Bathroom Remodel

Well it’s been a couple months since I’ve posted on this blog. We’ve been super super busy with life, running our business and finishing up some major projects on the Square house.

April was by far the craziest month we have had in a long time and I had the brilliant idea that between several trips and weddings I would remodel the master bathroom… by myself. At the time it seemed like a great idea. Philip was going to out of town for 4 days and I wanted to fill my time with something productive and the last big project to be done was the bathroom. Moving in we knew that it would be remodeled but we kept putting it off because we knew it would be a large undertaking and neither of us wanted to tackle it just yet. But after months of living with the nasty carpet, bad tile, broken vanity, and unbalanced toilet I was over it. So I told Philip I was knocking it out while he was gone. He shock his head and wished me luck and was glad that he was heading out 🙂

Silly me, I thought this was not going to be that hard. I mean all I had to do was take out the vanity, take out the old tile and carpet, replace the tile, and put back in new vanities… Yeah I had never put tile down before but heck I’ve put down laminate and hardwood floors so tile should be easy, right?

Well like every single project in this house I ran into several surprises. Like major surprises… So lets take a little journey down the remodel road. (sorry for the lack of quality on some of the images. I was working so hard I forgot to take images with a good camera and just used my Iphone…)

Below, the bathroom when we moved in. Single, very dated and broken vanity with double sinks (both cracked) and half a room of carpet.

bathroom remodel0001

The toilet area: slate tile, hole in the wall, and unbalanced toilet

bathroom remodel0002

We painted the room white several months back to at least get part of the room done. The first step I took in the big remodel was to paint the ceiling a fresh coat of white. That alone helped with the funky smell that was in the room. From the image below you can see a little bit of the yellowing of the ceiling.

bathroom remodel0004

Another view of the slit flooring

bathroom remodel0005

bathroom remodel0006

And now the stages of remodeling. First step, take out old sink and cabinet. Thank fully Philip was still home for that part and he helped me lift the huge sinks out. When we got the sink out we found surprise #1, a 4 inch by 6 feet hole in the dry wall. There was no need for this hole (the sink backsplash was sitting away from the wall so it wasn’t there to make the sink fit in) and I still don’t know why the builders did it. Since I was going to be putting two single vanities (so i wouldn’t have to rework the plumbing) in I was going to have to patch this hole. Fun… Also we found out that this vanity cabinet was custom built for the house and had to be taken apart piece by piece just to get it off the wall. bathroom remodel0008

Got the vanity and old carpet out and when I started on the slate tile I found surprise #2. When the tile was put down they used a concrete bed instead of a plywood backerboard subfloor. The concrete was two inches thick and it had to come out in order for new backerboard to be put down. If the subfloor had been plywood or traditional backerboard I simply couple have pulled up the tile and then unscrewed the old subfloor from the floor joist. Instead I had to break the concrete up and remove 5 square feet of concrete that was 2 inches thick. Doing this allowed me to find the plywood subfloor and then put in the new backerboard that made the floor level with the area where the carpet had been.

bathroom remodel0009

Half way through pulling up the concrete.

bathroom remodel0010

bathroom remodel0011

Since the bathroom is on the second floor I had carry all the concrete downstairs and to the trash pile. Easiest solution was filling 2 five gallon buckets with the refuse and walking down the stairs. Breaking up the concrete, pulling it up, and then carrying it out about killed me. I really didn’t expect to find the concrete and it added a full day of labor to the schedule. Talk about depressing. Thankfully my mom came over and helped with the carrying of the buckets. Oh and we didn’t have a sledge hammer so I used our axe with a maul on one end to break apart the concrete. I know have really ripped arms.

bathroom remodel0012

Ta Da! Concrete out and new backerboard down.

bathroom remodel0013

And the start of the tile work. My dear aunt and uncle came over and helped get started on the tiling. After much planning we got the tile laid out in a fashion that would require very few cuts. With a lot of planning on the front end we were able to do a lot less work on the back end.

bathroom remodel0014

Within one night we got all but one row of tile done! I worked until about 2 am and only stopped because all that was left to do required cuts and I think my neighbors would have killed me if I was running a tile saw at 2 am… That night I literally fell on the bed in my work clothes, covered in thinset, and fell asleep all nasty.

bathroom remodel0015

bathroom remodel0017

Tile finished and the grout down.

bathroom remodel0019

bathroom remodel0022

bathroom remodel0023

New extra thick baseboards down and room ready for the toilet to come back in. And then surprise #3 and it was the worst one. I went to replace the toilet flange (the nasty plastic piece coming out of the floor) and found that the elbow pipe that it was attached to was wiggling a lot. It made me really nervous and I didn’t think that I could remove the flange properly. So we called our plumber to remove the flange and he gave the sad news that the elbow pipe was indeed cracked and would need to be replaced. I left the room crying and left Philip to talk to the plumber. By this point I was completely exhausted and the project was taking several days longer than it should and I was tired of living in a mess. Plus my beautiful new tile was going to have to come up. 🙁

bathroom remodel0025

Due to my over exhaustion we decided to hire out the rest of the project. We had a tile guy come in and remove the 5 tiles that would need to come up. Then the plumber removed the broken pipe, put in a new one (which went under the subfloor and back into the wall), and put in the proper flange. Tile guy came back and put the tile back down and sealed all the grout for us. Then the plumber came back and put the toilet back in and balanced it.

bathroom remodel0026

Because we were working with two different companies this process ended up taking almost 3 weeks. Not being able to use the master bath for a month really was not cool. But it was so worth because after we put in the new vanities, shelves, towel racks, and mirrors the bathroom was done and finally matched the rest of the house!


Clean, clean clean lines and plenty of white and light.



Clean sinks with no cracks!


Faucets that are modern and actually give a solid stream of water and don’t spray us when we use them 🙂


One of my favorite things in the bathroom now is this wall of shelves. We’ve slowly been putting plants in each room and I am loving it. Also I’m a huge fan of the jar with coffee beans for my makeup brushes.


Oh look, a color curtain. Image that I actually put color in our all black and white house 🙂


YAY!! Flooring that is the same throughout the whole room! I was so sick of the half tile half carpet! Having tile throughout is fabulous! We kept the shower the same tile and I’m happy with that since it is a nice neutral tile.


We still need to replace the doors in the room but that can wait cause I hate changing doors!


And some before and after!

bathroom remodel0001 copy

bathroom remodel0002 copy

My favorite before and after! Really shows the difference and how bad the old room was!

bathroom remodel0005 copy

We still need to change out the doors in the room and also the little fan about the toilet but other than that it is finished!! Praise Jesus! This room about killed me physically and emotionally. I vowed after this project to not undertake any more massive projects on my own! It was kind of a bad idea to do this whole project on my own. Ok it was a stupid idea. But I learned a lot from it and I’m so glad that it is over and we can now use our pretty bathroom!