Master Bath DIY Subway Tile

Before Bathroom
In case you missed it, I spent last week tiling around our masterbath tub with subway tile. And boy, and I’m glad to be done.  Mind you, it really wasn’t a hard project, just took some planning ahead and figuring things out before I actually got started, but the planning paid off and it came out beautifully, if I do say so myself.  This just might be my most proudest DIY moment EV-ah!

Blue bath

You’ll remember the view from the bedroom to the bathroom.  Notice the faux marble backsplash that was there, which had to be ripped out before I started the tile project.

Let’s pause a minute before we go to the AFTER pics.  Do you hear singing.  Ah, yes, it’s my celebration song of joy that this is all done and I LOVE IT! 🙂

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See through that doorway to that beautiful white subway tile, along with some decorative border pieces.  I’ll tell you more about how I put it all together in a tutorial post.  For right now, let’s just enjoy the beauty of this amazing tile.  Picture 048

I have to say, it came out exactly as I had hoped.  I spent 3 days of tiling and a couple of days of grouting, but overall it really wasn’t bad.  It totally changes the look of our bathroom to something much more high end.  Built in 1998, with all white tile, this was a cost effective solution to give this space a much more updated feel and look and I couldn’t be happier.

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Yes, I love it.  Paint color here is Kilz Magellan, found at Walmart. Picture 067

And I’m pretty darn proud of myself for doing this all alone.  Hubby thought it turned out great too, but then again, he is used to me tackling things like this and I haven’t ruined anything yet. Thank goodness. 🙂  I added the rope molding at the last minute and I’ll tell you why on my next post.  You probably won’t be surprised to know that I found that mosaic planter at a yardsale several years ago and it fits in here just great. Picture 068

Added back in this yellow yardsale basket, which works perfectly in here for holding some pretty shells and decorative items. Picture 072

This is the first area I started on and I took down the old row of tiles that were at the top of this ledge and that is where my new decorative tiles started.  I’ll be sure and tell you all about the process in my next post, so you can see how it all came together.  Picture 069

It’s not a perfect job, but I’m perfectly happy with it.  Once you add the grout to a tile project, it wipes out the flaws that might have stuck out before that process. Picture 073

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The corner pieces are the hardest with a project like this.  I ran into the same issue when I was cutting the molding for my dining room. Those corners are tricky and I sure don’t have it all figured out.  I just did the best I could and then filled in with grout.  And you’d have to be this close to see it.  I used non-sanded grout, which is the norm for small joints like this.

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I took lots of pics, so you could see it from every angle. Picture 063

I love how it changed the look so much by getting rid of that old faux marble backsplash.  Update!

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You’ve seen this shelf in here before, but thought I’d show it again.

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This was a $5 yardsale find, years ago and I hauled it with me when we moved. Picture 061

Perfect for a little bit of accessorizing in here.  Picture 058

So, that’s all folks!  I hope you enjoyed this project, I know I did.  I’ve been dreaming of doing this for at least a year and talked my hubby into it.  He swears I’m trying to get rid of more of his blue, but I’m really not. The tile just enhances all that blue.

I’m still planning to add some of the beadboard wallpaper to the front of the tub (hope it will stick) as well as add chair rail and beadboard to the toilet room. And now that I’ve done all this work, I’m going to go back around the tub and shower and recaulk and grout some of the tile that’s looking pretty shabby.  Just regrouting an area can freshen it up.

Did you get inspired??  Would you ever try this yourself? I promise you, I am NOT an expert on all of this. I did help with some tile projects in my old house and did a lot of grouting there, but I never tackled anything like this by myself before.  I wasn’t even scared though!  Cause I know most anything can be fixed and I knew that I could do this.  You can too!

And you can find me soaking in the tub. 🙂

If you have any specific questions, ask away. I’ll be putting up a tutorial of sorts next, so I’ll try to answer all the questions in that post too.

Added to Kimba’s DIY  Day and Susan’s Met Monday.

- Rhoda


  1. Looks fantastic! You go girl!

  2. Looks beautiful, Rhoda!

  3. I love it!! Great job! 🙂

  4. I love it. The beadboard will really set this off. I hope to be buying some from you soon for my guest bath.


  5. Wow! I love this tile! Wonderful, wonderful job.

  6. What a fantastic job you did!! It looks beautiful!

  7. What a great job. The bath looks much more high end and updated. It was pretty before, but Wow! Great job. I bet the first long soak you took was spent admireing the tile work.

