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Mid March when I received the email from Jeffrey Court to be a participant in their Spring 2018 One Room Challenge with a six week deadline, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only would we be given the chance to receive some pretty amazing tile of our choosing, but we would touch the last room in our house that needed some love, our master bathroom. Yes, we knew it was going to be a big challenge, but nothing can truly prepare you for a renovation until you are actually doing the renovation.
Our first obstacle we encountered was when we were waiting for the tile to be delivered. I didn’t want to start the demo until we actually had the tile because I didn’t want to take a chance. What if something happened and it never came? Long story short my voicemail was holding a message hostage from the freight company who had tried to call me, but didn’t call me back until a week later to schedule delivery. At the time I thought it was unfortunate, but these last few days, that missed time had a huge impact on our progress.
Bathrooms are no joke. Whenever you take a room down to studs, have to fix a water leak you didn’t even know was there, and try to put it all back together, it’s a lot of preparation. Unfortunately some of the work I had to wait until my husband was home because I couldn’t lift some of the material by myself. Because of his work schedule, a lot of our major work didn’t happen until the weekends.
Every point in the process we ran into some sort of road block or obstacle. The next major one being that the order I placed for our waterproofing and tile pan were lost by the home improvement store, still no idea as to what happened there. Regardless, the time we lost waiting for the order to come in held up being able to install the tile. Then it was switching out the vanity light junction box to one that could hold our lights. Painting only to realize that the store gave us the wrong sheen. I tell you all of this to give you an idea of things that pop up, and things will ALWAYS pop up doing DIY, adds up to time spent fixing instead of moving forward. Sort of like that saying one step back and two steps forward. Being exposed to so many new experiences also meant that we naturally would be slower to do them, because we had to research how to do whatever it was that came up.
Out of all of that. Out of the long hours. The aches, the pains, the missing out on time with girls, missing out on fun times with friends, we demoed a bathroom!!!! Two months ago when we were working on the sunroom, it was by far the biggest project we had done to date. We built wall cabinets and I couldn’t be more proud. But nothing will compare to the sweat equity and what we did in our bathroom the past five weeks. Nothing hired out, just my husband and I.
We literally had a HOLE in our bathroom floor, and we fixed it. I installed a drain and I don’t just mean I popped in a cute new drain grate, nope I had to cut pipe and actually make our drain! We laid 200 square feet of tile and most of it by hand. And I could not be anymore grateful for Ryobi for sponsoring me with a wet saw for this project! Amazing tool and I’ll give you a full review of this piece of equipment soon. Seriously though, that wet saw was a game changer. We grouted so much tile in one day that I actually cried the next morning buttering waffles for my daughter because my wrist and arms hurt so bad. I lost 4 pounds in the past five weeks and it wasn’t for a lack of eating, trust me.
Regardless of the outcome, I feel like I’ve already won. I got to put in work with my best friend, my partner in crime, and my biggest cheerleader- my husband. We laughed, planned, helped one another, solved problems together, reminisced, and in the 5 weeks, I can count on one hand the number of times we got short with one another or fought. No lie, three fingers. That in and of itself is a HUGE accomplishment because people told us all the time “there’s no way I could do that with my husband/wife”.
We got to incorporate our girls into this project from demo to prep work. They had the chance to come in and see what we were doing, ask questions, and watch as we transformed this space. I want them to learn this sort of stuff, I want a lot of people to know that they can do this stuff, as it’s pretty much the reason I decided to blog. I love that my girls are watching their mom take on big DIY projects because I want them to know that gender does not dictate what you can and cannot do. Sure you may need a little extra help, but I want them to pick up these skills for when they’re older, just like I did.
Seeing all the tile finally come into place makes it worthwhile. I am in LOVE with the main floor tile with how it looks and how it feels on your feet! The variation in the color and veining is just simply gorgeous. Then of course the shower floor river rocks reminds me of a spa and it feels just as delicious on your feet. I do love that instead of laying the wall tile in the herringbone pattern, we turned it to create even more movement. Did I mention that our shower walls are 9 feet tall?? So much tile! I really do think that it all came together to give us the coastal vintage vibe I was hoping for.
Bottom line, it was a lot, but I am grateful to have had the challenge. The bigger the challenge, the more you learn and grow. Out of it came a deeper relationship with my husband, the affirmation that this is what I love to do, and a master bathroom that is everything we had hoped it to be. Thank you to Jeffrey Court for allowing me to be a part of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge!