subway tile bathroom

I’m realizing we still have A TON of renovation posts to make now that it’s been completed over a year. My goal is to have all the major projects posted in time for the Willo Home Tour which we are on this year in February. Most projects are being post out of order as I’m having to enlist Brandon’s help to write some of the bigger ones – kitchen is coming up soon!

With that said, today I’m writing about our guest bathroom in the main house. We had two options here when it came to the renovation – completely gut and revamp the existing guest bath that was off of the sunroom, or turn the pretty sizable laundry room into a combination bath/laundry room. Why the combo? Because if we went this route my goal was to make the smaller existing guest bathroom my walk-in closet which just happened to be located in the perfect location to do so.

Here’s what we had to work with:

Laundry Room
Laundry Room
Existing Guest Bathroom
Existing Guest Bathroom

After discussing the many benefits of using the laundry room for our new guest bath versus the existing bath (my new walk-in closet cough cough) we began our plan to transform the ugly square bare room into the sweet bathroom it is today. Doing this also gave us more wall space in the sunroom as we were able to close off the entrance off the room and add a new door that connected the soon-to-be closet to the master bedroom.

The first challenge with converting the existing space into a bathroom was planning everything just right so that we could fit a stackable washable and dryer, bathtub, vanity and toilet all in the space. After quite a few sketches on cocktail napkins at Durant’s, we nailed the plan down. Now to rip up that blue carpet and get to work….and find a slab of very thick concrete.


All new plumbing would need to be installed, which meant cutting the concrete and laying new ABS and copper pipes for the hot and cold water. We called our trusty friends at Rainbow Rentals for the jackhammer and went to town. The part that Brandon so manly is demonstrating WAS NOT FUN. The concrete was at least 6 inches deep and the ventilation in the space was terrible. Once all the concrete was broken up, it was my turn to shovel out all the loose rubble. From there, we let the expert (Dad) step in and lay all the new pipe.


We also had to frame out a false wall to house all this lovely new plumbing. Finally once the pipes were laid, sloped at just the right angles and packed in sand, they were covered back up with quick set.


From here we laid the floor, which we’ll talk about more in our kitchen post as it flows from kitchen to sunroom and into this new bathroom. We choose a gray tile called “linen” in large 12×16 rectangles. Once the floor was laid and walls erected (a new wall was also added for the small laundry nook), the bathtub was placed and we were ready for tile.

BathroomWallsSubway tile is small and small tile means lots of room for error and uneven lines. We highly recommend hiring the pros to handle the tile work for the walls. Our crew was in and out in two days and was very inexpensive.


We choose dark gray grout to really make the subway tile pop and avoid the sterile fast food restaurant white on white look. We stayed away from black however as the contrast is too “cold” for the look that we were going for.


Once all the tile was up, it was time for adding all the fun fixtures (and some not so fun, like the toilet). This included the shower head and tub faucet, washer and dryer and small door for hiding the space, vanity and faucet, toilet, towel bars and hooks, one main ceiling light and one small wall sconce to light the titled mirror over the vanity sink. Most items we got at Lowe’s and the Great Indoors (which is now closed, at least the one we went to in Scottsdale). We found the vanity in one of our favorite mags, Home Decorators. They are an awesome source for furniture, vanities, rugs, and pretty much anything you find at Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel but want to save a few dollars on.

GuestBathroomThe bathroom also got new windows, trim and base molding along with the rest of the home. I love this little bathroom, which will soon be filled with rubber duckys, step stools and baby toys with the arrival of our little boy in March.


Bath time!

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