...because home doesn't happen overnight.

main bath tiled 1

Steve finished tiling the bathroom walls two weekends ago. Working in spurts around his real job, family life and appendectomy recovery, the entire process strung along for most of the summer. Between the uneven walls and Steve’s perfectionist tendencies, it wasn’t the most enjoyable DIY. The window wall put up a good fight. It was all kinds of wonky. And our choice of tile probably wasn’t the easiest to work with on the wavy wall. The narrow subway tile is extra long at 12″ which didn’t allow for much “play” along some of the most troublesome spots. Luckily, the worst spot (along the bottom of the window wall) will eventually be hidden behind the bathtub so it shouldn’t be too noticeable in the end.

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But we do have perfectly wrapped corners. (The water lines denote the vanity’s location.)

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And exact 90º angles. Those are always fun.

We are SO HAPPY with how the black pencil liner and bullnose trim turned out! I was a little worried about the profile of the pencil liner sticking out further than the subway tile but I actually love it. It’s a great finishing touch that’s simple yet sophisticated. And it gives the walls some added dimension, too.

With all the tile in, we started to second-guess our choice of white grout for the walls. The contrasting spaces between the subway tile looked decent so we contemplated a contrasting grout for a split second. But when we pulled back the cardboard protecting the hex floor tile, things felt very busy all of a sudden. So we decided to stick to our original choice of white grout.

main bath grout 1

Which we tackled this past weekend! It was a joint effort and we let the kids fend for themselves while we knocked it out. Let’s just say, once we were finished, the rest of the house was looking waaaaaaaay scarier than the bathroom. When you have three kids and a bathroom remodel on your hands, you do whatcha gotta do. Sometimes the bathroom takes precedence while your kids run wild and eat whatever / wherever they want for a day. It’s all good.

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The freshly grouted bathroom! And a piece of unpainted baseboard for reference! I’ve never been so in love with a room that doesn’t serve any purpose (yet!).

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The grout is standard white unsanded grout from The Tile Shop. It’s the same color we used on the shower walls in the master bathroom.

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Pictures really don’t do this room justice. It’s difficult to photograph because of the small size and layout. Just being in the space – even sans fixtures – feels like a luxury. At one point, we considered only tiling the shower / tub area but I’m so, so glad we went for a tiled wainscoting around the entire room.

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I was having so much trouble capturing the room on camera that I went outside and snapped some shots through the window to give you a different perspective. Do you spy a glimpse of the open shelves in the living room?

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Someday, a toilet, vanity and wall sconce will live on this wall.

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Someday, towel hooks and shower / tub plumbing fixtures will live on this wall. Maybe one day we’ll even have a bathroom door. Who knows?! The possibilities are endless.

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Here you can see how the short hallway (to the bathroom) juts off from the main hallway. There’s a small linen closet to the left just beyond the bathroom. I don’t think I’ve ever shown this view before but, hopefully, it gives you a better idea of the bathroom’s location in relation to the rest of the house. Hint: on the other side of the right-hand wall is the kitchen desk.

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We still need to seal the walls, install baseboards and caulk. (The floor is already sealed.) Then we start work on the tub. We’re equal parts stoked : horrified. Especially considering what happened the last time we touched it. If anything, it should be a good learning experience. At least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves.

*Thanks to The Tile Shop for partnering with us on this bathroom remodel. Tile and grout were graciously donated to the project. All product choices, labor and opinions are ours.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

43 Comments

25.August.2014

Love the progress photos. You will eventually get it completed. In my first house I lived without a bathroom for 5 days! Let that sentence sink in. 5 days and 5 nights. In my opinion a true test of one’s marriage is renovating a house together!

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replied on August 25th, 2014

Five days?! Ay-yi-yi.

I agree. If you can renovate an entire house with another person and you both live to see it completed, that’s a good thing.

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25.August.2014

Timeless and lovely. Hard not to crush on that bathroom-to-be.

