There are times when going the DIY home improvement route just isn’t worth it. This project was one of those rare times for us.
Remember back when I told you Robert and I would be ripping out our old travertine floor in our powder room? And then remember when we had a trip to Austin, a trip to Chicago, and a million new house projects going on all in one month?
Ever since we closed on this house in April, it’s been a blissful whirlwind, but there also came a point when I said to myself, “Something’s gotta give.”
For a week, while planning our big powder room makeover, I was in total denial. I had it in my head that Robert and I could just remove our vanity and toilet, rent tile removal tools from the hardware store, and rent a wet saw to attempt to tackle our first tiling project ever. It could be done in a weekend. Yeah. Then, reality set in that we’re mere muggles and don’t actually have DIY wands.
So for the first time ever, we actually called in a pro contractor for this one. (If you’re a local in the Charlotte area, McEntire Services is awesomesauce.)
After Day 1, we had a giant hole in our floor.
And, suddenly, I didn’t regret our decision to go pro one bit. Seriously, I would have had a heart attack if we were doing this with our little ol’ DIY skills.
Turns out, our powder room used to be a porch. There are still pretty brick stairs underneath this bathroom where the porch used to be. Old houses are filled with all kinds of fun surprises, right?!
Apparently, when the former owners of this house decided to build an addition and make this space a bathroom, they poured concrete to level it out instead of laying level plywood in place.
That lovely snafu caused a big delay for us (and then we ran out of tile mid-lay because some of the tiles arrived broken in shipment… joy), but yesterday we hit the final stretch. We finally have a floor! And it’s a pretty one!
(Affiliate links are provided below for convenience.)
Back when I was envisioning this space, I really really wanted the look of hexagon marble tile to mimic the kind I saw all over Chicago back in May. But there was absolutely no way I was going to fork out a few thousand buckaroos to make that happen.
So I found this gorgeous carrara marble look porcelain hexagon tile that I swear looks like the real thing! (Thank goodness we did go the cheaper route on that too since we didn’t budget for building an entirely new wood underlay.)
We almost chose the rectangular version of this tile, but there was just something about that hexagon. I still have my eye on it for our other two bathrooms though that still need even more help than this little powder room did. I shared more of my favorite tile for a budget in this post too, if you need more ideas.
(Forgive the not-so-fabulous cell phone shots.)
Today, the guys will be putting the room back together so we can finally have a downstairs bathroom again. Because right now, our vanity is smack in the middle of our living room and our toilet is just chilling out in our garage.
In hindsight, I’m thanking my lucky stars that we hired out for this one. Because I know it would have ended up being way more expensive in the long run if we tried to tackle it ourselves, and who knows what kind of mess we would have been in.
I’m starting to learn that owning an older house just forces you to have a sense of humor. That’s the only way to handle these things, right? Laugh about it (and maybe cry a little, it’s okay).
I’ll be sharing more behind-the-scenes peeks on my Instagram Stories as we continue to finish up this space. (Also, I just finished “gray washing” the vanity and, oh my gracious, it’s gorgeous! More on that soon though.)
Have you had any experiences before when you decided to hire a contractor and realized it was the absolute best decision ever? Or discovered some quirky old house “surprise” that threw you for a loop? I’m kind of afraid to unwrap any other surprises that might be waiting for us in this house.
Here’s where we are in the big powder room to-do list and all of the other sources and tutorials we’ve shared about so far:
Paint bead board(Benjamin Moore Hollingsworth Green) Paint over orange wall Paint mirror frame(tutorial on that coming soon) Hang wallpaper(we used this black and white floral paper) Swap out light fixture(this brass one is what we chose) Swap out towel bar / TP holder Paint inside of door Paint door trim and crown molding Install new sink faucet Gray wash vanity(tutorial coming soon on this one too) Rip out tile floor Install hexagon tile floor
If you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here: