Master Bathroom Vanity Makeover

By Kate Riley July 6, 2015

*This post in partnership with Floor & Decor.

I’ve always turned to paint and fabric as tools for dramatic transformations but let’s go ahead and add tile to that list too. This master bathroom vanity space has been a work in progress for six months, in it I repurposed the existing cabinet and designed around it, but the wow factor comes from this new diamond pattern backsplash tile.

diamond pattern master bathroom backsplash

This shared prep space isn’t grand in size, it’s six feet across with an eight foot ceilng but the problem was it was stuck in the late 80s with its builder grade cabinets, shiny brass fixtures, and dated vanity lights. I knew I could make it a stunner with the help of some beautiful tile, fresh fixtures and paint – voila!

Six months ago:

master vanity before

Today:

master vanity diamond tile backsplash

 

Back in January, we reworked the existing vanity to create a floating vanity by removing the countertop and base and building a new support system. I also reversed the doors to take advantage of the Shaker style on the other side.

builder grade turned floating vanity

reverse doors

 

Now the style is far more contemporary!

master vanity makeover diamond backsplash tile

 

Matt reminded me of something I had forgotten. When we first bought this house last year, the entry to the master bathroom had saloon doors, with it came a few John Wayne impersonations… "Hey little lady, what say we ride into the sunset over to them pretty red rock mountains …."

I never understood the need for these doors, they were so strange and blocked all the light from the bedroom, also unnecessary for privacy since the shower room is separate. Check out those old blinds and balloon valances too, aw yeah.

saloon doors

 

The entrance is so much better with no doors and natural light!

master bath vanity entrance

I replaced the medicine cabinet on the right with a simple beveled edge version and removed the medicine cabinet on the left by filling in the gap with framing and drywall to allow for a ring towel holder. I also repainted the vanity a different color, this is Silver Marlin by Benjamin Moore, it has a green undertone to complement the tile, better than the blue undertone present in the previous Winter Solstice it was painted before. 

But back to the tile. It comes in boxes and I shopped for it at Floor and Decor. This is the diamond pattern Carrara White Caribbean Green Mosaic, I spied it online and went into their store to check it out in person and was Insta smitten, the diamonds are grey and white and the diagonal pieces are all shades of green, some light some dark, the variegated tones makes it more interesting up close. 

tile in boxes

 

I had never been to a Floor & Decor store before, I was impressed with the selection, prices, and the quantities! The stores are HUGE, 60,000-80,000 square feet and each store stocks thousands of tile, stone, and wood products, ready to take with you for your project because they keep hundreds of square feet in stock. They carry tile, wood, laminate, and vinyl plank flooring, countertops (butcher block and granite), and supplies for installation of all these surfaces.

floor and decor 1

floor and decor 2

floor and decor 5

The manager Bill gave me a tour of the Las Vegas store (thanks Bill!) and I learned they source directly from manufacturers around the globe to guarantee the lowest prices. I had great customer service, Floor & Decor also has a design center with on site inspiration offering free design services to help you pull a look together.

floor and decor 4

floor and decor 3

 

For the design of this space I chose overhead vanity lights instead of sconces. I love a sconce/mirror combo with a single sink but for this double sink there wasn’t quite enough space on the sides of the mirrors, so I chose vanity bath lights. Also since the ceiling height is eight feet, the vanity lights above elongate the space and draw the eyes up as does the diamond tile installed in the vertical direction.

master vanity diamond tile backsplash

 

The countertops are Caesarstone, I’ll have more to share on this quartz surface after the kitchen remodel reveal since we installed the same surface in there. I also opted for chrome faucets and oval mirrors below the nickel vanity lights – see sources below.

master vanity makeover side view

 

vanity mirror countertop

 

white oval vanity mirror

 

faucet and countertop

 

ring towl holder

 

 

vanity and countertop

 

diamond pattern backsplash

Additional bathroom sources: oval mirrors (spray painted gloss white) / oval undermount sinks / nickel bath light / chrome faucets / hardware #21022 / towel ring

Installing a mosaic tile backsplash isn’t difficult, I’ve done it myself in bathrooms and in kitchens and even tiled planters before. For this project I hired a helper because I didn’t have a tile saw in Las Vegas among my tools. You can rent them of course but instead I enlisted the help of the same subcontractor who helped us install the tile floors to bring over his tile saw and help install the tile on the wall.

