A lot of you have probably never seen our most used bathroom – our second floor bathroom which all four of use every single day. It’s obvious that I haven’t ever given it much thought or care. Welcome to my most embarrassing post. A quick recap, I painted the vanity and tried to spruce up the towel bars a few years back, but honestly that’s all that we’ve done to this space. I’m thankful and feel fortunate that I inherited a white neutral palette from the previous owners. It could have been way worse, I’m sure. But I’m not fond of any of the tile. The flooring is dated and the grout is hard to keep clean, and the wall tile has a iridescent, marble-like print on it (although it reads white most of the time). There is also glass block tile too, woof.
After putting a little elbow grease into three bathrooms (1 | 2 | 3), I think it’s time to tackle the most used bathroom of them all – but not in a full-on remodel sort of way, but in a give-a-little-tiny-shit sort of a way.
I think we can all agree that the first photo I’m sharing is not bad, but there is a lot that I’m hiding from you. Let me take you on a tour.
The entire bathroom needs to be re-caulked. The old caulk needs to be removed and replaced with new silicone caulk. It is something I haven’t done in years in this room, and it very much needs to be done. Doing that alone would give it a much cleaner look.
Tub & Shower Trim
I’ve wasted so much time looking into bath and shower trim for a two handle faucet configuration. “They” don’t really condone two handled faucets anymore because of the risk of getting scalded by the hot valve. Thus, it is very hard to find any sort of replacement for our tub trim. However, I found a small box of extra tile, so it’s possible that I could remove and patch in some tile so that I could install a more modern mixer valve. This project is way more of a mind melter than replacing the towel bar or painting the vanity, so it’s gonna take me awhile and a lot of second guessing to figure out how to go about doing it. Anyone with experience on the topic, please leave a detailed comment below, please.
I painted the vanity hague blue by farrow and ball about five years back, but it obviously needs to be retouched. My kids are messy. It might be time for some new drawer pulls too.
I built a light fixture for over the mirror when I was going through my DIY lighting phase (still kinda am) so I can check that off the list. Howevez, I also need to replace the flush mount fixture in the center of the room. Q: How many Allen’s does it take to replace a light bulb A: None, cause they are all lazy and they won’t do it, even the tall one. The light bulb in the flush mount burnt out three or four years ago and it hasn’t been replaced, cause why wouldja?. Like I said, we have given zero craps about this room.
Toilet Paper & Towel Hangers
In an attempt to try and freshen up the space a few years ago, I painted the chrome towel hangers gold. Although it helped create a more cohesive look, the shape and design of the towel bars is not something I prefer, and I would like to update those with hooks – our family is more of a hook family. Also, most of them have fallen off the wall, so it doesn’t really matter whether or not I ever painted them anyways.
The toilet paper holder has been broken for a year now, so we have come up with a new creative way to hang toilet paper on it. We are the worst. I’m sorry to all my guests who have ever had to use this bathroom.
Hi, I am a 38 year old adult mother of two who has never had a matching set of actual nice towels. We have matching towels at the cabin for god’s sake, but not here at our home! The Allen’s are going to get proper towels and washcloths this year, and they are all going to match!
Probably my only spray painting regret was spray painting our bathroom faucet champagne gold. It’s not the color I hate but the DIY paint job itself. I remember reading recently that someone on the internet had beef with folks who spray painted stuff because it wouldn’t last and it wasn’t fixing the problem. I have to say, I disagree with that sentiment. When you’re in between a rock and a hard place, sometimes a little spray paint can bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. It’s not always the perfect solution, but it can help make it better than it was. Anyways, probably don’t spray your faucets, although I hated this faucet before it was spray painted, so it’s a wash, but you probably shouldn’t spray paint your faucets.
Although I’d like to tile the whole bathroom, I feel like it would be a waste of resources. We still don’t know how or exactly what we will be adding on to our house in the next few years, but we would like to take on an addition to the back of the house to make more room for our kitchen and thus potentially even our second floor. We don’t know anything yet, but I don’t want to renovate a bathroom just to demo it later. I do see value in fixtures and hardware because all of that can be reused if there were ever to be a proper bathroom remodel down the road.
Anywho, there is a small tiling project I can take on. I would like to remove the large square white tiles on the floor and replace them with a small black and white hex pattern. It would be more period to the house, and it would break up all the white that is happening in this space.
Also, there is a chipped tile on the vanity side of the bathroom that needs to be replaced. I have about 20 or so spare tiles in my possession, so I’ll see if I can chisel out the old chipped tile and patch in the new.
The way I see it, there will be two phases to this project. Phase one will involve all of the easy cosmetic fixes to make it better in the near term. Phase two will be a little more involved, and will probably happen in the fall. Most likely I’ll be tackling the floor tile project and the shower/tub trim conundrum then.
Don’t forget not to judge me too hard!
Our main bathroom looks WAAAAY sketchier than this, so no judgement here! It’s tough to invest time and money in a space when you know you’re going to remodel the space in the semi-near future. The towel comment made me laugh out loud. Last night, my sun used a beach towel to dry off. My daughter used a threadbare mint green thing I’ve had since college.
Looks like the light in there is beautiful. I’m sure you’ll come up with amazing.
Ugh. Autocorrect strikes again! My *son* – not my sun.
