Remodeling During A Pandemic: Kasey’s Downstairs Bathroom Journey
Hint: It might turn out more beautiful as planned.
By Kasey Hickey of Turntable Kitchen
“A million and a half years ago (approximately), we kicked off what we thought would be a 10-week renovation project. Our plan was to finish our downstairs, replacing our ancient furnace and reclaiming the space to add a third bathroom. After a bout of bad luck with our first contractor, we found a new contractor and thought we were on our way to being done with the project by March. Then, of course, the pandemic hit and everything stalled.”
But, after months and months (nearly 10!), we finally finished what we started, and we could not be happier. Pre-renovation, the space was the eyesore of our house. With hideous linoleum floors, metal siding for walls (I mean, what were the previous owners thinking?), and huge spaces there were previously used for an outdated furnace and water heater, our “laundry room” was mostly used for storage. It was also the embarrassing ‘pass between’ our upstairs (and the main floor bathroom) and our ground-floor media room that exits to our backyard/ garden.
We knew when we bought our house that this space could be amazing. But after our kitchen renovation and various other smaller projects, we had to hit pause before tackling it. Living in the house for five years, we’ve had time to figure out what works and doesn’t work for our family. And increasingly, we knew that this room would completely change our home.
The Encaustic Clay Tile
I remember well before we started our renovation, I pinned this image as inspiration. I had in my mind a vision for hex black floor tile, paired with simple subway tile. Heidi helped turn my vision into reality and took things up a notch. She selected a more unique square subway tile shape for the bathroom wall. And we teamed up with Austin-based Clay Imports on the black hex floor and shower floor tile.
Remodeling during a pandemic can be frustrating, but it pays off!Not all tile is created equal. And Clay Imports’ tile is stunningly beautiful and handmade, meaning no piece is exactly the same. The tile itself has a super smooth finish (not glossy), so it feels incredible on your bare feet.
Because it’s a bathroom, and because we have kids, we wanted to be mindful of choosing products that would be super high maintenance. Though of course we wanted nice stuff 🙂 I love that the Clay Imports encaustic clay tile is super low maintenance. The tile is fired at a high temperature that makes it resilient to moisture absorption. And, it doesn’t need to be sealed. All in all, you get the appearance of a beautiful handmade piece without a lot of effort, and you know it’s durable. We used a dark gray grout (recommended by Clay Imports).
“Every time I step into this space, I feel luxurious. I honestly sometimes just want to sit here with a cup of coffee.”