hallway at the very center of the house. There’s Liv’s room to the left, the dining room through that hallway at the front and the new kitchen to the right.
Closet 1 was a coat closet of sorts that opened into the hallway, closet 2 opened at the other side of the hallway and stored all of our cleaning products, closet 3 was the closet in Liv’s bedroom for extra bedding. What you can’t see in this photo is closet 4, which is behind me taking the picture and to the right. It also opened to the hallway and was plenty large enough to hold the necessary hallway goods.
So what to do with three adjoining closets so perfectly poised to become a space on their own?
The house is just too small to justify four closets and so much unused hallway space. Plus, a second full bathroom means we can seal off the first for the master suite (which we hope to tackle at some point) and Liv will have her very own kids bath, plus guests will have their very own shower. As you can see, one of the doors to the bathroom opens right into Liv’s room, making it perfect for use with kids and guests.
Demoing was the easy part. Next was framing out the new space and determining the proper layout for the bathroom.
Once we had a plan in mind (that new little closet to the left of the door to the bath facing the hallway will become the pantry to the kitchen) we set out to find materials.
Oh man I love Liv’s face in the bottom photo. And she doesn’t even realize she’s flying in a bathtub in the middle of a store. We haven’t picked out everything just yet… but this is the color palette we decided early on.
Which goes well with the inspiration image that we’re working with. This is also my best tip for happy remodeling – choose an inspirational image (or images, board, etc) that you both love before any work is started and use that image to resolve differences in decorating opinions (that’s the PC way to put it) when they come up. Does Kevin want to suddenly incorporate a ruby red tile skirt around the bathroom? Nope, not in the inspiration image(s). No, he really didn’t make that suggestion but we’ve had a few ‘let the inspirational image decide’ moments .
We chose a tub back in May and installed it in the new space. Read all about that decision and how we chose the one we chose here.
Next up came sealing in the walls around the tub. First was installing tar paper to keep that nook extra water resistant and then a layer of drywall.
Our little tiling tutorial (for those tricky 1×1″ tiles) can be found here.
And now you are up to speed! The exciting news is that we have dedicated a whole week (Kevin’s on winter break) to knock out this bath from here to the finished product. Let the clock start now. (happy dance)
Tags: Blue, Construction, demo, DIY, Home, Our Bathroom, Turquoise
Posted in Construction, Home, Our Bathroom, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures | 12 Comments »