Well hello everyone! Clearly, it has been a LOOOOOONG time since I've posted. I'm so sorry to have neglected the blog! But hey... I think I had a decent excuse. Little did I know that on the date of my previous post (Dec. 29, 2015), I was a few days into pregnancy!!! Now I have a perfect, super healthy, almost 6-month-old little boy. He is the absolute best! I am beyond in love with that little man! I better move on because I could gush about that cutie all day.
So basically I spent 2016 pregnant and caring for a newborn. I did not do much to the house, but there were a few things... most recently, I redid the bathroom flooring! I am SO excited about it! Our house was previously flipped and sold - about 3 & 1/2 years ago. The flippers did a great job! They had a nice tile (or maybe vinyl tile?) flooring in the main bathroom. We'll never know what it was because the people we bought it from took it out and put in a wood laminate. It looked great, but you don't put wood laminate in an area of high moisture - unless maybe it's the moisture-resistant kind. This wasn't. Over the past 3 years, it began to bubble up in a few areas.
Here's a picture from the listing just after the flip (when the people we bought it from would have been house-shopping):
And here's a picture from the listing when we were house-shopping (note the wood laminate):
I had been researching and thinking about this for a few weeks. After getting home from a breakfast outing last weekend, I decided it was time. I immediately began tearing up the wood laminate - carefully removing the baseboard/trim first. It was fairly easy since all the pieces were small. You just have to be careful not to break any of the wood if you want to re-use it.
The reason I began removing the flooring BEFORE shopping for tile and supplies is that I needed to see what kind of material I'd be putting my tile over. If it was wood subfloor like it was the in the dining room (I'll write about that later...), then I'd need extra stuff to prep it. However, the wood laminate was placed over some very old, but still smooth, sheet vinyl. This was great because I did not need to fill any holes or grooves that I would in a wooden subfloor, etc. All I had to do was give the flooring a good deep cleaning. In removing the wood laminate, I also discovered that I needed to take the toilet off, as it was bolted over the flooring. While that's kind of a pain, it's the right way to do flooring in my opinion. Although caulking the edges would look ok if you can get the cuts perfect. I can't.
I forgot to take our own "before" picture, so here's a "in-the-midst" picture:
I bought one case of 12" x 24" peel and stick tiles, which had 20 sq. ft in it (10 tiles). Then I was able to purchase 2 extra tiles. It was the perfect amount. I used every tile. I also needed self-stick tile primer, and for the toilet: a new wax ring and set of nuts & bolts. I wanted to get the flooring done ASAP so I could put the toilet back on. It really didn't take long. It's a day or weekend job depending on the size of your room. Ours needed about 20-21 sq. ft. of flooring. The tile I bought can be grouted if you choose to. I didn't, and I'm very happy with the look. This is the tile I used (here). Full disclaimer: No, I am not officially promoting the tile nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning it. I'm just posting what I used.
I began to plan my layout/placement, starting with the middle of the room. I marked a line where the first tile would start and mapped out the rest, making quite a few cuts. I staggered the tiles so that their edges would line up with the center of the adjacent tile's long edge. The cutting is easy - you just use a sharp blade to cut through the top/facing of the tile then bend it back until it snaps. It's very resilient, so it bends back to normal with minimal pressure. I found it helpful to put blue painter's tape on the facing and mark where I would cut. That way my cuts would be more precise and straight.
After doing a "dry layout" (the mapping without actually applying tiles), I took everything out of the bathroom and scrubbed the old sheet vinyl. Once dry, I applied the primer using a low-nap paint roller. That took about 1.5 hr to dry, so I took a nice break. Once dry, I began applying the tiles. I saved SOME cuts for then, but most of it was done in advance. The actual application went very very quick! Once everything was in, I used white caulking on the edge near the tub. Then I put the baseboards back on and caulked the top edge where they meet the wall. The only thing I have left to do is to install some quarter-round on the edges where the flooring meets the cabinet. I could caulk those edges, but I think the quarter-round will have a more polished look.
So anyhow, here's the final look! *Note - we also painted the walls a greyish-teal color and installed the cabinet you see. That was done before and just after the move. Now seeing all the white, I may end up painting the cabinet a light grey. Not sure, but that's low on the priority list.
Has anyone else done bathroom flooring? Feel free to share tips and inspiration!