Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | March 21, 2012

Bathroom Remodel

We remodeled our bathroom in two stages over three years; finishing the fun part, painting and decorating, late this winter.

There was nothing really wrong with the before decorating, the color were fine and coordinated with the adjoining room, I just felt it was dated.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have a spacious, 44” X 47” walk-in shower space. When the time came to remodel, we tore the space down to the studs and hired it custom tiled. This meant a major tear out and the additon of a waterproof membrane with a special drain system. I had decided that the membrane system, grab bars (as we age) built-in corner bench seating using highly fired, durable porcelain tiles were necessities for our shower redo.  Fancy tiling designs and high-end shower accessories would be forgotten.

Shower stall "before"

The original “kitchen center” quotes for the shower project came in at over $5,000, so I knew that something had to change. After a friend referred an independent tile contractor, we interviewed him, checked out his work in three separate homes and decided we liked the quality and subtle creativity of his work. Acting as the general contractor myself, I did all the footwork; shopping for the porcelain tile and grout, as well as grab bars and shower door. I asked for a corner seat and three triangular corner shelves for shampoo bottles and soap. I would have loved an all glass, seamless shower door but to stay within our budget that was simply not possible. Our metal rimmed, wavy glass door ran about $1,200 and a seamless-all glass door would have cost another $1,000 and was simply not an option. (Compromise!) The total cost for both labor and materials for our shower was a little over $3,300. We were very happy with the quality of work and the finished product. I choose porcelain tile from Home Depot in a tan and cream tone that complimented the similar toned bathroom flooring.

Shower stall "after" with grab bars

I painted the ceiling in a Benjamin Moore ceiling white paint as well as the linen closet doors to reflect as much light as possible into the space. The glass block window treatment framed out in oak trim was done by the previous owners and since the window looks out onto our three seasons porch, we decided to leave it “as is” for added light and privacy. Later I added a Roman shade a friend and I made together.

Old fake "marblesink top

Phase 03 -2012: Finally time to decorate! Again to stay on budget, our bathrooms footprint remained the same. And unfortunately there were no funds for a new vanity, mirror, wall sconces or ceiling fixtures and my dream…heated towel racks. This phase was definitely a “DYI” project! My husband and I scraped off the old wallpaper ourselves in a two day “sweat equity” marathon event.

Wallpaper coming down at last!

I then painted the walls and trim using low-VOC, Dutch Boy “platinum” brand paint in a golden almond color. (I then added some of my own original handmade paper canvas artwork on the walls.) This is a wonderful paint with primer and topcoat in one, as well as mold and mildew resistant additive. Formerly a Benjamin Moore paint devotee’ I was extremely happy with how with this smooth flowing paint covered the unprimed wallboard.

Testing paint colors

We hired out the install of a granite vanity top (in white, grey, black and wood toned flecks) done by that has become the rooms “focal point.” These counters really add a sense of “pizzazz“ to the room.

New granite countertop

We kept our original faucet and small Oriental rug (again a budget decision) and I found four new square hammered metal drawer pulls on sale for $20.00 and turned them on the triangle for added visual interest. I added a soft gold Chaps hand towel, $17.50 and a $20.00 flea market hammered metal lamp with a new $5.00 black, home center lampshade for a small touch of drama. To final touch was a $5.99 J.C. Penney black wooden tray on the vanity top, two antique glazed bowls on the toilet back, a vintage child’s oak chair and my own handmade paper wall art on canvas and whalla!

My handmade paper artwork

Even though it was a lot of hard work AND we had to wait a few years to complete it within our “budget,” our bathroom turned out beautifully.  We are happy and pleased with the final look and its practical use.

Again, the "after" transformation

Total Cost: Around $3,373.49

Phase 01: Flooring $ (Unknown as it was part of the larger whole house project)

Phase 02: Shower Rebuild (grab bars, membrane, tile and labor) $3,000

Phase 03: Paint, $55.00 (Dutch Boy Platinum paint in “Almond.”) Vanity pulls $20.00 (Hickory Hardware Menard’s sku P2172-OBH) Hand towel CHAPS $17.50 Flea market hammered metal lamp $20.00 with  Menard’s lampshade $5.99 Labor for plumber $255.00


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