One of the (many) benefits to being with child is that I’ve been exiled from the bathroom for some of the rougher renovation undertakings. Although it’s sort of sad too, because I love to swing the ol’ sledgehammer from time to time. But the boys (John and his handy tile-slingin’ dad)…

… mysteriously sealed themselves into the room with a big plastic tarp just to foil my view (ok, really to keep the house free of flying debris and dust, but still).

The good news is that I could still manage to hear pretty well through their plastic bubble of sorts, so every once in a while I’d catch a fraction of their mano a mano conversations. And boy were they weird.

Here are a few examples:

  • “It’s like a baby saw. Not a saw you would give to a baby, but it’s baby sized.” – John
  • “Oh man I hope this works.” – John’s dad (and yes, I did sweat bullets after this one)
  • “Fire in the hole!” – John (who knows what they were doing…)
  • “(Muffled) I’m glad we have these gas masks on.” – Couldn’t tell, too muffled (this might have been a fart joke)
  • “I feel like the Queen of England” – John (what on Earth was going on in there?)
  • “Hi honey!” – John’s dad (in his defense, I think he was answering his cell phone)
  • “Don’t cry for me Argentina!” – John’s dad (this was the punch line to some joke he was telling)

In short it was really odd to hear snippets of their chatter about the bathroom reno, life in general, and even the odd bad joke. Have you ever overheard part of a conversation and desperately tried to make sense of it? It’s hard work, and usually nearly impossible. At least around here it seemed to be.

But enough jibber jabber, I know you’re all are tapping your feet and muttering “pictures please” so I’ll share these few tub/shower tile teaser photos. Of course we still have to cram all those cracks and crevices with sparkling white grout (it’ll look even more seamless after that crucial step), but here’s the first phase of Operation Subway Tile:

And here’s the second phase (John went all the way up to our slightly uneven ceiling with those babies):

And here’s another shot taken after we primed and painted the walls and freshly laid the floor (which also needs grout- it’ll be a rich chocolate color to blend with the dark mocha marble tiles). It’s amazing how it’s slowly starting to look like a room again- and we love how the wall color we chose (which we’ll share in a later post) works with those pretty marble tiles. It’s really coming along in there, eh?

After all, it did look like this just a few short weeks ago:

Stay tuned for the full tiling play by play (after all the end-of-year madness comes and goes) along with more details on the paint color we chose and the rest of the finishing details. In the meantime, what’s the weirdest thing that you’ve ever overheard? Do tell.

Psst- Wanna read about the first few chapters of the big bathroom makeover? Check out Chapter One, Chapter Two, and Chapter Three right here.


  1. says

    Yep, we can get pretty punchy sometimes when we are working – But really, great work on the tile job. How did you handle the un-evenness of the ceiling BTW?

    • says

      Eric- We made the decision to keep the subway tile totally level in the shower so when it came to the uneven ceiling (and our tub, which actually slightly slanted to one side) we just cut every edge tile to keep things level (which took time but was worth the completely level result- nothing veers down or up and we love the finished product.

      Wendy- Luckily we also have a half bathroom, so the toilet isn’t an issue since we have an extra one of those. As for showers we’ve been using the gym and John’s sister’s house (we’re so lucky she lives super close). Hope it helps!

      Sandra- Yup, John took the whole week off so we could balance family and bathroom work! We’ll hopefully get most of the finishing details done by the time he goes back to work on the 4th (although we’re thinking it might take us a bit more time to find things like towels and accessories for the full reveal). Stay tuned…


  2. Wendy says

    Not sure about the weirdest thing I’ve heard…that would take some thinking. Another question, during this reno, what are ya’ll using as a toilet? If I remember correctly, this is your only bathroom.

  3. Sandra says

    Beautiful! Do you guys have this week off? Seems the entire state of Michigan does. I bet there will be lots of progress, if so!

  4. says

    HA! When my husband is doing such things, I hear more “Oh NO!” than I ever want!

    I am waiting on the edge of my seat… this has been a great project to follow! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. says

    You guys should start a quote board for all of the weird and random things that are said during home reno projects! My college roomies and I had a quote board from our apt.–it cracks me up to this day.

    The bathroom is looking spiffy! Can’t wait to see the posts!

    • says

      Hey Erin,

      Haha, that’s a great idea! I’m sure we’d laugh hysterically at some of our random quotes over years of reno. It’s definitely on our to do list!


  6. Chantel says

    Hi Sherry, John, Burger and “Bean”,

    I’ve read your blog for months now and finally decided to make a comment. Your sneak peak pictures look awesome! I can hardly wait to see when it’s all done. I LOVE the paint color you picked to go with your floor tile!

    My husband and I have been renovating our home now for several years, and it certainly seems like a neverending process. You are both such a source of inspiration for getting it done, and I love your style! Thanks for writing my favorite blog our there! :-)

  7. beabee says

    Haha, “mano-e-mano” is funny in this context, but the phrase you probably meant is mano y mano, Spanish, means literally “hand and hand” and translated for meaning is “hand to hand,” like hand to hand combat. Which also works when you’re talking about two guys working together to destroy a bathroom, I guess. :)

  8. tara doherty says

    subway tiles…how classic…i heart your tile to the ceiling…we did that with glass tiles in the kitchen and it makes all of the difference…i just wish i was brave enough to post the pix…..:)

  9. Amelia says

    this post is such a tease! can’t wait to see all the tile grouted and to find out the paint colour! looks like a soft celery green??
    hope you two had a great christmas :-)

  10. ChristinaMarie says

    Wow! It’s looking so good, you must be getting antsy without a bathroom at this point.
    Oh, and you’re completely right about trying to figure out what the heck is going on in a conversation someone else is having… “If it wasn’t for that horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.”

  11. Barbara says

    It is so hard to fathom that the sealed off bubble disaster zone is just yards away from all the Christmas loveliness in the rest of the house! When we tackle a project, the whole house is a disaster. LOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *