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Bathroom Renovation: One Room Challenge – Week 3

Hello Everyone!  You’ve landed on Week 3 of my Bathroom Renovation for the One Room Challenge!   

To recap, I’m renovating my Client’s 1st Floor Guest Bathroom/Powder Room for this Fall’s ORC.  The beginning stages during renovation were a bit nerve-wracking, (disintegrating floor, the tub was actually yellow and not white, electrical deficiencies, etc..) but after successfully fixing those “nail-biter” problems after the 1st week, we were able to start and finish Week 2 on a good note.  If you’ve got time and energy, you can go back and read about Week 1 here and Week 2 here.

We ended last week with (essentially) a clean slate.  All of the bathroom walls and floors were prepped and ready for Week 3’s tile installation.  So that’s what happened first thing. TILE!!  Here’s a photo of the very first marble tile being applied to the shower/tub wall.

And, TA-DAH!  Just like that – we started the tile work!  Piece piece installed!

Prior to the first tile being installed, there’s a lot of discussion going on between the tile installer and myself.  Basically, we need to verbally “lay out” the design.   I want to be sure of how the design is going to look before it gets cemented in stone (literally – ha!).  The tile setter and I have to think about cuts and seams, etc.  It takes a while, but it’s best and safest for both of us to be on the same wave-length before we begin.

Installer putting in 1st piece of Jeffrey Court specialty mosaic tile

I have to admit that I really love this phase of the renovation. When tile starts going up – the transformation almost becomes instantaneous!  I mean, you can really start visualizing what the finished space is going to look like.  And, it’s SOOO exciting!

“Bahia, beige metallic” by Thibaut

We selected this great looking hexagonal mosaic tile for its simplistic pattern and it’s color.  The ground is a honed calcutta white marble.  The beige metallic mosaic inserts blend perfectly with the Thibaut wallpaper, “Bahia” that will grace the walls.

Once the focal wall was finished, my contractor Emilio, moved on to tile the new niche.  We used an antiqued mirror subway tile for this area.  It added a bit of sophisticated glamour to the small space (plus, the price was right!)

Next step was creating the herringbone patterned floor design.  We selected 12×24 marble tiles for our floor because I wanted to have long tiles for the herringbone pattern.  The 12″ width was too wide to create a herringbone pattern.  So, they were cut in half – making he finished tile size 6×24.

Tile installer cutting the large tiles in half.
the 6×24 tiles stacked up and ready for installation

We started the pattern “V” right in the center of the doorway, to make the most impact.

Tiling pretty much took up most of the week (+ more).  Soon after these photos were taken, the installer grouted all of the walls, the niche and the floor.  He wanted to wait 24-48 hours for everything to settle before working in the space again.

That pretty much sums up our past week.  Next week, we’ll be creating a wood panel front for the tub.  We’ll prime the walls, ceiling and trim.  Then paint everything.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the wallpaper hanger over (but, I’m not certain that he’ll be able to make our ORC deadline!) before next Thursday to install the “Bahia” wallpaper.  If he isn’t able to make it – then, next week’s post will certainly be a little THIN!  Fingers crossed for us (as it is out of my control)! Don’t forget – this is happening in real time!

If you would like, read the blogs of the other One Room Challenge participants HERE.  It’s fun to see how others approach renovation or decoration projects. Also, don’t forget to look at the ORC Guest Participants blogs HERE.  There are a lot of us participating in this One Room Challenge. And, it’s always so awesome and appreciated when our readers and fellow bloggers take the time to read our blog posts, make comments and motivate us!

Have a great week!   Cheers!




Bathroom Renovation: One Room Challenge – Week 2

2D Rendering of Bathroom Renovation Elevation

Are we ready everyone?  It’s Week 2 of the Bathroom Renovation for the Fall 2017 One Room Challenge!  And, guess what?  We’re plowing ahead and making great progress this week.

To recap, I’m an interior designer living in Atlanta and I’ve just started a bathroom renovation for my client, Rebekah.  She was kind enough to let me blog about this process (at the very last minute), so I’m hoping that we will be able to move quickly and successfully through the first phase of this challenge.  If you want to read my blog post from Week 1 Challenge , click here.

DEMOLITION DAYS:Demolition of Bathroom space demolition of bathroom space  

So, this past week we started her bathroom renovation project.

