Bathroom Reveal: Part 1

6 Dec

Well, it’s almost time to show off the final product of our basement bathroom. Since this was such a long, involved project, I am breaking it up into two parts. This is part one – before and during. And believe it or not – this is the condensed version of the story! (click here to view part 2 of the bathroom reveal)

We did basically 90 percent of it ourselves. I have to give a big shout-out right away to Ryan, who did the demolition, duct work, wall building, electrical, sheetrock, tiling, ceiling, trim…etc. (with help from a few handy friends and family). I did the finishing, like painting, decorating, choosing decor, making the curtain, painting, painting, painting…(the painting of the doors and trim seemed to never end!).

(Warning: this post contains mostly pics, and much less of my witty rhetoric. Next time…)

Our basement bathroom was gross and it needed to be redone…as in, gutted and rebuilt. It had all kinds of good stuff in it, like:

  1. Paneling. When will this stuff just die already??
  2. Stained linoleum.
  3. An old, gross sink and toilet.
  4. A  shower that was flimsy and beyond repair. And it could only be cleaned so much; we couldn’t get in the unsealed cracks.
  5. A drop ceiling with tiles that were both missing and falling out.
  6. A hole in the wall. A hole! In the wall!



Note the sagging ceiling tiles:





(Note the hole in the wall toward the top center of the picture below. No, not the one in the ceiling. The other hole.)


See…I told you it was gross. I didn’t use this bathroom, and I didn’t let company use it, either. So, we gutted it down to the studs. We were starting from scratch (toilet stayed in for awhile but we wanted as little time as possible with only one bathroom, so eventually it came out, too).



We decided that we wanted a built-in, tiled shower, not a shower kit. After a flimsy, gross shower, we wanted something that felt sturdy and more elegant. So, here are a few pictures what Ryan had to do to build in the shower:




In the midst of building the shower curb was sheetrocking everything but the ceiling, as well as painting the walls a soft, light green (I’ll have the paint color in the next post). We elected to have another drop ceiling since our upstairs bathroom is directly above this one. If there were any water problems or any reason we might need to get at the upstairs bathtub plumbing, we would have had to tear open the sheetrocked ceiling. So, we chose bamboo ceiling planks. Boy, drop ceiling choices have come a long way! We really love this ceiling. (Ryan had some extra hands to help with this – his dad and brother! Thanks guys.)



Next came the tiling. Ryan tiled everything, and I am so proud! If you’ve never done it…tiling is a mess! We also decided to splurge and added a heating component that heats the tile up. Again, this bathroom is downstairs, and ceramic tile can get chilly! The heated tile was totally worth the price. Below you can see the coils all laid out (the thermostat is on the wall outside of the bathroom).


This is the self-leveling concrete that goes on top of the coils.


Here’s the start of the tiling. Lots of planning and measuring happens before anything begins.

155 (2)

The shower tiling came next. We spent a lot of time thinking about what tile colors and styles to go with. I knew I wanted a bathroom that had neutral tiles so I could be more free to pick/change the wall colors. We chose a beige, semi-rustic looking tile for the floor, with a smaller version in the shower walls. The grout was a dark brownish-gray. The accent tile on the floor and the cutout in the shower is black pebble – another splurge but so worth it. This bathroom is small, but I really wanted it to feel posh and spa-like…and we were getting there!

158 (2)


Somebody was snooping around where she shouldn’t have been.


Stay tuned for the next update and see the afters. That’s enough to look through for now…:)


3 Responses to “Bathroom Reveal: Part 1”

  1. Scott Miller December 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    As someone who’s put some thought into redoing his own bathroom, I’m so impressed I’m actually leaving a comment. Kudos to Ryan, that’s some excellent work. I’m excited to see the final product.

    • Sarah December 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      Thanks Scott! It feels good to have it done after almost two years of work. Yes – two.


  1. Bathroom Reveal Part 2 « Rixen It Up! - December 11, 2012

    […] again! Here is the follow up to this post (bathroom reveal part 1 – before and during). I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves and note a few things here and […]

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