Create a relaxing guest bathroom in your basement

One of the first projects we wanted to tackle in this house was the guest suite.  If we were going to tear up our bathrooms upstairs, we needed to make sure we had a functioning shower while the other two were out of commission.  I have never done a bathroom renovation before, let alone building one from scratch so this project was really fun and exciting!

When we first started planning the bathroom, google was my best friend (and our friend Steve, who flips homes).  Once we determined the size of the bathroom, we had to figure out the layout, which was harder than I expected!  We had to make sure that everything was spaced to code and I wanted to avoid making it feel like a basement bathroom that was just an afterthought.

The large storage room where we would use half of the space for a bathroom

I found this free program online to create the layout. We did not go with the layout below but it was one of the versions we played around with.  In this version, we didn't like the empty space around the toilet and also decided we wanted the door to swing the other way.

Bathroom/bedroom layout

Next we had to rely on the professionals to complete the following specialized tasks (Thanks Thumbtack!!):

  1. Cutting into the cement floor for the plumbing

  2. Plumbing

  3. Framing (My hubby could do this but we got a good deal on the bathroom and bedroom)

  4. Heating

  5. Electrical

  6. Drywall

And here is what I learned when cutting into cement in your storage room...just pulling objects off of the floor does not prevent them from flying debri and getting dust ALL over them!  I definitely would have taken more time prepping the storage room because it is still a dusty mess.

Framing and plumbing for the bathroom in the basement

With this renovation I also REALLY wanted to try tiling and thought the basement bathroom would be the safest place to test it out. We purchased our tiles at Home Depot and the floor tiles went down great! The floor tiles were a really good deal and since we purchased them, I swear I see this tile in every flipped home or new construction build!

Home Depot floor tile

This was when we started to run into issues.  First, I had insisted on being the one to grout because I felt I was more detail oriented than my husband, but quickly realized the positioning was not ideal for someone 5 months pregnant.  

Second, I had been reading all of my handy dandy blogs and learned about pre-mixed grout so I picked up a version that was not the most expensive but also not the cheapest without looking at reviews. NOT A GOOD IDEA!  I started grouting and then went back to wipe it off about 15 minutes later and it would not come off of the tiles! I started to freak out and called Chris downstairs to see what I had done and he was not amused.  We spent a few more hours finishing the grout and trying to wipe off the grout quickly but it still looked absolutely terrible.  

Here is what our beautiful tile looked like after we added the grout. I was so mad I wanted to cry!

The floor tiles after we used a cheap grout and could not clean the tiles properly

Once I realized how bad the floors looked, I did what any normal person would do and went straight to the product reviews on the Home Depot website and let out some of my frustrations. :)  

If I would have looked at the product reviews prior to using the product I would have seen that most people had the same experience as me and would not recommend using it.  So if you are looking for a premixed grout, do NOT go with Simple Grout for filling in the cracks!

I would NOT recommend this grout for floor tiles.

I would NOT recommend this grout for floor tiles.

Because I was pregnant, I could not participate in cleaning up my mess with chemicals, so Chris had to spend the next few days scrubbing the floors.  Nothing was working so he went to The Tile Shop and picked up a product that finally worked...BLAZE!  Sounds pretty hard core, huh?  This product I WOULD recommend to get off tough grout haze! :)

The life saving product that cleaned the grout off of our new tiles

Here are the floors once Blaze was done kicking its ass.  Blaze is my hero.

Grouted floor tiles with the haze removed

Next up was tiling the shower.  Again, I was convinced I wanted to do this tiling but sitting on the edge of a tub with a big ol' belly for hours on end was not ideal for this lady.  I also chucked the Simple Grout to the curb and had Chris mix up some basic grout.  Turns out I wasn't great with this product either!  We could not get the right consistency to get it to stick to the walls, so most of it was falling off into the tub.  After the second failed attempt and a lot of pouting/whining from me, Chris went out and bought the most expensive premixed grout at Home Depot and it worked beautifully!  I never knew a grout could make me SO happy. 

Here is the grout that got the job done and that I will be using again if I ever do a tile project.

Premixed grout I would recommend for your tiling projects

And here was the shower once the tiling was finished!

Tiled shower with Home Depot Tiles

We purchased the vanity, mirror and accessories at Home Depot and the light fixtures at Lowes.  The storage unit behind the shower was found at At Home.

Here is the finished product!

The inviting basement guest bathroom

This storage unit from At Home fit perfectly in the bathroom nook

This bathroom came out even better than I expected and I know our guests have enjoyed the privacy of a guest bathroom connected to their bedroom.