Bathroom Remodel

I recently got my dad to fly down for a week and a half to help get me started on a few of my larger projects. He actually ended up coming almost exactly 1 year after he helped re-tile my downstairs. The main project I wanted help with was replacing a large window with a smaller window in order to install a dog door beneath. We got the majority of that done the first day so we moved on. Some of the other projects were: removing the ugly mantle around my fireplace, repairing part of my roof, building a portable paint booth in my garage and this project; re-tiling my daughters bathroom. Well, it originally started out as just re-tiling it with left over tile from downstairs but it kind of snowballed into nearly a full bathroom remodel.


We started by removing the toilet, vanity and tile. This was actually much easier than I expected, especially after my last home tiling project which started by removing the old tile from my kitchen with a demolition hammer. Next, we put down some cement backer board for the sub-flooring and got out the tile, tools and supplies.

Laying the tile went by fast with these 20″ tiles. I believe it actually took longer to get out the materials and tools than it did to get all the tile down.



We’ve enjoyed the bead board/wainscoting in our downstairs bathroom so we decided to do that again. Instead of doing a similar color to our last bathroom remodel, we decided to go with a white/grey/black scheme.

My wife hated the old medicine cabinet and I was running out of projects to do while my dad was here. One of the few things he hates more than going on “vacation” and being bored is painting (which there was plenty of). So, instead of making him paint, we threw together this medicine cabinet with some leftover mirror and bead board. It turned out so good that now I might be stuck making another for the master bathroom and possibly some for my neighbor.


After much debate, we decided to paint the old vanity cabinet black. I decided not to make my own this time, since remodeling the bathroom was kind of an after-thought and making a vanity takes time. However; painting this old vanity gave me more reason to have/use my temporary paint booth. I have a few more projects before I want to take it down and store it away.


Again, due to the lack of time and preparation, we went with a white granite top instead of a concrete one like my downstairs bathroom. Unfortunately, this significantly added to the cost of this remodel. Also, it’s a little more difficult to come across white concrete that is suitable for counters. I’ve since found some online that I can order so maybe for a future project.


Here’s the medicine cabinet and mirror frame we made. I didn’t get any in-progress pictures of either of those projects but I did get to use my new fancy raised panel router bit set to make them. I got it for the mantle I’ve designed and plan to take plenty of pictures of that project.



For around $800, I think we did a pretty good bathroom remodel. It still blows me away how expensive just the counter and fixtures are. If it weren’t for those, this remodel would have easily been half the price.

Lessons Learned

  1. When replacing valves, make sure they are off when you turn the water main back on.. My dad tried to flood my bathroom right after we got it tiled and painted. I was in the garage and he went to turn the water back on after re-installing one of the valves and whoops! My ceiling was soaked, my new light had an inch of water in it and my newly painted walls were dripping.. Luckily I heard it and went running to shut it off. We got it all toweled off and were back to work in about a half hour.
  2. When painting with a HVLP painter or any sprayer, less paint and more coats, always. Especially with clear coat.
  3. When picking a clear coat to go on white paint, don’t use oil based polyurethane. I knew it would yellow over time but in the case of white paint, it yellow’s immediately.. Good thing that’s on the inside of the vanity. I tried to wipe it off but if you look, it’s there..

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