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Category: Bath Remodeling

Bathroom Update and Remodeling Series – Wall & Floor Tile

Bathroom updates and remodeling has come a long way.  One of the most famous bathrooms from the 60’s-70’s is the Brady Bunch shared bath.  If the decor in that bath represents the features and styles of that time, then those rooms weren’t equipped with bells and whistles.  There were no ceramic tiles on the walls, just paint.  If homes contained wall tile, the most popular colors for years was either blue or green, eeewww!  Not a bright blue, mostly a powder blue.   The green color was dull and looked more like pea green.  Mosaic ceramic tiles and vinyl  floors were common in the middle-class homes.  The decades always bring about change and there has been significant changes over the last 4 decades with bathroom floor and wall tile designs.  Today, the choice of tiles are endless in size and colors.  Today’s homeowners now see the bathroom as a place for luxury or relaxation.

Of the many types of tile available, off the top of my head here are a few: Ceramic or Porcelain, Glass, Marble, Granite, Limestone, Metal, Terra-cotta, Travertine, Slate, Quarry and the list goes on.  Check out the definitions and description on the Better Home and Gardens website.Before you pick your tile, you must consider where it’s going to be installed.  Since, the bath is a moisture prone room, the tile for the floor must be suitable for traffic when wet.  A few of the tile types I mentioned above wouldn’t necessarily be suitable as floor tile, but could be considered for the wall.

Before you choose a type of tile, consider the style decor of your bath.  Is it contemporary, eclectic, modern, traditional and the list could go on and on.  Once your style decor is chosen, the types of tile to pick from will narrow down a bit.  For those of you that plan to remodel with a budget under $10K I will focus on tile that is mostly available at a local home improvement store.

When I began planning the tile for my 1st floor bath, I flipped through pages of books to see what was popular & within my budget.  My first plan of action was to decide the size of the tile so that I could design its layout.  I also thought about how each size tile would make my small bath appear.  I did some research and found that larger tiles can make a space look bigger than it really is.  I had to also understand that the placement of the tile can make a world of difference too.  So, with today’s wide variety of tile, I chose a porcelain tile that looks more expensive than it was.   The other decision you’ll have to make once you’ve chosen your tile is the grout color.  That decision isn’t as hard as it may sound, it’s mainly about choosing a color that matches your tile.  Any questions about this, ask the associate at the store where you purchased it.

1st Floor Bath Pics

When I was ready to remodel the 2nd floor bath, I used the lessons I learned from mistakes in my 1st floor and I tried to make better decisions and I also wanted it to look a little more flashy.  I purchased my glass and stone tile from homedepot.  The same brand, different color is found below.  Hope you like it as much as I do.

2nd  Floor Bath Pics

  • 24X24 Wall Tile

Bathroom Remodel Series Lighting

Today, Let’s talk about Lighting.

When you look in the hardware store sometimes it can all seem so simple to just pick a light fixture that’s cute and go home.  Let me tell you, it is so much more complicated than that! Before you start looking at fixtures, you should begin thinking about all of the activities that your family does in the bathroom. Yes, it is that deep! Ok, so if your family is  like mine, the bathroom is where experimentation and body inspections happen! No kidding, total body inspections. Maybe after or during a shower you might notice something new in places they weren’t before! Well, you’re gonna need the best light possible for this.  Maybe you bathe your children & need sufficient lighting so that you can watch them play without any unforeseen accidents. No matter what you do, great lighting is crucial in your everyday life.

You have two separate options for doing a bath update versus a remodel.

Bath Update:  If you’re performing a small update for the fixture above the sink, you might benefit more from a fixture with at least 3-4 bulbs. Even if your space is small, you can’t go wrong with 3-4 bulbs if you have a dimmer installed with the fixture. The dimmer will give you what you need, when you need it. If your space allows 4 bulbs, go for it.

bathfanlight1bathfanlightHow do you know if your fixture fits your space?  A good rule of thumb is to know that your lighting shouldn’t extend past your vanity mirror or cabinet.  It would look a bit unbalanced if the light fixture was too wide.  So think ahead just a little, so you’ll know how wide your mirror/cabinet is or will be.  Now that you’ve determined the width needed, start searching for fixtures with the style your entire look compliments (contemporary, traditional, eclectic, or modern).

