Monday, February 1, 2010

Step by Step

Since I bought this house the bathroom floor has gone through a few changes.  First I removed the dark blue shag carpet the old owners had in there to discover beige ceramic tiles underneath.  The tiles were in great shape but the grout had popped out in some areas so I tried removing the grout myself and re-grouting – major fail on my part.  I am not Queen of the Grout.

Finally I hired someone to remove the old grout and re-grout it, taking the floor from this:

IMG_0013 to this:


What a makeover, right!  My lovely beige tiled floor was restored….for about nine months.  I noticed the grout popping back up again in the same areas as before.  I’ve lived with it for nearly two years and finally decided to do something about it.  I realized there must be an issue with the floor underneath the tile so I hired my cousin to demo the floor and retile for me since my previous experience with grout wasn’t that successful.

I looked at Home Depot and Lowes to find a tile that would go with the beige shower tiles (I wasn’t removing those tiles since they are in perfect condition – why fix what isn’t broken right?!?) and that weren’t beige.  I found some great ceramic tiles that were made in Italy that looked like slate from Lowes.  I was torn between the 13”x13” tiles or the 6”x6” tiles so I bought a few of each to bring home to see how they would look in the space.  I read that larger tiles make a small space feel larger so I decided to go with the 13”x13” plus they were a third of the cost, ringing in at less than $2 a sq. foot.

IMG_2706Back  to the plan! We figured the floor was shifting due to the tiles being attached to plywood.  To give you a visual, here’s what we thought the floor would be like:

whatwethoughtOh, those were pipe dreams!  During the demo here’s what we found out I had:

whatwegotSince there wasn’t any plywood we changed our plan of attack.  Plywood was now going to be bought and installed over the subfloor.  Hardibacker would then be installed followed by mortar and finally the tiles would be placed on top of  the mortar.  I can’t give you the play by play of removing the old tile since, well, I didn’t do it.  I left the house with a floor and came home to a bathroom that was missing a floor.

IMG_2723You can see the mud in this picture that looks out onto the threshold and the wood floor of the hallway. We kept my old threshold since it was a pretty marble that was in perfect condition plus it was a very close match to the tiles that I was bringing into the space.

IMG_2727We decided to start the tiles with two rows of full-size tiles centered in the room.  Sure, there were more cuts this way but it looks better.  The mortar and tiles were left to dry overnight and grout was mixed and applied the next day.  When I came home from work my floor transformation was amazing!  The larger tiles make the bathroom floor seem much larger.


IMG_2735 Look at how he cut the tile perfectly to mimic the curved shape of the tub.

IMG_2736 Stay tuned for the final pictures tomorrow!  I’ll show the new trim and toilet that completed this bathroom makeover!


  1. I have a sample of that tile in my laundry room right now ;)

    He did a great job - is he a tile guy? Or just a really super DIY-er?

  2. Great minds think alike, Alanna! My cousin is actually a construction worker by trade so he's been doing some projects for me while he's currently laid off. Just wait until you see the basement!

  3. I love the tile, it looks great!

  4. Wow, it looks great! I can't wait to see the results tomorrow.


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