Millies Remodel: Tiling Main Bathroom using tile profiles for caulk free shower tub

I’m back with another Millie’s Remodel update. This time we’ll be tiling, and I’ll share how to tile so you’ll never have to caulk around your tub ever again!

Millies Remodel: Tiling Main Bathroom using tile profiles for caulk free shower tub

Millie’s Remodel: Main Bathroom Tiling with No Maintenance Profiles

How are you doing? I’m so happy to be back with another Millie’s Remodel update for you. If you missed my post the last week, this is why I disappeared for six months. Thankfully I’m back to working and posting tutorials and updates for you here on the blog. Thank you for your support over the years, I feel like we are family by now, which is why I have some game-changer news to share with you. If you do this one thing on your next tile job, you can forget about ever having to replace or re-caulk EVER AGAIN!

A while ago (seems like a decade ag0 because 2020 has dragged on too long), I took some professional tile classes with Schluter. I learned a lot, but on the last day of the course, we learned about tile profiles. Since I was just finishing up the Millie’s Remodel project, I knew I had to implement them into the main bathroom tub/shower combo. This one decision prevents me from ever having to caulk around the tub or the walls in that bathroom. As a landlord, this is one less thing I’ll have to maintain at the house!

These are the materials I used to tile the main bathroom. I’ve also linked to the profiles I used, but you’ll want to scroll down and watch the video for more details.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Schluter Profiles:

Where This Bathroom Started:

Before we get into the tutorial, I think it’s only fair to take you back in the time machine to show you where the Millie’s Bathroom started.

When I bought the house, it had this fabulous powder blue tile and the faux blue marble countertop was vintage! You probably can’t tell from the pictures, but the counter came up to mid-thigh height. This is not exactly conducive to comfortably using the sink for anything but hand washing.

I knew I was working on an old house with a host of potential environmental issues, so I took all the precautions during demolition.

PHG with respirator and safety glasses on

During demolition, I discovered a multitude of leaks and rotting flooring. The only thing keeping the toilet from falling into the crawlspace was the cast iron waste pipe it was perched on. It was so rotted, I stuck my hand right through the subfloor. You can watch my exciting demolition video here.

white cast iron tub in gutted bathroom

gutted demo bathroom

Behind the shower walls was a gigantic animal nest in one of the wall cavities.

nest in wall cavity

animal nest in between studs

The tub was cast iron and I wanted to try to save it, but it was going to cost me more to pay for a professional tub refinisher to strip the DIY paint job and refinish it than it was to replace the tub with a brand new one. Because this was going to be a rental house, I didn’t want to have to refinish the tub every few years.

peeling paint off tub that was refinished poorly

Sadly the tub was pulled out and scrapped for metal. The window was something I also wanted to scrap! I knew it had to be replaced from the start, (even though I have no idea how it hadn’t rotted since it was constantly exposed to water during showers).

old original window in millie's remodel main bathroom

A new vinyl window was ordered, and what arrived was a vinyl window on the exterior with wood trim inside. I could have cried because the goal was to get rid of any material that could rot inside the shower.

installed new vinyl slider window in shower area

Ultimately, I dealt with the mold, rotted floors, leaking plumbing, and new window to start building back.

view of framing and new subfloor in bathroom

You can see how I waterproofed the window, waterproofed the walls, and tiled the tub surround so I never have to caulk it in my video:

What do you think? Would you like to try tiling with profiles in your bathroom? I took this close-up picture of the profiles so you can see how sleek they look on the tub deck and in the corners of the shower.

brushed gold moen tub spout and mixing valve in white tub and white tiles

close up of schluter greige profiles around tub and along edge of tile

The profiles also frame the window nicely and hide the cut edges of the tiles.

close up corner of window with schluter quadec profiles

This main bathroom at Millie’s Remodel turned out much better than I imagined. bright window in shower with white stacked tile around window

close up view of window surround in shower using Schluter profiles

mid-century modern style bathroom in Millie's Remodel close up tile around window using schluter quadec greige profiles modern stacked white subway tile with gold tub spout and handle

I’ll be back soon with another little tutorial for you. It’s going to have something to do with a trick my tile setter taught me. After that, I have a really fun tutorial coming up to show you how to turn a dresser into a sink vanity. This mid-century dresser worked out perfectly as a sink vanity!

