Small Bathroom Remodel Before and After

How retiling your bathroom can make a big difference.

Bathroom Remodel

Jordan Boswell

Before- Bathroom Remodel
After White Bathroom Remodel with Black and Wood Accents and Greenish Grey Vanity

When we bought our home, this bathroom was actually the most updated space in the house. We thought we were lucky to have semi-white tile and a white vanity! However, after closer examination we found that the vanity was actually water-logged and the tile constantly looked dirty because of the brown texture. We were ready for a change, but we didn’t have the money to hire someone to come out and remodel the bathroom for us. So, I decided to take on the challenge myself, and researched how to retile the bathroom on my own. 

We bought an unfinished vanity and sink from Cabinet Doors and More in Fordsville, Ky. I painted the vanity and installed new tile myself. After a new light fixture, rug, baskets, and a new shower curtain, the space automatically felt brighter and more inviting for about $2,000. 

DIY Project

Tiling the Bathroom


Rip out the old Tile

Bathroom Construction Tile Tear Out

In order to keep the tile from shattering into a million pieces, the best strategy I found was to hit a small chisel with a hammer, and use a crow bar to lift the tile free from the mortar. Once I started using the right tools, everything came up in large sheets. After all the tile is removed, the next step is to remove the old Ditra underlayment. The orange underlayment provides a barrier to protect the flooring from any future water damage. 

Once all the old tile is removed, the next step is to make sure the floor is level. My vanity was actually standing over the bare subfloor while the rest of the bathroom had a thick layer of tile, mortar and underlayment. So, when we removed the vanity, there was an obvious difference in heights of the floor. We needed to add mortar to the space under the old vanity to make it the same height as the tiled portion of the floor. All we had to do was spread mortar on section below the old vanity and smooth it out with a level 2X4 piece of wood. We let it dry and continued that process until the entire floor was the same height. 


Measure it Out

White Tile Installation- During Process Owensboro KY


Once the floor was level, it was time to lay new Ditra underlayment to protect the subfloor. 

I also laid the new tile down without mortar so I could make sure everything fit perfectly. I made sure all of the patterns in the tiles flowed well too. 



Apply the Mortar

White Marble Tile with Light Grey Grout

Once everything was measured and cut, the next step was to take everything out and apply mortar under each tile. 

Important tip: Be careful to buy the right mortar! Certain mortars only stick to certain surfaces. Make sure you call an expert to help you pick out the right kind. If you are applying the tiles to DITRA like I did, you will need to make sure you buy the mortar that sticks properly to the plastic surface. However, if you are applying tile straight to the subfloor, you will need the opposite type of mortar. 

After you have mixed your mortar to a thick cake batter consistency, it is time to spread mortar on the back of each tile and on the floor. Place each tile in the correct spot leaving a larger gap along the wall to allow a little bit of room for the tiles to expand when the mortar sets. 

Another important tip is to use anti-lippage spacers. These spacers will prevent your tiles from drying at different heights. There is nothing worse than stubbing your toe on a piece of tile.  Another important tip is to be VERY careful with your cuts around the doorway. The connecting strips to place over doorways are not very wide. If you get too sloppy around the door, you will have gaps under your connecting strips, which will look very unprofessional. My cuts were ALMOST too wide. Luckily we found a big connecting strip to fill everything in. 

After all the tile dries for 24 hours, it’s time to find the perfect grout to fill in your lines. 

Visit my blog for more DIY projects and tips!

Jordan Boswell Owensboro KY Realtor
I Can Help You Buy, Sell, and Redecorate Your Home.

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