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Bathroom Remodel: Part 4, Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring

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Bathroom Remodel: Part 4, Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring

When we first moved in to the house, there was a lovely blue and white linoleum in the bathroom.  We lived with that forever, until in 2013, when we ripped it up, and laid down some peel and stick 12×12″ tiles, in a dark brown stained concrete look.  I actually liked the look of those, but I also knew the brown color wouldn’t fit in this bathroom.  I liked it so much that I tried to get the same look this time around, only in grey. This is what it had looked like, taken on the day we were installing it in 2013.Dark stained concrete look

We started doing demo on the flooring first, and realized that the sticky residue would make it really hard to work in the bathroom.  So we ripped up the underlayment too.  That left us with what we think is the original cream 1970s flooring, which we tried like crazy to get up…before we gave up. That stuff literally was not budging.

We also knew that we wanted to change the position of the toilet.  It was just really awkward the way it was facing, so we cut a hole in the floor to expose the pipes.  We had to have Joe, our plumber, look at it to see if they could be moved to accommodate a different positioning. This took a couple of different saws to accomplish, and Double D had to go through two different layers of plywood to get to where we could see the pipes.  We also didn’t know what we would be cutting into.  Finally, we got it cut out.Cut out hole for toilet pipes

So…Joe came back, looked at the pipes, and said that it would be no problem to move the pipes.  Yay!  He moved them, and left a tall pipe piece sticking out for Double D to cut around when he was measuring for the replacement wood.  Double D installed two new pieces of plywood, and they actually were level with the rest of the flooring. That was one thing we were concerned about. The below picture also shows the drywall ripped out, and the shut off line moved farther down the wall. Toilet pipe finished

Next it was time to start laying the flooring.  We decided to go with a Luxury Vinyl Tile, with an attached pad. Since we had tried to rip up the original floor, and failed, there was a slight height difference and an underlayment pad would be helpful covering that up. We used LVT for the kitchen renovation, and I still really like it one year later.  Adura Max by Mannington had the one we wanted, in a grey weathered concrete look called Carbon, in the Meridian collection. This product is also water resistant, which is really good for bathrooms;)Starting to lay the floor

This flooring has the Lock Solid feature, and literally the planks just snapped together.  I think the actual laying of all of the planks took about an hour. The best part is that you wouldn’t even know that the original floor had been messed with, because you don’t feel it when you walk on the LVT. flooring laid

Next came the trim.  There was no way we could use the trim that originally came with the bathroom, and I didn’t want to have to stain new trim to match the door and window trim. This part was the hardest for us to decide on, until we were talking with our drywall guy, Dave.  I had no idea that they made PVC trim, but it does make sense for decking, etc. After talking with him, we looked at Menards, and found some 1″x3″x8′ pieces that we liked.  They were plain on one side, and wood textured on the other.  I decided to use the plain side, and painted it the same color as the walls.  I really like the effect this creates, since there isn’t a sharp dividing line between the floors and the walls. We could have just used 1x3s in wood too, but this was super easy to paint, and it is water resistant. PVC Trim painted

We used Liquid Nails, and glued each piece to the wall. I figured if we had to take it off at some point, there would just be more trim going up to cover the marks. I also used some caulk to fill in the triangle left in the corner of the trim, once we trimmed out the rounded corner pieces.  I then painted that and it blends perfectly. The only thing I’m not completely sold on is that it does stick out a bit farther than the trim on the door.  We decided to leave that trim the original, since the door casing and door didn’t get painted as well. Finished corner piece caulkedtrim painted and glued

The last piece was the threshold.  This was available with the Adura Max products, and it matches the flooring. It basically just joins the LVT with the carpet that is in the hallway.  Looks good!Piece of flooring for threshold

And here is the finished floor, with the new vent installed.  I love how it looks with the wall color, and the new rug we just got. Don’t mind the gears.  We were using those as weights so that the floor wouldn’t shift while we were laying it. It really feels like this bathroom is finally coming along!Floor completely done

The last thing we did was install the toilet.  I’m including a before and after picture, just because of the difference the repositioning has made.  It just makes that area seem more open and we have a lot more room. I will have to find something fun to hide the water line, because I know the toilet brush holder isn’t it:) Toilet facing out

Thanks for looking!  More bathroom remodel to come, so stay tuned!

