Hey everyone, Megan here. Here is the epic tale of our bathroom remodel. I started writing this post and had the goal of uploading the before pictures of my bathroom, but alas, they were not on my camera. Not exactly sure what happened, but I’m going to blame the hubby until he can prove otherwise! So, in lieu of actual pictures, you’ll have to do with a description of just how hideous the original bathroom was.
Let’s start at the walls and work down from there. When we moved in 2 1/2 years ago, we painted all the walls in the house, including the bathroom. But, knowing that we would eventually remodel the bathroom, we neglected to finish doing the cutting in, but I guess we didn’t realize just how long it would take us to get the job done. Everything in the bathroom was original to our 1974 ranch, including the chunky medicine cabinet complete with shell details on the top, faux marble countertop with blue veining and cabinetry with half the stain rubbed off. The part I hated the most was the fake ceramic tile floors. It was that type that snapped together, but the tile itself had ridges and grooves, so it just looked dirty all the time. It was one of those bathrooms that really never looked all that clean, even after it was freshly scrubbed, and in a bathroom, that is never a good thing!
Brandon and I contemplated a big gut job, tearing out the wall dividing the vanity from the toilet to open things up, and pretty much taking everything back to studs. When we ran an estimate on that, we decided to scale it back and do a more cosmetic makeover. It was definitely more budget-friendly and we think it still ended up having that wow-factor that we wanted to achieve. Let’s take a look at some of the pictures and then I can break down each part of our process. I’ll also include a source list and budget breakdown at the end. It’s hard to get a good overall of a bathroom due to the tight space, so we’ll look at some more detail shots, but here she is.
Obviously, one of the biggest focal points in any bathroom is the vanity area. We decided the vanity was worth salvaging (and a huge money saver!) but updating it with a coat of fresh white paint. We used this paint on our kitchen cabinets and have had good luck with it, so I used it here as well (Ace Cabinet, Door & Trim paint). I bought the brushed nickel hardware from Target. Onto the countertop…easily my most favorite design element here. When we first started discussing countertop material, I immediately leaned toward Cararra marble, my absolute favorite. The only problem was the cost, of course, which would be the case for any type of quartz, granite or natural stone. We just wanted to challenge ourselves to see how frugal we could be, and one day a lightbulb went off for me. My idea was to use a solid-wood door as the countertop, and let the wood itself become a major design feature of the bathroom. You might think I’m crazy for using a wood product in the bathroom where it is constantly barraged by water, but no worries, that baby is sealed within an inch of its life. I found the solid oak door on Craigslist for 50 bucks, Brandon worked his magic by staining it and putting 5 coats of Varathane clear high-gloss polycrylic on both sides of the door. He cut holes for the sink drain and faucet, and used a silicone caulk on every place he cut, just ensuring that if any of the plumbing leaked, water wouldn’t get in the center of the door and warp it. He used his circular saw to cut it to the right length and width and it was ready to put in place!
On top of the vanity we used a square porcelain vessel sink. The faucet is a brushed nickel fixture designed especially for vessel sinks. Brandon had a little adjusting to do to the faucet, due to the thickness of the wood door, which was a little bit bigger than standard countertops, but overall the plumbing went pretty smoothly. I always hold my breath until the plumbing is installed and not leaking. Leaking plumbing = unhappy husband, and we don’t even want to go there!
The mirror was custom-made to size, by a local woodworker I know. The light fixture was a challenge as I think most bathroom vanity lights are pretty boring and all kind of look the same. I ended up finding one on Overstock.com that had some unique detailing, so I pulled the trigger on that one. The hooks are also from Target. We decided to go with hooks throughout the bathroom rather than towel bars. In my experience, with kids using this bathroom daily, it was too much to hope that handtowels would be properly hung back up, so it was much easier to have them thrown over a hook. I asked for new white linens for Christmas, and am so happy with how crisp and clean they look in the bathroom. You can also see a little yellow stepstool in the corner of the picture. My dad made that for me when I was a toddler, and it gets used multiple times a day now, so with a fresh coat of yellow paint, it fits right in with the new bathroom. The last big feature of the vanity area is the backsplash tile. When we tore off the old countertop, the old backsplash tore up the drywall pretty bad and we knew we would have to find something to cover the damage. We opted to use an inexpensive white subway tile, and throw in a glass subway tile for a little interest. Overall it goes up 10″ and does a good job of protecting the wall from all the splashing that goes on when my son washes his hands. I could probably write a whole post about the tile installation itself, but I will note that if you forget to buy spacers, pennies from your change jar will work in a pinch. Not ideal by any means, but it works!
Okay, on to the shower. The shower was in really good shape, so all it needed was a new shower curtain, purchased at World Market. I searched high and low for the one that could set the color scheme for my bathroom, beyond the white and wood tones, and am really happy with how this grey and yellow Ikat pattern turned out. Instead of a bath rug, I use a plain white bathmat from Target. I can throw it in the laundry with the towels with a little bleach and it all looks brand new. The toilet was also in good shape, but no one needs to see pictures of that!
Next, there is the closet area. Previously, this closet had bi-fold doors. The shelves were always a disorganized mess and somehow we never got the doors shut, so we were looking at the mess all time. I decided that taking the doors off and keeping the shelves exposed would force me to stay organized. I painted the shelves a muted yellow, with inspiration from the shower curtain, and painted the walls a peacock blue that really makes the yellow pop. I tried to keep everything on the shelves wicker, silver or white for a cohesive look. All of our bathroom items are stored on the shelves and in the vanity and so far it has been easy to keep organized.
Lastly, is the floor. We chose to use a luxury vinyl plank floor, a peel and stick that installed right over the existing floors. The finish is hand-scraped Brazilian walnut; it’s a really rich look and so far it’s easy to clean.
Now, onto the good stuff, hopefully I don’t forget anything! I know this was a super long post, so if I forgot to cover anything, don’t hesitate to email!
1. Floors – Lowe’s – luxury vinyl plank, Brazilian walnut (special order only) – $120
2. Wall paint – Sherwin Williams Mega Greige – $40
3. Shelf Paint – Sherwin Williams Anjou Pear – $15
4. Closet Accent Paint – Sherwin Williams Great Falls – $30
5. Vanity Paint – Ace Cabinet, Door and Trim in Benjamin Moore Casual White – $30
6. Countertop and Mirror Stain – Rust-0leum Kona – $8
7. Mirror – purchased locally – $50
8. Hooks (no link available) – $20
9. Hardware – Target Nautical Pull 6 pack – $17
10. Vessel Sink – Decolav Classically Refined – $175
11. Faucet – Kraus Ramus – $130
12. Light Fixture – Greko Brushed Steel Vanity Fixture – $84
13. Bath Mat – Target Threshold Collection bath mat – $14
14. Shower Curtain – World Market Golden Ikat (no longer for sale) – $30
15. White Subway Tile – not shown on the Lowe’s website, but it was 22 cents a piece, so maybe $25 spent in all.
16. Glass Accent tile – 2×4 Glass Delfino. In our local store, this was sold on a sheet instead of by individual piece, so our total was $30
17. Tile Adhesive – Tec Pre-Mixed Adhesive – $12
18. Grout – Tec Pre-Mixed Sanded Grout – $26
Our grand total was $856. I think any time you can come out of a bathroom remodel under $1000, especially making it look like a whole new bathroom, you’ve accomplished a major feat. My husband and I are just happy this 3 week process is over and we no longer have to use the half bath to get ready in the morning! So tell us, have you guys taken a truly ugly bathroom and turned it into something beautiful? If so, we’d love for you to link up your pictures!