Bath Building: Bathroom Facelift
By: Danny Lipford
I’ve remodeled lots of bathrooms over the years, but this one’s a bit different, since it’s in my own home. What started out with a simple upgrade soon expanded into a complete bathroom makeover that included tiling the tub surround and floor, installing new plumbing fixtures, replacing the vanity, and adding all new accessories.
Out with the Old
Since we hadn’t updated this bathroom in 20 years, I started by taking out the built-in storage cabinet and pedestal sink to allow room for a larger vanity. Next, I removed the cultured marble tub surround and tile floor. If that wasn’t enough, we also had to replace some of the wood flooring in the powder room to fill in the area where the cabinet had been.
Bathroom Light Fixture
I also decided to replace the light fixtures on each side of the sink with a single one center over the vanity. That required cutting a hole in the drywall, running wires, and patching the holes where the old fixtures had been.
For the faucets on the sink and tub, I decided on ones from the Moen Vestige collection with an oil rubbed bronze finish. The matching faucet for the tub has a pressure balance valve to maintain a constant water temperature.
I used flexible PEX pipe to connect the existing water lines to the copper fittings on the new faucets.
Tiling the Bathroom
After the new plumbing was roughed in, I covered the walls around the tub with cement backer board. A hole was cut in the backer board to accommodate a recess for soap and other bath accessories.
Next, mesh tape was applied to the seams in the backer board and covered with a layer of thin-set adhesive. I then rolled on a coat of Durex Blue Shield waterproofing compound in case any water should penetrate behind the tile.
To even out any low spots in the floor, I poured floor leveling compound on the slab, and allow it to set before tiling.
I chose 12”x 12” Crema Cappuccino tiles from The Home Depot for the walls of the tub surround. Moroccan Desert mosaic blend tile from the Tessera collection by Oceanside Glasstile were used for the floor and as an accent band around the tub surround.
Once the thin-set adhesive had set, I peeled the paper backing off the mosaic tile and applied grout to the joints using a rubber float. A darker grout was used on the mosaic tile floor and accent band.
After patching and painting the walls in the power room, it was time to install the new vanity. I selected a vanity from Socotra that has the look of freestanding furniture, with a black Galaxy Granite top and white oval sink.
After a final clean up and a little decorating, my newly renovated bath was ready to go!
Watch Videos from This Episode
- Advantages of Pressure Balance Valves in Tub and Shower Faucets
- How to Install Mosaic Tile in a Bathroom
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Homemade Tile Snapping Jig
It can be tricky breaking off a small strip of tile. The simple solution is to make a jig with a piece of plywood the thickness of the tile in the center sandwiched between 1”x4”s on each side. To use, clamp the jig to your workbench, put the tile in the jig so the scored line is flush with the outside, clamp it in place, and push down on the tile until it breaks off. (Watch This Video)
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
SharkBite Plumbing Fitting
These easy to use, push fit plumbing fitting from SharkBite are great for joining CPVC, copper, or PEX pipe together without gluing or soldering. All you do is push the pipe into the fitting, and you’re done. A tool is also available in case you need to disassemble the fitting. SharkBite fittings for tees, elbows, couplings, and adapters are available at The Home Depot.
(Watch This Video)
Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Water Saving Toilet Conversion
Older toilets often use two to three times the amount of water of newer water saving models. Since it can be expensive to replace your existing toilets, consider upgrading them with an inexpensive toilet conversion kit I came across that can turn any toilet into a water saving dual-flush model in no time.
(Watch This Video)