Millie's remodel bathroom, white stacked subway tile around white tub gold finishes and black and yellow houndstooth floor pattern

Before you go, let’s have a heart-to-heart conversation. Do you enjoy the videos I’ve been sharing? Are you subscribed to my YouTube channel? This is one simple way you can thank me for sharing this content with you for free. Click here to subscribe to my channel.

Psst, if you really want to follow my daily adventures, you can follow me on Instagram. I share most of the projects I’m working on in real-time there.

Take care and see you soon.

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Millies Remodel: Tiling Main Bathroom using tile profiles for caulk free shower tub

Millie’s Remodel is almost done. Today I want to teach you how to build and install the strongest floating shelves. Then make them even better with hidden LED under lighting. Let’s learn how to build these Super Strong Floating Shelves with LED Lighting!

How to Build Super Strong Floating Shelves with LED Under Lighting

Millie’s Remodel: Super Strong Floating Shelves with Under Lighting

You know when you embark on a project and you’re not quite sure if your vision will work? This was one of those projects. In the end, I can honestly say, the results were much better than in my imagination! These floating shelves put off just the right amount of light in the Millie’s Remodel kitchen. The modern black floating shelves are a true show stopper against the modern hex tiles.

Today I’ll show you how to build floating shelves with LED Tape light underneath. But, before we begin, I have to give a huge shout out to Kichler for being a sponsor of the Millie’s Remodel project and for donating the LED tape lights and materials for this project.

Kichler logo

Quality Will Save You Money! I  love knowing all the Kichler lighting I used in the Millie’s Remodel house is top quality and will long after I leave this project. I learned my lesson in the past when I bought a few cheap light fixtures for the Saving Etta house and ended up with missing and defective parts. In the end, I paid more to purchase parts to make those cheap lights work. Plus, I had to pay my electrician for the extra time spent installing the lights. I’ve learned my lesson and only purchase quality lighting like Kichler lighting.

About the LED Tape Lights:

I’ve always wanted to use LED tape lights on a project. I like the idea of using an energy-efficient and low-profile lighting for under sleek modern shelving. LED tape lights aren’t hot to the touch, so they are safer than old halogen lights. Tape lights are so thin, they tuck up under a channel for a stealth lighting solution. Connecting them is as simple as trimming the tape lights on the cut lines, then sliding the strip under the metal clip, and closing the cover. It couldn’t be simpler.

I had my electrician run the wiring for these low voltage LED lights while he was replacing all the non-grounded electrical in the house. We followed the directions provided with the LED tape lights and found it straight-forward. If you aren’t working on a remodel where the walls are open, you can run the wiring from an alternate power source or outlet. Just be sure to follow the instructions and definitely check with your local building codes first and pull permits where necessary.

Learn more about all the creative places and applications for LED Tape lights here.

Kichler Products Installed:

I can’t wait to show you how to build these Super Strong Floating Shelves with Under Lighting. So let’s go ahead and jump right into this tutorial!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

My friend, Chris from a Glimpse Inside, created a fantastic tutorial for building floating shelves, so I recommend watching his video first to learn how to build the components of the shelves. I’ll go over the build briefly, but he gives more details on how to build them.

Video Tutorial:

After you watch Chris’s video, watch my video for the process from building the shelves to adding the LED lighting.

Preparation:

I highly recommend taking measurements for your space and then spend some time figuring out how to get the maximum use out of your sheet goods. My shelves were 36″ wide and 38″ wide. The longer your shelves, the more supports you will need. I recommend spacing supports no more than 6-8″ apart.

