Remodeling the Bathroom

We recently purchased our first home and unfortunately the guest bathroom needed some updating. Luckily a friend of ours was able to help us remodel. For those first time re-modelers out there I am going to review some problems we ran into and give some advice. Choose to do what you’d like with this information.


The floor when we moved in

1. Decide what really needs to be done and what is purely aesthetic. When remodeling any part of your home you will find a certain percentage will help for resale value, but some will not. Don’t become overzealous with your first home. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! At least not in the first year.

  • We decided to gut the bathroom up to the tub. I hated the tub, that ugly plastic surround (but it works and you don’t even see it)!
  • The toilet was also in great shape so we decided to reuse it, that but take it out during tiling time.
  • We decided in the end to: tile, replace the vanity, paint, add new fixtures, and add a new mirror.

IMG_20150426_120751357Original Bathroom

IMG_20150426_120735508_HDROriginal Mirror

IMG_20150426_120754210Original Surround


2. Make a check list of supplies needed – everything from water bottles and food to screws and nails. This should avoid multiple trips to the store that end up wasting a lot of time.

  • Any home remodeling project is hard manual labor and time consuming. Go into it prepared. Over think every little thing you might need. Lowe’s and Home Depot are great too… if you don’t use it, just return it! When you realize how much time and and money is spent on remodeling you don’t need to spend extra time driving back and forth to the store two times a day for minor things. Some items we needed that we didn’t have:

1. Pipe cutter

2. Shark bites (to stop the flow of water when taking apart the plumbing)

3. Shims for leveling the vanity

4. Proper tools for tiling: grout boost, grout float, etc.

5. Wax rings for the toilet

6. Proper caulking supplies

3. Research the different types of materials available for use BEFORE starting the project.

  • There are so many options out there for tiles, how to lay tiles, types of grout, colors of grout, grout additives, etc. It’s Crazy! Research and organize what you want it to look like in the end. This will also help when you go to the store. No matter where you go, someone will try to up-sell you another product. Decide what you need and stick to it.


Tiling in Process! Don’t forget to figure how much space you want between the tiles…tile spacers needed.  

4. At the end take some last minute time to really decorate the room.

  • We spent all this time and effort remodeling the bathroom, so there was no point in putting back the ugly brass fixtures (from the 80s)! This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy the highest end fixtures, but making them coordinate will really bring out the remodeling look. We ended up buying new switch plates, a new vent, a new door knob and hinges and a new towel rack to really bring out the oil-rubbed bronze from the faucet and the light fixture we chose. We bought these on Amazon for a total of $45.00 for all of the items. That’s not a lot of money when you already spent so much on that tile work and vanity!

5. Frame the mirror

  • In any room framing can really bring the look together. You can choose from coordinating mat colors for a picture to contrasting frames that make the artwork pop. This can really help bring the look and feel of the room together. We decided to frame a custom-sized mirror for our bathroom and boy was it worth it! We ended with a beautiful wood frame that perfectly matched the vanity and brought out the fixtures and accent colors in the bathroom. North Penn Art was extremely easy to work with and helped us choose the perfect frame. At first I thought I would have to bring my ugly old builder-grade mirror in for a frame but instead they said we could choose a custom-sized mirror and North Penn Art would handle everything form purchasing to framing.North Penn Art is the perfect start-to-finish place to go. They work with Alderfer Glass for the mirror and then North Penn Art frames it. North Penn Art is the perfect one-stop-shop for framing any mirror. The North Penn Art team was great to work with. They gave me multiple frame samples to take home and see what the frame would look like in my bathroom. They also supplied me with a large piece of cardboard to make sure I liked the size I choose (which I didn’t.) I ended up going smaller after seeing what the size of the mirror would look like. They also supplied mounting supplies. It was definitely an easy start-to-finish project for the mirror. The easiest part of the whole bathroom!

IMG_20150522_164040037Testing our mirror size.

IMG_20150512_230045458Choosing a frame sample.

IMG_20150626_210048335_HDRUsing the template hanging system supplied by North Penn Art.

IMG_20150626_204915660_HDRGetting Ready to hang the mirror!

We love our finished project and almost don’t want people to use it. Look but don’t touch. 🙂

IMG_20150426_120738775_HDRVanity and floor: Before

IMG_20150426_120735508_HDRMirror: Before

IMG_20150626_212236324_HDRVanity and floor: After

IMG_20150626_210852526_HDRMirror: After