  8. Fantastic!!! I’ve always loved subway tile. I think the simplicity of subway tile is what makes it so beautiful.

  9. Such a big difference in the look of the room! You did a wonderful job and I know you are so proud of how it turned out!

  10. Wow it looks great Rhoda, I really like the rope molding and the scrolly trim. We are planning on replacing our tub and trying our hand at tiling for the first time during our March Break. If I could suggest one thing I would remove the middle pic of the shells and put the two larger ones side by side. Other than that I envy your new bathroom!! I wish I had room to have a separate shower and tub.

  11. Wow … looks great. I can’t wait to read more about the process.

  12. Oh it turned out wonderful!! Great job! I love subway tiles too (see my powder room post), but I had some help installing them. My dad is a carpenter! After seeing him install these, though, I see that it is definitely a doable task. You just proved that again! Your tub time will be so much grander now!

  13. Awesome job, Rhoda! YOu are amazing with all this tiling & DR trim work – well, actually amazing with everything you do!
    I love your bathroom with the beautiful tilework, it looks so fresh & pretty against the blue color……the colors work so nice together! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Wow, you did a beautiful job and I love your choice of accent tile. Just gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

  15. WoW!!! I am so impressed! You did a great job! It looks beautiful!
    Cindy S

  16. Looks great! What an inspiration you are!

  17. Very, very nice- great choice and great work!

  18. Love the way this turned out. I’m looking forward to the tutorial!

  19. You GO GIRL!!! That looks fabulous! I’m sure you’re so proud and you should be! I’ve been working on a huge tile project for the last couple of weeks, a 15 x 25 family room in our basement, it’s exhausting!

  20. BEAUTIFUL. It looks like it has always been there. A great transformation that totally makes the room more elegant.

  21. WOW! what a difference! I Love Subway tile-so classic. You are amazing to attempt this yourself-you go girl!! So what CANT you do?!?!

  22. Rhoda, I applaud you…what a great job.

  23. This looks great, Rhoda! Kudos to you for doing this yourself! I love your decorative border tile and the rope one, too. It really adds that little something!

  24. I think it looks great. You can come do mine anytime you like! And as far as the corners, a wise woman who taught sewing in Nashville, once said, “on a galloping horse, who will be able to see it”.
    I know you you gave the paint color before, but if you could give that again (in the next step of the process or later), I would be so appreciative!

    And as far as doing something like this myself, NO! But I can sew a suit, bridesmaid’s dress or a christening gown.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  25. You rock lady! It looks wonderful. I love the new look. I would love to try this but first would have to get all the tools necessary for it. Look for it in the future though.

  26. Awesome Rhoda! It really makes the tub area look more finished and ramps it up a bit. Great job!

  27. Wow Rhoda, that looks wonderful. You may almost make me like white tile again! Don’t feel it has to be perfect– even the pros run into problems with tile, and I know this from experience!

  28. What a great job! You inspired me so much, I’m going to put tile around my tub ,can’t wait to see your next project,

  29. Rhoda,
    This tile is GORGEOUS!

  30. AND you have done such marvelous work! It looks like you are a professional tile setter! I have a very similar set up in my master bath. How did you tie in the subway tile to the existing tile around the shower or did you have any there? I have white 4″ square tiles around the shower and jetted tub now. Do you think I could pull off adding subway tile to walls to create a backsplash? Love your work! Just beautiful!

  31. Love it!!

  32. SOO worth the wait…. wow. you knocked it out of the park!
    Will you seal the grout in a few days ?
    So proud of you, it looks absolutely beautiful.

  33. Rhoda, it looks wonderful! You should be so proud of yourself. I like your accessories as well. I want to join you and Meaghan one day in the garage sale hunts. Hope you had a great weekend!
    -Heather @

  34. Oh Rhoda, that came out so pretty! I have the same color blue tiles in my bath and haven’t been able to pull it together. The paint is perfect!!


  35. Wow, beautiful job! You’d never know that it wasn’t done by a professional tiler. Would you share what the materials cost in your next post? I’d love to do that around my bathroom tub.

