This bathroom in the Lockeland Springs area of East Nashville was the forgotten part of an otherwise fantastic home with lots of jaw-dropping features. It was time to tackle the bathroom with a new tub, tile surround, tile floor and beadboard wainscoting throughout.
You never really know what to expect under the wall coverings until you start demolition. For example, sometimes poorly installed wall tiles come off in sheets, leaving a nearly undamaged wall beneath. Not in this case.
The old tile walls in this bathroom where around 1 1/2″ thick with a layer of mortar ‘floated’ over wire mesh sheets. It was built to last. I had nearly met my match to remove it, but I got it all out of there! It’s quite amazing how much debris will come from demolishing a ‘simple’ tile wall like this.
Anyway, after the plumber installed the new tub, I was on to repairing the walls and installing Kerdi waterproofing membrane over 1/2″ cementboard around the tub. This will ensure that all the water stays in the tub. I installed the subway tile surround first and then moved on to the floor tile.
The floor was covered with 1/4″ Hardibacker cementboard and then a sheet mosaic of white 1″ hex tiles with a few black ones thrown in. You have to be careful installing these. Not only do you have to make sure you adhere to your layout lines to keep things square, but you have to double check those black ones and make sure they all land in the right place. I later noticed a couple that were placed on the sheet incorrectly at the factory. I had to pull up a couple and switch them out. You can go dizzy staring at a floor like this!
The beadboard is a product that is actually a paneling that comes in 4′ x 8′ sheets. If you installed it well, overlapping the joints correctly, and do a good job filling your nail holes and caulking the seams it can look really nice when it’s finished. The cost is well below the price of using actual bead-boards, which have become harder to come by these days. (What?? Use real wood?? )
Even with the challenges of working on an older home, this bathroom was a rewarding project to see come together. Hopefully, the new renovation will also stand the test of time and be a beautiful addition to this home for the years to come.