The 1/2 bathroom downstairs is almost done with the updates for this year. Interior cabinets have been painted, walls scraped, plastered, painted, faucet replaced, mirror painted, new light fixture installed, new bathroom door installed and painted, new TP and towel holder installed… Few things remaining: paining cabinet doors and drawers (you may notice they are missing in the picture above) and installing wood shelves about the toilet. That should be done pretty soon, but in this post I want to focus on the accent wall behind the mirror.
Just to remind you how the room looked BEFORE:
Very yellow and very much gold on gold… The only thing that remained yellow for now is the counter top. We plan on replacing the vanity some day, so I didn’t want to mess with the counter at this point, as it is the most expensive piece in the room.
But I did know that I wanted to add some visual interest behind the mirror, so I started looking at stencils. A nice stencil would run about $50 + paint + rollers + patience, which I do not posses. I wasn’t looking forward to the idea so I started looking for alternatives. Then I came across Adhesive Stikwood, it looks amazing, but $280 for 20 sq. feet of the product is… outrageous. And I needed to cover about 30 sq. feet of the wall space. Then I thought, hey, isn’t there sticky laminate flooring? And there is, but the cheapest one is $3 a sq. foot, which would mean $90 for this project. Although affordable, I wanted to cut the price to under $50. This is where the Lumber Liquidators Sale section came to the rescue!
This laminate was only $0.49 a sq. foot! Forty nine cents! How can you beat that? And even more perfect, one box contains 31.54 sq. feet and I needed 30 for my project! Which meant I could get away with only one package. So with tax, the box ran me about $18! That is cheaper than the stencil I was thinking about buying! I had it delivered to the store near my work. The flooring did take a while to come in (about a week), and when I went to pick it up, the ends of the laminate were damaged. They offered to order a replacement, but since this was a small project, and I knew most of the seams would be behind the mirror anyways, I took the box as is and decided that we will just cut the broken ends. I probably would suggest to get a perfect box though, cutting straight edges was not as easy as I thought.
We let the laminate sit in the house for several days, not intentionally, we just couldn’t get to the project until that weekend, but it is usually recommended for the flooring to acclimate to the house atmosphere and humidity levels.
So STEP 1 was to lay the pattern down on the floor first to get an idea of how we wanted to lay it.
STEP 2: Put up the first board! For this project we used two tubes of Liquid Nails Adhesive (which is where the rest of the project cost is, they are about $3 a tube).
STEP 3: Cut the smaller pieces. We cut them one by one as we went along (not all at once) and we re-measured each time.
STEP 4: Make sure to cut out space for your electrical outlets.
We made a little “oops” and cut one of the boards too short. But since we were going to caulk around the wall anyways, we decided to caulk this spot too. It is also hidden behind the mirror, so you can’t even see it. You would not have this problem if the ends of your laminate are not damaged and just lock in place.
STEP 5: Caulk the edges. This step might not be necessary if you did an awesome job on cutting the boards along the wall edges and everything aligns perfectly. But this will not be the case for most human beings. 🙂 I taped both sides of the edge leaving about 1/4″ spacing for the caulk.
We used colored caulk to match the laminate. There are many different colored caulk options out there premixed or those that you can mix yourself. At this point I was too lazy to spend time on mixing my own caulk, so I purchased an already pre-mixed one from here in Taupe. (This is extra cost).
Apply the caulk with the caulk gun and then smooth it over with a magic tool…. ready? Popsicle stick! It’s the perfect size and shape for this type of work!
Once everything is smooth and neat, peel the tape off before the caulk dries. Perhaps this is common sense, but I let it dry completely before pulling the tape off. Once the caulk dries, it will stick to the tape and peel off with it, when you pull the tape. I had to caulk twice :(. I guess I also learned what not to do! So yes, peel the tape off right away, don’t let it dry!
Looks pretty good after the second try! :))
And the new light looks beautiful on the new wall.