Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stick It To Me: Tiled Vanity Floor

So as I've mentioned before, we rent.  Renting is a great opportunity for us right now, but I haven't loved some of the things we inherited from the previous people who inhabited this space.  

Exhibit A:

This is the space underneath the sink in the master/first floor bath.  Who knows what has leaked here in the past or what products were spilled to result in this disaster or who knows what else.  I shudder to even think about that.  

Since we rent, replacing isn't exactly something that we are thrilled about doing, and unfortunately, I don't think a layer of contact paper would do the trick.  What happens if something leaks in the future?  I mean it is a bathroom. Leaks happen.

Enter a recent trip to Habitat for Humanity ReStore with my mom.  As a former Habitat building volunteer, I appreciate the concept behind ReStore.  As an avid DIYer, I LOVE looking at all of the possibilities in the store.  Not to mention, its eco friendly to re-do and re-use, and it's at an economical price!

We went in looking for a remnant piece of counter-top to try a DIY project on, but found a stack of peel-n-stick tiles for a whopping 25 cents a piece. 
::Can you see the lightbulbs going off like crazy in my head?::

Exhibit B:

I guesstimated the amount I needed, since measuring my bathroom cabinet would have costed over 2 hours in travel and gas expenses, and there was a cabinet there that was similar enough to be used as a surrogate to exact measurements.  Did you know ReStore also has measuring tape on site for customer use?  Pretty handy!  My mom even graciously added on my 7 tiles to the piece of countertop, which I believe was less than $4 itself, and we were in business!  
(Thanks mom for the $1.75 contribution to making our place a little nicer!)

I've used peel-n-stick tiles in our pantry in the past, but this time, I decided to document the process on my phone.  Lo siento for the poor cell phone pictures. (Betcha didn't know this was a bilingual blog, eh?)

I started by clearing everything out of the space, wiping down the surface with clorox wipes, and laid my first tile in the front corner. 

The tiles come with a peel off backing, so they are almost like giant stickers.  I used a rubber mallet to help seal the edges, but firm pressure is generally all you need!

What you can't tell from these pictures is how uneven the bottom of the cabinet is, which made me nervous as I laid down the tiles. I trucked on, lining up the tiles until full tiles would no longer fit, then using a utility knife and a straight edge to score the remaining tiles 2-3 times a piece. The tiles snapped cleanly by simply bending the tile along the scored line, which resulted in a near perfect fit.  Then, I utilized my handy rubber mallet to really tack down all of the corners, and placed a few heavy objects in places I wasn't so sure about.  The whole process took me less than 20 minutes.  Ready for the transformation?



WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO DO THIS?  So much of an improvement and all for $1.75 and 20 minutes of time.  You can still see the lines of tile, but based on how uneven the surface is, I'm pretty happy with the outcome!  Not to mention it is a completely wipeable surface, and I have one whole tile left should I need to peel off one of the existing tiles and replace it.  

From another angle: 

Now I don't feel so bad putting my toilet paper and other essentials below the sink.  Not to mention, I may or may not leave the door open nonchalantly to see those beautiful tiles where gross stains used to be.  

In this end, this project seemed a lot like a "Dude Get On That Already" challenge from Young House Love.  I think they are onto something with those little nagging projects that are so simple and make such a big impact, but we for some reason delay actually doing them.  I have been slowly, yet steadily working on several of these "Tackled Projects". 
With some time off in the near future, I'm hoping to complete (and blog about) several more!  

Do you have those tasks that you have been considering doing for a while, but just haven't taken the time to actually do it? I'd love to hear about your "Tackled Project" in the comments and feel free to link up with your finished product!

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