Though I’m keen to see how you and Steve decide to support the tub, on the practical side, having a 2nd toilet is gonna be transformative for a family of 5. :)

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25.August.2014

I’m envious of the natural light in your bathroom! Our teeny tiny bath has NO natural light and is located smack dab in the middle of our house! My kiddos night light stays on 24/7.

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25.August.2014

Nice job! Love the contrast of the wall tile with the floor tile.

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25.August.2014

What was your reason for going with the stone hex or the matte hex the tile shop sells? I am planning on using one or the other in my bathroom remodel.

Thanks! Looks awesome!

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replied on August 25th, 2014

You can read more about our choice for the floor tile here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/03/13/tile-prep-thinking-ahead/

Bascially, we like the aesthetic of a patterned floor and it looks like it should hold up well to the kids’ abuse.

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25.August.2014

This bathroom is going to beautiful! I love your tile choices.

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25.August.2014

The tile looks spectacular! I’m sure the claw foot tub is going to look perfect in the space too. They are wonderful for bathing in. I love how the water stays warm for a long time and you can take a good long soak. That said, do you have any spare floor tiles you can put away and save just in case you want to change the tub out at some point?

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replied on August 25th, 2014

We do have spare floor and wall tiles…just in case!

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25.August.2014

Dana,

I think it is us readers, who is waiting this to be completed more than you. You already know what is going to happen there. We are left to our imagination – waiting to see how you are going to balance the
Mabrey vs Boys aesthetics . And how you will design the storage. And the claw foot tub – does it have a dark color outside? I love the feel the mirror adds to the master bathroom. Have you found something unexpected like that for this one too?

I have followed your blog for past 2 years, there hasn’t been a longer wait game played out than this one I think, something or the other is getting in your way with this right! But now I have a feeling that the reveal would be sooner than expected. Anyways, good luck.

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replied on August 25th, 2014

I feel like we have dragged this bathroom reno out forever!! But we’re determined to finish it so we can 1) have a second bathroom and 2) finally clear out the garage where all the bathroom fixtures have been hiding for the last 2+ years. The completion of this project will have a ripple effect!

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replied on August 26th, 2014

Do you still have work to do on the tub, or is it ready to go in when you find the time and strength?

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STUNNING. You have such a beautiful and timeless style. I love that you even took a photo from outside just to fully capture it. I’m planning our master bathroom reno and now all I can think about is your tile. You know this bathroom is going to be featured EVERYWHERE right??!! Magazines, Pinterest, Houzz, AT. Thanks for sharing the journey with us!

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25.August.2014

That white grout was definitely the right choice.

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25.August.2014

LOVE it…..pinning the photos for inspiration.

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So stunning! Steve did an AMAZING job! Can’t wait to see with the baseboards and tub in place! :)

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25.August.2014

wow! Lots of work! Bet you look forward to everything being done!

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25.August.2014

It’s looking awesome already! Can’t wait to see it all come together! Years ago I saw a home in a magazine that I loved and they gave their cast iron tub a modern spin by replacing the feet with walnut blocks. I dug around online to find it but can’t find the home, just this that’s sort of similar to what they did: http://www.remodelista.com/products/tivoli-cast-iron-bath-on-oak-finish-wooden-sleepers
Your style of home made me think of it so had to share the idea! Good luck with the rest of the project :)

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replied on August 26th, 2014

LOVE.

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ok this is seriously good stuff Dana. The meticulousness of that tile job is spectacular. That Steve is amazing and so are you for the design of this entire space. Its absolutely beautiful.

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25.August.2014

I never really thought about where in your house this bathroom was, but the second I saw the shot with the living room shelf in the background, I got it. And then I thought, “Hm, that’s a little creepy that I know this woman’s house so well that all I needed was that little sliver of shelf to get my bearings…and I’ve never even been to it!” And THEN I thought about all the other blogs I follow and how well I know the inside of their homes as well. And so on and so on….Does it ever strike you as kind of weird that so many women (and men perhaps!) know their way around your house, even if they’ve never been there? Like, does it ever seem kind of stalkerish? :)

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replied on August 26th, 2014

Considering I do the same thing (study other people’s houses online to get my bearings), I don’t think it’s weird at all!

