Tearing it up

I don’t think it’s any big secret that I hate the floors in my bathrooms. The tiles are so very 80s and collect dirt in the grooves like none other.

In fact there’s a big problem with vinyl floor tiles: they’re either perfectly smooth and will get scratched and dented easily or have some texture and collect dirt.

But I did finally find a tile that I like and matches the room color already perfectly! So it was time to tear out the old tile. I first removed the baseboards all around the room (which were a lovely mix of wood and plastic) so I could get into the corners. I shared a little preview in this post from Memorial Day weekend.

Most of the tiles came up once I hit the edges sharply with the crowbar. Some needed a little more oomph.


Do you see how gross the subfloor looks? At first I thought it was stained with glue in a pattern or just grimy. Then I realized it’s actually a second layer of flooring, this one a single slab of vinyl.


So I wedged in my crowbar and started pulling it up too. This layer was relatively easy to pull out, although the tape got stuck to the floor in several places. The pieces filled up my trash can over several weeks and I had to sweep constantly to get up all the little pieces. Using the crowbar, some water, and an utility knife I was able to get some of the paper and glue up.

DSC_0087It’s hard to tell unless you’re at eyeball level but the subfloor looks a bit… uneven. So we’ll be assessing if it needs a plywood base or self-leveling underlayment or something else entirely.

The next step was tearing out the vanity and counter top. I couldn’t wait to see the condition of the floor and wall behind the unit.

I started by taking off the doors and drawers and hello, I am such an idiot! For nearly 5 years I’ve had child locks on the 4 doors of this unit and I just now took them off. So consider 1500 days of opening the door and hitting the child lock. Doh. Here’s what the cabinet looked like in case you forgot:


To be honest, I don’t really know what my Dad did to get it out. We took off a few trim pieces, then broke the seal of the caulk along the counter top. Moved the counter top to the backyard and then took apart the unit.

nekkid bathroom

The bathroom looks so nekkid! The wall behind the counter is damaged and there’s a bunch of problems where the caulk was applied so I’m now doubly glad for the decision to add bead board 4 feet up the wall.

floor tilesHere’s an idea of what the new floor tiles will look like installed – the perfect match for the wall paint and the new white trim. But first I need to finish taking up ALL of the glue and paper stuck on the floor.

floorIt’s going to be a long job. But at least I’m one step closer to having the bathroom I want! Here’s an inspiration pic from Pinterest, the closest I could find to the layout and colors of what I want:



Here’s the short list of things to do:

  • finish scraping up ALL of the glue and paper
  • center the tiles and install all the floor tiles in a diamond pattern
  • purchase and install the baseboards
  • purchase and install the beadboard (cutting out around the sink pipes and toilet pipes)
  • Dad insists that the toilet will need to be removed to finish the tile and beadboard so there’s that
  • purchase and install the chair rail
  • Fill nail holes and paint the trim and beadboard white
  • Touch up the wall paint as needed
  • Install the sink
  • purchase and install the faucet
  • purchase and install a toilet paper holder

I’m thinking of also buying or building something like this to hold my towels and miscellaneous stuff since I lost all my counter space:


but I have a few pieces that might work so I’ll test those out first.


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