In the Bathroom

Use What You Have: Bathroom Wall Decor

In an effort to finish up work in the bathroom and finally share the reveal, I’ve been considering what type of wall decor to include in the bathroom and where to hang it.

There was some empty wall space behind the bathroom door — it looked like it “needed something.” I’ll admit, it’s not the best place to hang decor because it will only be seen about 50% of the time. Knowing that, I didn’t want to shell out a chunk of change on a new piece, so I shopped my house first.

What did I come up with? A set of four raised botanical wall tiles that I bought at Kitchen Stuff Plus about three years ago. Originally, they were supposed to hang in our basement living space, but I didn’t love them down there. While the colour is all wrong, they are the perfect size for the wall behind the door.

To make these worthy of being displayed in the new bathroom, I took them outside (on a unseasonably warm February afternoon) and sprayed two light coats of Kylon Indoor/Outdoor Primer in white.

Once the primer was dried, I sprayed a few light coats of Kylon Indoor/Outdoor Paint in satin white until a nice, smooth application was achieved.

Before hanging, I let the wall tiles sit and cure for a few days. An important and often overlooked step to ensure the durability of the spray paint (who likes scratches and fingerprints on a newly painted piece?)

Installation was easy. Just four simple nails and voila!

Essentially, this project was free since I used what I had — including the spray paint, which I found in my ever-growing stash.

And, one last side-by-side before and after comparison for good measure…

Do you every shop your house before you purchase something new for your space? Is spray paint also your BFF?

Linking up with…
Thrifty Decor Chick
Liz Marie Blog

One Step Forward, Thirteen Steps Back

After my relaxing weekend up north, I felt refreshed to tackle another busy work week and inch towards finishing the bathroom renovation.

On my to do list this evening was the quick and easy installation of this soap dispenser in the shower from Home Depot.

We have one in our basement bathroom shower and we love it — no more bottle clutter! In fact, when I purchased the dispenser for the basement bathroom, I bought a second one as well for our future upstairs bathroom renovation.

Fast forward, oh…..a year or two (okay, fine, maybe three…), and tonight was the night that the upstairs soap dispenser would finally be unboxed and installed! I was excited to cross this item off my long and ever-growing to do list!

Before I started gluing up a storm, I wiped down the shower tile with rubbing alcohol to ensure that the dispenser would adhere well. Then, as I was finalizing the placement of the dispenser on the wall, I noticed that one of the nozzles was lose broken right off.


My one step forward to finishing the bathroom has now resulted in:

  1. Cramming the parts back into the opened box (why is this always a challenge?!)
  2. Finding the receipt from three years ago (ha….good luck with that one, Michelle!)
  3. Changing out of my PJs and getting into the cold car to go to Home Depot (today was a work from home day, hence the jammies and the cold car)
  4. Walking allllll the way to the back of Home Depot (where they keep these damn dispensers) and retrieving a new one (they better not be discontinued!)
  5. Opening the box to ensure that the dispenser isn’t broken
  6. Cramming the new dispenser back into the box and swearing under my breath in the store
  7. Walking alllll the way to the front of the store to dig the receipt out of the depths of my purse to exchange the dispenser
  8. Getting back in my now semi-cold car
  9. Stopping at Tim Horton’s for a coffee (because at this point I’ll likely need one)
  10. Unboxing the friggin’ dispenser AGAIN
  11. Determining the exact placement of the stupid dispenser, because at this point I have already forgotten where I wanted to install it
  12. Wiping down the G-D shower tile wall AGAIN because I’m OCD like that
  13. And, lastly, installing the *insert foul word here* soap dispenser for once and for all


So, no. Sorry. No photos of my installed soap dispenser tonight. You’ll just have to wait.

In the meantime, here is a snap of some gorgeous hydrangeas sitting pretty on the bathroom vanity…


Don’t you hate it when a quick and simple project turns into a major pain in the A? Please tell me this doesn’t just happen to me.

Bathroom Reno: The “Almost There” Post

When people ask me how the bathroom renovation is going, I keep saying, “We’re almost there!” I sound like a broken record.

“We’re almost there!”

“We’re almost there!”

“We’re almost there!”

And, despite the last bathroom renovation post on day seven, we really are almost there — the bathroom is almost done! In fact, Steve finished the job, ohhhh…..ten days ago. But, over the past ten days, I have been sick as a dog and in no mood to paint the bathroom or add the finishing touches and accessories. While I was sick, I practically lost my voice — maybe it was the sickness, or maybe it was from me saying , “We’re almost there!” waaaayyyyy tooooooo muuuuucccccchhhhhh.

