Our Bathroom Renovation That Didn’t Break The Bank

My husband and I bought our house in December of 2017 and we have been steadily renovating it since then. While our house has a lot of charm, we’ve found ways we could update it while keeping it’s rustic farmhouse-like aura. The first renovation we embarked on, before we even moved in, was our upstairs bathroom. And, to anyone who buys a house, wants to update a bathroom and can do so without living in it yet, it’s totally worth doing so.

The original bathroom consisted of an old cream tile that covered the entire floor, bottom of the vanity, vanity top and the shower/tub. The best thing (and by best, I mean the worst) about the bathroom is that its previous owners decided to have wood paneling on the walls around the entire room. They even ensured the vanity counter wood frame matched. All of the light switches and outlets were a weathered cream color and the bathroom hardware (toilet paper holder, towel rack, shower rod, shower head, etc.) was a shiny, yet rust-like plated silver finish. Let’s just say, there was a lot going on in one tiny room.

So, instead of completely demoing the bathroom, we decided to update it in a way where we could keep its good parts and replace the bad parts. The first project was removing a privacy wall next to the toilet to allow more space. Next, we replaced the small square cream tile on the floor, vanity and in the tub area. I still remember looking at all of the tile in Home Depot and thinking to myself, “I have no idea what I should be looking for”. Needless to say, it all worked out in the end.

Since the tub and sink were matching colored and cast iron, we decided to keep them and just give our vanity a facelift. I went to a local stone retailer and picked out a slab of stone for the top. I gave them the dimensions and plans to our sink that is in the shape of a hexagon, and they cut it to size. We glued it on top of the already existing wooden vanity, added two matching wall splash pieces, replaced all of the nobs and gave it a fresh coat of white paint. Voila! We had a brand new looking vanity without having to spend the $800+ a new one would have cost.

Next, we decided to paint all of the wood paneling white and the sheetrock areas a light grey for some contrast. We added white trim to areas that needed it . This was my least favorite part of the entire renovation and applaud anyone who actually “enjoys” painting.

Finally we added some cosmetic updates. We replaced the vanity mirror, all of the hardware to brushed nickel, replaced a floor heater, and updated the switches and outlets to a fresh white color. I ordered a white bathroom cabinet to allow for more storage, put up a white shower curtain and threw a light grey bath mat down in front of the tub.

Normally bathroom renovations can rage anywhere from $5,000 – $25,000. By focusing only on the main areas, doing cosmetic updates, and not demoing the entire area, our renovation cost us around $2,500 – $3,000. So remember, it’s easy to be turned away in disgust by an outdated room (this was definitely a sore area for me when we looked at the house), but if you put a little sweat, tears and elbow grease into something you can really end up with something great. In my case, it was a bathroom!

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