29 Mar Completed Bathroom
This has been quite a while in the making, but our main floor bathroom renovation is complete finished! We fully gutted this room down to the studs – the only thing original to the room is the window! We also took out a closet that was taking up a good bit of space. We decided a free standing cabinet combined with the dresser-turned-vanity would provide sufficient storage, which it does.
If you remember from our house tour page, here is where we started:
The bathroom was pretty close to non-functional. This images are not from mid-way through the renovation, someone really had ripped out the tub surround before we purchased the house. This was a foreclosure, but since nothing else had been damaged in the house, we don’t really know why the tub surround was missing! The sink was semi-functional – if I remember correctly, the handles to the faucet didn’t work well. The toilet was about the only thing worthwhile in that bathroom!
Once the room was gutted, the tub got replaced. We decided to replace the old cast iron tub with a new one because we like how durable they are supposed to be. If the old one lasted 50 years, we figure this one should do pretty well, too. They’re actually not as expensive as we thought – we bought it from Lowe’s (or was it Home Depot?!) for around $500.
Next up was the floor tile. Rather than use cement board on top of the subfloor, we chose to use schluter-ditra. It looks like a bright orange waffle, but it is a decoupling matrix, which is supposed to help prevent cracks due to shifting or expansion between the subfloor and tile. We purchased it on craigslist and were able to save a bit of money that way. We then laid our large floor tiles, which are porcelain, purchased from The Tile Shop. They actually have a free tiling class that we attended, and my dad also helped us get started.
After the tile, the toilet went in (it’s pretty awesome having a plumber dad). We also started working on the vanity, which started it’s life as a dresser. We found it at a garage sale for $10, and managed to shove it in the back of our chevy cavalier to bring it home. The entire thing was painted a darker green, but we stripped the top to stain and polyurethane it. The rest got painted a slightly brighter green (forgive me, I have no idea what paint color it was, but it was from Sherwin Williams). While we’re on paint colors, I do know the paint color for the walls is called Heron Plume, also by Sherwin Williams. After the dresser had it’s makeover, the vessel sink and faucet were installed (again, thanks dad!). My husband carved space out of the drawers for the plumbing, but each drawer still maintains at least a little bit of usable space. The top drawer on the left was the only one that really suffered much loss. I am really pleased with how the dresser turned out. Not only was it inexpensive, but it is custom for the space. We have used this as our main bathroom for the past year, and the polyurethane has been plenty to protect the wood. We chose a glossy polyurethane, which makes it pretty easy to wipe up any spills. The drawers of the dresser also offer a ton of extra storage – enough that an entire drawer is still empty! The free standing cabinet next to the sink was an even better bargain – I found it in my parents garage for free! It took quite a few tries to get the paint color just right. I’ll have to do some digging to find out the name of the color we ended up with. I’m pretty sure it was the third or fourth color we tried…
The part of the bathroom that took the longest by far was tiling the tub surround. We didn’t have any issues with it being a vertical surface, although I think it did take longer to get things spaced correctly. What took so long was just the number of tiles that had to be put up! Those tub surrounds are deceiving – that is a LOT of square footage to cover with subway tile. My husband and I were pretty meticulous about getting the spacing and leveling correct, so it took quite a while. We chipped away at it, a few rows (a few hours) at a time, as I was pretty pregnant at the time and couldn’t last very long. At the very end, we ran into a major glitch with the caulk. We had purchased what was supposed to be matching caulk to the pure white grout. Unfortunately, it did not match AT ALL. It looked like the caulk had been there for 50 years – it was very yellowed and dirty looking. We had to scrape all of the caulk off of our brand new tile to replace it with pure white caulk. What a miserable ending to an already tediously long project! That was probably our lowest point during the entire project. But in the end, I am SO glad we did it ourselves – we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
And then Clara was born. Fast forward 9 months or so.
The bathroom was fully functional when Clara was born, so all motivation was out the window. Finally, we got the trim installed. Then fast forward another few months. And today, I finished painting the trim. The last piece of the puzzle is finished, and boy, does that feel good! This post has been almost as long as our project, so without further ado, here are the pictures!
And because everyone loves a good before and after shot:
A few final details:
- The entire project came in right around $3,000. We were able to save money by doing the work mostly ourselves, but also because we were able to take our time in scouring deals. There were very few things that we bought at full price.
- The artwork was part of our stash that we have collected over time. The piece over the toilet was from our honeymoon, and the piece over the towels was from The Wagon Wheel Antique’s in Gibsonia.
- In the upper part of the gray cabinet I used an Ikea cardboard box covered with a map I tore out of an old atlas. I have plans for a second one, but I can’t seem to locate the hardware… the downside to a project taking this long.
- The glass shelf over the toilet is also from Ikea (to the tune of $15!).
- The faucet is by Danze and was purchased online.
- The vessel sink is from Lowe’s – we lucked into a clearance buy for $20, although it normally goes for $78.
- The rest of the items were just picked up here or there when I saw things on clearance or at a garage sale.
I promise – this is the end. We still own the townhouse that we lived in before moving here, but it will be for sale soon. I created a page with a few details if you’re interested. Click here: Townhouse for Sale