Every holiday season, our gift to our family is to redo one room in their homes. Last year, we surprised my dad with a renovated master bathroom and the year before that, we renovated my mother-in-law’s kitchen. This year, we redid my mom’s main bathroom, and her exuberance throughout this project and the months leading up to it really made it special.
My parents’ home was built in the 1970s, and since this is the main bathroom that my mom and all of her guests use, she had updated it throughout the years. Around 10-15 years ago, my grandfather installed a new vanity for her and my dad installed new peel-and-stick tile. My mom also painted the walls every couple of years. As styles change, her bathroom became outdated once again and she really wanted to do a big renovation to truly transform the space. That’s where Evan and I come in!
Throughout last fall, my mom pre-ordered the exact vanity, sink, faucet, ceramic tile, light fixture, and other fixtures for her bathroom renovation. So, as soon as we came into town, we got straight to work! Everything had to go — the floors, light fixture, other fixtures, sink, vanity, faucet, toilet, and baseboards. We basically stripped everything except for the tub and shower. I think we gave my dad a panic attack when he checked in on our progress right around this point:
That evening, we installed the ceramic tile using a combination of thinset adhesive (also called mastic adhesive) and 12″ x 12″ square tile sheets. As we quickly found, it is so much easier to install tile in a bathroom that has its toilet, vanity, and baseboards already removed. For a full, step-by-step tutorial on how to install similar tile in your home, please follow my tutorial here.
The following morning, Evan installed my mom’s new light fixture (a tutorial for which may be found here), and I began prepping the walls for paint. As with any room renovation, it is really important to take the time to patch any walls and nail holes prior to painting. If you don’t do this, your renovation will look sloppy. I spackled everything I could fix and, once dry, ran over it with a sander and 220 grit sand paper to make the walls smooth. Then, it was time to paint!
My mom’s favorite color is what she refers to as Williamsburg Blue, so we chose a similar color in Olympic’s “Ship’s Ahoy” for the bathroom’s walls. Semi-gloss is the preferred finish for use in bathrooms, as it is most resistant to wear and tear, as well as moisture.
To add even more interest, I also painted the ceiling with Olympic’s “Oyster Shell,” also in a semi-gloss finish.
Later on that afternoon, I applied the pre-mixed grout onto the floors to finish them. My mom chose a tan grout in “Linen,” and I believe it matched the tile perfectly. Detailed instructions on how to grout floors may be found in my tutorial here.
We took that evening off to let the grout dry, and the following day, we began working on the biggest components of the bathroom renovation: installing the vanity, sink, faucet, and toilet. My mom chose Allen + Roth’s Ballanty Mocha with Ebony Glaze vanity from Lowe’s. To make the vanity fit among the water pipes on the wall, Evan had to cut out a portion of the back of the vanity using a hacksaw. Then, he simply slid it into place and secured the vanity using 2″ screws.
To install the vanity top, we used Loctite’s Mirror, Marble, and Granite adhesive and a caulk gun to line a bead of adhesive along the top of the vanity.
Then, we simply placed the granite sink over top of the vanity, and pressed down on it firmly to ensure full coverage. There’s usually a back piece of the sinktop that mounts against the wall, and we used the same adhesive to secure the granite to the wall, too. After installation, we finished it with clear waterproof caulk to seal it.
At this time, Evan installed the vanity faucet. The particular Home Depot model that my mom chose was Pfister’s Pasadena widespread faucet in Tuscan Bronze. As Evan has learned over the years, it’s a lot easier to mount faucets before you install the sink top. This helps save your back as you finish the installation underneath the sink and inside the vanity.
With the vanity installed, now it was time to install the new Kohler toilet, matching vanity mirror, and other oil rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures, such as the towel holders, toilet paper holders, and curved shower curtain rod. By the end of day three, the bathroom was looking pretty good! The fourth day was spent finishing the renovation by installing the new crown molding and baseboards. I painted those a bright white to pop against the blue walls and brown ceiling / floor.
Remember what my mom’s bathroom looked like before?
Here’s the reveal!
A few details:
In total, this bathroom renovation cost $2,500. This is one of the more expensive projects we’ve ever worked on, but my mom wanted to completely gut the bathroom and refinish it with quality products she’d love in the years to come. Therefore, we had the mindset of, “if you want granite, you get the granite.” Should my mom had hired a licensed general contractor to complete the renovation, it would’ve cost her on the upward of $7,000 – $10,000. Every step of this process was extremely doable and between the three of us, we completed the renovation in four days. It really does pay off to DIY!
I know I say this every time, but this bathroom might be my favorite project to date. We love being able to make these renovations happen for our family, and seeing my mom’s face light up at the end of the project made it all so worth it.
Hope you love the reveal as much as we do!
You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:
Monday: Boogieboard Cottage, C-R-A-F-T, Craft-O-Maniac, DIY Home Sweet Home, Get Outta My Head Please, The Girl Creative, Mad in Crafts, Making the World Cuter, Our Delightful Home, Polish the Stars, Serendipity and Spice, Sew Can Do, Skip to My Lou, Thrifty Decor Chick, Too Much Time on My Hands; Tuesday: A Bowl Full of Lemons, Cherished Bliss, Coastal Charm, Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy, Dukes and Dutchesses, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, I’m Topsy Turvy, Mommy By Day Crafter by Night, Nap Time Creations, Not Just a Housewife, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, Today’s Creative Blog; Wednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for You, Ginger Snap Crafts, Home Happy Home, It’s Just Called Spicy, JAQS Studio, Let Birds Fly, Life with the Crust Cut Off, The NY Melrose Family, Rae Gun Ramblings, The Sasse Life, Sew Much Ado, Sew Woodsy, Someday Crafts, Southern Lovely, The Style Sisters; Thursday: A Creative Princess, A Glimpse Inside, Crafty, Scrappy, Happy, House of Hepworths, Just Winging It, Made in a Day, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Somewhat Simple; Friday: 2805, The Answer is Chocolate, Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo, Creation Corner, Fingerprints on the Fridge, The Grant Life, Happy-Go-Lucky, If It’s Not Baroque, Just Us Four, Mom 4 Real, My Simple Home Life, Not Your Ordinary Recipes, One Artsy Mama, The Rooster and the Hen, Simply Designing, Tatertots and Jello, Whipperberry, Young and Crafty; Saturday: Be Different… Act Normal, Candace Creations, Funky Junk Interiors, It’s Overflowing, It’s So Very Cheri, Nutmeg Place; Sunday: The Crafty Cowgirl, Embellishing Life with Homemade Goodness, Flamingo Toes, G*Rated, Nifty Thrifty Things