January 14, 2014

new bathroom floor

I did a post back in October describing our hallway bathroom plans to upgrade. We thought the changes we wanted to make would be quick and easy ... we were so wrong. The bathroom isn't being gutted, but the changes we want to make take more effort than we thought. As a reminder, we plan on changing the sink and tub faucets, light fixture, and floor, we're doing something about the storage near our tub, and of course, painting. It seemed the floor was the hardest and most time consuming thing to do, yet somehow it was the first thing 'we' tackled. I say 'we' but it was really my amazing brother-in-law Pat who took this project on. The husband helped where he could and I just admired their work and gave my opinion where needed (and probably where it wasn't needed). Pat re-tiled some floors for family friends and had experience removing the vanity, toilet, and old tile, tiling, and reattaching all the plumbing fixtures. I asked if he could help the husband tile our bathroom and he agreed. He completed the whole project the weekend before Christmas, how awesome is that!? We are so lucky to have such driven, talented, and generous family!

The floor we had was probably original to the house, and it kind of fit the vanity and vintage feel of the subway tiles around the tub. That said, the edges adjacent to the walls were really sloppy and the grout was not getting any cleaner. I wanted something a little more updated, easier to clean, and maybe create some contrast.

The first thing Pat did was remove the door, vanity, and toilet, and then he chiseled the tiles. He had all this done in a few hours. There's a few quirks about this bathroom that came up during this project. The first is the vent, which happens to be under the vanity ... I'm not sure why it would be designed this way, but here it is. We went with molding instead of a tile baseboard, so Pat made a cutout for the vent.

The other quirk that came up was the threshold. The marble one we had has seen better days, it was chipped and would no longer be a good transition between the new tiles and carpet. We also wanted the ability to easily change the threshold in the future if we ended up removing the carpet and refinishing the floor underneath.

The next step was laying out the tiles and waiting for everything to set and dry.

The grout went in, Pat cut the molding to size, installed it, reattached the toilet and vanity, and installed a wooden threshold. Whew! That didn't all happen at once, like with any old home, there were a few hiccups. First, the valve under the sink kept leaking, but after some YouTube research we were able to readjust it. Then the threshold turned out to be a royal pain. The floor is uneven and the threshold wouldn't sit on the carpet evenly, after tons of tweaking, sanding, and my discovery of shims, the threshold sat where it needed to. But wait, there's more! The tiles and new threshold were a tad higher than the previous ones, so the door needed to be cut and sanded to close. Ah the beauty of old homes ... 

The edges, baseboard, and tiles were all done so neatly, I could't be more excited! We now have a beautiful and unique floor that adds contrast. Enjoy!

On a side note, I have to credit Pat for taking all these pictures, I wouldn't have all the progress pictures otherwise! Thank you Pat for the amazing tile work, teaching the husband a few things, taking the fabulous pictures, and of course for taking your entire weekend to do this for us! Seriously, how lucky are we?!

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