The process is simple, there are so many tutorials online, but here are the basics: prep the wall and make sure it can support your tile, repair any damage necessary. We had removed the large mirror and needed to patch the wall in a few places where the previous glass adhesive had torn away bits of the drywall. We also had to move the electrical wires over 5 inches so that the overhead vanity lights would be centered over the faucets (move electrical wires with caution and make sure to turn off power! hire an electrician if necessary!)

wall prep move electrical

 

Apply a thinset mortar or tile adhesive with a trowel, use a level to ensure the tile is even.

tile adhesive and trowel

A tile saw is a necessary tool for the side, top, and bottom cuts, also if you’re working around light switches. If you’re inexperienced definitely hire a professional but you can also rent a tile saw and do it yourself.

tile saw

There were a few sheets of tile that had really dark green diagonal pieces which I didn’t care for so I removed them and substituted lighter pieces with a box cutter blade.

dark green pieces

Allow the tile to set for a day then apply the grout with a grout float, wipe it down with a sponge, you can buy premixed or dry grout and mix it up yourself.

grout and sponge

 

grout instructions

 

I couldn’t be happier with this tile! It did require some tweaks to get this it just right, selecting the individual sheets in the store and removing a few of the dark pieces, but wow, I think it’s absolutely stunning, I wish you could see it in person and touch it too.

master vanity tile

 

diamond pattern backsplash tile

 

     diamond pattern backsplash

 

*This tile project and post is sponsored by Floor & Decor, the tile for this project was complimentary and I was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own.

56 comments

  1. Such a great idea to reverse the doors to the other side. Never thought of that. Love the tile!

  2. Genius idea to flip the doors! Did you have to do anything special with the hinges?

    • I just painted right over the hinges Allison, and the grout is Bright White Melinda to match the countertop.
      Thanks so much everyone, I love it toooooo !

  3. Wow that looks amazing! Such a brighter and spa like look, it definitely makes the room feel spacious and glamorous. That diamond tile is fabulous and looks so good with the vanity.

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs
    xx

  4. You have done what I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time.
    I have changed my cabinet to white but now need the builders grade
    large mirror out of there.. Lovely job and great looking too!
    Sandy

  5. this is where we bought the tile for our new master shower too, I love this store!

    You bathroom is absolutely beautiful, what a fabulous improvement!

  6. The vanity and tile look amazing! I love your light fixtures above the mirrors. Where did you get them?

  7. It’s beautiful! How did you hang the mirrors? Did you put a nail through the grout? If so, did you need to make sure the grout was centered over the sink?

    • Hey Kelly, it’s a screw into the grout, we adjusted the hooks on the back to make it work, but you can also drill through tile with the proper drill bit.
      Kate

  8. It took me a few looks to understand the door switching…and then, it was SO obviously the thing to do! Lovely transformation…you make it sound so easy! It’s a gift. Every little decision paralyzes me…which is why my baths are stuck in the ’70’s….one with ripped off wallpaper, never painted or replaced…;/

  9. Absolutely beautiful and brilliant, Kelly. My 1980’s vanity area off the master is this same size ceiling height currently with old oak vanity sink area and drop-down makeup area, ugly and impractical. Your bath redo goes to the top in my inspiration file. Very nice recognition at Maria Killam’s Facebook!

  10. Beautiful! You did such a great job in choosing the tile and the color of the paint. I LOVE the tile. Great job!

  11. So gorgeous, Kate! I love all of this and the tile is such a statement, but my favorite part is how you reworked the existing cabinets into something that looks so much more custom and high end. I’m glad you didn’t try to repurpose the saloon doors though. ;)

  12. Kate, its gorgeous! Quick question – how do you paint the cabinets? It is by hand with brushes or with a sprayer? I ask because I’ve repainted a cabinet by hand but it took a lot of work to ensure I eliminated brush strokes and sanded between coats, etc. Any tips on simplifying the process while getting a beautiful finish?

    What topcoat do you use?

    Sorry for the questions but your work is stunning and I would love to replicate it just a bit!

  13. Such a gorgeous transformation – the tile definitely makes it! Love the sconces too. That silvery gray penny tile in the store display is lovely too!

  14. Beautiful! I hope you’re proud of your work. Truly stunning! And thanks so much for the door flipping tip. I wouldn’t have thought of it and won’t forget it now! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I love the idea of flipping them! We have similar cabinets (don’t like them as is with the wood tone) off to check and see if they can be flipped! thanks!

  16. I bought my shower tiles and marble from Floor & Decor also. That place is huge and has great prices.beautiful transformation. Another successful project.