Bath Remodel:  If you are considering a total remodel (tear-out), then your thought process should dig a little deeper because you have to look at your space from a different point of view. You have to make sure you stay focused with the style of your entire look.  So, if your finished look is contemporary, you should only consider lighting with a contemporary finish.  If your budget allows, consider recessed lighting in your shower area. These canisters will be more functional on a dimmer switch. Trust me, you’ll love this new addition! My two baths are 44 sq feet each and my family loves the light. Have you ever showered in a dim bath? As a child I never noticed the lack of lighting in our bath, but my part of the Midwest, Ranch style housing built before 1970 didn’t include recessed lighting. This addition to your building plans will totally change your view! Literally! Although it may seem a bit excessive for some, I also have a ceiling light with an exhaust fan. This light is purely for general purposes. This light can stand alone in the ceiling without recessed lighting. However, you’ll still want the light fixture over the sink. The lighting over the sink is great for quick shaving or applying makeup. Honestly, as I’ve matured, I’ve found myself needing more/brighter lights just to do everyday things. So, if you’re like me, go ahead & invest in your lights! Your eyes will thank you.



Let’s talk vanity lighting!  Your vanity lighting will be determined by how wide your mirror or medicine cabinet is.  If your medicine cabinet is between 24-30 inches you can choose a 3 or 4 light fixture.  There is no rule set-in-stone, however you don’t want the light fixture to be unbalanced when looking at the entire look. If the fixture is shorter than the cabinet, just center it and it’ll look fine.  If the fixture is wider than the medicine cabinet, be sure to have the cabinet centered under the fixture.


On a side note, I had an awesome opportunity to remodel my parents bath and even though I splurgedheatlamp on this last piece, it was perfect. I had my contractor install a heat lamp right outside of the shower.  Yes, a heat lamp (the residential version of the ones you might find in a fitness gym sauna). Every since I could remember, my mother had always complained about being cold and I thought it was a great idea, especially for the winter months. It had a timer and has never given us any problems.

So, there, you have it. My take on bath lighting! I hope this helps you in your journey for better lighting.

Bathroom Remodeling Series – Vanity Mirrors

Lets continue with our bath remodel series and talk about a Bathroom Remodeling Series – Vanity Mirrors. The first thing to know is the width and length of the space for the mirror. This number will tell/show you how much flexibility you’ll have in the many choices manufactures offer. This number also tells you if a recessed cabinet/mirror is possible or if you have to connect it to be flush with the drywall.

If you can only have a wall hung cabinet or mirror, you should consider the width of your sink.  There’s no rule in stone that says you have to keep your mirror/cabinet the same width but consider the look if its off-center versus centered. So, if you want to go bigger in length, the cabinet/mirror may extend over the toilet. If it’s just a mirror you can get away with it without the look of over-doing it. However, if it’s a wall cabinet and it extends over to the toilet, that could be a hazard if the door is open and you’re sitting underneath it on the toilet (Ouch!).

If you have the choice to have a recessed cabinet you may be limited on the width, which does not necessarily mean ugly, bad, or limits. There are just as many choices to recessed cabinets and your style options vary widely. I purchased a recessed cabinet for both of my baths and I love it.  The style I purchased was from the Home Depot (Love That Place)! The inside of the mirrored door, was a mirror.  Not only that, there was also a mirror on the back wall of the cabinet! Yes, mirrors galore! But there’s a reason for my madness. I thought this was the perfect cabinet because when you open the door it opens far enough to see the side and back of your head. As a lady, I’m always looking at myself from different angles and this cabinet allows me to do just that.Vanity Mirror

So, don’t limit yourself when you see the mirrors.  See the options I chose below from Amazon:

Bath Update and Remodeling Series Intro #101

Over the next few weeks, I will be focusing on bath update and remodeling.  I will discuss the process from beginning to end.  I will share with you pictures of my before & after as well as any thoughts I have about my over all choices.

For the purpose of this article Update is defined as adding new information or making corrections; a remodel is defined as reconstruction or making over.  Updating is using what you already have and either re-purposing or repairing it.  A remodel is a total do-over that gives the space a different look.  If you have the budget and are tired or bored of the space setup or overall look, then consider an update or remodel before contemplating a move or relocation (Your pockets will thank you).

I’ve designed both of my full baths and it was really fun, yet challenging. I’ve learned so much from the projects I’ve designed.  I will share with you my decisions and whether or not I feel those decisions were good or bad & why.

First I want to share some decor terms and their meanings so everyone will know exactly what I’m referring to.

Decorating Styles:  Contemporary – characteristics of the current time period

Traditional – inherited, established customs

Eclectic – A collection of things/ideas taken from many different sources. This combination includes colors, texture, and shapes

Rustic – often referred to as rural, plain, simple, or unrefined. You often see this style in log homes and farm houses

Tuscan – is often seen with iron accents, Terra-cotta tiles and textured wall finishes.

New Mirror, Light Fixture & Wall Tile

New Mirror, Light Fixture & Wall Tile

If you are indecisive about how to start your project, checkout this pictorial on Houzz to inspire you.

This series will cover various aspects of updating or remodeling baths such as lighting, floor and wall tile, paint, vanity mirrors and cabinets, storage, and accessories.


  • Contemporary Bath
    Contemporary Bath

Images Courtesy of   houzz_logo

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