The one-week bathroom makeover
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
The first December in our new home, also marked the first time family would visit for the holidays. I converted our bonus room into a comfortable guest bedroom, but they would have had to share a bathroom with the girls.
With most of the house painted and decorated, this ugly, outdated bathroom was bothering me. The backsplash and tub surround were tiled with the same ugly tile we had in the kitchen, just a lighter shade of brown. (You can read all about the kitchen backsplash replacement and exactly how much I disliked it, here.) The floor was covered with a brownish, tired-looking piece of linoleum and the vanity's top had a pink undertone I wasn't too fond of.
With only one week left before our guests were to arrive, I decided to challenge myself, and renovate that bathroom in record time. It might not be such a record for a professional, but it definitely was, and still is, for me. I tend to focus too much on details, and often my projects take forever to finish. Not this time! I was laser-focused on getting the job done.
Let the demolition begin
Step one was to remove the enormous builder's grade mirror. When I removed the mirror from our powder room, it did a fair bit of damage to the drywall. (You can read about the powder room makeover here.) This time around the damage wasn't that bad, but after removing the two rows of tile that were the backsplash, the drywall was all crumbly and full of holes. I ended up replacing a 5 x 5 feet square of drywall anyway.
Next up, I removed the custom-built vanity. I kept the cabinets to repurpose in a future project, but I couldn't wait to get rid of the top. The toilet also had to be moved out to altogether remove the linoleum floor covering. I took off the shower curtain rail, and that was demo DONE!
The new piece of drywall went in first and had to be blended in perfectly with the rest of the wall. Matching up old and new drywall may well be the most challenging thing ever! I wish I could show you how it looked during this whole process, but it never occurred to me to take a single photo!
The new flooring went in next. I chose oversized, luxury vinyl tiles with its own bonded underlayment. Covering such a small area, it was done in no time. I chose a light grey colour, almost resembling a cement floor. The click system installation formed a seamless look. There are three seams in this photo! With my tight deadline, I had to make quick decisions and I'm not sure that I would choose the look of this tile again. In its defence, I must add that it is extremely durable en easy to clean. That alone is a win in my book.
With the flooring done, the toilet and new vanity were ready to be installed. The cost of the vanity was a bit steep for my budget-friendly makeover, but the requirements were very specific. The plumbing had to be adjusted a bit to line up with the new sink outlet. It turned out to be trickier than the powder room plumbing, but not impossible.
Seeing what happened when I took out the backsplash, I did not feel up to the task of removing the tile around the bathtub and shower combo. I decided to try peel and stick tile that I stuck directly on top of the old tile. I was worried that it might start to peel off after lots of steam, but it is still holding up beautifully. I carefully sealed all the edges with a white silicone sealant. I also used the peel and stick above the vanity for a backsplash where I stuck it directly on the wall. Below you can see a close-up of the tile.
The girls helped me pick the paint colour for their bathroom. In retrospect, I think we should have chosen one shade lighter, but that is easy enough to change. My dear husband, who is very handy with electrical work, replaced the light fixture over the vanity. The new mirror could also be hung now. I decided on a decorative, framed mirror.
The second big-ticket item was the frameless tub shower door. It was, however, a part of my planning from the beginning, because I seriously dislike shower curtains.
Installing the shower door was slightly nerve-wracking. In the first place, it weighed a ton and was almost impossible to move around and lift on my own. The second challenge was to attach it well enough to support the weight without tearing the tub surround apart. Luck was on my side! I found a stud in precisely the right spot to anchor the screws into. If that was not the case, the best, but definitely not most convenient way, would have been to enter from the other side of the wall, through Daniella's closet.
I barely made my one-week deadline, but I did it. The end result was what I had in mind, and I could offer our guests a freshly updated bathroom. Mission accomplished!
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