This post contains affiliate links which gives me a small commission if you shop through the link with no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my page. Tile for this project was donated by Bedrosians Tile and Stone.
Over the last 3 months we have taken my friend Jess’s bathroom down to the studs (quite literally) and transformed her dated and cramped primary bathroom into a retreat. I’m shocked at how spacious, airy, and luxurious her bathroom looks and feels and all of this… fit into that!
Jess’s bathroom was a builder grade 2004 bathroom with a lipstick renovation in 2008 before she purchased the home. The original vanity sat at the bottom of my hips and I’m 5’6″ (meanwhile Jess is 5’8″ and her husband is 6’5″). Bending to wash her face or brush her teeth was a serious issue. The vanity, while it contained a decent amount of counter space it was only a single sink and the cabinet box itself was falling apart.
The insert shower was cramped especially for how tall they both are, and the shower head was so low Evan had to duck to wash his hair. In addition to the tiny shower was a large garden tub which no one used with the exception of her 3 year old. For her family, the bath was waisted space. The tile floor was also a reno from the original home. The previous homeowner decided to tile on top of the peel and stick linoleum which raised the floor of the bathroom almost a whole inch from the bedroom carpet with a toe stub lip. There was also some leaking issues around the toilet and shower which we discovered during demo which meant mold.
We stripped everything down to basically the studs except for the walls that had drywall. We removed the moldy subfloor and replaced it with a brand-new subfloor, then used Schluter Ditra to waterproof the floors and shower floor.
For this bathroom we ventured over to our local Bedrosians showroom to select our tile.
If you live in SLC, Utah its located in South Salt Lake out by the airport.
After the dirty demo came the rebuild phase. We laid down ditra to waterproof the floor. Note we did raise the floor 1/4″ with an extra sheet of plywood so the floors are higher than the shower area. This is to prevent water from exiting the shower and flooding the floors. In hindsight we could have added 1/2″ instead of 1/4″. Another option would be to drop the floor in the shower lower.
To install the ditra be sure to use Schluters special mortar otherwise the ditra won’t stick. We tiled overtop of the ditra with Bedrosians Glorious White tile in 18×18″. They are seriously stunning. The veins on them are subtle and the tile comes in both polished and brushed (shiny and matte). We chose polished for this room.
INSTALL TIP: when installing large format tile, use suction cups to help pick up the tile and wiggle into position. It will save your back and prevent your fingers from getting crushed. Also be sure to use leveling spacers when installing tile in the floor! This will prevent one edge of a tile being lifted higher and your toe getting stubbed on it.
Once the floors were complete we began leveling the shower pan using a combination of the ditra kerdi waterproofing membrane and the Schluter mortar. There’s a thin layer of mortar applied to the subfloor followed by the ditra kerdi, then topped with more mortar that is sloped towards the drain. To save on cost we opted to use HardieBacker with HydroDefense which is 100% waterproofed cement board. Because the actual board is waterproof we only. needed to mortar and redgard the seams.
Since we are sloping the floor towards the drain for this curbless shower, we chose a mosaic tile (tile thats on a sheet) for ease of install to get the tile so it was “level” aka, not level, but sloped to the drain!
This mosiac herringbone tile is also from Bedrosians.
Anytime you are tiling a shower wall, you want to start with a level line and not on the floor. Remember the floor is intentionally not level because it’s sloping towards the drain so we used a scrap piece of trim and some brad nails to temporarily put up 2 guide boards so we were straight, and level!
The tile we picked is a blue-grey matte picket tile from Bedrosians. It can be installed vertically or horizontally depending on your space.
We tiled the window wall first, then the two shorter walls. Once the tile was installed from the board to the ceiling and given time for the tile adhesive to dry (we use Acrylpro on the walls because it’s extra sticky so the tiles don’t slide). We removed the guide boards and then proceeded to fill in the first row of tiles cutting each one to size. Step by step on how to tile, demo and renovate your spaces is taught in my online course DIY Beginner Basics.
The Budget Breakdown
For this project we were lucky enough to have two sponsors donating their products to be showcased in this space. But I love giving real budgets of materials and supplies so if you are planning to tackle a project like this one, you know what to expect.
- Supplies from Home Depot (Mortar, Schluter, Ditra, Trim for window, tiling supplies, plumbing parts, subfloor, Hardie waterproof board): $1,850
- Home Depot Vanity: $900
- Mirror, Light, Glass track, Accessories: $815
- Delta fixtures: Gifted
- Glass: Gifted
- Tile: Gifted
- Labor: FREE 🙂
The total cost had none of the products been gifted was around $9500, but that isn’t to say that you couldn’t do a very similar bathroom for thousands more or thousands less! It will 100% depend on the finishes you select ie: tile, lighting, vanity, fixtures.
To be honest, I was actually expecting us to come in under $2500, but the waterproofing supplies and the Schluter Ditra system is expensive. We did save a few hundred dollars by using the Hardie cement board on the walls, but just know if you are doing this large of a shower + the floor, the supplies will add up.
If we were to take all the same supplies and hire this bathroom out, it would have easily cost $20,000-30,000 for labor and materials. When you decide to DIY and take the labor portion out it will cut your cost by 40-50% (also why I am so passionate about teaching others HOW TO DO IT and not just doing it for them).
We were expecting the glass to cost a $200-400 as Jess has a family member who works at a local glass store and we were trying to get hold of a remnant piece of glass. They did have a remnant that would fit and when she went to pay, they said she could have it for free which was a huge blessing and cost savings! I would say if you are buying from a local glass shop a tempered piece a glass 84″ x 70″ anticipate spending around $1000.
If your bathroom is similar is size and shape to Jess’s here are the square footage numbers we used to calculate the cost of our tile. Always add 10% to your sq footage for broken tile or cuts.
Room dimensions: 8ft x 9ft
Shower dimensions: 8ft long x 3 1/2 ft wide x 8 ft tall
Tile: shower floor 30 sq ft
Bathroom floor: 52 sq ft
Shower walls: 125 sq ft
Calculation: (shower floor sq ft x cost of tile per sq ft) x 1.1 = total cost of shower floor tile.
example: (30sq ft x $9.99) x 1.1 = $329.67
The Finished Bathroom
Floor Tile: Bedrosians Glorious White 18×18 Polished
Shower Floor Tile: Bedrosians Magnifica Herringbone 1×4 polished
Wall Tile: Bedrosians Reine 3×12” Picket Gentlemen Grey Matte
Wall Color: Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams in satin sheen.
Ceiling: Flat White Zinsser goes on pink, dries white
Wall Grout: Mapei Biscuit
Shower Grout: Mapei Biscuit
Floor Grout: Mapei White
Delta Proclean Hand Shower
Shampoo wall mount bottles
Toilet paper holder
60″ double sink vanity
Glass fixed panel track
Glass wall to glass support bar