Tracksaw vs. Table Saw:

You may notice I’m using my DeWalt TrackSaw to cut the plywood. After getting this track saw from DeWalt a few years ago, I’ve found myself using it more than my table saw. It’s much easier to lift the track than a whole sheet of plywood. Plus, this track saw is battery-powered, so I don’t trip my breaker when running the shop vac at the same time. The track saw is safer to use because the blade is almost completely covered. My cuts are much more precise because the blade cuts perfectly along the edge of the track. This saw is super portable, and because it’s battery-powered I can take it with me and cut down my sheet goods in the parking lot if needed! Just be sure to purchase a piece of rigid foam insulation to use as a cutting surface.

using DeWalt battery-powered track saw to cut plywood

Getting Exact Repetitive Cuts:

You’ll notice in the video, you can clamp a stop block on your saw to ensure all the support arms will be the exact same length. When using a stop block, don’t clamp the opposite end of your workpiece because you can create a dangerous situation pinching the saw blade.

stop block clamped to miter saw fence

How to Get Even Spacing:

To figure out the dimension of your spacing between the support arms, gang the supports together and take the measurement of the area left.

how to get even space measurement

Then divide it by the number of spaces between the arms to figure out the length of the spacers.

cut spacer pieces

Assembling the Wall-Mounted Support Arms:

Cut all your pieces to build the floating shelves. It’s important to dry fit all your pieces before assembly. Now that your wall-mounted support pieces have been cut it’s time to assemble it.

To assemble the supports, add wood glue to any surface that will touch another part. Then tack the pieces together with brad nails to hold them while the glue cures. For added strength, screw thin trim screws into the support arms where possible.

Tip to Sink Screws Easier:

When driving wood screws into several layers of wood (i.e. plywood) or into a hardwood, you can help the screw by lubricating it on a bar of soap.

rub screws on soap to make them go easier into hard wood or multiple layers of wood

Just rub the screws on the soap and watch how easy they will drive into the wood now!

Building the Shelf Top and Bottom:

To cut the top and bottom of the shelves, simply trace around the support and cut the plywood to size.

The shelves will be connected by pieces of plywood that get sandwiched between the top and bottom of the shelves. These pieces will slide in between the arms on the wall-mounted support arms.

The connector pieces are the length of the wall-mounted arms, minus one thickness of plywood. In the video, you can see how I added another scrap of plywood against my stop block to get the exact length.

Once the connector pieces are spaced evenly, attach them to the top and bottom of the shelf with wood glue and nails.

assembled top bottom shelf pieces

To create a channel for the LED Tape Lights, use a router and the 3/8″ straight bit to create a channel 1 inch in from the edge of the shelves at about ½”  deep. Then sand the channel smooth.

The last step is to drill a hole into the bottom of the channel wide enough to feed the tape light through. Make sure you coordinate the location of this hole with the wiring location in your wall. This way all the connections will be hidden inside the floating shelf and won’t have to cross through a support arm.

hole in bottom channel of shelf

How to Secure Floating Shelves to the Wall:

It’s important to hang floating shelves on studs or blocking. Whenever I build a house or take it down to the studs, I add blocking where shelving will be hung. This greatly simplifies finding solid wood to hang the shelves on. I also take photos or video at this stage to remind me where the blocking is. To simplify the process one more step, I write the measurements of the blocking height and width on the studs that I can reference in my photos or video.

Using a laser level, mark the shelf location (you can use painter’s tape if you can’t write on the tile.) Drill through the wall (or tile) into the blocking and studs.  Depending on where your power is for the LED lighting, plan how it will get inside the floating shelves. You may need to drill a hole through the back of the wall-mounted support and gently feed the wiring through the support before securing it to the wall.

Use structural screws to secure the shelf support to the wall. If your floating shelf touches another surface (like a wall or cabinet) add screws through the sides into those surfaces for additional strength.

