Finally the day had come to start the remodel of our main floor half bath that I wasn’t feeling from day 1, but I wanted to plan a spectacular remodel to bring in a wow factor to our home. I didn’t have a huge budget and was hoping to stay under $1,000. Keeping the existing toilet and floor tile plus doing all the labor ourselves would help us meet our goal.
I started thinking outside of the box and went to Houzz.com often to create an idea book of things I would love to see in the new bathroom. The look of tile in a bathroom was something I was into and willing to try, but how would I use it and have it make a statement? Once it’s cemented to the wall, there’s no going back! Would it make the bathroom feel smaller? Half baths are a special room in the home because they can make an impact in such a small space. Go big or go home, right?
I decided to do a stacked ledger stone called Desert Quartz from Lowes. They were inexpensive enough to do the entire wall and stay in my budget. Each box consisted of 6 6×12 tiles at $3.98 a tile and $23.88 a box. I ended up needing 14 boxes to cover the 35 sq. ft. wall. It was around $334 for all the boxes and add another $30 for the thin set bag to adhere them to the wall with and we’re off! I love coupons so I did find a 10% off coupon to use at Lowes that hopefully you can find too!
Using different lighting in the bathroom was important and I was ready to throw out the typical bathroom light and upgrade to mini pendants to surround the mirror. I purchased the Galaxy Lighting mini pendant at atgstores.com for $57 each. 1StopLighting.com also has mini pendant lights that are very similar to these and would look great!
It was also important to accent the stone ledger wall so I decided to put a small 4″ recessed light above the toilet. I kept it closer to the wall, about 6″ so that the light would hit higher up the wall.
The nightstand I purchased online at Hayneedle for $187 (with a coupon!) and revamped it to work as the vanity. The drain size was 1 1/2 inches and we used a 1 1/2″ hole saw drill bit to make the hole in the top of the nightstand. Once the hole was made, I put 2 coats of indoor/outdoor polyurethane on the top to protect it from any water damage.
I love vessel sinks and knew it was a must have for the new bathroom. The idea was something modern like a vessel sink, but traditional in color and shape. The white rectangle ceramic vessel sink worked perfect for this! Signaturehardware had this vessel sink I had to have called the Abbett and I waited 2 months for it to come in stock, but it fits great on the vanity and has square edges which varies from other rectangular sinks that I have seen. It cost only $140 which was cheaper than the faucet! Speaking of faucet, the Tipton wall faucet in brushed nickel with drain and valve was also purchased at signature hardware for $170. Going with a wall faucet adds a little more cost to the project, but it pays off with the feeling of luxury.
Deciding to go with a simple mirror was easy because the stone was the focal point and I felt as if the mirror should seamlessly blend in with the stone. Looking at mirrors, I searched for a mirror that was skinnier than the vanity, but taller in height to give the feeling of a taller wall and bigger bathroom. I found the perfect Feiss frameless mirror measuring 24×36 from 1StopLighting.com that makes the ceilings feel like they’re 10 feet tall! Works for me!
It is more of a challenge to hang a mirror on stone, but using a paper template to figure out where the holes should be placed makes sure you get it right the first time. You will need a special drill bit that screws through stone to install the screws. We bought special cement screws that would go through the stone and hold enough weight to anchor the mirror properly. They have them at any hardware store.
Let’s get started on the remodel!!
- First things first, get rid of that dark brown! Priming was an easy fix to prepare it for the lighter color coats of paint to follow. That was easy! Now the more difficult parts of the remodel.. We had to cut the wall out to move the water pipes up the wall. Make sure you shut off the water before you start the process of cutting pipes! You can buy a small pipe cutter at the hardware store for pretty cheap.
Cut the sheetrock to the space you need from where the original pipes stop in the wall to the height you want your new wall faucet plus a few inches. Ours was about 37′ from the floor once it was installed. You want to make sure that the wall faucet is high enough to reach over the vessel and the end of the spout measures above the sink by 4-6″ (closer to 6″) to reduce splash. Install the faucet spout to center directly over the drain. We cut a 2×4 to mount across the area where the valve mounts to.
Once you have your hole in the wall and the water is shut off, cut the pipes where you want to add piping to bring height to your faucet. The red and blue plastic hosing was inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store. To avoid the hassle of sodering pipes, we decided to buy the shark bite connector that allows you to connect it on the end of the old pipe (roughened up first) and push the new pipe (also roughened up) right into the connector! Bam, that’s it! It was so easy and worth a little more cost for convenience! After all the new pipes are connected, they should reach up to your new wall faucet!
- Next we had to patch the hole with a new piece of sheetrock that was moisture resistant, ours was 1/2 inch thick, and cut down to the hole size. Mark the areas where the faucet will come through the sheetrock and poke holes for the valve to fit through. There also needs to be a hole for the drain pipe. Once the piece is ready for installation, attach it to the wall with some screws, sheetrock tape and mud. It doesn’t have to be perfect since it will eventually be covered up with the stone tile. Sand down the dried area and after a couple more coats and sanding, paint the drywall with a primer to seal it.
- We need to work on rerouting the electrical next. It is suggested to consult with an electrician if you don’t have a background with electrical work. Shut off the power before moving any wires! Hubby was in charge of moving the electrical into the ceiling. First we decided where to put the recessed light. I centered it with the toilet and measured 6″ away from the wall. That is where the circle template would be drawn on the ceiling. Take a pencil and make the 4″ circle, then cut it out with a drywall saw.
- The next hole to cut is for the pendant lights. We cut one big hole in the ceiling and attached 2 new electrical boxes to the joist to hold the light. I liked the idea of the pendants hanging in front of the stone to accent the wall so play with your design and place your pendants where you like them. Once the wires are pulled from the old fixture, move them up and connect new wires to the pendant lights. Do not put in the pendant lights just yet. You will need to patch the hole with new sheetrock before you can do that! Before you patch the hole, lead the electrical wires to the new recessed hole and attach the recessed fixture. Patch the old fixture hole with sheetrock, tape, and mud then sand. It should look something like this once the recessed light is up and the hole is ready to be covered.
That’s a good stopping point for the first half of the bathroom remodel! The second half has my favorite aspects of the remodel. We will install the tile, the vanity and vessel sink, and hang the mirror and mini pendants. I look forward to hearing your comments so far and can answer any questions! On to Part 2!