Thoughts on our DIY bath reno?

lauren0319June 24, 2013

Hubs has done it again Nearly demo'd our bathroom without a plan!! I'm very lucky to be married to such a hard worker but I sure didn't think we'd be renovating our master bathroom this summer.
The "plan" so far. (originally, the plan was just to remove the wallpaper and paint to match our bedroom. Yeeeaaaa.... we're doing a bit more)

*Paint the walls to match the bedroom, including walls in the WC
*Remove the tub and install a custom built-in with drawers and a built-in hamper (2- one for lights and one for darks)
*Paint the current cabinets white (same color that the built-in will be) OR replace entire vanity, 86 inches. Which would of course require a new mirror. :/
*Most likely rip out the current tile and replace.... right? Bc otherwise the new built-in (where the tub is) would be waaaaay too deep.

Also- can anyone see a good spot for our towels to hang after a shower? I really don't... right now we both have hooks inside our closets and that is where they go.

Dh is going to build the built-in. Should I have him build open shelves on either side for towels? Or is that just more to dust?

We would also really like to re-do our shower.... rip down the tile and start over.... but I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. On the other hand, might as well do it all at once, right??

Any thoughts? Dh left for a work trip and I have 4 days to come up with a plan. Yikes!

Pics: First pic is our master bedroom so you can see what we've got going on.

Going counter clockwise: Vanity- Currently 86". I would really like a vanity that is one single height.

Shower and dh's closet

Garden tub- will be removing and replacing with a built-in dresser.

My closet and WC. We'll be painting the WC the same color as our walls. (buh-bye red!!:)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Can I do some "thinking" out loud here? Tell me if I'm off my rocker. Budget will be $5-6K. This might not all be doable... but heck, dh has started so I've got to come up with something.
This bathroom makes me swoon. I adore the vanity.

However, I like the singe mirror and middle sconce on this bathroom. (and the knobs)

I priced out a double vanity yesterday... 86" *just* the vanity will be $1100. Price does not include countertop, mirror, faucets etc. It's pretty good quality with full extension drawers etc. Is that a good price? The cabinet style I am eyeing is Shaker. This is from a local store. I'm honestly fine w cultured marble as a countertop. Doesn't get any easier to clean and that's imp to me!

I think we'd be able to keep our current medicine cabinet and just paint and add a knob.

If we're going to do it, we might as well do it all, so I guess we'll retile the shower and obv replace the shower door with something much nicer. Anyone have a source for frameless shower doors? Standard size.

Pull the tub and dh will build a built-in. I can buy matching drawer and cabinet fronts from the place where we're buying the vanity so it will be uniform.

And of course retile the floor. I'm thinking rectangular, off-set.

wdyt? Doable? I'll prob. scour ebay/ikea for knobs, faucets, (uggg- new showerhead!!) and sconce. I'm thinking just one, in the center of the mirror kind of like that 2nd pic. Or might it get in the way and would one on each side be more practical?

I'd love your thoughts! Many thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: First link

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:41AM
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I am with you on the bathroom you found on I hope mine comes out as nice.

Just some thoughts:
It looks like there are a lot of doors of one type or another - closet, shower, entrance. Is there an opportunity to change that?

Budget - You might be able to do it for $6K if you are not moving any plumbing. At least you are not buying a new tub, so that helps.

I think $1,100 is not outrageous for a vanity that large.

Hanging towels from the shower- if you are getting a new shower door you could have a towel bar mounted right to the door.

I have tons of ideas if money is no object. (that's why I use Lotteryticket as my handle.. cuz I would need a winning one to do everything I'd like)

You could replace the top part of the wall with the medicine cabinet with a half wall and shower glass on the top half. That would really open it up and make the shower feel less like another room.

Hope you find any of these useful!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Thanks lottery! Not sure we could remove any doors. At least the WC door is a pocket door.
Not changing any plumbing, whew!
Excellent thought re towel rack on door- I had not thought of that!!
I'm actually ok with the shower set-up. More glass=more cleaning and I am NOT okay with that!! ;)

BUT I now have a big question. It is all VERY doable within that budget if we do NOT change out the vanity. BUT- if we retile the floor, can we then change out the vanity in a year or two? ASSuming we go with a vanity of the same size and footprint? Or does it really need to be done all at once?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:59AM
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Hi Lauren,

I think you can tile the floor now and change the vanity later. I ran into a problem with our kitchen floor. The original owner redid the floor and replaced whatever was down originally (vinyl?) with cherry but didn't move or replace any of the cabinets or appliances so they are kind of "trapped" by the new floor. It takes a little extra elbow grease to pull out the range as it has to be lifted up a bit to clear the floor. Not a huge issue but just thought it might be something you want to keep in mind.

Order a little extra floor tile just in case you will have to replace the existing vanity with something that is not quite the same size.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:46AM
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I think you should definitely try to replace those two vanities with a single vanity. Right now it kind of looks like whoever installed them went to a closeout sale and couldn't find two vanities of the same height. Make certain you're getting the kind of storage you want (drawers where you want them instead of just doors). You should probably do some comparison shopping to make certain $1100 is the best you can do for the vanity if you have a tight budget.

Do you have plenty of room in the shower? I ask because you should make certain you're happy with the size before redoing it so you don't end up with a shower that is too small after you spend the time and money on remodeling. If you redo the shower, you could try to open it up a little more to the room. Consider putting a pony wall against the vanity with glass on top, or even just a slightly larger glass door.

I really like your first inspiration picture and I think the style/colors would look lovely in your space.

Even with your DH doing all of the labor, remodeling costs add up. You might want to make certain you can afford to do everything you want before DH starts tearing up the flooring or removing the vanity. When you're doing tile, there are costs beyond just the tile itself: thinset, (tools if he doesn't already have them), underlayment (like Ditra). If you're looking at redoing the shower, then you're talking waterproofing membrane, shower valve and trim, etc. Your bathroom is still functional now, so you might want to make certain you know the scope of changes you can afford before DH starts ripping anything more out.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Couple of thoughts. If we decide we can't swing the new vanity right now, I make have dh pick up the current vanity and tile under it, then put it back down so it can tide us over until we can replace. (we'd go ahead and paint it to match the built-in.)
Also- I wonder if dh could build the vanity himself. I mean, if I trust him to build the built-in (to replace the tub) why couldn't he do the vanity? Maybe we would purchase the drawer and cabinet fronts, bc, well, I don't *totally* trust his skills. ;)

I'm perfectly happy with our shower and the size. We're just going to add a small bench inside.

Pricklypearcactus- truer words have not been spoken about the costs of remodeling adding up!!! I believe dh has all tools needed, but of course no supplies have been purchased!

Thank you all for your thoughts!!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:34AM
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It's not all that hard for a decent handy person to build cabinet boxes. Do some googling and youtubing and you can see how to construct them. Just buy the doors and drawer fronts and you'll save big bucks over all new. That's what I'm doing for our kitchen: building the boxes (or repurposing out of other cabinets), buying doors and drawer fronts, and painting them all to match.

You could also buy RTA (ready to assemble) vanities, and/or unfinished ones (just google those terms and you can price them out).

And keep an eye on CL. People often sell cabinets and countertops there, and you might find a set that works for you. A lot of is it old/dated stuff, but an occasional jewel pops up now and then.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Your DH sounds very handy. Also, google IKEA hacks to see some creative things folks have done with their relatively inexpensive cabinets. Some are done really well.

As weedyacres pointed out you can buy drawers and fronts to put them on a cab frame. My DH is a finish carpenter and sometimes buys them and just builds the frame.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Fantastic to know we can buy drawer and cabinet fronts. Where? I'm guessing a local store? (we're in San Antonio if anyone knows of some place.)
Can I get the same "high-end" finishes such as full extension drawers and "soft-close" cabinets? I'd imagine that's just hardware??

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 4:35PM
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lauren0319: "Any thoughts? Dh left for a work trip and I have 4 days to come up with a plan. "

My standard recommendation: while everything is torn up, install an electrical outlet (preferably dedicated) next to the toilet for the advanced toilet seat that eventually you will get.

(A few years ago, you never thought you would need a computer in your house; a few years later, you saw no need for a telephone that you could carry with you when you left the house.) You will buy an advanced toilet seat sooner or later, probably sooner than you think, and once you have used one, there is no going back.; ask anyone who has owned one. The difference is like the difference, when you are dirty and sweaty, between wiping yourself down with a paper towel or taking a shower. But to install such a seat, you will need an electrical outlet no farther than three feet from your toilet.

In the link below, do not panic at the list price; nobody sells it for that price.

Here is a link that might be useful: This is what we are talking about.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:02PM
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There are quite a few online places to get drawers and fronts. I did a quick search and saw some in TX. Not sure how close they are to you but you could look at

Full extension and soft close does depend on the hardware.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:00AM
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Google "cabinet doors" to find loads of options.

The drawer and door hardware you buy gives you soft-close and full-extension. Google "drawer hardware" to find options.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 10:03AM
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