Yes! We have a budweiser towel, and a towel with a hole in it and a giant beach towel with the name of my husband’s employer on it (my fav). Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone.
I’m so excited to read about this makeover! Our bathroom is in the same boat — functions fine, visually uninspiring, a few places that could use TLC, but also wary of sinking $$$ because we might do a future bigger half house renovation.
Can’t wait to follow along with this project and then I guess probably just copy it exactly :D
I hope I can deliver! I am worried about investing too much into it too, but I’m pretty sure that a minimal investment in towel hooks and a faucet will go a long way – the tile should be inexpensive too as long as I do the work myself. Thanks for the vote of confidence :)
Hahaha. Made me laugh out loud. Love your voice.
Hey, Thanks! I try :)
You, my dear Scoops, are quite wrong. If it is, in fact, your family’s most used bathroom, then you do give shits all the time.
Thank you, try the veal and tip your server.
On another note, once again you have solved one of my big life problems when you linked to that corner shelf a few weeks ago. I blame menopause brain for not thinking to search for something like that myself.
Oh god, I started reading this thinking you were going to tell me that I really messed something up in this post. LOL – that’s a good one.
Glad the shelf idea could be of use!
I’m excited to see what you do. Similar situation here. We moved into a 1960 ranch that had one bathroom covered in brown tile and one in powder blue tile. Had the tile painted but would love to do more one day, but it’s the bathroom we use the most. Good luck! I love your work and the way you write.
Thanks, Taylor! I would have painted the tile too if it were anything but white. Good call. We gotta do what we gotta do, right?
I’m always so grateful when a Cool Blogger such as yourself takes things slow and does small improvements bit by bit. It’s real life! Grand-reveal-style makeovers are so much rarer than HGTV would like us to believe.
I have a cool 60s-style set of 2-handled tub trim that I pulled out of a bathroom I’m renovating that got a little out of control. :) If you want it, let me know and I’ll send it over!
Thanks for thinking of me with the tub handles. I think I’m probably going to try and change up the valve so I can get a new set of trim. We have an access panel from our hallway, so I’m thinking I can pull it off – fingers crossed. Yes, I agree. I also like Cool Bloggers who take it slow :) I like seeing all the details, I learned so much from bloggers who did it that way in my early days.
As the owner of a two 50s era bathrooms with pink and brown tile that’s been falling off the walls, and a floor that is kind of squishy I think your bath looks pretty good!
I would regrout, knock that broken tile out and repair it, replace the facet and hardware and call it a wrap.
I agree with you, it’s not a bad bathroom to inherit. I just want to do those upgrades that make it ours. I haven’t really got to put my stamp on this room yet. I had spongy floors at the cabin too – I feel your pain.
no judgments here! we literally won’t let anyone stay at our house for fear they will want to take a shower and i have way too much pride to have anyone look at what i look at when i shower. it needs a whole gut job & we just can’t afford it so i may or may not have a 2nd shower curtain liner lining the entire surround so that no more water can get behind the tiles. sometimes you just have to do what you have to do! i’m excited to see what you do in here!
Hey Jana! Oh, that sounds just like how I felt about our cabin bathroom – it was so gross and I was so embarrassed. If you think there is water getting behind the tile you should use a liner in the interim (or at least when you have company so they can’t see the grossness ;-). Thanks for always stopping by!
I took out a super cute vintage two-valve tub set & still have the handles, but no use for them. (I don’t have the faucet spout, just the hot and cold handles.) Would you maybe be interested in using them? I can send you pictures, obviously.
Eva, thanks for the offer. However, even the handles need to match the brand. Over the last few days I have come to peace with the idea that I will most likely replace the tub stems and valve. I’m looking on the bright side though, I’ll try and learn some new plumbing skills. Thanks!
Thank you thank you thank you for showing what your bathroom looks like. I remember well the super cute cosmetic update when you painted the fixtures and the cabinet. It’s helpful to see that they haven’t held up perfectly! Also, I love that you are posting more frequently. I love what you do and you have a great voice. Keep coming with the content! Also, I didn’t comment on the post about your trip, but I really loved all the tips about traveling with kids. Thanks for sharing!
Hey Tara! Thanks for the comment, I’m so happy to hear that you are keeping up with the post schedule. It’s making me happy to be posting more too. Thanks for being here!
I just wanted to add that in lieu of spray paint you can use rub n buff. It helps to sand lightly to give the cream something to grab onto. It might be a better alternative if you can’t replace your fixtures but want a different color. I usually get mine from Blick with my student discount (the only thing being in architecture school in my 30’s is good for right now) but I think you can get it on Amazon or at Michaels.
Mandi! Good call. I wish I knew about rub and buff back then. I did finish the spray paint with a dark wax, but since the spray paint didn’t adhere well to the metal it was a lost cause. I hope that anyone trying to attempt something similar in 2020 or beyond would try something like that. PS, I might have just used rub and buff on my shower fixture at the cabin because their rose undertones were clashing with some of the other brasses in the room. It worked great.
Our hall bath (the one guests use) was our first ever DIY attempt 12 years ago and remains as it was then to this day. At this point the bathroom at our cabin is DRAMATICALLY nicer. I also need to repaint the vanity/etc. Also currently there is a picture hanging over a hole where I had a hook that came out of the wall bc we were new at DIYing and didn’t know about studs (LOL). Lord help us. :)