My big undertaking during the month of January is a bathroom renovation. While everyone else has been frantically gathering the last of their holiday gifts, over here in bathroom renovation land, I’ve been clamoring over shower tile samples, crunching numbers, guessing what may be beneath the bathtub, and ordering floor tiles.
My ambitious goal is to begin demo next week (pretty much as soon as our Christmas leftovers are packed away). We’re stepping around pry bars in the bathroom this week because I’m just that excited.
While I’m not sure what we’re going to find when the shower and floor are removed, I do want to keep things moving along (this is my only full bathroom after all, and even though there’s an extra toilet in the basement that will be usable, the shower install will need to happen quickly so that I don’t have to borrow other people’s showers all winter long. I’ve already done some shopping to make sure the key materials for the project are at my fingertips:
For a long time leading up to this bathroom renovation, I planned to replace the current plastic enclosure with a nice, new plastic enclosure. “Shower kits are fast and economical,” the store displays informed me. And white, flossy, and easy-to-clean were absolutely desirable attributes. Although, when I started price shopping (know that my bathtub/shower budget is around $700-$800) I realized that I could likely do the shower less expensively or for a similar cost if I chose a modest tile for the walls, so that’s what I’ve been shopping for this week. I’m trying to keep the budget itself at a very low $3/sq. ft. so that I could also squeeze the necessary cement board, mortar, grout, spouts, and sealants from my original budget. To fill in the surround all the way to the ceiling amounts to 75 sq. ft of space, but to fill in one foot short (to the same height of the current shower) is only 60 sq. ft.. Decisions, decisions.
There are a few types I’m considering for this project:
Subway tiles: Always nice and priced at just 26-cents each (or $2.08/sq. ft.), it’s easy to jump for joy at the idea of your shower tile only costing $156. Of course, that doesn’t include the costs for cement board, mortar, and grout, but it’s still less than $300 which is about the average price that I found for a good-quality plastic surround insert. In the long run, I think it’ll be a better investment.
Alternatively, I also picked out a pretty glazed porcelain tile that’s a special order item at Lowe’s. Big misconception debunked in the process: I hadn’t ever looked at the special order tile, always assuming incorrectly that the “special orders” would be out of my price range. On the contrary, I found over a dozen affordable tile options that could be available. Priced at $2.48/sq. ft., it’s oh-so-affordable and different than what I’m used to seeing… but is it too big for a small bathroom? I’m wavering.
There’s a 3rd option on the table too: A gray textured AVILA tile (another special order product). I haven’t considering it much more than really enjoying the detail of the tile in the store. Available at 12×24″, it costs $4.98/sq. ft., and is still a viable option, albeit a little bit above my budget.
It’s not actually in my possession yet, but for both cost efficiencies and accessibility, I’m picking an off-the-highest-shelf model from the store, since it’s in stock and relatively affordable. Priced between $200-300, I’d like one that’s at least 16″ deep which would make for a nice bath, but wouldn’t be too hard to step into. White. Preferably cast iron or porcelain on steel, not plastic this time around.
Before I purchase and lug one home in the deep, I need to make sure I understand the correct dimensions to get a tub that fits the space, and I’d rather measure once the space is gutted (measure twice, carry a bathtub up the stairs just once).
I really can’t stand vinyl anywhere, and the vinyl that’s in the bathroom now is gross. Would you believe that I’m going to replace it with more vinyl?? Yeah.
The floor tile, special ordered from Home Depot, arrived earlier this week. The 12″x24″ vinyl tiles are a higher quality than what was in the bathroom, and best of all, they’re groutable thanks to slightly beveled edges. Based on the store displays I’ve seen, I can tell you that they really do trick the eye into think that what’s laid is ceramic grouted time, and I’m really excited to add this to my own home. The style, “Cement,” is warm and neutral, and at a cost of $1.69/sq. ft., it definitely didn’t break the bank to buy three boxes, or 90 sq. ft. of tile (I rounded up to have a little extra on hand). In fact, with a 10% competitors discount I had on hand, the total order (with taxes) only amounted to $147.81.
Bonus factor: Some light shades of brown in the tile nicely pull in the color of the hardwoods that flow throughout the rest of the second floor. It’s a little bit over-exposed in that first picture, just like my very pasty December skin, but richer in real life.
In the next few weeks, I’ll have to be focused on repairing the currently bowed floor and installing a new subfloor, but I’m really excited to see how groutable tile performs.
I bought a sink and vanity at IKEA on a whim well ahead of this renovation schedule; priced to move, the frame and porcelain sink were so affordable that I also splurged on a three-drawer cabinet to sit beside it. The display model looked like this (doubled up with a second sink):
I also picked out a coordinating IKEA faucet in brushed nickel.
Keep following to learn more about the progress I make during this bathroom renovation.