Bathroom Redo or How I Made Peace with Pink Tile

Over the last few years, we’ve slowly updated things in our old, dated bathroom.  A new light fixture here, a sink faucet there, new door pulls on the vanity.  That sort of thing.  We never were ready to shell out significant dough to redo the bathroom.  But over the last few weeks, we’ve managed to give the place a fairly major facelift for under $700.

It started off the way most of our projects do; with a “really easy” change.  I wanted to change out the old tub faucet and handles from who knows when (the 40’s maybe?) to some that were NOT corroded, actually turned and had a diverter that didn’t leak.  And, I wanted to replace the towel bar with a rack of five hooks (since we have five people that use the bathroom).  Two really easy things, right?

Except it took TEN trips to various hardware stores to find some handles that fit our tub.  No joke.

Only the faucet/diverter and the handles themselves are new.  The plate is original(?) and could not be replaced.  We just cleaned as much corrosion off of it as possible and searched and searched and went on an epic quest until we found handles that fit.

But the shiny new chrome made the recessed soap dish look so bad.  And, well, the painted tub from some prior refinishing job has been peeling for almost nine years now.  So…. we finally broke open the piggy bank and dove in.

We literally had to rip out the soap dish.

And when we did, we were unsurprised (but discouraged) to find wet wall board.

So after two days of drying it out, Rick cut away what couldn’t be saved and patched the hole.  And I re-tiled and re-grouted with tiles we found in the crawl space that matched (thank the good Lord for that find!).

It looks bad, but it was only nine tiles.  I was also replacing some loose and missing grout.  What do you think of all that pink tile?

While the grout dried, we started in with the paint.  Rick sanded the window frame and sill and I gave it a few new coats of paint.

It’s no secret that pink tile was never a dream choice of mine.  So when we moved in, I painted the bathroom blue to match my blue towels and held onto the hope that one day, we’d replace the tile.

Here is the original wall color under my old towel bar  (look pink grout lines on the floor too!).

And here is the old storage for the other various bathroom items:

And this is the new version:

All those containers were just sitting around the house.  Yay for free!

I finally wised up and realized we were not going to be replacing that pink tile anytime in the near future.  Besides, it is cheaper to buy new towels.   So we painted this sandy-cream color and installed my hooks.

And got a nice fluffy, girly rug to match my pink grout lines.

Don’t worry, I have a solid tan one that I can swap out.  I do have two little boys after all.

So, what about the horrid peeling tub?  You just know that baby was originally pink, right.

Well, here is the before in all its pink and white glory:

And here it is now:

I can’t even believe the difference.  It’s so amazing.

But it’s not even my favorite part.

Here is the only before picture I could find showing how the pink tile extends out of the tub/shower area to behind the toilet and sink all along the wall.  In it, you can also notice, just barely there, at Rick’s elbow, the old faucet handle.  And some random piece of hardware screwed into the shower wall, half-way up.  And, of course, blue paint and towels.

Here is the after shot.

With the new paint job, the girly bird-motif hand towels, and my planned chocolate brown bath towels, my bathroom actually looks good in pink.

I truly can’t decide which I’m more pleased with; the paint/towel/tile combo or the shiny new tub finish.  But either way, I’m one happy camper.

Oh, did I mention this is our only bathroom?

Yeah.  It was about time.

Categories: DIY | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Bathroom Redo or How I Made Peace with Pink Tile

  1. Connie Johnson

    What is the product you used to finish the tub? Was it easy? We have an almond colored one in the kid’s bathroom and were planning on replacing the sink and toilet with white, but there’s nothing wrong with the tub so we don’t want to take on that project. It looks great and I have no idea how you have 2 kids and manage with only one bathroom for you all.

    • Hi Connie – we hired a contractor to strip and refinish the tub. And I have three kids. We just take turns and practice being considerate of one another.

  2. Looks great! The tub refinish is amazing! I saw this on pinterest recently ,but haven’t tried it myself yet. I wonder if it would help remove that last layer of stains on the back plate?

    • Thanks Liz – Yeah, we’ve tried pretty much everything. I started with the vinegar, Dawn, baking soda, lemon juice, Bon Ami… moved up to Comet and CLR. Noting gets it shiny. 😦 Boo hoo.

  3. Teri

    I have a pink tub and pink tile. Hopefully not forever. I like what you did with yours!

  4. Thom Westergren

    Is that a camouflaged penguin hiding in your rug?

    • Ha! It does sort of look like a penguin doesn’t it? I think it’s meant to be a sparrow. ??

  5. Cynthia in Denver

    ak! I love, love, love! the rug and towels! Where did you get them??

    A note on the pink bathroom … rented an apartment in a Victorian home in upstate NY which had pink bathtub, sink basin … and yes ….. TOILET!!! As it was only me … the girly girl … I loved it. Can you see Bill agreeing to a pink bathroom now?

  6. Well great job… Had to giggle because we have that tile too as well as the pink tub and toilet to match! I always joked I was looking for a marilyn monroe picture to put up in there. All fresh and clean fixed up it works… love the old over sized tubs though. You did great, looks cute… now for some special candles and ess oils for soaking 😉

    • Wish our tub was over-sized. It’s actually very small: wall to wall the tub is 57 x 27. 😦 But it’s WHITE now!

  7. Tinny

    This is a long time coming, but I am now dealing with the same tile, with 70s wallpaper to top it off! Is anyone still listening/looking here?

  8. Tinny

    I don’t know – I’ve hated it ever since we bought this house. It might even be fun to rip it off. I even have the pink tub, too, just never painted. And it’s even 57″ long!

    Until I saw this, I had my mind set on the do over requiring knocking out all the tile, and we just can’t afford that. You’ve inspired me to try to do something with the rest of the walls, and get over the tile. I’m thinking a color wash in green, but we’ll have to see what condition the plaster is under the paper.

  9. Carlos H

    Nice work…
    I have an aluminum soap dish exactly like that.
    Could you describe in detail how you pulled it out
    Was there mortar behind it ?
    Any info would be helpful to prevent damaging the sorrouning tiles



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