When we bought our house we were coming from 1300 square feet and 1 bathroom, upgrading to 1650 square feet and 3 bathrooms! We lived in our previous home for 22 years as a family of six. With 1 bathroom. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was to no longer have a bathroom line! The only downside was that all three bathrooms were in desperate need of renovating.
The first one that needed to be tackled was the ensuite bath in my bedroom (a bathroom just for me and my husband??? no kids in there??? SO exciting!). To check out the makeover of our adjacent bedroom, click here. This one needed to be taken on first not just because it was ugly but also because it was unsafe. There had been a leak from the tub, they fixed the leak, but not the floor. The tile floor and subfloor underneath was very rotten. The kind of bad where there was actually a hole where you could see right into the basement bad. Like bathroom renovations? Click here to check out our main floor bathroom reno
We don’t have the cash for a major makeover. Hopefully in the next couple years it will happen. But we needed to make the floor safe, and while we were at it, might as well make it pretty too!
The bathroom is small so we set a budget of $500 including repairing the floor.
First step we pulled out the 1980s vanity, which had seen much better days. Have you shopped for vanities lately? They are pricey!!
I found this one used on Facebook Marketplace for $50. Several coats of white paint and a nice new $65 faucet and it’s a huge upgrade!
Then we pulled out the toilet and stripped out all the old tile floor. Luckily the toilet is in fine shape so we don’t need to replace that. The floor was so bad in the corner we could literally pluck the tiles up with our fingers! The area was so small, we just replaced the subfloor in the whole room for a fresh start.
Inspecting the floor from the basement, it looks like under the tub the subfloor is fine so we didn’t have to move it. The leak came down the side of the tub from cracks in long neglected caulking. Also, we got lucky the support beams were all fine, just the subfloor had rotted.
For the new floor, we went with Pergo Waterproof laminate in Trenton Oak. I have learned from past projects that I am no good at laying tile, and hiring a pro is not in the budget this time. Click together laminate is an easy project for any DIYer. You just have to be able to work a saw. The laminate looks a zillion times better than the old tile floor and is so easy to clean. Bonus: it was so inexpensive, at $2.49 a square foot, we could do the whole room including the underlayment & trim, for only $100.
Replacing the very dated tub surround & hardware is an expensive prospect, so for now I will have to settle for a pretty shower curtain to hide the ugly. I found this really cute one on Amazon. I love the little details on it!
On to the walls! I had an intense hatred for the metal towel shelf that was here when we moved in. It was rusted and reminded me of a cheap motel bathroom. I had a cabinet in my bedroom just outside the bathroom door where I could store towels, so the rack was unnecessary anyway.
Over the toilet & sink there was a dated looking combination of two mirrored wall cabinets, and a tall narrow cabinet, with a florescent bar light attached to the top of them. While I appreciated the storage it offered, I did not love the look of it. 20 years of living with one bathroom taught us a thing or two about limiting bathroom clutter. The bathroom at the old house was exactly the same size as my current ensuite bath – for six people. So to have all this space just for two people was something new! Between the towel cabinet in the bedroom and under the sink, we really just needed one of the cabinets.
I gave away the narrow cabinet and one of the mirrored cabinets. I was able to scavenge an old mirror from my mom’s basement for free, it just needed a coat of paint. We purchased a new light from Wayfair to replace the florescent bar that was over the old set up.
I didn’t like the way the mirror and the mirrored cabinet looked hanging next to each other, but our budget was running really low. I grabbed some paint from the basement to paint the cabinet. Then I ordered a window privacy cling from Amazon. They cling to mirrors just as well as windows, and it totally changed up the look of the cabinet!
I had a little money left for a bit of decor with the llama picture and some faux plants (no window for light, so real plants would be a challenge). We squeaked in just under our $500 budget! This is how things broke down, with shopping links if you have your own bathroom to makeover.
$100 Pergo flooring, underlayment, & trim boards (Home Depot)
$65 subfloor materials
$50 used vanity
$60 sink faucet (Wayfair)
$0 mirror from mom
$125 light fixture (Wayfair)
$24 shower curtain (Amazon)
$30 window cling (Amazon)
$15 llama picture (Hobby Lobby)
$17 hanging plants (Amazon)
$9 pot (Amazon)
BONUS RENO – about a year after our mini makeover, I decided that while I love the changes we made, the bathroom still needed “something”. We used some 1x4s to create the look of wood paneling and some easy to install peel & stick wallpaper to give the bathroom a whole new look! Click here to read all about this project