My Renovation Challenges and How I’ve Dealt with Them

We’re on the back half of our master bathroom renovation and it hasn’t been without its challenges. Today marks week 4 of the Jeffrey Court Renovation Challenge and I’m so excited about the progress we’ve made. I’ve given several tips and tricks up until this point, but today I just wanted to get totally real with you and talk about my renovation challenges and how I’ve dealt with them. Or rather, how Keith and I have dealt with them. 

You can check out our progress from Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3!

They say home renovations are among the top stressors between couples! Perhaps it’s all the money that goes into them, or the decision making, or maybe all the unexpected complications. Okay, it’s probably all of the above. First of all, I’m happy to report that Keith and I are staying strong and working well as a team. If I’m totally honest, Keith has been carrying a lot of the physical load the past two weeks, while I’m more of the worrier. 

My Renovation Challenges

Designing our Master Bathroom

Master Bath Vision Board

The first challenge we’ve encountered is designing our master bathroom under a time crunch. We found out about our acceptance into the Jeffrey Court Renovation Challenge about 2 weeks (at most) from the time we were to start renovating. In those two weeks we had to sign NDAs, agreements and pick out all of our Jeffrey Court Tile. For me, that doesn’t just mean picking the tile, but a lot of the other design elements so I know we will be coordinating! I did A LOT of internet searching, and went through a lot of indecisiveness and vision boards.

Master bathroom pairings

Once we settled on wallpaper and tile, a big burden was lifted. But then we had to really decide the layout of our bathroom so we could give proper measurements and requests for all the tile. That was all done in about a week. In the end I think we nailed our tile choices: Balancing Act Natural Stone Mosaic, Lakeview White Chevron Natural Stone, Spaced Out Porcelain Mosaic and the Allegro White Pencil Molding.


Getting Ready for Surgery

Our next challenge was a big one. I was due for surgery right in the middle of the renovation challenge. WHAAATT??? This was a surgery I’d been waiting for for a long time and I really didn’t want to reschedule. I helped Keith crank out a bunch of work the first two weeks of our reno, and fortunately the timing worked out well. We got the main bathroom floor tile laid and then it was onto plumbing and shower logistics. I’m no good at any of that so Keith took that on while I did a lot of heavy recuperating. I was able to hobble into the bathroom for some footage and photos because Keith is not a photographer. Best of all, my recovery has gone faster than originally anticipated and I’m already back to helping cut tile for the shower walls!

Plumbing the Shower

Complicated Shower Plumbing

Plumbing a complicated, but awesome, spa shower was no small feat. We opted for a 6 foot shower with 6 shower heads!!! Essentially we will have two separate shower systems (one on each end), for Keith and me. We will have our fixed main shower head, a handheld shower head on a slide bar and an overhead raincan – on each side of the shower. It’s going to be amazing, but figuring out the plumbing on our own was……interesting. I felt so badly for Keith because he had to run to the plumbing store a few times to get more parts because we had to reroute and replan a couple of times. In the end, it got all set up and I can’t wait for the fixtures to go in. 

Tiling around Shower Seats

Tiling around a shower corner seat

For one last challenge (oh I’m sure there will be more to come, but for now….) is tiling this massive shower. Keith and I decided to have a corner shelf/seat put in each corner. These are great for propping feet for leg shaving, sitting, scrubbing toes, etc. I ordered these Goof Proof Triangle Shower Seats which were super easy to install. However, tiling around them – not so easy. Keith is in the middle of tiling the shower walls with our Jeffrey Court Spaced Out Mosaic and there has been a lot of cutting to fit around these seats. Because the seats are sloped, the corners don’t allow the tiles to meet up quite lined up. I think today has been the most frustrating construction day for Keith, but he’s starting to relax and not be so hard on himself. Renovating with two perfectionists is…..interesting (aka stressful). I must say, it’s looking fabulous!

Building up Shower Floor

I can really see everything starting to come together and I can hardly wait. I’ll be excited to get this massive vanity out of our hallway, and that will come this week. Here’s a rundown of what we accomplished this week:

  • Built up shower floor with proper drain sloping
  • Shower plumbing all set up 
  • Shower walls and floor waterproofed with cement board and RedGard

Tiling Shower Floor

  • Tiled shower floor with Jeffrey Court Lakeview White Chevron Tile 
  • Began shiplap on wall behind vanity

Installed shower niche

  • Installed shower corner seats and Huge Waterproof Leakproof Shower Niche
  • Started tiling shower walls!

Quite the productive week!!! Don’t forget to vote for our renovation project over on the Jeffrey Court Renovation Challenge site! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more updates as we go, and #JCRenovationChallenge, #JCChallengeAccepted and #RenovationNation

About the author

Emily Buys


  • All of your design elements are amazing and you’re untaking a huge DIY project. It’s gonna be an epic bathroom! And you’ve proved an amazing team together.

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