It’s taken me a little while to put this post together, but I’m excited to finally share all the details on our small guest bathroom remodel on a budget, including what we did–and what we wish we would have done differently! The “before” version of our guest bathroom is a pretty common look, since those brownish-tan tiles and gold granite countertops were very popular with home builders a few years ago. To stay within our budget (which was originally $1000, but we ended up spending closer to $1200), we kept the original bathroom layout and reused the same vanity, toilet, tub, mirror, shower head, towel bars, and faucets. The first thing we did was add a fresh coat of paint to the vanity, with Van Deusen Blue by Benjamin Moore. They came in, taped off everything, removed the old hardware, cleaned all the cabinets, did a light sanding, primed, painted, took our cabinet doors and drawer fronts to their shop to spray paint, and then installed them, along with our new pulls, just a few days later. This was the first time I’d attempted painting cabinets, but I figured if it didn’t turn out, I would just have to squeeze the cost of a new vanity into our budget.
If you’re thinking of painting your bathroom cabinets yourself, it’s a great way to save money. I’m so glad we added the new light fixtures early on in the remodeling process because they added much-needed light to this space, making our job a little bit easier as we tackled the rest of the projects in here. Initially, I planned to paint the brown tiles in the tub surround with this product.
However, after reading all the warnings regarding fumes, etc., Dave offered to remove the old tile and replace it.
For the tub surround, we went with classic white subway tile from Home Depot, an easy and budget-friendly decision. This added an extra day to the project, since he had to tape, mud and sand before he could start tiling.
It’s a good idea to cover the tub with a piece of plywood so it won’t get damaged during demolition. Since the vanity top is only about 5′ long, we picked it up at the store and Dave installed it himself, saving us quite a bit of money in labor costs. Dave had a bit more free time and was ready for a project, so I ran to Lowe’s one day, feeling weird about being out and about.
Normally, I would have hung around in the tile aisle forever, trying to make the perfect choice. But this day, I grabbed the first tile I saw that I liked (I knew I wanted something geometric), along with grout and mortar, and left. Maybe it was a good thing I was forced to make a quick decision, because I ended up loving the tile I chose.
It made such a huge difference and helped tie the entire bathroom together. Dave, on the other hand, wasn’t too thrilled about grouting around and inside all those tiny tiles–so it’s probably not a choice I would make again!
First, I bought inexpensive 1/4″ thick furring strips at Lowe’s and primed & painted them. Next, Dave cut the strips to the right size and installed them on the front of the cabinets with glue and brad nails. We originally planned to spend $1000; however, with the additional cost for new wallboard and a few extra features, we went slightly over that amount. And here is a selection of bathroom vanities, faucets, mirrors, door and drawer pulls, cabinets, and lighting in various finishes and colors.
For more DIY bathroom remodel ideas and inspiration, you might be interested in these posts: This small bathroom remodel on a budget was a labor of love from start to finish.