The bathroom is far from being reveal-worthy, so instead, I’ll share a few sneak peaks of the bathroom tiling in the tub/shower and on the floor. And, as usual, please pardon the nighttime photos. Daylight is a luxury for a full-time working gal like me.

This photo was taken pre-grout. We ended up going with a white grout and it looks fabulous (you’ll have to wait until the final reveal to see it!) You can also sneak a peak of the wall colour to the right of the tub. It’s more green than I anticipated, but it actually works well with the mosaic tile, which is a green-grey. If you recall, the paint was a find at my local Habitat for Humanity Restore. $10 for a gallon of Benjamin Moore paint? You can’t go wrong.

And, the floor. Oh, do I ever love the floor! Sure, I love that we paid under $30 for our floor tile by shopping at the Restore, but I also love the Carrara marble look of the tile. Legit Carrara marble would have broken our modest budget into about a billion little pieces, so this ceramic look alike is a great second choice. As you can see, we opted to go for a slightly grey grout colour, since white grout would discolour pretty quickly.

Want to see more? I’m sure you do! But, you are going to have to wait for the final reveal, which I’m hoping will happen over the next week or so.

My task for this week — painting. That includes another coat of ceiling paint, two coats of trim paint and two coats of wall paint. Seeing as I work full time and commute too much, this will be a challenge. Hopefully by the time that Family Day weekend rolls around, we’ll be installing all of our fixtures and accessories.Fingers crossed!


Bathroom Reno: Day 7 (and #BlogPodium)

Hello and happy Friday!

This morning I am attending BlogPodium at the 2012 Interior Design Show in Toronto and I’m really excited, but kinda nervous too — this is my first-ever blogging-related event! When I heard about BlogPodium a few months ago, I knew I had to sign up. The idea of being surrounded with like-minded folks who are equally passionate about DIY, decor and design was very appealing to me. Today I will be a sponge — soaking in the BlogPodium talk called “BLOGS + MEDIA”, then touring the 2012 Interior Design Show. It’s going to be a great day!

But, that’s not all. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we are inching our way to having the ceramic floor installed. And, guess what? The ceramic floor is ready to be laid!

On day seven of the reno, Steve managed to rip up the existing peel and stick tile and screw a boat load of screws into the subfloor to ensure that there is no shifting once the tiles are installed. Shifting = cracked tiles and Steve (and us) will have none of that funny business! Not on our watch!

Day seven also saw the layering of more mud onto the ceiling and walls to feather out all joints…

…and make everything look “slick”, as Steve would say. I’m still dreading the sanding part, but we’ll survive! Our shop vac is ready for some serious clean up duty.

Also, a few readers questioned the purpose of the middle switch (shown below) in a previous post. It’s actually the switch to the bathroom fan and it acts as a timer. When you turn on the fan, you can set the timer to shut the fan off in five, ten, 15 or 20 minutes. Neat, huh?

We’re glad that Steve mudded around the electrical outlet. The drywall was damaged in that area, but after a thorough sanding it will be nice and smooth.

Steve also trimmed the inside of the window since it had to be ripped out due to some water damage.

Once the window trim is finished and painted out white, it’s going to look “mint” (yet another Stevism!)

I’m looking forward to having the ceramic flooring installed. After all, finding the flooring is what kicked this renovation into top gear. If you recall from our mood board post, we scored our Daltile Marcello 12″ x 12″ floor tiles at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for 75 cents a square foot, plus 25% off! Yeah, that’s right — our flooring cost less than $30, and while the tile we selected is not Carrara marble, it’s the look for less and I’ll take it!

Be sure to check back in a day or two when I reveal the bathroom floor. Until then, happy Friday! And, if you are at BlogPodium, be sure to say hello!

Bathroom Reno: Day 6

Day six and the bathroom is really starting to take shape.

We have walls! Walls in the tub/shower! Yahoo!

And, we also have a functioning tub/shower light! Even though this is Steve’s temporary work light, we’re excited to have more light in the bathroom!

I can’t wait to have my first soak in this tub. She’s a beaut!

The garage, on the other hand? It’s a mess! But, that’s okay with us — it means the job is getting done!

With the wall boards up, the bathroom is feeling so spacious. The extra ceiling height makes me happy!

Check back again tomorrow — we are inching our way to having all of the drywall sanding done and the ceramic floor installed!

Bathroom Reno: Day 5

Five days in and we have an installed bath tub!