  36. I loved your rich blue beach accented bathroom before! And now, wow, ultra chic and splash proof. Congrats!

  37. I know this is a nut-so ?, but I’m a nut…I’m trying to figure out how that wrought iron shelf (which I LURVE) is on the right in some pictures and on the left in others? I can’t figure out how you did that? The tile turned out great. I hope you’re going to do a tutorial on it b/c I need to do about 4 pieces above my laundry room sink, and just hate to pay for that little bit of tilework. I also love the yellow 3-tiered stand. I think I need to come down there to yard sale. I NEVER find anything so yummy. I’ve seen so much stuff on your blog you’ve found ‘sailing’ – are you one of those people that leaves their car doors open so you can race off to the next one to find some more good loot? ;O) I don’t think I got to comment yesterday, but I WAS going to ask that blue paint color. To me, it looks more indigo (like Chinese porcelain) than navy, and I like that about it. Also, like those plates hanging above your door. That wallpaper was yummy in your House Beautiful post too!

  38. Ha-ha! Tardevil, that last pic was shot in the mirror, so you see the reflection. That’s it!

    Yes, I’ve got a complete tutorial coming, although I didn’t get pics of each & every step, I’ll explain it all. It really is NOT a hard project.

  39. I am so gald to see that you’ve done this all by yourself~! I have been wanting to tackle my kitchen backsplash by myself and was wondering how hard it would be. I have also tiled before put not alone. What did you use to cut the tile?

  40. Very impressed! I love your I can’t do it attitude! It turned out just beautiful, so timeless and classic!

  41. You did such an amazing job! Can’t wait to tag along with you in March.

    Hope you and your husband enjoyed the beautiful weekend!


  42. GREAT job Rhoda you are something else girl……..I can tile but thank goodness I have a hubby that really loves to do all that kind of stuff….I get the ideas and he plays along…

    I love subway tile…….and I so agree it makes the BLUE standout !!!

    Kathy 🙂

  43. I am so excited to see the end results! WOW, WOW and WOW! I am so proud to be a woman right now, you make us look good!

  44. Looks great… talented lady you!

  45. Rhoda, my friend, you impress the heck out of me!! I am in amazement !! One talented,clever,do-it yourselfer. It looks amazing,what a difference, You should be verrrrry proud, shoot I am proud for you,Kathysue

  46. I would love a tutorial on bathroom updates!! HELP!!!

  47. Gorgeous Rhoda ! Job well done! All your hard work paid off. I absolutely love white subway tile and that border is so delish. Can’t wait for the tutorial. And I’m smitten with that blue on the walls. J’adore !

  48. This looks wonderful, Rhoda! Great job!!

    And this is inspiring. This is something I’ve really wondered if I could do. I’ll look forward to your tutorial.

  49. All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. wow, Rhoda, I always read what you’re up to in my Google Reader, but had to come by and leave a comment to say, you rock, very brave on attempting this project *and it turned out looking like a pro did it, well I guess you are a pro!

    and I love how you’ve tied all the accessories in


  51. WOW! WOW!! WOW!!!
    Rhoda, I am seriously impressed. I am getting caught up on my reading and so enjoyed this post. You did a wonderful job. I am in awe of your talent and your enthusiasm is contagious. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  52. It looks really great! I can’t wait to get to some tiling in my house…one of these years.

  53. Very nice job! When we moved into our house, there wasn’t any tile around our tub. We had it tiled and it really changed the look of the room.

    I like the subway tiles – wish I could have had it done like that too.

  54. I am inspired indeed! I’ve wanted to do the same to my tub surround as well as try a backsplash in my kitchen. With my house going on the market in the next 6 months, maybe I’ll finally get to it. Can’t wait for the tutorial!

  55. You did an absolutely fantastic job.

  56. What a wonderful job you did on the tile, the before picture looked good, but the after picture made such a big difference. Now you have to get a good book, that glass of wine, and a few bubbles.

  57. I just tried regrouting my shower stall, but now I think I got sanded grout. Oh well it is just temporary. Need this shower in working order so I can rip out the shower we currently use. Can’t wait for your tutorial so I’ll have an idea how to re-tile my shower.

  58. Rhoda, this is beautiful! It made an all ready lovely bathroom just gorgeous! Congrats!

  59. Rhoda, it looks beautiful! You did an amazing job, girl! 🙂 I love how the decorative tile at the top really “makes” it! Lovely, lovely!