Slide the top and bottom shelving over the wall-mounted support as shown below.

slide shelving over wall-mounted supports

Installing LED Tape Lighting:

Kichler has a fantastic video detailing how to install the tape lighting. Once you have power leads installed it’s so simple to hook up to the power supply. Then the tape backing is removed and you simply press the tape where you want it. In our case, we are setting it into the 3/8″ channel on the bottom of the shelves.

Watch the Kichler LED Tape Light Install video for more details:

Find the power wires, and bring them toward the hole you drilled into the bottom channel of your shelving.

Peel back 1/4 inch from the end of your tape light and feed it up through the hole in the bottom of the shelf. Then follow the instructions provided with your tape light to connect it to your wiring. In this case, it simply slips under the connector (while lining up the + and – signs.)

Test the connection by turning on the light and make sure your LED tape light illuminates.

If the lights work, peel off the rest of the adhesive backing and secure the tape into the channel under your shelf. Trim the tape light only at the cut locations marked on the tape.

All that’s left to do is add the front and side trim to your shelves. Secure it to the arm supports with a few brad nails.

add trim pieces on

Then fill in the nail holes and touch up paint. Finish your shelving with a durable clear topcoat.

The Kitchen Reveal:

Before I show you the reveal, do you remember what the Millie’s Remodel kitchen used to look like before?

Shortly after purchasing the house:

During demolition:

After cabinet and flooring removal:

Down to the studs!

kitchen framing and subfloor repairs

Finally, the amazing after!

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of this kitchen. I ran into so many challenges, like black mold, a floor that needed to be leveled, then laying the floor tile, installing cabinets, and finally the backsplash and these gorgeous lit floating shelves!

I took a few risks on the design, but ultimately I love every inch of this kitchen. What do you think?

To see the full Millie’s Remodel series, click here.

Disclosure: Kichler Lighting is a Millie’s Remodel gold sponsor. I was provided with complimentary fixtures for the house. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own.

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How to Build Super Strong Floating Shelves with LED Under Lighting

1905's ranch with modern wood shutters

It’s time to reveal how to build custom wood shutters! I designed these easy to build wood shutters for the Millie’s Remodel project and now I can’t wait to share the tutorial with you! It’s a super simple DIY project.

How to Build Custom Wood Shutters – A Super Simple DIY

When I decided I wanted to build shutters for the Millie’s Remodel house, I thought they had to be difficult to make or everyone would be building their own shutters. I was definitely wrong! That being said, there are other shutter styles you can build that are also super simple. But today I’m going to show you how to build these modern shutters (but if you like the farmhouse look, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can alter the look by flipping these shutters over! Be sure to read to the end to see this quick change.)

Let’s back up real quick. When I bought the Millie’s Remodel house, it came with these awful vinyl hunter green shutters. They just weren’t doing anything for the curb appeal of this house. I knew they had to be replaced or we’d be stuck in the 90’s with those hunter green shutters. Sure, I could have tried painting them, but I didn’t like the curved top, nor did I like that the shutters were a little too narrow for the windows.

The new shutters are slightly wider than the vinyl ones. That’s because shutters should be at least one half the width of my window. (Not that I’ll ever close them.) They should look wide enough to cover the window when closed.

1905's ranch with modern wood shutters

See what I mean? These shutters look much more proportional to the window size, don’t you agree?

Design Inspiration:

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I scoured Instagram for some shutter design ideas that would fit the modern style of the house. Luckily I stumbled upon these Instagrammers with some stylish shutters. I’ll link to their accounts in the description below if you want to follow them.

modern wood shutter inspiration

@HopeSaliba | @ArqDulceGomezCanle@SunScout.Studio@OnceWood

Exterior Progress:

As you saw, when I bought the house it had khaki vinyl siding and green vinyl shutters.

