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ORC Spring ’21 Week 4 – Laundry Room – Wall Tile and Floating Shelves

You can catch up on all the blog posts here: Week 1| Week 2 | Week 3


I can’t believe we are already at the half way mark to reveal day if the Spring 2021, One Room Challenge! We have been super busy this week with all the projects going at once. In this week’s blog post I am focusing on the wall tile and putting up the floating shelves.

wall tile and wood shelves for the oneroomchallenge


Last week we installed the wall cabinet, which needed to be in place before tiling. We also placed the cleats for the countertop so we could use them as ledger board

for the tile to rest on. Gravity, it’s a thing, and when tiling on a wall you have to start from the bottom up!

We choose Moda Del Mar Calisto Matte Porcelain Tile, from Floor and Decor. Here is an example of their visualizer with rain grout and a blue cabinet.

Not a laundry room, but close enough, with the floating shelf as well.

Tile install went pretty well. We had to get a new wet saw, because the old one kept spraying a mess in your face as you cut. This wet saw was a lifesaver, no splatter, and cut quick and the guide help keep things straight.

** Tiling Tip – make sure to purchase and install an outlet extender box beforehand. The tile is adding thickness to your wall and if you don’t you will have sunken outlets.

After discussing whether we should tile and then put up the shelves, or tile, then add the shelf as we go, we decided that we would tile to the place we wanted each shelf and proceed from there. It made the process slower since we needed to make the frames before the went into studs on the wall.

tiled wall in laundry room in the process.

We have never built a floating shelf before, this was a whole new learning process. You can read more below as I hash out the steps we took for that.

We placed all the full pieces of tile and then went back to add in the trim cuts to get around the cabinet, side wall, and ceiling. Another tip for ya, use better spacers. The idea of these seemed great at first, since the tile was square and we needed them to line up. I can’t tell you how many times, hubs cursed these little boogers. They kept falling out every time we went to put up the next one. If you hit the wall/tile to level it off, they fell out…never again. We don’t tile too much, so next time we will invest in better spacers.



I had read so many tutorials on Pinterest about how to build a floating shelf and they were all different. Basically you build a framework, put it in studs on the wall, and add a facing over it. I wanted the shelves to be about 3inches thick, stained in the espresso we were using on the countertop, and wanted 2 of them.

Steps we took:

Using 1×2’s (actually furring strips) lumber is astronomical right now, thanks pandemic. Trying to save a dollar or two, we found some furring strips that didn’t seem horribly warped or cracked.

  • Cut horizontal 1×2 to length.
  • Cut 2 of the supports to length.
  • Using wood screws attached the supports to the long board about 12-13 inches in from each side, then secured them the to wall into studs.
  • Cut 2 more supports to length and added to left wall and onto the right side on the cabinet itself.
  • Last piece was another 1×2 cut to length of the wall board, and attached to the front to finish the frame.

Now to make the covers. We used 1/4 plywood sheets that were 2’x4′, measured and cut. Once panel for the top, and one for underneath. For the facings we used these nice 4ft strips of 1/4″x3″, this created the final piece to the box. We nailed them in with our brad nailer, and actually had a little lip(overhang) due to sizing. See tip below. Things you learn after the fact. We still think they look amazing, and no one will tell unless you try to grab the shelf.

**DIY tip: The facing boards were 3″, really 2.5″, so mathematically it would have been better to use a 1/2″ plywood on top, and the 1/4″ ply underneath. That would have added up to make the facings flush with the top and bottom.


Make sure to check back next week, I will be sharing a quick update with the open shelving in the closet conversion. Check out all the other amazing spaces, and featured designers on the One Room Challenge Blog.

one room challenge guest participant



floating shelves on a laundry room wall