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25.August.2014

It’s coming along great! I love the extra long tile. Quick question, is that a small hall off the main hall that leads to the bathroom? I looked on your house layout but wasn’t for sure. It’s going to be stunning for sure, but curious if you had thought about eliminating the hall to make a larger bath? :-)

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replied on August 26th, 2014

Good eye! I mentioned the small hallway in the post. Yes, it juts off from the main hallway. While removing the linen closet / small hallway would give us more room lengthwise in the bathroom, it would still be a narrow (5′) bathroom. Plumbing lines would probably have to be moved around and the whole premise behind the two bathroom remodels was to update them but keep the same layouts to save money. The linen closet holds our vacuum and water softener (another post for another day) currently but I think it will com win handy for towels / hamper once the bathroom is finished. Hope that makes sense. It’s just our personal preference.

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26.August.2014

Oh, it looks fabulous! Can’t wait to see it all come together! And that hex tile is the stuff my dreams are made of.

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26.August.2014

This is looking great! I love the direction it’s going.
As always, I’m OBSESSED with those floor tiles.

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26.August.2014

GORGEOUS! And that pencil liner is amazing….can’t believe you second guessed it. I’m definitely glad you decided to go with it because now it’s giving me some ideas for our bathroom reno! Can’t wait to see the finished space.

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26.August.2014

I’m impressed! Just doing a few little project around my new house seems to take forever, so the fact that you tiled a whole room is amazing! And it all looks so straight and amazing!

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26.August.2014

We’re 6 months into a home renovation and just finally got a working kitchen (meaning it has a stove and sink!) We’re still living with concrete floors in half the house and a completely gutted second bathroom but seeing progress gives me hope!

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26.August.2014

It already looks great – should look fantastic once it’s done. Good call on going with the white grout. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the white tile/dark grout combination in general, but I also think you’re right that it would be too busy in this particular bathroom.

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26.August.2014

Ohboyohboyohboyohboy!! It’s looking better all the time! Beautiful tile job, Steve.

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26.August.2014

This is definitely going in a fabulous direction and will look wonderful no matter what you with the rest! I am unreasonably excited for your family to have another working bathroom!! lol!

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27.August.2014

This looks gorgeous! Love your choices in tile! I can’t wait till you get that tub in there. Can I come over for a bath?! ;)

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replied on August 27th, 2014

Sure! Let’s see how many people we can fit into a 5′ x 8′ bathroom.

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27.August.2014

That after shot took my breath away. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be when everything else is finished. Good work. And the kids survived; no big deal.

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27.August.2014

The tile job looks awesome! I’ve seen many times where when I grout the tile, the grout will dry and create a haze covering the tile. Did you guys have any trouble with that?

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replied on August 27th, 2014

Since we were working together so efficiently, we were able to buff the grout haze off with a microfiber cloth and didn’t need to use a grout remover or anything like that. An added benefit of having an extra pair of hands around when grouting!

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27.August.2014

There’s something about the use of the term “donate” here that doesn’t sit right. To donate is to give to a charity or a good cause; the Tile Shop gave you the materials in exchange for a mention, which is more of a transaction.

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28.August.2014

Love it. Classic, clean and timeless. Strong work!
We are a family of 5 as well (two girls, one boy) and our 15 year old daughter has taken over the kids’ bathroom. Your boys may rue the day you had a girl when they have to share the room with make-up and flat irons. :o)

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04.September.2014

Hey Dana, i have a random question, are you guys still planning on doing the clawfoot tub on the wood blocks in this bathroom, i am redoing a bathroom now and found a $75 clawfoot tub on craigslist and im trying to decide to get it.. i looove them but not sure if its practical in a one bathroom house! Your second bath is coming along amzingly, My dad use to say rome wasnt build in a day!!:)

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replied on September 4th, 2014

That’s the plan! We’ve been searching high and low for just the right wood. Haven’t made a final decision as of yet…wish us luck!

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replied on September 4th, 2014

Awesome!!! Good Luck to you guys!!!

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