We removed the vinyl siding to discover the original wood siding underneath in pristine condition! Then my painter performed his magic by painting the exterior with a specific paint made for masonry. You can see more of the exterior transformation and learn about the paint we used here.

painted brick house Sage Advice by Romabio

Will you look at how naked the house looks, it’s definitely time to build those new custom wood shutters.

How to Build Custom Wood Shutters

Let’s get building and you’ll see how simple it is to create your own modern wood shutters!

1905's ranch with modern wood shutters

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Stain Colors:

Instructions:

The best way to see how to build these shutters is to watch the video and then follow the steps below. Here’s that video tutorial to watch:

Safety Gear:

Before we get building, let’s break out some appropriate safety gear.

Be sure to wear a dust mask, safety glasses, and hearing protection. Now let’s get busy.

Safety When Ripping 2×4 Studs:

To make these shutter frames, I chose to rip 2x4s in half. I’ve found it’s easier to get straight 2×2’s this way, but if you prefer not to rip studs, go ahead and purchase 2x2s. If you decide to rip 2×4’s in half, make sure you know these safety tips.

  1. Never force the lumber through the saw.
  2. Never wear gloves or jewelry that can get caught on anything.
  3. Use a push block as you feed the lumber through the saw. This keeps your fingers away from the blade and gives you more control of the board.
  4. Never reach over the saw blade.
  5. Use an outfeed support to catch and support your lumber as it exits the saw.
  6. As the blade cuts through the 2×4 lumber, the wood may have a tendency to pinch the back of the blade (especially if you are ripping longer boards.) To prevent pinching and make cutting easier, stick a shim or wedge into the cut after it exits the blade. You can see this more clearly in the video.

For more table saw safety tips, read this Table Saw Guidelines post.

Cutting a Rabbet Channel on the Frame:

After ripping the 2x4s in half, you may want to square off the edges (removing the rounded edges.) Now it’s time to cut a rabbet channel into the corner of the 2×2.

To cut the rabbet, center your table saw blade on the 2×2. Raise the blade to slightly more than ¾ of an inch. Then run the 2×2 through the table saw. Rotate the 2×2 ninety degrees and run it through the table saw again. This will leave you with a rabbet channel on the corner of your 2×2.

Body of the Shutters:

Determine the width of your shutters. Ideally, the width of your shutters when finished should equal ½ of your full window width. To get the width of the tongue and groove body pieces, Subtract the width of your frame (about 3/4″ in width x 2) from 1/2 of your window width. Use this measurement to cut your tongue and groove pieces to size.

The shutter height should be the same height as your window. Layout the tongue and groove planks together fitting them together. Then determine how many you need to make your shutter. You may have to rip one or two on the table saw to get your desired height.

Building the Frame:

Cut one end of your 2×2 at a 45-degree angle (the short side will face in toward the rabbet groove.)

Line the inside edge of your frame piece up with the end of one of the tongue and groove boards. Mark on the opposite side of the frame where the tongue and groove board ends. Now cut the frame piece to length on the miter saw.

Time to check your fit! If the frame fits tight against the tongue and groove board, use the top frame piece as a template to cut an identical one for the bottom frame piece.

Time to cut the side frame pieces. Figure out the height of your shutters and cut the sides to size.

After all the frame and body pieces are cut, sand them to remove any rough spots. I like to sand once with 180 grit sandpaper, then switch to 220 grit.

Stain the Shutter Pieces:

The frame and body pieces get two coats of stain. For better coverage, coat once and allow the stain to dry. Then brush on the second coat.

wood shutter pieces after staining

Assemble Shutter:

Time to assemble these shutters. Add a dab of wood glue to the mitered ends, then use a 90 degree corner clamp to hold the pieces square.

Pre-drill into the bottom of the shutter frame and drive a wood screw through the bottom and up into the sides of the frame. Add a nail or two to the side into the top and bottom pieces for additional hold. Repeat for all four corners as shown below.

Lay the cut tongue and groove boards into the frame. Make sure everything fits perfectly and make any adjustments necessary.

