This has been the most labor intensive room I have ever tackled. I spent every spare moment available for the last 5 months working on this one small bathroom! As my husband says, the house seems to tell us which room to work on first and this one was a must. It was originally about 5th on the list until we discovered a slow leak at the toilet valve shortly after we moved in. I realized the wood parquet floor was warping and we finally spotted the leak. I freaked at the thought of mold growing underneath the floor so we removed the toilet and started ripping out the parquet floor right away. The water had warped a section of subfloor as well that had to be replaced. While we were at it, we removed the original vanity since the doors wouldn’t stay on!
After I had a decent, clean subfloor to work with, I installed cement board and then painted the walls. The upper portion is Sherwin Williams “Tinsmith” and the bottom portion is off-the-shelf “white” from Lowe’s. Then, on to my first tile flooring project. I used 12×12 American Olean Sausalito White Ceramic Mosaic Floor Tile from Lowe’s with a dark grey un-sanded grout. The biggest mistake I made was trying to tile the entire floor in one day by myself! I finished around 8:00pm and could barely move…and then I realized I had made a major mistake in spacing and the section of tile that would be around the vanity looked terrible. The grout lines would have been uneven and inconsistent. So…we painstakingly removed a third of the tiles the next day, scraped down the mortar left behind, and re-laid new tile in that section. It was a costly, time-consuming mistake, but I am glad I took the time to do it right. I’m hoping this floor lasts us for 20 years and that is a long time to look at crooked grout lines! Therefore, my biggest tip when tiling is to only mix small amounts of mortar at a time and stop working when you get tired and sloppy : )
Once the floor was finished up, I moved on to the faux board and batten wall treatment. I call it “faux” because I didn’t actually install backer board on the wall, I just installed the “batten” portion of the treatment. I used pine 1×3’s spaced every 16 inches and painted them white to match the wall behind. I topped them with horizontal 1×3’s and then topped that with 1×2’s to form a little ledge at the top of the trim. I used 1×4’s at the bottom as a baseboard. All the boards were painted white and I thoroughly caulked all the seams for a finished look…tedious but totally worth the time. I installed 4 towel hooks, 2 for the boys and 2 for guests on the left wall. To help the boys know which towel belongs to them, I hung a baby bath picture of each of them from 2 antique dresser knobs.
I met my Mom at Ikea in Charlotte one morning and we picked up the white shower curtain, grey and white striped ticking curtains, grey towels, wash cloths, towel hooks, trash can and curtain rod. All of which were very affordable. I also got the sink at Ikea which is the Hamnviken 23″ model. Then I finally got to work on the barn wood vanity. I had at least 20 different ideas “pinned” on Pinterest and had the hardest time settling on one. I was determined to use materials that I already had so the entire vanity wouldn’t cost anything to build. For the top, I used 2, 11″ wide authentic barn wood planks that I got from an awesome local contractor a year or so ago. The 2 legs are from a table that was originally in an old jail in the town where I grew up. My grandparents had it on the back porch of an outbuilding on their property and it had fallen apart so I hauled the legs to Stanly County over 8 years ago. I knew I would eventually find a use for them! I love having pieces that remind me of my family and my home town all around me. I built the vanity in our garage, cut a hole in the top for the sink plumbing and we carried it upstairs and installed it onto a 2×4 I mounted on the wall. Then I built the bottom shelf out of scrap wood I had left from a plank wall project in our previous home. It was already stained and ready to go which saved a ton of time. I had a tough time with the plumbing pieces for the sink because of the height of the vanity and the fact that the drain pipe coming from the wall is off-center. I wanted to use chrome but that wasn’t possible since I ended up needing a flexible PVC p-trap kit.
For the mirror, I planned on using one of the assortment I have acquired over the years, but none of them were quite the right size or shape. After lugging at least 4 different ones up and down the stairs, I finally made peace with buying one that would work. Of course I knew I didn’t want to spend over $20 so that was a challenge! Luckily we found the perfect one at an antique shop in Albemarle called The Albemarle Marketplace. It was only $18.00 so I brought it home and custom mixed a dark grey from some paint I already had and gave it a quick couple of coats.
Lastly, I worked on the light fixtures using what was already there if you can believe it. I’ll save those details for another post. The total cost for the 2 finished fixtures was $10!