My contractor brought in a couple of guys to work in this tiny 4×8 space (not including the tub) to knock out the existing tile on the bathroom walls, shower/tub walls, and floor.  I think it was 95 degrees outside during the two demolition days.  No fan was allowed in the space because it would spread more dust and dirt around.  So, my poor guys had to tough it out.old toilet, now outside of house

No surprise.  We encountered a few “bummers” during demolition.  If you’ve ever done a renovation, you know what I’m talking about.  You hope and pray that whatever is lurking behind those walls is harmless, but, inevitably, something nasty pops up and “bums you out”!  Well, we had a little of that going on last week.Wall tile and medicine cabinet removed

The first bummer was the bathroom’s SUB-FLOOR (or what was left of it).  But, I anticipated that we’d probably have to replace the wood sub-floor (due to rot or age) and warned my client of this.  However,  (surprise, surprise!), in our case, the sub-floor wasn’t even wood – it was CEMENT!  Well, that threw us all for a little loop!   The cement was practically sand it was so worn down.  My contractor, Emilio, quickly and efficiently resolved that problem by chiseling out what was left of the existing cement sub-floor and replacing it with a new sub-floor with moisture barrier.

The next issue, however, really bummed me out as I could see that it was going to affect my re-design.yellow of existing tub

When the contractor removed all of the existing shower/tub tile, we could see that the “WHITE” tub was actually a YELLOW tub!  The previous owners had sprayed the original yellow tub  – white!  This was a problem for me because there was about 2 inches of yellow on the top face of the tub.  How the HECK was I supposed to mask that and pretend the yellow never existed??  I had to bring in Rebekah immediately and try to find a solution.  We had 3 options:

  1. Replace the existing tub with a new one.  This would be time-consuming AND costly.
  2. Re-surface the tub and make it all white.  Again, time-consuming and costly (although clearly not as costly as a new tub).  OR
  3. Build up the walls with enough layers of sheet rock + tile + sealant – to safely hide the existing yellow ground peeking out.

It was a no-brainer.  Rebekah went with option #3.  And, Emilio added a total of 3 layers of sheet rock to build up the back wall!  (yikes – that’s a lot of sheet rock!)  So, happily, crisis averted.


With the demolition of the bathroom behind us, we are ready to pick-up speed and start putting the space back together.  This process takes a lot of juggling with tradesmen to get it right and keep the wheels churning.  Before our contractor can continue putting the walls back in, we needed the plumber to come out and update our shower fixtures – raise the shower head, re-plumb the sink faucet, etc..plumber working on the tub fixtures

Rob, the plumber, came in – did his handiwork in a short matter of hours then left us.  Done!  Rob will make a re-appearance later on! (possibly Week 5).  He will need to install the toilet and sink fixtures for us (after the wallpaper hanger comes in).

Next up – the electrician!  Julio is our amazing electrician for this bathroom renovation.  The existing bathroom only had one switch.  This switch turned on the one light fixture and that was it.  I need to mention that there is also a fan vent in the bathroom.  A fan that doesn’t work and doesn’t have a switch for it either.  Odd.Electrician measuring exact spot for sconces

Julio spent maybe a day with us.  His job was pretty important for the final success of this renovation because this bathroom is currently not very functional.  There are no outlets in the space.  So, if you were a guest – you wouldn’t be able to blow-dry hour hair in here or use any appliance that needs to be plugged in.  Also, the room is very dark.Electrician adding sconces

We’re removing the dated overhead sconce and replacing it with a pair of sconces.  We’re also adding a can light to the shower area, so that guests can see better when taking a tub or shower. Electrician adding can light to bathroom renovation project Lastly, we needed Julio to hook up the fan vent so that one could just turn it on with a flick of a switch (basically, connect that bad boy for ventilation!).

So, all of this was completed last week.  Somehow, when I write it down it doesn’t sound like a lot – but, it was.  Prepping the space for tile takes time and patience.  But, we’re in a good spot now – we’re ready for the tile and the pretty to begin!can lights added to shower areashower area with new niche

Rebekah and I made our final selections for tile.  We’ve ordered a very pretty Jeffery Court mosaic for the feature wall in the tub area.Homeowner selecting tile for her bathroom renovation project  With the exception of the niche, the remaining tile in the bathroom will be white carrera marble.  For the niche area, we hoped to use the Jeffrey Court mosaic, however, it’s pretty expensive.  bathroom schemeSo, we had 2 options – a beige glass subway tile or an antiqued mirror subway tile.jeffrey court mosaic with glass subway tile  Once again, when Rebekah and I saw the mirror tile – it was a no-brainer!  The niche HAD to be the mirror tile!  It will add a bit of glamour and sparkle to this fun bathroom renovation project.  We were so excited to find the mirror subway tile.  It added a little pep to our step last week!mirror subway tiles

Stay tuned for next week!  Tile and more tile!  It should be fun – the progress photos will really feel like things are coming together.

If you’d like to see some other One Room Challenge spaces, click here!  But, otherwise, I’d love to hear your feedback!  How would you have handled the yellow tub fiasco?  Did we do the right thing?

Cheers!  Barclay



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