Then flip your shutter over so the tongue and groove pieces are upside down. Remove the frame and add a bead of glue around the perimeter of the tongue and groove pieces where the frame touches them. Then lay the frame back on top of the tongue and groove pieces.

Finally, secure the pieces with two long trim nails through each side of the frame and into the body pieces as shown below.

Flip your shutter over and admire your new custom wood shutters. Use wood putty to fill any holes and touch up with appropriate colored stain.

One Shutter with Two Looks:

I wanted to create modern-looking shutters for this house, but the beauty of the tongue and groove planks is the opposite side has a beadboard stripe. When you turn the shutter over, you get a more farmhouse or cottage look.

My assistant and I hung the shutters on the house using exterior screws through the shutter frame and into the siding.

1905's ranch with modern wood shutters

It’s unreal how different this house looks from the day I bought it!

It doesn’t even look like the same house! And you should see the inside, it’s looking so good. Stay tuned for more updates.

1905's ranch with modern wood shutters

I have a new update for you on Millie’s Remodel. Join me as I uncover the damaged wood floors and ask the question: Can We Save these Wood Floors?

can these wood floors be saved?

Millie’s Remodel: Can We Save These Wood Floors?

I know it’s been a minute since you got the last update, but unfortunately, my husband contracted COVID and it was the scariest two weeks of my life while I tried to prevent the boys and I from getting sick. While I cared for my husband and worried about his health, I documented his symptoms and what it was like caring for someone with COVID in my Instagram highlights. Unfortunately, I didn’t start saving the stories until a few days in. Regardless, it should give you a good idea what it was like caring for someone who has COVID and how his symptoms progressed.

Can We Save These Wood Floors:

Now back to Millie’s Remodel, the real star of this show. When I purchased the house, it had brand new brown berber carpeting in every room except the kitchen.

Crazy enough, the carpet wasn’t professionally installed, it was cut and the shoe molding was tacked on top of it. Which made it super easy to remove and allowed me to see that there were wood floors underneath before I bought the house.

Although I saw some of the floor before closing, I had no idea what type of shape they were in. What lurked underneath the carpet were real wood floors in REAL BAD SHAPE.

Lots of stains and even a nail polish spill (not blood!)

A spot in front of the bathroom had the worst damage, but my floor refinisher felt confident it would sand out.

This bedroom had the least damage, but this room had a horrible smoky/fishy odor. We think the previous tenant was a cigarillo smoker based on all the plastic tips I found in the backyard.

salvaged materials in back bedroom

Patching the Wood Flooring:

Before the floors were scheduled to be sanded, my wood floor contractor sent out his “guy” to patch the plywood in the hallway and the area where I removed a doorway to open up the living room more.

Here’s where that plywood was in the hallway.

He was able to match the oak flooring and feather in some replacement boards.

And then the floor refinishing came to a screeching halt. This was one of the most frustrating contractors I’ve ever dealt with! (I won’t share the name of the refinisher I worked with. But, I will NEVER work with him again! If you live in the Raleigh/Durham area and want to know who I recommend and who to steer clear of, just shoot me an email.)

Rant Warning:

The flooring contractor promised that his guy would come to sand the floors in the evening after I left. This should have been the first red flag, as most reputable companies send their employees during the day. But, I was just happy to have my job scheduled for refinishing.

Every morning I’d show up at the house expecting to see progress made on the floors only to be let down when I realized nothing had changed. I’d text the refinisher and he’d ultimately get back to me after several hours or sometimes a day later (again, another red flag.)

This back and forth of texts and promises went on for two weeks! For 10 days I would show up and find nothing done. But, the biggest issue was all the time I spent stashing everything into the bathrooms and then emptying them in the morning so I could continue tiling in there.

This might seem like a minor inconvenience, but I spent 20 minutes out of my day each day loading and unloading tools and tiles. Add that up over 10 days and that was over 3 hours of time I wasted loading and unloading all my equipment.

