That Time I Cried Over Tile (AKA Powder Room Makeover)

I will preface this post by saying that our powder room renovation took about six months to complete (a job that could be done in about a week if you’re working on it full time); I was pregnant at the time; and chasing after a busy toddler. I find it funny when people say “busy” toddler, like there are any other kind…but just in case you were curious, she was and is a BUSY toddler. But nonetheless, I cried…I cried a lot! More on that soon.

Here’s what our powder room and entry looked like before.

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I’m including the entry in this post because we tackled both spaces at the same time. The tile flows through both areas and, well, the title of this post says it all.

The very first thing we did in the house was replace the toilets. Shaun has this weird cute connection with his practical grown up purchases. His very first grown up purchase was his lawnmower. When we first met, whenever he talked about his lawnmower, he had a little twinkle in his eye. He was so proud of it. He washed it after every mow. He sharpened the blades and meticulously winterized it when mowing season was over. He had the same glow when he purchased his sofas (big, ugly sofas), and his chainsaw, and now…toilets! Apparently these babies are top of the line toilets. They have flushing power you wouldn’t believe…or some crap like that. All I know is they cost a small fortune and toilets aren’t the place I’d like to be dropping my dough, but when Shaun spends more than he needs to on an item I make a mental note, put it in my back pocket, and fire it out when he’s trying to tell me we don’t need a wall hung faucet or a fancy pants light fixture.

Okay…the tile story. At this point we had been living with a demoed powder room for about 4 or 5 months. I was very preggo now and had to haul my large arse upstairs every time I had to pee, which was every 5 minutes. I know, poor me, right? We had purchased the tile, which we got for a great price through one of Shaun’s suppliers. I purposely chose the 6″x24″ option so we could lay a herringbone pattern on the floors. The floor was prepped and ready for tile. We decided that Mickey and I would go to my parents for the day so Shaun could get the tile done. Keep in mind that any time “we” wanted to get work done I would have to take Mickey out of the house for the day (dust, noise, no sleepy, etc.). We had now spent many weekends parting ways so Shaun could do work on the house. But this was it…he was going to lay tile and it was going to really start looking like a finished space. The night before Shaun decided that a herringbone probably wasn’t going to work. You see, Shaun is a “tile guy” (as he often likes to remind me when I say something like “Well, can’t you just do it like this?”). He does this for a living and he is a perfectionist. Although this is a good thing, it’s also annoying as hell when trying to get things done in our own house. If Shaun was my contractor and not my husband the conversation would go something like this,

Me: I’d like the tile to be laid in a herringbone pattern.

Shaun: After prepping the floor, I’ve realized that I may not be able to get the tile perfectly level and some may be a few millimeters out if I lay a herringbone pattern.

Me: Would it be noticeable?

Shaun: Not at all, but I will know.

Me: No problem, please do it anyway.

Shaun: Okay, no problem.

Because Shaun is my husband and not my contractor, the conversation went like this,

Me: I’d like the tile to be laid in a herringbone pattern.

Shaun: Can’t do it

Me: Why?

Shaun: Because it won’t be perfect and I can’t live with that.

Me: But will it even be noticeable?

Shaun: No, but I will notice it and I can’t live with that.

Me: But I want herringbone!

Shaun: No

Me: Crying like a little baby.

After I re-evaluated my life and (somewhat) realized I was being ridiculous, we laid out a few different patterns on the floor.

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Shaun thought the stacked pattern would be best. I was very against the stacked but after seeing it laid out, I thought it wasn’t so bad. Looking at these pictures now I know I was definitely an emotional pregnant mess at the time because I really do love all three patterns.

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The other option was a staggered pattern. I liked this much more than the stacked pattern so this is what we decided on.

So the next day, Mickey and I and my big preggo belly headed off to my parents which is about 45 minutes away from where we live. I was so excited, knowing I would be coming home to a tiled floor! Then I got a text from Shaun late in the afternoon. He had laid the tile in a staggered pattern…then he pulled it all up! It wasn’t perfect. And then I cried…and cried…and cried some more. At this point, Shaun was thinking that the tile we had already purchased for the floors and wainscotting in the bathroom just wasn’t going to work. So…I cried…again.

Fast forward to some time later (honestly it was all a blur at that point, and I think I’ve blocked it out). Shaun had an epiphany and said to me one morning, “So, um, I think I might be able to do a herringbone pattern”. And I said something like, “ARE YOU F#@%ING KIDDING ME??”

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And, BAM…we have tile!

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We did a tiled wainscot as well (not grouted yet in the above pic), in a staggered pattern. Shaun used a lot of mud to get these tiles just so. As a result we had to add a tiny ledge all the way around the top, but I think it looks great.

So there you have it. I cried A LOT all over tile. Man, I’m a loser. I’m going to chalk it up to being pregnant, and I’m neva eva eva doing that again, so we should be good. Anyway, all’s well that ends well. Here’s what our entry and powder room look like now.


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Our front door was another crazy project, but I’ll save that story for another day. I love how it turned out!

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The Hemnes shoe cabinet from Ikea is perfect for the small entry.

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We painted the powder room door the same colour as the front door, which is also the same colour as the fireplace. It’s a gooooood colour! (Sherwin Williams – Dark Night) Because it’s a fairly small, open space, I wanted some continuity without everything just being white. The walls are Sherwin Williams – Snowbound.


We toyed with a few different ideas for our vanity, but I knew I wanted something really unique. We thought of doing a live edge slab of wood, which also would have been very cool, but once I found this cabinet on kijiji I thought it would make such a great vanity. When I measured it and realized it would fit perfectly, I knew it was meant to be! Because we used a piece of furniture for our vanity we needed a vessel sink to finish it off. The size of the vanity limited our choices, but I loved the idea of a square sink so we could still have a little counter space for a soap dish. In order to do that we needed to offset the sink, and therefore the faucet as well, which I think turned out really nicely. For those of you that need symmetry in your life, I’m sorry.

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The wall hung faucet was one thing I dreamed of having. Because it’s such a small space, and we used an inexpensive porcelain tile and thrifted vanity, we (I) decided splurging on the faucet really wasn’t so bad, and it would make such a statement in the bathroom that would be used the most. The faucet I was originally looking at was actually much more expensive than this one. Shaun showed his friends at the local plumbing store what I was looking for and they sourced this equally beautiful, but much more budget friendly faucet. I searched for the perfect mirror for a long time as well. The good thing about not rushing through a reno is that you have lots of time to source some really great pieces. I knew I wanted a round mirror, but just wasn’t happy with the ones I was seeing. I kept checking back at Homesense and finally found the perfect one there. I love that it has a midcentury modern vibe that works really well with the vanity.

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The pendant lights were a Pinterest inspired idea. They are a great way to add more dramatic lighting to a small space. We went with simple industrial style pendants with a dark blue cord and mirrored edison bulb. I bought these in a DIY kit that we (Shaun) had to assemble. Sources here, here and here.

I love our powder room so much. Mostly because it’s the only room in the house that is fully complete (and actually there is still some caulking and touch ups to do, but whatever!) Our main floor is looking like a real home now. We just have the kitchen to do before it’s complete, but that won’t be happening until at least one of the kids is in school, or we win the lottery…I better start buying lottery tickets!



8 thoughts on “That Time I Cried Over Tile (AKA Powder Room Makeover)

  1. Awesome Job. Love herringbone pattern and love Sherwin Williams paint…:). Very unique powder room…love the mirrow and vanity.


  2. Loved the article – made me laugh! I fully empathize with you- also being married to a tile guy. Powder room looks great. You should post it on Pinterest !


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