Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

It started with a paint swatch. I was just going to paint the walls. And then I found a leaking toilet and I blacked out and woke up holding tile samples at Lowes. Things escalated quickly.

Our master bathroom was not a project we were planning to do in 2019. Or in 2020, actually. In fact, we had been budgeting and saving and planning to renovate our guest bathroom. We even had the contractors out to measure for a bathtub, give us an estimate for a new counter, etc.

But after thinking about it, we just felt like, "Why would we prioritize renovating a bathroom that we don't typically use? Why wouldn't we just spend that money to renovate the bathroom both of use every single day?" They are identical floor plans, so the budget would have been exactly the same. Uh-doy!

So, we decided to switch gears and remodel the master bath instead. We had some inspiration, and decided to dive in with our DIY.

We started with new counter tops. The previous owners had apparently capped off plumbing to a second sink and put in extra long counters instead. For the way we live, we would find way more use out of having 2 sinks so we decided to replace it with something more our style AND improved our quality of life. If you're local to the Triangle and thinking of replacing your countertops, you need to get in touch with me. We have the most amazing counter top guy that can source *anything* you want for a fraction of what most stores cost. They did such a great job in our powder room reno, we plan to use them again for our kitchen and guest bath when we get to it.

Once the counters were installed, we had our very first experience with tiling! I did this project alone, so I didn't have the chance to snag many photos. Installing thin set and grout was really time sensitive, so I couldn't take any breaks to grab photos of the process. But, overall, I will say that YouTube was a GREAT teacher, tiling was wayyyy easier than I expected it to be, and we will definitely be taking this project on again! I was so nervous but it really was not complicated. Now I'm wondering why I never tiled before!

To keep things in budget, we decided to go ahead and paint the tile floors again, instead of replacing them. We did this in our powder room, and it has held up so, so well, so I had no fears about doing it again. This was also a zero dollar improvement since I already had all of the supplies. You can read more about how I did this in our powder room, here. Someday, we may decide to replace the floors, but the painted tile makes such a big difference it's a great start.

As with any renovation, there are always things you don't plan for. For me, there were two this project:

1) I didn't give much thought to how I was going to patch the hole in the wall when I removed the medicine cabinet. Thankfully, we found a very quick and inexpensive solution to the drywall hole left from removing the saloon-style medicine cabinet. Beadboard! This was a $14 fix (patching the drywall would have cost hundreds), and it was super stylish and easy to do DIY!

We had the board measured and cut at Lowes, and then installed Liquid Nails to the back of it, nailing in the corners and a few support spots as we went to keep it steady. I already had all the caulk and paint, so this was also an inexpensive repair. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out! One of the headaches of the bathroom before was that we didn't have any spot to hang wet towels other than the back of the door. Now, we have a designated towel spot that's stylish and convenient!

2) I never measured the depth of the medicine cabinets I purchased and didn't realize how deep they were. The medicine cabinets did unfortunately add to our budget, because there was no way to make them work as a surface mounted cabinet. They were too deep and stuck out over the faucets. So, I called my favorite contractor and he helped cut into the drywall and provide 2x4 support to mount them. This only added a few hundred dollars overall, and I love how it came out. It was worth every penny!

One of the last steps we did was paint the cabinets. For some reason, I was having the hardest time deciding what color I wanted these cabinets to me. I normally source a lot of inspiration photos before I do a project, and then review them frequently before I make decisions. That way, I  can see patterns in what I'm gravitating to, visually. For instance, I love matte black hardware, but for this project, I was really drawn to chrome fixtures in the bathrooms. I wanted everything to blend nicely and sometimes black hardware can stick out. I was drawn to those inspiration photos, so I trusted my eye and chose to do all chrome, knowing my eye would be happy with it for a long time to come!

The one thing I was all over the place on in terms of inspiration was cabinet color! I knew we wanted to paint it - that was obvious. But I couldn't decide between a dark base, a light base, or a white base. Ultimately, I did the same process I normally do, sourced tons of inspiration, thought about how it would play being right off our master bedroom, and ultimately decided I wanted the bathroom to fade away when the door was open. We ultimately chose a beautiful grey from the same swatch family as our wall paint, and I'm really happy with the results. The last time we painted cabinets, I chose to use chalk paint, but to be honest, I don't love the texture. For this one, I decided to buy some really nice cabinet paint from Ben Moore. The Advance line is known to be extra durable, self smoothing, and great for cabinets. I'm really happy I made this choice because I think it feels better, looks more professional, and will hold up better to daily use.

Overall, I could not be happier with the new space. It is SO peaceful, so updated, and the increased functionality we have between the two sinks and the off-counter medicine cabinets has been such a game changer! We both love this space, and find it so relaxing now. Overall, we did this renovation for about $1500 all in. It took 3 weeks of daily work on my part, but it was worth every penny of savings and payoff!

Some more before and afters to enjoy:

Wall Paint in Gray Owl eggshell finish
Cabinet Paint in Sea Haze satin finish
Cabinet Hardware
Floor Paint (and how I did it here!)
My favorite heavy duty primer for floors and cabinets
Towel Hooks
Medicine Cabinets
Tile backsplash
Soap dispenser/Cups
Counter Tops were locally sourced white quartz from Wake Granite... the best prices in town!)

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