It is amazing what some tile and a new faucet can do!
We bought this house in Japan about five years ago and have been slowly remodeling every inch of it.
It's downstairs sink time.
There have been advancements made in mortar and grout. I used an epoxy mortar and grout and it is:
-It inhibits the growth of stain-causing mold and mildew
-Has antimicrobial protection
-Ideal for installations at wide temperature ranges
-Uniform color—no blotchiness or shading
-Easy to maintain, cleanable to the original color
-Tough, durable, and crack resistant
We live in Japan and used a local brand, so I can't recommend any, but a quick Google search will guide you in the right direction to a product.
There is no need to worry about keeping your sink clean.
Step 1: The BEFORE!
Just look how dated this sink looks.
Looking back, this was actually really easy to do, it just takes time and it's a little messy. You can get epoxy adhesives or special thin set and epoxy grout that is made for almost every surface. A lot of people do mosaic sinks, so you can go to a tile store and ask what you'll need. They even sell sheets of tile attached to wire, so you won't need to use spacers. You'll also need some kind of tile cutter to shape your tiles to fit.
Step 2: Spacers or No Spacers?
These tiles came on little sheets of mesh. I removed the tiles from the mesh to do the inside of the sink and, I didn't use any spacers. The only difficult part was cutting these little tiles. I bought tile snippers for $10 that look like a pair of pliers, but they never made a clean cut. I had to make the cuts in a large bag, because the tiles would shoot up into outer space and never be seen again!
I found a new faucet and drain at an incredible price. Double check the hole sizes in your sink so the new hardware fits.
Familiarize yourself with your drain assembly. Remove the drain and then lay the tiles around the drain hole. The drain flange needs to be in contact with the original surface of the sink and not the tiles when you reinstall your drain. It sounds complicated, but it's super easy. You can always grind away grout with a "Silicon Carbide Grinding Stone bit" you can get for cheap.
Remember that mortar, tile, grout and sealers aren't what waterproofs your sink. Even though epoxy mortar and grout are technically waterproof, they're not waterproof in the way you need for a sink. This is just sink decoration that you want to be easy to clean.
Step 3: The Finished Sink!
It's been a couple years since this project and we have had zero problems! It's easy to clean and we always get lovely compliments when people see it.
Step 4: Makeover Time!
It's time to start the walls, ceiling and mirror frame. Those boards above the mirror are attached to the studs in the wall.
Check out that water damage on the old mirror...yuck!!
Step 5: Texture Painting Time!
I used a plastic primer and then gave my circuit breaker panel a textured metallic paint job using acrylic paints and a sponge.
Step 6: Japanese Cedar!
I used Japanese cedar wood for the wall, ceiling, moldings and baseboards. The boards running across the ceiling are held up by the ceiling molding and not actually attached to the ceiling. The molding is secured to the studs.
*Use caution drilling into your wall and always be cautious of electrical wires. The boards on the wall above the mirror are attached by the ends to wood secured to the studs under them.
Step 7: The Mirror Frame!
I built these frames out of cedar wood and wood molding I bought from my local wood shop.
Step 8: The New Lights!
I wired two lights bulbs into the ceiling on antique looking wire and wrapped the wire around two pulleys I found on sale.
*Use caution working with electricity.