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Kids Bathroom Upgrade

Builder Grade Bathroom Refresh Using the New Marazzi Epiclean Anti-Microbial Tile

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So happy to share my most recent room renovation, the Kid’s bathroom! I partnered with Home Depot and Marazzi Tile to breathe new life into this super basic, builder-grade bathroom. Over the course of a few weekends, and more than a few super late weeknights I was able to create an interesting and fun new space for my kids to cover in toothpaste and miss the toilet.

Speaking of missing the toilet — one of the main issues I had with the old tile was that it was seemingly impossible to keep clean. It had white grout and a million grout joints so no matter how much I scrubbed and how many different products I tried, I could never get it to look clean.

I was so excited when Home Depot reached out to me and asked me if I was interested in working with them on a tile project using the new Marazzi EpicClean tile…I knew immediately that I would use it to replace the dingy old tile in the bathroom.

This tile has over 99% Antimicrobial Protection, which defends against bacteria for the life of the tile which is great since three kids share this bathroom, and those kids are eventually gonna be three stinky teenagers.

I started off the project with demo. I removed basically everything with the exception of the fiberglass shower which is still in really good shape. The hardest part of the demo was removing the old tile. The builder had installed the tile on top of a backerboard which was attached to the plywood subfloor with thinset which meant it was extremely difficult to remove. Luckily Home Depot tool rental came to the rescue and I was able to rent a demolition hammer with a scraper bit. There was still a lot of adhesive left on the subfloor so I used a Ryobi grinder with a diamond cup attachment and a dust shroud to grind off the last of the material.

Getting the subfloor flat was important because I used a Schluter Systems uncoupling membrane as the new substrate for my tile. This membrane acts as a separation and water barrier between the Plywood subfloor, which naturally expands and contracts with the house, and the tile that sits on top of it. Since this effectively decouples the two surfaces, the grout joints are less likely to crack. Also, this product is incredibly easy to install with just a small amount of thinset. It can be cut with a basic utility knife and comes in a roll that is super easy to get home in a regular car or it can be shipped to you via — I used this method for almost all of my materials by the way!

After the membrane was installed, I installed the tile. I went with the Marazzi tile in a 12x24 inch format in the “Arabescato” color. I wanted something that resembled natural stone and I also wanted a larger format tile to minimize the amount of grout lines in the tiny bathroom.

The tile itself was super easy to install, the biggest complication was working in such a tight space … you can imagine I ran out of places to stand super quickly. I used a notch trowel to spread out the thinset and set my new tiles down in a “running bond” pattern which really helped to visually lengthen the narrow bathroom.

I used the QEP “Lash Tile Leveling System” to ensure all my tiles were nice and level. This system is really cool because it uses a “T-shaped” tile spacer that sits under two adjacent tiles and then a “lash” is installed through a hole which basically sandwiches the two tiles in the middle of the two parts of the spacer. This ensures the two tiles meet each other at the exact same height, thus leveling out your floor and creating nice flat grout joints. I am not joking when I say I will never go back to traditional tile spacers again.

Once the tile was set, I let it cure for 24 hours according to the instructions on the thinset. Then I knocked the spacers out with a rubber mallet. After it was cured I used Polyblend non-sanded grout in the color “Rolling Fog” which is a nice dark grey color. I kept my grout joints at 1/8th inch because I really wanted them to be as small as possible for maintenance reasons. This part of the project was super easy and quick. After the grout was floated in, I went back with a sponge approximately one million times to remove all the grout haze. After that cured for 24 hours, I was ready to move forward with the rest of the bathroom install.

I added new baseboards, new door casings, bead board, chair rail, and painted it all in the same color, including the door. I went with Behr “Everblooming”. The top half of the space got some funky zebra peel and stick wallpaper.

Because I’m all about keeping costs low, I replaced the vanity with a second hand piece I found on Offerup and it was the perfect fit. After the vanity was installed, I used a coordinating mosaic tile from Marazzi to create an awesome new backsplash feature above the sinks.

On the tile wall, I installed a new light fixture to replace the boring builder grade one that was there previously and I brought in a couple of cool arched mirrors from Home Depot.

I am so happy with the way this bathroom turned out and I couldn’t have done it without Home Depot’s great product selection and Marazzi with their beautiful EpicClean Tile.

This bathroom is fun and funky with that classic marble bathroom look that I could never keep clean if it was actually real marble. I have the best of both worlds with this new tile and the kids absolutely love their new bathroom!

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