  60. WOW! It looks amazing… did an awesome job!!!!!! What a big difference it made too!

  61. I have the exact same layout on my tub, and I never thought about doing anything like it, but I might just do it! I do have one question…what did you cut your rope moulding with? Did you rent a wet saw? Thanks!!!

  62. Rhoda…this turned out great! I love all the white…really beautiful! The rope trim piece and top decorative row of tiles are gorgeous…really it’s all beautiful! Now you can splash away in there like a kid if you want to, and you won’t have to worry about getting any water on the walls. LOL

  63. OMGoodness! I guess there isn’t anything you won’t tackle. I love the rope molding and the decorative tile, it finishes off the subway tile just beautifully. Job well done Rhoda! TFS! Sheila

  64. Wow, wow, wow! Beautiful! Yes, it does enhance the blue.

  65. Great job Rhoda! So many people are afraid to tile. Once you tile you see that it’s not that bad but it is very time consuming! I always admire women who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and just get in there and do it! Go Rhoda!!!

  66. O*M*G*!!! You did a GREAT job! I LOOOOVE the decorative tile and the roping, perfect finishing touches!!!Gives me an idea to maybe add some roping tile to our bath: we already have white tiles all around and up about 4 feet, so roping might really dress it up nicely! Thanks for the inspiration. Don’t know if I would try this myself, my hubby is VERY talented at home improvement projects! XO, Pinky

  67. Rhoda, it looks amazing! I love the decorative trim on the top! It ties everything together for a finished look

  68. Hi Rhoda; OH I love how your bath room turned out… I can see this bath in a high end Hotel by the beach… love all the decor, and that wall color,,,, GORGEOUS….. you should be so proud of your self,,,,, a pro could not have done better….


  69. Rhoda,
    You go, tile girl! It looks so fresh, clean, and relaxing…enjoy!

  70. Rhoda!! I can’t believe I missed this!! It’s absolutely beautiful! I love, love, love it. And I don’t have any blue walls in our house, but I ADORE your blue walls. They are so pretty, especially with the white.

  71. Love it love it love it! Looks fantastic and that border tile is perfect!!! Fabulous job!

  72. Hey there my friend! Good for you, looks lovely…you and I are on the smae page. This silly little house tour thing I am doing just led me to finally finish and show our master bath remodel…I’ve got some subway tile too :)…just love it!
    All the best,

  73. I am so impressed!!! What an amazing job you did. It looks so beautiful. I love white tile and the decorative edging/roping looks so pretty. It really changed the looks of your bathtub. Maybe I will tackle some tile work one day. Love & blessings from NC!

  74. Bravo, Rhoda! It is beautiful!!!! You’re the master.

  75. Elizabeth H says:

    Totally impressed. A great job!

  76. That looks INCREDIBLE!!! Great job!

  77. Looking wonderful!I loved the design and tiles of bath room.It’s great example of perfect home decoration.

  78. Wow Rhoda, that is AWESOME! You did such a wonderful job, and it looks BEAUTIFUL!

  79. It looks awesome, Rhoda! I can certainly see why you love it.

    I am just back to work this week. It had been so long since I felt like visiting anyone, and I missed everyone so much.

  80. Your tile work turned out beautiful. You mentioned having trouble with the corners. You want to use caulk at each corner joint (and where the tile meets the tub), not grout. Things will move a bit over time and grout will not allow movement so cracking could occur. Caulk is flexible and will allow movement without cracking.

  81. I think you did a great job on the tile. I always have trouble with those mitered corners too. You get pretty good at cutting tiles after a project like this, don’t you?

  82. Rhoda, looks great. I would love to tile my backsplash..I have white tile in the kitchen, Im not sure what would look good on the backsplash actually…

  83. Rhoda, I love subway tile and this turned out amazing! What a beautiful bathroom.

    Stop by and check out my Easter napkin ring promotion and see some of my Easter Tablescape ideas.


  84. Rhoda, this is impressive. I’m in awe that you did this yourself. It really changes the look of this bath, which by the way is totally charming. I love the blue and all your accents.

  85. Looks great, Rhoda. Is there anything you won’t tackle!? lol

    I followed you here from Met Monday – it’s been a busy week! lol I hope you’ll swing by AtticMag and tour my home; Alabama Stone Cottage Tour.


  86. You did a FANTASTIC job! I LOVE the blue.

    This makes me want to remodel! 🙂

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