February 3, 2013

Bathroom Remodel: Evolution of the Floor

When we first moved into our house, the floor in the hall bathroom was vinyl.

The bathroom as we first saw it.

It was poorly installed and the edges were all curling, which were strikes against it. We also knew that the toilet had been leaking and suspecting water damage, Dan pulled the vinyl out.

It was easy to pull up the green vinyl flooring because it wasn't
glued to the floor. Hidden under it, was an older linoleum floor. 

Under that was a linoleum floor and under that, the original oak tongue and groove floor, complete with water damage from a previous plumbing leak.

What was under all that old vinyl flooring

Repairing the damage was quite a project; details here, "Fixing The Bathroom Floor". The next step was to lay down Hardibacker Board. It was adhered with thinset and screws.

Laying the Hardi Board

The most sensible flooring would have been a new sheet of vinyl. Dan, however, does not like vinyl floors. Wood was out, so that left tile.

We chose porcelain tiles for the new floor

If we had been in our right senses, we would have chosen all one size, either the 6" or the 12". It still would have required some cutting, because the room is smaller than a full layout, but it might have been a tad easier to deal with.

Holes had to be drilled in the tile for all the plumbing.

Two sizes of tile, plus layment pattern, plus cutting, plus drilling holes for the plumbing, all made it a very fiddly project! Definitely more challenging than installing the tile in the kitchen bathroom.

Tile laid and ready for a sealer.

I think it turned out really well, though for some reason it was difficult to photograph. It still needs to be sealed and then the baseboards.


  1. I love tile - I've done hearths, my own bathroom, and actually own a tile saw. Your combo of sizes is stunning!

    Way to go!

  2. Looking good! Laying tile is a pain even when the tiles are all the same size.

  3. Looks great! Fiddly with the two sizs but at least it was a small space overall! :)

  4. I bet you'll be happy to have that crossed off your list! ;0)

  5. Oh, it looks terrific! I'm sure the layment was a pain, but what a great pay off!

  6. Our now 120 year old farmhouse had one horrible bath when we bought it. # years ago finally remodeled it. My husband is a vinyl guy but I insisted on the tile. It is my favorite floor in the house. A little cool in the winter but it alwsy looks clean and I can lay on it in the hot summer. Yours looks grand!

  7. Ya'll, this project was a real test of Dan's patience because it was so fiddly. Your positive comments are an encouragement to us both! Thank you. :)

  8. I've done enough flooring over the years to come with the conclusion that all the flooring I've done recently or will ever do in the future will be either solid hardwood or tile. I just like the longevity of it since you don't have to replace it every ten years like carpet, vinyl and such. My parents house has hardwood going on 70 years old that still looks great due to the occasional sanding and refinishing every 30 or 40 years and I've never seen tile wear though I have replace a broken tile now and then.

  9. Leigh,

    WOW!!!! Great job, please tell Dan we love his work. Thank God he has the patience to do this detailed work.

    Tile beats vinyl all the time in my mind.

  10. Man-oh-man, that Dan is just amazing, and must have the patience of a saint. The "fiddly floor" turned out beautiful!

  11. That looks really nice! We've been dithering over tile or vinyl for the laundry room. The room is a fair size and the backer board will cost as much or more than the tile will, plus require planing the door down and a host of other small, fiddly details. Neither of us really wants vinyl, but.....

  12. Another check marked done on ol' "to do list" you guys are really busting out moves over there. The tile looks great! Much better than vinyl any day, I think anyways.

  13. I would have had to request a floor heating system. ;)

    The house I grew up in had this lovely little gas heater in the wall. We didn't get to use it much but it was wonderful when we did.

  14. Excellent result Leigh...a life time job. Well worth all the effort of ripping those layers out. Keep going.

  15. Ed, that's a good point. So far, we've put down two hardwood floors, refinished another hardwood floor, and put down two tile floors. I have to say they all look really nice.

    Sandy, now that the job is done and looks good, he's pleased. :)

    Janice, thanks!

    Nina, we put down vinyl on our back porch laundry room / summer kitchen. It was the best choice, but I really like the tile better. Vinyl does wear out and need to be replaced! Keep that in mind.

    Jen, and it feels good!

    Renee, we actually bought one of those floor heating systems and planned to install it. It turned out to be really thick though, and since we only needed it to cover where we'd walk and stand and not the entire floor, Dan didn't put it down. He's thinking about installing it under the subfloor, but hasn't researched the do-ability of that yet.

    Pat, thanks!

  16. This looks great! I'm also so amazed by your home renovations. I wish I had your sense of style.

  17. Looks wonderful, I love the look using the 2 sizes, it seems to make the room bigger

  18. You're braver than I; I'd have stuck to one size tile which, as you know, is much easier to install.

  19. You all are moving so fast! And wow, I bet it feels good to get all those old icky layers out and to know exactly what's under your feet. It's beautiful! Job well done.

  20. I think it's beautiful. Congratulations on getting that job done.


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