Ronnie & Cindy McCarson purchased a 1,700-square-foot home built in 1976 after they downsized from a 2,650-square-foot home.

They love that the home is in great shape and has character, but they know that this retro residence needs remodeling.

The couple replaced all the carpet with hardwood floors, installed new countertops, removed textured ceilings and repainted everything in the kitchen.

It’s a brighter and happier home after all the improvements, but their bathrooms still have ’70s colors, countertops and fixtures.

Cindy’s bathroom comes first — we’ll tile over the existing ceramic tile floor, give the vanity a new top, sink and cabinet doors and even raise it a few inches. We’ll also cover up the dated tub and surround with an acrylic overlay and add a new light fixture.

The Projects

Yellow ceramic tile bathroom floor
These yellow ceramic tiles are in great shape, but they’re not homeowner Cindy’s style.

Prep the Floor

We remove the sink, vanity countertop and marble threshold before prepping the old tile floor.

That means first removing some dated tile baseboards. Breaking the first tile, getting a flatbar behind it and then prying the rest off prevents us from having to damage the wall above the baseboard. We then replace the tiles with a slightly taller wood baseboard.

Then we use a pole sander — it’s like a mop, just with sandpaper — to remove the ceramic tiles’ glossy finish. This makes it easier to lay thinset.

Install Ceramic Tiles

Danny Lipford applying thinset in a bathroom
ProLite Thinset Adhesive from Custom Building Products is an ideal solution for tile-over-tile applications.

We’re replacing the yellow tiles with wood-finish ceramic flooring.

Generally, you should run wood flooring parallel to the room’s longest wall, and that’s just what we’re doing!

This also means we get to make fewer cuts compared to laying the tiles horizontally in this narrow bathroom.

We use Aqua Mix Concentrated Stone and Tile Cleaner to prep the surface, and then ProLite Thinset Adhesive from Custom Building Products to install the tiles because it’s ideal for tile-over-tile application.

After chalking a perfect line for the first set of tiles, we apply the thinset with a notched trowel. We then cut the tiles on a wet saw outside and lay them on the bathroom floor.

Danny Lipford laying ceramic tile floors in a bathroom
Grouting tiles offers instant gratification because what you see is pretty much what you get!

Finally, we grout the tiles with Fusion Pro from Custom Building Products because it’s easy to spread and clean up, the color is consistent, and it’s stain-resistant.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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