Hall Bath Makeover Reveal

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

If you recall from one of my early posts back in January, our master plan for this year included renovating our hall bath to install a bathtub before the baby arrives this summer. The previous owners had removed the existing bathtub and installed a handicap accessible shower (they were elderly) and that wasn't going to work for us. We figured it would be wise to knock this out before we have a baby sleeping on the other side of this wall that we need to work around nap times. Renovations are also very messy, we felt it was better for everyone's health to just get it done before there's another person to worry about!

We had a budget of about $3000 to remove our existing shower and install a bathtub with a tile surround. Once we found a contractor that we wanted to work with, we had him price out our options. I was not super concerned about having real tile in the bathroom since grout and tile can be difficult to maintain. Since we plan for this to be the main bathroom for our kid(s), we wanted something that could be cleaned quickly and easily. The only thing I cared about was the aesthetics -- I really, really wanted a white subway tile look. Surprisingly, that was really hard to find in an acrylic surround kit!

We were only able to find one option between Bathfitter, Lowes, HomeDepot, and the rest of the internet. Enter: the Delta Upstile System. We showed it to our contractor, and he was really impressed. He had not worked with it before, but was willing to try it with us and see how it goes. Spoiler: He ended up loving it so much, he's now recommending it other clients with similar projects! After selecting our materials, our final estimate came out to $1400. Less than HALF what we had originally planned. We were pumped! We even had enough  money left in our budget to do our master bathroom shower in the same product. I wrote about that makeover here! 

So, before I get to the goods of how the reno turned out, here's a quick refresher on what our space looked like when we moved in. As with all the other bathrooms (and our kitchen) we had the same salmony tile, cherry cabinets, sandy granite counters, and beige "marble" acrylic surround in this room.

Because there was previously a tub in this space, we didn't have to move any plumbing, or walls to get this tub to fit. SCORE! 

Next, the surround walls went up. The support beams are there to  make sure everything leveled out while the screws and glue set.

As a reminder, here's what we started with: 

And here it is after the tub installation:

All in all, our final bill for this portion of the renovation came out to about $1700 with some additional labor for drywall and plumbing, but it was still less than half of our original budget, and a fraction of one of the estimates we got early on that this would cost $5000 for real tile! The Delta Upstile system is holding up SO well, cleans great, and the real tile just adds that extra personality that makes it super convincing and attractive. 10/10 would recommend. 

Now that the tub was done, the rest of the room was in desperate need of some help! Because we had saved so much money on the tub renovation, I wanted to keep it going and challenge ourselves to spend as little as possible on the rest of the makeover. 

So, I decided to shop our garage paint supply, and I had JUST enough paint left over from our master bath reno to use what we had.  I was able to get the ceiling painted a fresh white (it made such a difference!) and the walls a pretty grey for $0 because I already had the paint. 

The next step was to decide what I wanted to do with the counter top and cabinets. We do still plan to replace the countertop at some point, but for the time being we went with a really budget friendly option: contact paper! We purchased $28 of contact paper at Lowes , and installed it right over top the granite. It looks beautiful, and is definitely super convincing from afar. It's tiding me over until we have the budget and (now) the safety to have someone in our home to come replace it (likely sometime in 2021 after baby is settled). The contact paper really helps aesthetically, but it has already chipped and peeled in some places from moisture so it's definitely not going to work long term (I knew it wouldn't, so it's all good). 

When it came to the cabinets, I had debated a playful navy blue that felt very kid-friendly, and went back and forth with my instagram friends on which we should do! Ultimately, my gut said that a bright white cabinet would really lighten this space up and... man.... WAS I RIGHT!? I am so happy I chose white for the cabinets (it also went along with my $$$ goals, because I already had a can of the exact paint I needed since it's what we use to paint all the chipping trim in our house! Another $0 improvement). 

If you'd like to see more about how I paint cabinets, visit this post all about it. I use the same technique, the only change is the paint. I've since switched from chalk paint to a specific line called Ben Moore Advance. It's perfect for cabinets and heavy use. We used it in our master bathroom, and it's held up BEAUTIFULLY over the last 8 months with every day use. We already had it on hand for our trim, so using it again in here was a no brainer. 

I also reused the existing hardware, so spent $0 there! 

The final result is seriously stunning. This paint is self smoothing and self leveling, so once it's fully cured, it looks like it was always there. At this point, I am SUPER confident that when we eventually get to re-doing our kitchen, we can comfortably repaint the those cabinets ourselves and a have a beautiful, long lasting result. 

These photos were taken at the same time of day (and I don't even have the light on in the second photo!) Having the white cabinets and light counters has made such a difference in the brightness of this room. 

As for accessories, I think I spent about $70 on a new shower curtain, rod, and 2 bathmats for this room. Pro tip!! We really needed an extra long bathmat in this space and could not find one we liked. We ended up buying two bathmats and "linking them" together with these from Amazon. They keep the rugs down so you don't slip on them, and putting them end to end made it look like one big rug! 

One of my other favorite transformations is this corner behind the door. Our master bathroom had the same saloon style medicine cabinet that was not functional, had mold, and took up the only logical place for towel rack/hooks. We did the same move we did in our bathroom -- removed the medicine cabinet, and "patched" the hole by covering it with a slab of $14 beadboard from Lowes. We nailed it into place, used wood glue to keep it steady, and attached 4 towel hooks at various (kid and guest friendly) heights. 

The LAST bit of this bathroom makeover was giving our 35 year old, builder grade mirror a "glow up" with a little bit of framing. It's amazing what $14 of trim can do to make a space feel finished. We had these cut and measured at Lowes, and then installed it right on the mirror with construction glue. 

And now, we are finished!! Here are my favorite before and afters of this room:

I think that's enough words and pictures about this bathroom, but I am really, really proud of this one! All in all, I think our total spend on this room came out to probably around $1900, give or take. Which, given that an average bathroom remodel costs about $9000.... I'm pretty thrilled with. I'm so thankful we got this project done when we did, too, because if we had waited until our original April/May timeline instead of doing it in Jan/Feb, we would have been up Schitt's Creek  with everything going on with the pandemic. I'm really grateful to have a beautiful, functional bathroom to obsessively wash my hands in 4,283 times a day these days! 

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