Sarah

Check out the other Bathroom Renovation posts:

Bathroom Remodel: Part 1, Demo

Bathroom Remodel: Part 2, Shower Installation

Bathroom Remodel: Part 3, Drywall and Paint

Bathroom Remodel: Part 5, DIY Exposed Conduit Light Fixture

Bathroom Remodel: Part 6, DIY Sink from Typewriter Stand

Bathroom Remodel: Part 7, Mirror and Sconces

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PVC Towel Rack for the Pool

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PVC Towel Rack for the Pool

Double D and I had just been throwing our pool towels on the table while we were swimming in our above-ground pool.  However, the table was much lower than the side of the pool, so it made it hard to dry our hands if we got a phone call, or if we needed to wipe our eyes.

One day, a solution popped into my brain. We had an extra umbrella stand that I had salvaged from a junk pile a few years ago.  I had painted it red, but hadn’t found a use for it yet. I hoped we could use that in some way to build a towel rack.  After looking around on the internet, it seemed that the PVC option was the best way to go, since it would be out in the sun and rain.

To start, we bought our supplies.  This included enough 1 1/4″ PVC pipe for both the body of the rack, and the six arms.  We also bought three cross pieces, seven caps, and some PVC cement. Double D started cutting the pieces for the body.  We needed three pieces at about 20″ each.PVC 20" piece

From there, we swabbed the inside of the cross piece to fit the onto the pipe.Adding cross piece

The next section of pipe was added, and we glued the next cross piece so that it went the opposite way from the first one.  Then we added the next section of pipe, and the final cross piece the same direction as the first one. This way, the towels have room to hang, and it balances the rack a bit. PVC towel rack

The next step was cutting six sections of the pipe at 12″ each.  These would form the arms of the rack. Sorry! Blurry action shot!Hack Saw PVC pipe

I didn’t get any pictures of the final step, but that was putting the caps on the ends to keep water out of the arms. Also, since we were left with a hole at the top part of the final cross piece, we cut a four inch piece to put in that one, and ended with a cap on top.

And this is the final result, in the stand. It has enough arms for a lot of towels, and at times we’ve needed the room, depending on how many people have been in the pool. I haven’t painted it, although that can be done later, if I want.PVC pool towel rack

The total height of the towel rack is about 76″.  It easily stands above the top of our pool, and keeps the towels within reach while not getting out of the pool.PVC pool towel rack from the pool

It was incredibly simple to do, and I have enjoyed having it by the pool this summer.

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

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Using Perforated Metal for a Kitchen Backsplash

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Using Perforated Metal for a Kitchen Backsplash

I’ve always loved the perforated metal that is normally used for radiator covers.  When we started the planning for our kitchen renovation I wanted to use it somewhere, but I envisioned I would be adding it to the front of the cabinet doors.  That’s not the way it ended up:)

Since we were getting to the last steps of the renovation and the metal still hadn’t been used, the metal sheets were my first idea for the backsplash. However, I still did quite a bit of research for different ideas and styles. I didn’t want tile because it seemed too permanent.  I didn’t like the look of the peel and stick tile, and the PVC panels weren’t something I wanted either. I kept going back to using the metal for the backsplash over and over again. I finally decided to go for it, and then spent a week second guessing the decision while we were waiting for the metal to get here. I ended up buying two sheets of the metal at Decorative Iron in the “boxes” pattern, since I liked that look with the craftsman theme that we ended up creating. With shipping, the total came to $130.00, since one sheet wouldn’t have been enough, even cutting it in half.

This is what we started with.  Basically, when the old backsplash was removed, some of the glue tore the top of the sheet rock paper off. Is it just me, or does anyone else see two rabbits playing together on the right side of the torn sheet rock?Torn Sheetrock from backsplash

Anywhoo…We hired a person to come out and tape and mud the back splash area, because we aren’t very good at mudding anything. This is a picture of his process , as he had to put a solution on it to get the paper to stick to the torn sheet rock. We probably would have missed this step:)Mudding process

And this is the final product. Yay!Mudding done on backsplash

Finally I could paint the backsplash, which was Castleton Mist from Benjamin Moore. It’s the same color that we did for the entire kitchen.Castleton Mist from Benjamin Moore

