Kids Bathroom Tile

Monday, March 28, 2016

One of the things on our immediate list was fixing the kids bathroom floor.  Overall, the linoleum in the house was in decent condition so while I didn't like it or intend for it to stay for the long-term, it was not an immediate priority.  This bath was the exception.  The linoleum in this room was cracking and peeling from a previous toilet leak.

The leak also dripped into the living room below it, so we will have some cosmetic repair work to do down there eventually as well.

Anyways.... I really wanted the wet rooms in the house to be done with ceramic tile.  Andrew used to lay ceramic in Homearama houses for a living back in the early days of our marriage so this was something he could "easily" do.  However, while browsing tiles we stumbled across these groutable vinyl tile squares at Lowes.  They were pretty affordable and he got really excited about them because they are peel & stick, can go right on top of existing linoleum, and in general would be way easier to install than ceramic.  Generally speaking, vinyl is a No-Go for me, but disguising it with real grout made it an actual possibility.  Unfortunately, there were only a few color choices available (none of which I was crazy about) and the tiles were 18" square - which would be fine for the kitchen but way too much for the small bathrooms and entryways.
A little bit of pinteresting and researching and I was able to find that Home Depot also has a line of groutable vinyl tiles that have a wide variety of colors and even come in a couple of sizes, including 12x12.  Then there was this beautiful post from Pinterest that shows a similar bathroom remodel that used Home Depot's Trafficmaster Ceramica in the Concrete color and I was convinced.

But when I went to the store to preview it, I fell in love with Coastal Grey instead.  The Concrete color had a lot of brown tone to it, and I really liked the warmness of the darker gray, thinking it would pair nicely with my light gray bathroom walls and the white subway tile that I would like to one day add to the walls.

The tiles do need to be ordered, but shipping to the house was free and its just as quick as having it shipped to the store and without the hassle of picking it up.  We did buy the premixed grout direct from the store, in the Delorean Gray color that was displayed with the tile.

Our bathroom floor area is 5' x 5.25' for a total of 26.25sqft.  However, when figuring how much flooring to buy, we add 10% to the total to account for scraps and mistakes and such.  That would put us right around the 30sqft that is included in a case of tile.  We bought two cases because we'd rather be safe than sorry and figured we could return it to the store (or save it for the next area we decide to tile) if we didn't need so much afterall.

2 cases of tile $90
1 qt of grout $10
Extra supplies (spacers, tools, etc) $40
Total cost of Bathroom flooring = $140

Because the linoleum in this bath was in such terrible shape, we did pull it out and clear the floor to make sure that the new tiles would be nice and flat and adhere properly.  The tiles do just peel and can stick to the existing floor or subfloor and can be cut with a regular utility knife, which is where the "quick and easy" comes into play.  Since I thought it sounded too easy, I requested that it be put on a 45degree angle to make it a little more challenging...  At least that's what Andrew would probably tell you.  Really, I just like the diamond pattern way better ;)





It's beautiful!  I love it!  I can't get over how quickly the floor was installed and how much it doesn't look like vinyl.  You can feel the difference between this vinyl and ceramic since the tiles are soft and warm to the touch, but you can't argue with real grout ;)

Laminate Flooring

Monday, March 21, 2016

The laminate is probably the detail that I was looking most forward to during the moving process.  I had my heart set on this specific floor since we first began to look for a house.  Thanks to Pinterest I was In Love with light gray walls and dark brown floors.  We looked everywhere for wood options.  Considering how trendy this color is right now, I was really shocked to find that most stores only carried one or two options - and most were either handscraped, the wrong shade of brown, too low of quality, or too high of price.  We ended up choosing an Armstrong floor.  It's actually the same exact type of flooring that we put in our old house, except the darker color.  We were really thrilled with the quality of our previous floor, it has held up to our children, our pets, and all of our traffic for over six years with barely a scratch.  At least I know this is good stuff.

Thank goodness our van converts to a pick-up bed when we fold the seats down 'cuz it was a LOT of wood...

Andrew had the front room down in one night.  It was pretty quick since it's just a small squarish space.

It was the hallway that caused him to slow down a little.  Tying the two living rooms together so that the lines matched up and everything fit tightly was a chore.  Thankfully Hubby is good at math :)  He also had a posse of guys here helping him for a couple of nights.  I'm not sure how much they helped and how much they just sat around and drank beer... I mean seriously, what's with all the chairs?

I'm just kidding, though.  Our friends have been so much help that we are truly overwhelmed.  Cleaning, painting, pulling out and hauling old carpet, installing the new floor, offering opinions and emotional support, running errands, bringing us food, entertaining the munchkins, helping us pack and just tons of love has been heaped on us.  It makes my head spin what a wonderful group of people we have in our lives.  We love all of you!  And we are so thankful for all that you have done!

Originally we had planned to tile the kitchen and other wet areas to match the >kids bathroom<, but Andrew decided that it would be best to continue the laminate throughout this open room because we have so many ideas of what we might do with the kitchen/dining room in the future and he didn't want to limit us because of a split in the type of flooring.  I'm worried that the dark wood will be too overbearing if we continue it into the kitchen.  I'm torn, but we agreed to go ahead and do it for now and if it doesn't work then we can change it later in the next round of reno.  Maybe.  We'll see.

Paint, Painting, and Painting Problems

Monday, March 14, 2016

The new house, lovingly nicknamed "Abby", took our entire first week of effort just to paint the bedrooms.  Oy! there are a lot of walls upstairs!  Hubby & Kristen counted 34 walls after I started complaining about how long it was taking.  And an army of switch plates and outlet covers to go with them...

I initially wanted to do all of the painting myself, but that quickly proved to be too much and I let Hubby talk me into inviting help.  He even got in on the action and put a first coat on a wall in our master bedroom!  I wish I had snapped a picture of it because it's never going to happen again, ha!

We also were blessed with our firefighter friend who was brave enough to get up on our big ladder and paint the stairwell for me (yay for not having to hire a painter or face my fears!).  Worrying about this was seriously making me lose sleep, that's how chicken I am...

After an entire week of painting, I went over to finish up the bedrooms and came into an upstairs hallway with a whole lot of natural light shining on the walls.  This would be a wonderful thing except that it shined light on a very big problem.  Streaks.  And roller marks.  And a whole bunch of imperfections that were just screaming at me in all that natural light.

This might not seem like a big deal, in fact when I pointed it out to family and friends most of them shrugged and swore that they never would have noticed it.  However, to me this was devastating because a) I'm a detail person and these marks are going to stand out to me everytime I walk through the hallway and b) Painting was something that I had looked the most forward to, I had put a week of hard sweaty exhausting effort into it and was not getting the results I wanted.

I did not like the color, I really did not like the finish results... I was just not happy.

Unfortunately, at that point our time schedule was too tight to justify repainting.  I just couldn't put us a week behind because I picked the wrong color.  While I'm not thrilled, I have resigned to the fact that the upstairs will just have to wait til we get back around to it.  Oh well.

However, this led me to make a few executive decisions for the downstairs.  I insisted that we pick a new, more medium shade, and switch brands.  I had really wanted to use Benjamin Moore from the beginning, but Hubby thought the cost was a bit much so we conceded to using a highly rated more economical brand and it just did not produce the results that I wanted.  I decided that we were going to fork over the bucks and go with the higher quality paint after all.  I already have to repaint the upstairs, I definitely do not want the same problem downstairs or else I won't get anything done but painting for the first few years!  

So, after much back and forth (I had no idea how complicated gray was! Oh my goodness!) I finally made a decision and went with Benjamin Moore - Smoke Embers 1466, which is about two shades darker than the color I had originally chosen so it's more obviously gray and a bit warmer.  You can see the difference here on the kitchen wall.

Overall, it went really well.  The paint was so easy going on the walls, it was definitely worth the money as far as workability.

So here's the big moment!!!

Kitchen Painting Done!

I LOVE IT!  I am so thrilled with the results so Hubby will just have to deal with the price.  Sometimes, it's worth spending extra for quality.  This was a nice save after the disaster upstairs, I'm feeling much better AND we were back on track with our painting timeline because even with the higher ceilings there is way less wall square footage downstairs.  Thank goodness.

We have also finished the accent walls in the kids rooms and everybody is happy with how those turned out!

The Before Pictures: Home Tour

Monday, March 7, 2016

We bought our Dream Home in March of 2014.  The only problem was, it was far from move-in condition, let alone Dream Home status.  The house is a Ryan Homes Venice built in late 2007, so if you are so inclined, you can actually track down the floor plan for our home, which is kinda cool!

She might not be much to look at here, but I could already see her beauty hiding just below the surface.  My imagination was giddy with excitement over all the possibilities.  Can you see them too?  Well if not then at least withhold your judgement for a little longer!


Front Room:

Living Room :

Dining Room:



Master Bedroom:

Master Bath:

Kids Bath:

AJ's Room:

Girls' Room:


To make the house move-in ready we had to paint (everywhere!), install new carpet upstairs, install laminate on the first floor, and replace the bathroom linoleum with tile.  We also had a LOT of cleaning to do because it was Dirty.  With a capital D.

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