Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bathroom Makeover on a Tight Budget

You know, it just occurred to me as I keep showing you these before photos of the house, that you must be wondering what we were thinking when we bought this place. Yeah, there was a point when I was wondering that, too. If you missed the earlier posts, you can see the before and after of the kitchen here and the upstairs bath here. And up now, the downstairs bathroom. First, the lovely before photos.

Where to begin? The gold and white tile? The peeling wallpaper? The grimy sheet vinyl floor? They all paled in comparison to the chocolate brown tub. A major overall was in order, but the budget  was anything but major. 

Here's what I was going for--a calm beachy look:

And here are the after pics:

I know the original bathroom looks like it was going to be a gut job, but this whole overhaul cost less than $2000. Along the way, I came up with some ideas that saved a lot of money. I thought I'd pass them along to you in case you're struggling with a similar remodel. 

Tub & Tile:
It would have cost a fortune (I estimated $2000 minimum) to rip out the existing tub and tile and replace them, but living with a chocolate brown tub was not an option. So instead of replacing them, I had them reglazed in white for a total cost of $650. The shiny brass tub hardware didn't fit with the look I was going for, so I found a shop that did metal replating and I had the hardware replated in brushed nickel for about half the cost of purchasing new hardware. Total cost: $850 Savings: $1150

Sink & Vanity:
The old vanity was gross and falling apart, but the new vanity and top I wanted was about $1000 and new faucets were another $150. Instead I purchased a simple white vanity without the top which was less than $350 and reused the existing vanity top and faucet which were in good shape. Total cost: $350 Savings: $800

Mirror & Lighting:
The mirror was a lucky find at Home Goods. It became the focal point of the new bathroom and set the color scheme. I wanted some really nice sconces to flank the mirror. I loved the look of the Restoration Hardware Starboard Sconces, but at $379 each, they were way too expensive. Did you know the RH Baby & Child Mariner Sconce is virtually identical for less that half the price? It's sold as a plug-in sconce, but it includes directions and hardware so it can be installed hardwired just like the Starboard Sconce. It always pays to look at the kid version of stores like RH, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel. They often have similar items at more affordable prices. Total cost: $450 Savings: $500

Floor & Walls
To replace the ugly vinyl floor, I found some ceramic floor tile with the look of stone on sale for less than $1 a square foot. A similar looking natural stone tile was $12 a square foot. We ditched the wallpaper and installed white beadboard on the bottom half of the walls and painted the top half in a pale aqua shade. The dark brown trim got a coat of glossy white paint. Total cost: $150 Savings: $1000.

Thankfully the existing toilet was not dark brown and it was in good shape, so we kept it. Total cost: $0. Savings: $300.

So the total cost was about $1800 versus my original estimate of $6000-$7000. I probably spent another $100 or so on the shower curtains, towels, and other random stuff.

Cost Breakdown & Sources:

Mariner's Sconce in Antique Brushed Nickel  Restoration Hardware Baby & Child ($149)
Mirror--Home Goods ($149) (similar)
Wall color--Benjamin Moore Sea Foam
Trim color--Benjamin Moore Super White
Floor tile--similar to TrafficMaster Portland Stone Gray Home Depot ($0.89/sq. ft.)
Bamboo shade--Overstock ($39)
Vanity--Hampton 48" vanity cabinet--Home Depot ($334)
Tub & tile reglazing ($650)
Replating brass tub fixtures ($200)

Here's one more look:





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