  17. Love the tile. I pickedthe same thing for an accent, approx 2’x3′, rectangle behind my cooktop. Except, mine has green diamonds, and white diagonals. The tiny connecting diamonds , and the 1″ half round”framing” around it are golden onyx which pick up the color of the natural maple cabinets. It was a splurge but definitely worth it. I’ll have to see if there’s a Floor & Decor anywhere around me.

    • Sounds beautiful Bernie!
      Ha Lorraine, tis true, remodels always take SO much more time than planned. :)

  18. I started my master bath around the same time as you and couldn’t wait to see what you were going to do. It looks fabulous! Since mine was not a complete renovation, but instead an updating and upgrading, I thought it would be completed within a month. When it ended up taking over 5 months, I thought there was something wrong with me for sure and at times felt overwhelmed. It’s apparent your an organized experienced person, so I was relieved to see this project took six months. With so many decisions to make, these things take time.

  19. Everything is truly beautiful. Could you please tell me what the color name is for the caesarstone and is it a pure bright white as it appears in the pictures. Thank you

    • Yes Pure White Susan!
      I forgot to mention we plan on redoing the shower and including the same tile in the shampoo niche – but that remodel won’t happen until winter.

  20. All I can say is WOW! I love reading about your transformations and this one is a stunner!

  21. Love that tile! How do you think it would work on a floor or shower wall (perhaps as accent)? Or will I hate keeping all that grout clean? Nearest Floor and Decor is about 100 miles away but sounds worth the drive since I can hit Ikea and Ballard Designs outlet as well.

  22. HI, I’ve been following you for the last two years and I am so impressed with your work. It is always so fresh and beautiful. Every time, friends want to work on a wood project, I always encourage them to look up your website. God has given you an amazing gift. Thanks for sharing it with us, the readers.

  23. Kate, your bathroom makeover just takes my breath away! I look forward to all your presentations.

    Rita

  24. Beautiful and relaxing bathroom. Another well done project. You are amazing!

  25. Such a glamorous, diamond tile – I love it! You had a great idea to reversing the doors. It’s very feminine and subtle bathroom… After change, it looks so spacious, aesthetically and modern. You’ve done a great transformation – the bathroom is perfect! Congrats

  26. A stunning transformation!! You are truly gifted. Reversing the doors makes a huge difference, the tile is off the charts gorgeous, & your paint color is beautiful. Wondering if you have tutorials on how to make hinge holes invisible when reversing doors, & also the painting of those doors.

    • Hi Diane, I just filled the hinge holes with wood filler then sanded the wood filler before priming and painting :)

  27. Beautiful bathroom! We are remodeling ours and can’t wait for the details on your quartz countertop!

  28. Beautiful transformation! We’re just about to redo our entire bathroom. The only thing we’re keeping is the vanity, which I will be painting. Could you tell us where you got the gorgeous light fixtures? I’m still looking for a light fixture for our bathroom and the ones you found look perfect! Thanks a lot.

  29. Amazing final reveal. Love the idea of tile up the wall and the cabinet reversal. Genius. As well as floating vanity. Perfection. Thanks for the eye candy

  30. I have to agree with Mary Beth. That’s exactly what I was going to say. As I was looking through the pictures, I noticed the design on the doors were different and wondered how you did that. The I saw that you just reversed them and I was honestly surprised! What a great idea! I might do this to my bathroom now.Thanks for sharing!

  31. What were the steps in removing the wall mirror? I have one I’d like to remove myself if possible.

  32. I have to say, this is the most gorgeous bathroom DIY makeover I’ve ever seen–by far! You have such a flair for envisioning and pulling awesome components together into one, magical beauty. LOVE!!

    I had noticed the back of my own bathroom cabinet doors having the same contemporary shaker style, but I can’t switch mine unless I heavily fill & paint (wanted to gel stain), because they have those HUGE, recessed hidden hinges. But in the thinking, I realized…the faux drawer fronts also can be reversed! They don’t have shaker trim on the other side, like the doors, but neither do they have that telltale tapered edge of the 90s cabinets. I know that won’t help for real drawer fronts, but my powder room only has faux drawer fronts, which aren’t even glued in–those are typically clamped in, & easy to reverse. To “contemporarize” real drawer fronts & even doors, I’ve been toying with the idea of laying a flat, shaker-style frame (diy) over the existing one, then using wood filler on the little gap at the outside (again, possibly necessitating paint, but at least no huge hinges to deal with detaching & reattaching). Then in the inner part of the frame, just glue in a tiny concave quarter-round or other petite trim.

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