Now it was time to start installing the backsplash.  At our local home store, they had PVC trim already painted to match the colors of the PVC panels that we did NOT get. They were only available in 18″ pieces, and brushed nickel was one of the colors in stock.  However, those were more expensive at $1.10 apiece than the white, 8 foot PVC trim that we found on the next aisle for $2.49 apiece.  We bought five pieces of the 8′ J trim, as well as one piece of the divider trim, and one piece of the inside corner trim. I laid them in the garage, and painted them with the Rustoleum Satin Nickel that I already had from painting our light fixture.Satin Nickel trim pieces

To protect the metal surface from rust, the company puts some sort of oil on it.  We kept getting it everywhere, so I washed the metal with a stiff scrub brush, and soapy water.  This got the residue off, and I did make sure I dried it completely immediately after I was done.  Next, I gave it a nice coat of Rustoleum’s clear enamel.  Hopefully, that will be enough to keep it from rusting. I thought about using the floor sealer that I’d used for the cabinets, and someone else suggested wax.  The spray enamel won out, due to ease.

We started measuring the area we were working on next to the sink, and cut the first piece with tin snips.  Those seemed to work just fine, although it was a slow process.cutting perforated metal

We leaned it up against the wall to make sure it fit.  We made sure we kept the line of solid metal at the bottom for each piece. At this point we realized we needed to cut out a bit on the left side to notch into the quartz sink backsplash.  Measuring and cutting

From here, we were able to cut the openings for the outlet and switch. This was pretty easy, since we could see through the metal to cut around each.Cutting metal for outlets

To install the metal, we measured and cut the pieces of the J trim for the bottom and the notched area. We attached those two pieces with staples. We also cut the J trim for the top and the cut right side of the metal, and pushed that onto each. Because this one was behind the refrigerator, we were able to pull that out, and slide the trim into the J trims attached to the wall. We then stapled the top and side trims to the wall. Whew!  One done. PVC J trim

Next, we started on the left side of the sink.  This is the finished result, with the corner piece installed. Since we couldn’t slide this one in, we had to tip it into the bottom J trim that was attached to the wall already, and staple at the top.Backsplash part done

The next wall was the longest one at 96″.  We stapled one piece of the PVC J trim along the counter top, so that it could hold up the metal sheeting behind the oven too. Tipping the metal pieces into the trim seemed to work fine, so we thought it wouldn’t hurt to have one long piece here.Long piece of PVC J trim

The metal sheets were only 78″ long, so we knew we’d have to split them up somehow. Since there was a natural break where the vent hood is, we decided to use one piece of divider trim on each side of the vent hood, especially since that piece would be a bit taller than the rest.Trim for stove

And here’s a picture of how that wall turned out. I don’t mind where the divider trim is, since we wouldn’t have been able to find an exact middle point that looked good.metal backsplash

At this point, we just had one more to put on the wall to the left of the stove. Here’s a close up of the metal and the paint color behind it.  If I had one thing to change about this process, it would have been to lay something heavy on the rolled metal some time in advance, so that it would straighten out a bit.  You can see in this picture where it isn’t quite laying flat.  Live and learn. Perforated metal closeup

I think it took us about four hours to do the complete install, but finally we were done, and I was in love.  It is so pretty, and we found out it is magnetic as well:) Here’s a picture with the under cabinet lights off.Perforated metal done

And one with the under cabinet lights on. I still wander into the kitchen just to look at it, and I’m so glad that I went with my first idea. Love it!Under cabinet lights with perforated metal

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

To read other posts in this kitchen renovation series, see:

Creating Craftsman Style Crown Molding for Kitchen Remodel

Tired Cabinets get a Facelift with Chalk Paint

Kitchen Makeover on a Modest Budget

Wood Cornices Built for Revamped Kitchen

Note: I did have someone ask about grease getting behind the metal onto the wall, and the cleaning process for that.  I’m not sure of an answer on that, except to say that I don’t really cook with grease, and that I’ve had bare walls for 11 years behind the stove.  I’ve never needed to do more than swipe at them to get them clean.  I think it helps to have a stove with a backsplash panel on it too, but I will be watching to see if any accumulates. Something to keep in mind, though.

Also, I had another person ask about water damage behind the metal if something spills.  Valid question, and I guess we can always put a thin bead of caulk around the bottom edge if it is a problem.  Really, the only issue we had with water damage was behind the sink, which we solved by replacing the previous backsplash with quartz.

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