Are we ready everyone?  It’s Week 2 of the Bathroom Renovation for the Fall 2017 One Room Challenge!  And, guess what?  We’re plowing ahead and making great progress this week.

To recap, I’m an interior designer living in Atlanta and I’ve just started a bathroom renovation for my client, Rebekah.  She was kind enough to let me blog about this process (at the very last minute), so I’m hoping that we will be able to move quickly and successfully through the first phase of this challenge.  If you want to read my blog post from Week 1 Challenge , click here.

DEMOLITION DAYS:Demolition of Bathroom space demolition of bathroom space  

So, this past week we started her bathroom renovation project.

My contractor brought in a couple of guys to work in this tiny 4×8 space (not including the tub) to knock out the existing tile on the bathroom walls, shower/tub walls, and floor.  I think it was 95 degrees outside during the two demolition days.  No fan was allowed in the space because it would spread more dust and dirt around.  So, my poor guys had to tough it out.old toilet, now outside of house

No surprise.  We encountered a few “bummers” during demolition.  If you’ve ever done a renovation, you know what I’m talking about.  You hope and pray that whatever is lurking behind those walls is harmless, but, inevitably, something nasty pops up and “bums you out”!  Well, we had a little of that going on last week.Wall tile and medicine cabinet removed

The first bummer was the bathroom’s SUB-FLOOR (or what was left of it).  But, I anticipated that we’d probably have to replace the wood sub-floor (due to rot or age) and warned my client of this.  However,  (surprise, surprise!), in our case, the sub-floor wasn’t even wood – it was CEMENT!  Well, that threw us all for a little loop!   The cement was practically sand it was so worn down.  My contractor, Emilio, quickly and efficiently resolved that problem by chiseling out what was left of the existing cement sub-floor and replacing it with a new sub-floor with moisture barrier.

The next issue, however, really bummed me out as I could see that it was going to affect my re-design.yellow of existing tub

When the contractor removed all of the existing shower/tub tile, we could see that the “WHITE” tub was actually a YELLOW tub!  The previous owners had sprayed the original yellow tub  – white!  This was a problem for me because there was about 2 inches of yellow on the top face of the tub.  How the HECK was I supposed to mask that and pretend the yellow never existed??  I had to bring in Rebekah immediately and try to find a solution.  We had 3 options:

  1. Replace the existing tub with a new one.  This would be time-consuming AND costly.
  2. Re-surface the tub and make it all white.  Again, time-consuming and costly (although clearly not as costly as a new tub).  OR
  3. Build up the walls with enough layers of sheet rock + tile + sealant – to safely hide the existing yellow ground peeking out.

It was a no-brainer.  Rebekah went with option #3.  And, Emilio added a total of 3 layers of sheet rock to build up the back wall!  (yikes – that’s a lot of sheet rock!)  So, happily, crisis averted.


With the demolition of the bathroom behind us, we are ready to pick-up speed and start putting the space back together.  This process takes a lot of juggling with tradesmen to get it right and keep the wheels churning.  Before our contractor can continue putting the walls back in, we needed the plumber to come out and update our shower fixtures – raise the shower head, re-plumb the sink faucet, etc..plumber working on the tub fixtures

Rob, the plumber, came in – did his handiwork in a short matter of hours then left us.  Done!  Rob will make a re-appearance later on! (possibly Week 5).  He will need to install the toilet and sink fixtures for us (after the wallpaper hanger comes in).

Next up – the electrician!  Julio is our amazing electrician for this bathroom renovation.  The existing bathroom only had one switch.  This switch turned on the one light fixture and that was it.  I need to mention that there is also a fan vent in the bathroom.  A fan that doesn’t work and doesn’t have a switch for it either.  Odd.Electrician measuring exact spot for sconces

Julio spent maybe a day with us.  His job was pretty important for the final success of this renovation because this bathroom is currently not very functional.  There are no outlets in the space.  So, if you were a guest – you wouldn’t be able to blow-dry hour hair in here or use any appliance that needs to be plugged in.  Also, the room is very dark.Electrician adding sconces

We’re removing the dated overhead sconce and replacing it with a pair of sconces.  We’re also adding a can light to the shower area, so that guests can see better when taking a tub or shower. Electrician adding can light to bathroom renovation project Lastly, we needed Julio to hook up the fan vent so that one could just turn it on with a flick of a switch (basically, connect that bad boy for ventilation!).

So, all of this was completed last week.  Somehow, when I write it down it doesn’t sound like a lot – but, it was.  Prepping the space for tile takes time and patience.  But, we’re in a good spot now – we’re ready for the tile and the pretty to begin!can lights added to shower areashower area with new niche

Rebekah and I made our final selections for tile.  We’ve ordered a very pretty Jeffery Court mosaic for the feature wall in the tub area.Homeowner selecting tile for her bathroom renovation project  With the exception of the niche, the remaining tile in the bathroom will be white carrera marble.  For the niche area, we hoped to use the Jeffrey Court mosaic, however, it’s pretty expensive.  bathroom schemeSo, we had 2 options – a beige glass subway tile or an antiqued mirror subway tile.jeffrey court mosaic with glass subway tile  Once again, when Rebekah and I saw the mirror tile – it was a no-brainer!  The niche HAD to be the mirror tile!  It will add a bit of glamour and sparkle to this fun bathroom renovation project.  We were so excited to find the mirror subway tile.  It added a little pep to our step last week!mirror subway tiles

Stay tuned for next week!  Tile and more tile!  It should be fun – the progress photos will really feel like things are coming together.

If you’d like to see some other One Room Challenge spaces, click here!  But, otherwise, I’d love to hear your feedback!  How would you have handled the yellow tub fiasco?  Did we do the right thing?

Cheers!  Barclay