Welcome to our half bath, reno! If you have been reading along, you know we did a mini reno of this bathroom, or a lipstick job as I like to call it, when we first moved in.

But after a few years, it was time to address the flooring. This is what this bathroom originally looked like.

This is what it looked like after we made some changes.

This bathroom was next on the agenda after our flooring project in our family room, which you can read about here. The major objective this time around was the flooring. Barry wanted to carry the Pergo from the family room down the hallway and into the bathroom, but I had to disagree. I wanted tile in the bathroom. I know, I know. I said I didn’t want to tile anything for a while, but a while had passed. The kitchen face lift had been finished for 9 months. Besides, the bathroom isn’t that big and this time we would be tiling the floor, not the walls, Hallelujah! I just didn’t like the idea of installing laminate in a room where there could be water. Included in this half bath is a laundry closet and even though we never had any problems, if we ever did have a serious leak, we would almost definitely have to replace the floors. Doing this twice was not something I was interested in. I fought hard for the tile and at the end of the day, Barry saw the logic and came around. Smart man.

Now to pick out tile. I wanted something a little trendy but not too over the top. I really liked the “wood look”  tile,  but with the wood in the hallway, I opted for something with a little more contrast. I narrowed it down to five options but had a hard time making the final call. These were my five contenders. 

I was leaning towards the one in the middle and the one on the upper right, but worried the tile in the upper right maybe looked too much like reclaimed wood. After much thought, I choose the one in the middle.

With this project, we were tearing up all the existing floor and the tile would be laid on the sub floor. In the hallway adjacent to the bathroom, we were laying the same Pergo laminate wood from the family room. This would also be laid on the sub floor but we wanted a smooth transition between the two without a big change in floor height. Next to each other, the laminate was about the same height as the tile after we factored in the mortar for the tile and the underlayment for the laminate. This was a problem because we also needed to allow for a 1/4 inch for the backer board under the tile. If we added that extra 1/4 inch there would no longer be a smooth transition. This made me grumpy. Luckily, on our next trip to the store we saw a newer product by Schluter that replaces backer board and barely adds any height to the floor. After doing some research I knew this was the answer!

The original plan for this bathroom did not include replacing the vanity, but during demo, the cabinet was damaged and not salvageable. Given the new scenario, I wanted to take the opportunity to add a vanity with a more open bottom with “legs” kind of like the one we used in our guest bathroom. Why didn’t we just buy the same one in a different size you ask? Well, the door frame in this bathroom obstructed the range of a drawer and with the placement of our plumbing, we really needed a vanity with a sink on center. This was surprisingly more difficult to find in a 36 inch cabinet than you think. I finally managed to find one that would work and picked up the same pre-fab quartz top we used in our guest bathroom. We originally planned to re-use the granite top we installed when we moved in, BUT, you knew there was a but, my dad and Barry installed that one, and while they SAY they didn’t glue it, they did! They put so much glue on it we couldn’t get it off…..I guess there are worse problems to have encountered? Since the color palate was pointing in an all new direction now, in the gray family, I picked Intellectual Gray by Sherwin Williams for the new paint color.

Time to tile. If you read my guest bath post, you know I used an unconventional method to lay out the tile. This bathroom was no different. My design plan was to lay it in a “modified herringbone” – not a technical term, just my name for it. Barry had a hard time understanding/visualizing this so we laid out all the tiles first. 

After we agreed on the pattern, we laid out the Schluter Ditra membrane. Let me tell you, this is a MILLION times easier than backer board! We will use this on all of our future tile projects. It is very easy to roll out and use a utility knife to cut. Not to mention it’s so much easier to transport. Anyway, we followed the instructions and laid it down. 

After it was dry, we got to tiling. It only took us about two hours to lay all the tile and we were cutting as we went. Most of the cutting time was spent on the tiles around the toilet. If you read my guest bath post you know we had a mishap on this the last time so we weren’t going to let that happen again! Barry was pretty proud of the octagon he cut out for the toilet this time! He did good, didn’t he?

As we did with our previous tile jobs, we used traditional mortar not the “quick dry” kind. So after 24 hours, we got to grouting. This is my least favorite part but at least we were doing the floor and not another wall. Small victories. We only mixed what we could immediately grout and wipe so it wouldn’t dry out. Barry mixed me some grout and got I started then he jumped in and did the grouting when I was wiping. Teamwork makes the dream work!

After all the tiling was complete and dry, Barry put up the baseboards one night so we could start moving everything back in. First, we moved the washer and dryer back. Then the vanity and finally the toilet…….and it fit this time, yay!!!! We used the original toilet from the guest bath upstairs. It was a little nicer than the original almond toilet in this bathroom. What do you do with an old toilet you don’t need anymore? You list it on Craigslist for free of course! It’s amazing the stuff people are interested in if it’s free…..and I have it on good authority my old toilet now lives in Mexico! Sad story actually. Glad to see it go to someone in need 🙂

The bathroom is now done and I am thrilled with the results!

To check out the rest of the downstairs project click here to see the office and here to see the family room.

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