Finally, I told the flooring contractor I was headed out of town for a few days and I needed the floors to get done while I was gone. I was fed up.

Making the Stain Decision:

Finally, the floors were sanded while I was away. The floor refinisher sent me a picture of the floors after sanding and offered me a few stain colors to choose from. What a kind thing for him to do, right?

Umm, yes, except he didn’t tell me what the stain colors were! I can’t even properly express my frustration. He sent me the photo above with no stain color names. I was able to figure them out by zooming into the picture (except the “mystery stain” color.) He never got back to me with colors. For your convenience here is what I was able to decipher:

How I Choose Stain and Paint Colors:

I’m very methodical when I choose paint or stain colors. Usually, I look at the colors in the space for at least a week. But, in this case, I needed to make a decision quickly. Luckily I have a friend who had recently used Golden Oak and told me to search for pictures of it online. It seemed like the perfect mid-range stain that would go well with the mid-century vibe I was using in Millie’s Remodel. Although I liked the weathered gray, it was too gray for this house. And provincial was darker than I wanted the floors to be. Finally, I texted my flooring contractor and told him to go with golden oak. I said a little prayer that they would be finished when I got back to Raleigh.

Wood Floor Stains:

When I got back, the floors had finally been stained! Hooray, but also not good. Most of the house looked pretty good. There were some mild stains still showing, but I was okay with that. In my mind, it’s okay when a 63-year-old house has some signs of age.

I never expected perfection, but in several areas, there were very dark stains. I was starting to doubt that the wood floors could be saved.

There was a huge water stain outside the bathroom. And another bad stain near the front door.

I was disappointed the floor refinisher didn’t call me to suggest we go with a darker stain. I tried to call him and ended up hearing back the next day. He said his guy would come to patch the really bad spots. This was a great solution and luckily he was able to come back within a few days to patch the floor where the bad stains were.

The spot near the bathroom needed the most patching.

Never Pay a Contractor Until the Job is Complete:

This is the point where suddenly my floor contractor was super communicative! I got multiple texts saying he wanted to come by and pick up a check to pay his guy. I told him not until the job was complete. He was so persistent, but luckily I didn’t give in.

For days he hounded me for payment. This is a huge red flag! A contractor who can’t pay their “guys” because they rely on the income from one job to the next is not managing their business well.

Luckily, my stubbornness paid off, and the floors were finished quickly so he could get paid.

Could These Wood Floors Be Saved?

The answer is a resounding YES! Feast your eyes on these beautiful original 1957 wood floors refinished with Minwax Golden Oak.

They certainly aren’t perfect, but that’s okay, this house deserves to show her age a little.

Remember the living room before? Can you even believe this is the same floor?

And remarkably the back bedroom never smelled so fresh!

Remember this was the before:

salvaged materials in back bedroom

The other bedrooms came out phenomenal too. What do you think of the door colors I chose? It’s Dark Night by Sherwin Williams.

The walls are Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams and I love how simple and neutral the color is.

Unlike the Saving Etta house, all the rooms are painted the same color. This makes it easier for me to repaint when renters move out.

I’ll leave you with the transition from the hall to the kitchen tiles. I used a Schluter Reno-V profile to bridge the transition. You can read my entire article and see the video for 11 Tips to Get Professional Looking Tile Floors!

How to Hire Great Contractors:

I’ll be the first to admit, I could have followed my own advice when hiring this flooring contractor. I should have asked for references and followed up more. Instead, I rushed to hire him because his price was good (red flag number 4.) But, I did follow my own advice and didn’t pay him until the work was done. This one thing saved me the headache of trying to get him back to finish the job.

Read my article on how to hire great contractors and questions you should be asking?

How to Hire Great Contractors! Plus: Free Printable Questions You Need to Ask

Have you ever had bad experience with a contractor? Do tell! I’m also curious about what you think about the stain color I chose.

