When we bought our house we sat down and made sketches and plans for all the changes we wanted to make. I had in my mind about 90% of it and put it to paper. Mostly because my visual husband needs to see a picture…apparently talking with my hands doesn’t cut it. Of course with any remodel as you begin to familiarize yourself with all the little nuances of the space you find things that won’t work according to the original plan. We had a lot of little tasks that needed to be completed before we could move forward with any major overhaul (like the kitchen) so we decided to start with something smaller and in more need of repair. The hall bath.
Our girls had decided that no matter how much I had cleaned it, their shower was too gross to use. It did have a lot of what Matt and I like to call “perma-nasty”. This is mystery substance, color, etc that no amount of cleaner or scrubbing is removing. This is the point when said item needs to be replaced, repainted, or re-caulked. The main issue here was that the house is on a well, and had not been treated. While the water was clean and drinkable it had properties that stained the items it regularly came in contact with and built up some nasty deposits. This made the dishwasher, tubs, and toilets look pretty gross. We first tackled the water issue by having it all tested for deposits then, had a large filtration system installed to remove all of the problem causing elements. After this we were ready to install new appliances and move forward putting new tubs and toilets in without them later being damaged by the water.
Here is the before of the bathroom. We shot this photo after we had removed the mirror and were getting ready to disconnect the sink.
I think the paint color was the thing I was the most excited about getting rid of…or that shower surround!
Next came the full gut…we tore everything out! Since I knew I wanted to do shiplap style wood on the walls, we tore off the drywall as well. You could, in another space, install your wood planking right over the drywall. We didn’t do that in this bathroom for two reasons. First, the added thickness of drywall and wood planks would change the design outcome for the tile surround we wanted to do in the shower and second, since the wood planking would have gaps and is in a bathroom, we didn’t want to create a haven for moisture between the surface of the drywall and the back of the wood.
Matt is so good at including our kids and giving them jobs while we work on projects, and our little guy loves helping with projects! I am one to usually find training more frustrating than just doing it myself so I absolutely admire this about my man.
Once we had all the walls open Matt was able to change the plumbing to fit the new wall mounted faucet and shower fittings. The old bar light wasn’t centered over the sink so it required Matt to move the wiring for the new light. After that came the insulation and vapor barrier to prepare for our shiplap walls. We made our shiplap out of plywood sheets cut into 8 inch strips. This allowed no waste from each sheet. I painted the boards and their sides in Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray, then Matt nailed them in place using a penny as a spacer between the boards.
Everything was starting to look like a real bathroom again! We installed the tub, then the shower tile. Matt taught me how to use the tile saw and install tile. I am proud to say I tiled the right hand side of that shower! Matt installed the penny sheets on the floor because he is an absolute pro at seamlessly laying those sheets together. I wanted everything to stay simple and clean in this bathroom since it is small, so I went with white subway tile from Lowes and white penny tile from Floor and Decor. The subway tile at Floor and Decor is a bright white, which is actually a different shade than most tubs, toilets and sinks. I bought one sample piece to compare to our tub and sure enough it was way off. Make sure to get samples of your materials whenever possible and make sure everything matches up the way you want. This will save you a lot of time and money! I did want a little color to break up our all white and add those beachy tones back in that I love, so I chose a tumbled marble mosaic in a herringbone pattern from Floor and Decor called ‘caribbean green’. Lastly, we grouted all that tile. Matt taught me to do this as well and I quickly learned that I do NOT enjoy grouting tile…ha! So, Matt grouted and I sponged behind him. Everything was looking so amazing! I had dreamed about transforming our little fixer upper for several months and it was finally starting to take shape.
Finally all the beautiful finishes were being placed. I found a galvanized, goose neck light in the outdoor lighting section of Lowe’s that was so cute, so to match it I chose galvanized piping as the shelf brackets and shower pole. On a trip to Ikea I saw this Hemnes vanity cabinet in the clearance section and scooped it up since it was only 40$! Matt found that gorgeous round mirror in the clearance section at Lowes for 15$, and our quartz countertop was a little remnant piece that a local fabricator made us a deal on since Matt would be installing it. Those cast iron, enameled letter hooks are for my kids towels. I don’t know about any of you other moms out there, but my kids (particularly my girls) really know how to push my buttons with their towel usage…there’s one in the bathroom, one on their floor, hanging on a random hook, in the laundry room…etc. And when asked, no one can identify if it is in fact their towel. Monogram hooks to the rescue! The absolute best part, I found them at a thrift store for 25 cents each!
And here it is the finished product! Dressed it up with some baskets from Hobby Lobby, a shower curtain that I made and a scrap piece of wood I whitewashed for the shelf. I absolutely love it!
Before and After…what a difference!
I love how everything turned out and am so excited to see the rest of our little home start to match this bathroom! Anyone else have a project that they loved doing? I would love to hear about it!