modern bathroom reveal | before + after

modern subway tile bathroom

i've been meaning to share this post for what feels like forever! we finally finished up the bathroom reno and we're so happy with how it looks, it feels so shiny and clean (and totally worth the endless days of tiling and grouting!)

our old bathroom was white so there isn't a huge difference in that respect but the square tiles around the bath were old and the grout was discoloured and falling out which looked pretty gross no matter how much i cleaned it! 

have a look at the BEFORE:

diy bathroom

diy blog

not very cute huh?

as you can see we had tiles around the existing bath which we ripped off, the rest of the bathroom was just painted white. we didn't have any ventilation so the walls would get damp with condensation in winter if we took a long bath or shower- v. annoying and something high on the list to install!

we also had very dark floor tiles which sucked the light right out of the space on dull days. 

overall the bathroom was a little bit basic and overdue an upgrade.

so here is the AFTER!

metro tiles bathroom diy

i've always wanted subway (or metro) tiles but they've been so trendy the last few years i almost talked myself out of using them. i adore them now they're in so i'm glad i stayed true to myself and went with my initial choice. 

metro tile bathroom makeover
minimal bathroom

we didn't have a theme for the makover i just wanted it be very clean and natural, so lots of plants, natural textures and minimal colour.

minimal bathroom subway tile
how to subway tile

we replaced our old bath because it had some ugly plastic handles and was looking a bit tired. (lucky for us my dad had a new bath from a closing down sale that was gathering dust in his garage- winner!) after looking at a LOT of bath panels we realised they were all pretty ugly so decided to make our own instead. we took a sheet of hardboard and cut it to size. once it was fitted into the side of the bath we simply tiled over it- i LOVE how it turned out as it kinda looks like a built in sunken bath?

i also purchased half a dozen amber glass bottles that we decanted a lot of our shampoo/shower gels etc into. this is my favourite way of keeping a bathroom looking minimal as i hate having brightly coloured branded plastic bottles scattered around a bathtub. 

modern bathroom diy

we removed the old dark floor and replaced it with a pale cement tile which has made a huge difference- the bathroom is so bright now! i initially found picking a floor tile hard to decide on but then we found some reduced on sale which made the purchase a no brainer.

renovating is a great chance to declutter so we took the opportunity to go through all of our beauty and grooming products and discard/donate anything we didn't need or use. i didn't want extra storage units taking up floor space so we managed to fit all of our essentials into this metal shelving unit which is perfect for keeping things tidy. 

subway tile splashback, bathroom ideas

we decided to bring the metro tile all around the bathroom not just around the bath and shower area, something that added days and days of tiling to the project but it looks so much better.

if you're going to take on tiling yourself make sure you have an idea of the pattern and tile placement from the first to the last wall before you begin. otherwise you may find yourself regretting it halfway along when you come to a window or feature that messes up the pattern.

before we started we measured the walls so we knew how many tiles would fit on each row (don't forget to factor in the grout spacing between them) that way we could work out if the tiles would end 'badly' when we reached the end of a wall (ideally it's always nice to end on a full or half tile.) if we knew the tiles would end badly we would would adjust the tile at the beginning of the row (for example by trimming it rather than starting with a full tile.)

with metro tiles bear in mind the pattern when you reach the corners- you want the pattern to 'wrap' around to the next wall so if you end on a half tile you can use the remaining half to start the next row.

we went with a grey grout as we wanted the contrast against the white tile- it also helped to tie in the pale grey floor as well which was a bonus.

minimal bathroom ideas
metro tile bathroom makeover
subway tile bathroom

thanks to pinterest i'm obsessed with having a large round mirror for above the sink, after lots of searching i haven't found 'the one' yet but this white one we picked up looks pretty good for now!

we managed to keep most of our existing features like the original sink and taps which cleaned up amazingly well! we had to remove the sink and toilet before we could re tile the floor so it was the ideal time to scrub them properly and to our surprise they all came up like new which helped keep our budget down.

i'm so relieved it's all finished but to be honest it was totally worth a few weeks of disruption. (plus autumn is coming and i have many a long bubble bath planned...)

hope you like it, back soon!

caroline x

bathroom sources:


  1. I love how clean and minimal your new bathroom is!

    Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE
    IG | @viviyunn_


  2. Can you share you source for the floor tile? Everything looks gorgeous!!

    1. thanks you! here it is- I've just added it to the sources at the bottom of the post as well! :)

  3. I love how clean and fresh it looks, great job!

  4. Wow, this bathroom is truly gorgeous!! The tiling and the minimal colour palette is everything!! Great work and thanks for sharing x

    Millie x

  5. Great post i love decor
    New post:

  6. So beautiful, I am loving this bathroom. You have giving me many beautiful ideas for my own bathroom. Thanks!

  7. I'm digging the minimalist design. So clean and relaxing to the eyes.

    - Novie



Caroline Burke | Burkatron. Theme by STS.