I warned you on day four….nerd alert! Here I am looking pretty happy in the new tub…

The verdict: the 60″ Mirolin acrylic bath tub from Home Depot is super comfy. The height of the tub at 20″ is just right — deep enough for a nice soak.

Other notables for day five: poor Steve had to climb up on the roof in the pouring rain to install the vent for the bathroom fan. At least it was mild out and not snowing! He also did some more mudding and taping of the drywall and some last minute framing tweaks for the shower surround.

It’s all coming together!

Bathroom Reno: Day 4

With the electrical work of day three behind us, our contractor Steve got to work on the bathroom plumbing.

Day four saw the installation of new copper lines for the tub and shower…

…and also the re-running of the toilet copper (not pictured), which was originally run really close to the flooring. Since we are installing taller baseboards in the bathroom (to match the rest of the house), Steve moved the copper piping up a few inches to ensure that it would clear the top of the baseboard (and not have to be notched out of the middle of the baseboard.) Smart guy!

Day four also saw the first coat of mud and tape on the drywall…

You know what this means? The dreaded sanding part is coming up shortly. Oy, the mess…

Thankfully, this is a small bathroom and the drywall dust shouldn’t be that bad, but I’m bracing myself!

Come back tomorrow to see what’s happening on day five! Warning: nerd alert!

UPDATE: Just a little note about the insulation. Have no fear (ahem, Dad!)….the insulation is not covered in mould. I will admit that the photos totally make it look like it’s covered in disgusting, bad, dirty mould, but it’s not. These photos were taken late at night with bad lighting (like almost midnight late). Hence the darkened insulation. Our contractor Steve thoroughly inspected the bathroom for mould when he demolished it and we passed with flying colours. Sure, we’re all about saving on material costs, but not crazy enough to forego replacing mouldy insulation to save a buck or two. Capiche? Good.

Bathroom Reno: Day 3

Let me start off by saying that I’m a few days behind on updating the blog. My apologies — especially to you, Dad (he’s a recent follower of The 236 via email and was wondering why he didn’t get any notifications about new blog posts.) No, Dad, your email isn’t busted — your procrastinator daughter is to blame. Time to pull up those boot straps, right Dad? :)

Anyway, we are alive and well and the bathroom reno is progressing nicely in real life (but, like I said, a couple of days behind in the blog world). We’re even surviving with one bathroom — brings us back to the days of living in our one bedroom condo with one bathroom. Fun times!

(And, just to refresh your memory, you can read up about day one and day two bathroom renovation progress here and here.)

Day three was another exciting day! To start, the ceiling of the shower was drywalled and I gotta say that I am so glad we removed the tub/shower insert because we gained at least an extra foot of ceiling height, if not more. The room feels much more open and larger.

Day three also saw the start and finish of all of the bathroom electrical work. Steve installed a triple electrical box with a switch for the lights (over the vanity and the new light in the shower), a timer for the bathroom fan (just set it and forget it!) and an outlet.

Speaking of outlets, we also asked Steve to install an outlet inside our vanity. This is where we will hide away our electrical toothbrushes, Ted’s shaver and other unsightly devices to help keep the vanity top uncluttered and “pretty”.

And, there you have it — day three! Doesn’t seem like much, but I can vouch that Steve has been a busy boy. Despite running all of the electrical and getting the drywall hung, he has also been spending ample time in our attic running the ducting for the bathroom exhaust fan. Not a fun job! Glad it’s him up there in the attic and not us. Spiders? No thanks.

Check back tomorrow when I share day four of the reno (a.k.a. Plumbing Day!)

Bathroom Reno: Day 2

It’s day two of the bathroom renovation here at The 236. Things are going really well and progressing nicely. On day one, Stevie Boy managed to demo the bathroom and get it all to the dump (which I think Ted was sad not to be able to help with — demolition and visiting the dump are some of his favourite things to do!)

On day two, the light box in the shower was installed and some structural work was done to the tub/shower framing…

Installation of the bathroom exhaust fan was started…

We had some fun talking to one another through the floor…

We got to unbox our new bathtub…

And, there was some serious tool lusting going on in the garage over Steve’s mitre saw (Ted may or may not have taken it for a spin or two…)

After dinner, Steve popped over again (did I mention that he lives around the corner — umm, convenient!) and we chatted progress, timing, materials and, of course, dough (as Steve likes to call it). We couldn’t be happier with the way things are going. The bathroom is going to look SLICK (another “Steve-ism!”)

Be sure to check back again later this week for another update! By this weekend, the electrical and plumbing will be completed and the bath tub, drywall and cement board installation will be underway.

In the meantime, you can see the official before photos here and our bathroom mood board here.