In this Millie’s Remodel update, I’ll show you how to create a coat hook area in the smallest of spots. I’m also bringing you along to go countertop shopping with me. And finally come see what the major setback is this time.

Millie's Remodel: Setbacks, Coat Rack, & Countertops

Millie’s Remodel: Major Setback and Some Progress

You know those shows on HGTV where the renovations are coming along smoothly and then one of the personalities says, “Oh no, this isn’t good.” Next thing you know they cut to commercial and leave you hanging thinking, what the heck can it be?

Well, I won’t keep you hanging too long. If you want, go ahead and watch my video right now to find out what the major setback was. It’s a shitty situation (pardon my french, but that’s an adequate response to the setback.)

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Coat Hook Area

Everyone wishes they had a mudroom to store coats, shoes, bags and all the things the minute you walk in the house. But, not everyone has the space for one…or do they? In this Millie’s Remodel update I showed how we created a small mudroom area just inside the back door. You might remember how I used luan planks on the Saving Etta fireplace.

They give you the perfect shiplap look for added architectural interest.

Previously, I used them in my kitchen where I created a detailed tutorial on how to plank walls aka shiplap for super cheap!)

Luckily, I had a enough luan planks leftover to create a small coat hook area in a little more than three feet of wall space. The coats can be tucked behind the pantry cabinet where you can’t see them from the living room.

Source for Coat Hooks

Definitely watch the video to see how easy it was to create this mini-mudroom in half a day.

Countertop Shopping:

Have you ever been shopping for countertops in a huge warehouse where you can see the actual slabs (not just a tiny sample) of material? It’s one of my favorite (and most indecisive) tasks on any home remodel and build project. Today I want to take you with me to shop for countertops. First, we need to select counters for the kitchen. As a reminder, this is the mood board for the kitchen.

Sources: Sink Faucet, Cabinet Hardware, Door Handle, Backsplash Tile, Pendant Lights, Cabinets

I’m thinking about something dark for the counters to add contrast from the white backsplash tiles. Here are some of the options (you can also virtually join me as I shop by watching the video.)

Winterwood Granite

If you’re wondering what the little tile lollipop is in each of the photos, it’s the samples I brought with me. I have one tile from the backsplash, a cabinet sample, and the floor tile to help me visualize how all three will look with the countertops.

Leathered Finish Negresco Granite

 

Via Lactea Granite (shown above and a closer look below)

As you can see, I found some great options, but would love to hear your thoughts on the choices.

Bathroom Countertop:

In the main bathroom, I am converting a dresser into the perfect mid-century modern sink vanity.

Dresser source: Wayfair

This means I have to pick a countertop material for this sink (unlike the vanity in the powder room that came with a countertop.) Luckily, the dresser isn’t very big, so I can save some money by shopping for remnants at my fabricator’s shop.

As a reminder, this is the design board I’m using for the main bathroom:

Sources: Door Handle, Dresser, Floor Tiles, Lighted Mirror, Wall Light, Shower/Tub Faucet

Once again, the options are almost endless, so I’d love your opinion. I show several really cool remnants in my video, but ultimately narrowed it down to these two options.

Black Recycled Glass Quartz

 

Negresco Honed Granite (sorry for the blurry cell phone picture.)

I’d love to hear from you. Which slabs do you like or dislike? Also, I hope you got a good laugh at my expense because when life throws you a curveball why not add some humor.

See you soon for another Millie’s Remodel update. If you’re just arriving at the story, Millie is a 1950’s brick ranch I’m remodeling to use as a rental. You can catch up on the Millie’s Remodel saga here. You can also watch all the Millie’s Remodel video updates here.

A special thank you to the Millie’s Remodel Sponsors:

The Millie’s Remodel project sponsors have donated materials for the Millie’s Remodel project. As you know I am very particular about the brands I work with and recommend. As a general contractor, I choose the products used on my projects wisely to make sure they last a lifetime. Therefore, I have no reservations putting my name behind each and every one of these sponsors.

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