When I moved into this house, I really disliked the main bathroom.  It was so blah.  The linoleum was old and discolored, the shower tile was hideous and the original 1973 tile, the room was dark and small.  It needed help.

Shower Tile


I painted the bathroom bright white and transformed it into a ‘girly’ bathroom with a pale green gingham print shower curtain that was kept closed to conceal the ugly tile.  I decorated with bold floral patterns, gold decor, framed art, and covered the floor with a big bath rug.  It wasn’t blah anymore and I thought it looked “pretty” (this was 1998- and sorry, no picture).

Even though it was the main bathroom, it was the bathroom Jim used to get ready in each morning.  Jim didn’t seem to mind that I’d converted HIS space into something totally NOT his style.  One weekend (four years later) when he was gone on a hunting trip, I decided I would to turn the floral girly bathroom into something that was more his style, something a bit more “manly”.

One of my goals was to figure out a way to work WITH the ugly tile instead of hiding or fighting it.  I chose rich browns for the paint and decor- purchased new towel rings and trinkets to “antique” up the bathroom.  I loved how it turned out.  I even hand painted a striped border around the wall- I specifically remember it being 2AM and thinking I must be nuts for taking on such a project and having 2 small children who will be up and active by 7am and no spouse home for help!

Handpainted Stripes

Anyway- the rich color and decor made the shower tile not stand out as much, and everything blended together well.

Or so I thought.  One day this Spring a family member was visiting and a comment was made about, “when are you going to replace the tile in your bathroom?”  It’s ugly.  I know.

So Jim and I decided 2010 would be the year we completely gut the bathroom and start over.  We would be keeping the original tub, but cutting out all the tile and sheetrock.   Replacing the toilet, the counter and sink, new floor, tiling the wall around the toilet (boys, I tell ya!), new flooring, new lighting- the works!

But then this summer, Costco had a nice granite counter and sink that was exactly what we were looking for…..so not wanting to store it for a year, we put it in.  And of course the new counter and sink needed new sink fixtures, so we went with a vintage style ‘spout’ faucet.  That single change has set the tone for our new bathroom….kind of like the commercial where the gal brings in the Moen faucet and says “design a house around THIS”.

New counter and faucet

A new beautiful counter sure makes ugly linoleum stand out even more!

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about flooring- but I knew that I wanted to tile the shower area with something that I could carry out of the shower and around the toilet area about 1/2 way up the wall…..simply to make the bathroom easier to clean (boys, remember?).  I had time….I could figure something out.  After all, we’re talking summer 2010 before we gut the bathroom.

Costco.  It’s a dangerous place to walk the aisles.  They have a beautiful antique hickory laminate floor that would really add to the ‘vintage’ appearance of our bathroom. THIS was the floor I was looking for.  It would be perfect with the granite and the tile.  I was sold.   But it could wait…even if Costco doesn’t have it when we’re ready to buy, I could find something similar at another store.  I knew what I wanted now.  2010…no rush.

Antique Hickory Floor

But then last month the flooring went on sale.  So we bought it.  So much for 2010. Our bathroom remodel plan has changed.  We are not getting rid of the ugly shower tile any time soon.  Ugh.

Instead, this weekend, we are installing the new flooring and a new Class 5 toilet.  Since nobody uses the main bathroom to shower in, there’s no rush to replace the tile.  We figure we have about 2 more years before the kids start needing to use that shower….so then we’ll pad and cover the floor and rip out the tile walls…and when we’re ready to tile the shower, we’ll pull the toilet again and tile the wall around that, too.  Just adding a few more steps, right?

I should add that the sink and counter was not a ‘hassle free’ job.  The backsplash that came with the sink wouldn’t work for our installation (we also needed a sidesplash), so we had to contact a granite company and have 2 pieces cut to match.  And they are 1″ shorter than the previous tile backsplash (which wrecked the sheetrock when we pulled it off).  So that meant I had some wall repair to do before we glue them in place.  I have to spackle and sand and texture and paint before we could glue the new backsplash up…and I want to get that done before we start the floor (because I also have texture repair to do where the floor trim used to be).   That’s what I’m working on this week!

Never short on projects around here!

Keep checking back….I’ll be sure to post the (semi) finished bathroom when it’s done.