Monday, July 21, 2014

Retro Budget Bathroom Remodel


**Updated**

This post is a bit of a throwback, to the first house we owned.

I'll be doing a series of posts on this house, because we were able to make such big changes on a small budget.

The first room we'll start with is the bathroom. Warning, the "before" photos are a bit shocking, and you'll see why... the house had seem some ROUGH days.

Budget Bathroom Remodel


The previous owners had rented the small two bedroom home to a group of students. It had essentially been party central for about 3 years. But, under the filth and the stains, we saw charm and possibility. We were excited to get to work. The first room we tackled was the bathroom. Here are a few more "before" photos.


Can you find where they kept their bar of soap?


First, let me answer some questions about the above photos...

1.  Yes, that is the same tub that we used for our remodel. We were on a budget after all, and new fixtures weren't in it. Yes, I'm the one who scrubbed it! Some TSP (see Amazon link below for information on this MIRACLE cleaner!) and a good strong brush did the trick!

2.  Yes, the previous tenants did take showers in there. I met one of them, and he explained that they just never cleaned. 

3.  No, they weren't cooking meth in there. It really was just grime and mildew. 



INSIDE the shower

Now that I have your attention with some before and after photos, lets move on...

One interesting feature original to the house was the light switch in the shower (see above photo). We splurged on this, hiring a licensed electrician to relocate it to the other side of the room (and out of the direct spray of water).





The plaster walls and floor were pretty rotten, so we pulled out the old cast iron tub and went ahead with demolition. Taking a sledgehammer to a wall can be so much fun!

Where the tub "was"

My view to below!

The tub removal aftermath

We rebuilt the walls and floors, and relocated the shower plumbing to the inside of the wall. For the floor we went with hexagon porcelain tiles, laid out on strips for easy instillation. We used mostly white tiles, but added a decorative perimeter of black tile around the edge of the floor. It was easy to do.



We just bought and additional couple of square feet of black tile, pulled them off the netting and replaced them back onto the white tiled netting.




Setting floor tiles is relatively easy. But individual wall tiles can be trickier.

White subway tile
Add caption

We were very blessed to have the help of a friend, who is a professional. But you can rent a tile cutter and do it yourself too. For the walls and shower, in order to keep with the retro theme (and to keep cost down) we went with inexpensive subway tiles. The beveled edges on this particular tile gave it a decorative flair.


Off-the-shelf black tile gave boarders and edges a pop of contrast.


Bathroom Before and After

bathroom before and after

The above comparison is a testament to using what you already have. That's the same medicine cabinet, linen cabinet, sink and even the SAME toilet.

In case you can't quite tell how gross the toilet was, here's a better "before" picture. (Yes, I cleaned that too!)

Lovely, wasn't it?


Bathroom Remodel, Details 


The black ceramic toothbrush and toilet paper holders were a gift, they were both vintage. But the back ceramic switch-plate covers were both purchased from Rejuvenation Hardware. (Not really budget friendly, but if you like retro or period pieces, they are the BEST source for reproductions). 

black and white bathroom
With the painted orange


The new faucet was off the rack. It wasn't top quality, and therefore lower priced. I also found it on sale at Home Depot. The pull out mirror was about $5 at Ikea, and the medicine cabinet hinges were off-the-rack hardware store purchases, that just happened to match the originals! I found the light fixture on clearance at Restoration Hardware, and was able to get it for a very reasonable price. It pays to keep an eye on sales, and not be too picky!

For a while the walls were painted a bold orange. I enjoyed the bright color, and the way it played against the black and white tile. An inexpensive white shower curtain faded into the background because of the boldness in the rest of the room.


After a while, I decided to tone it down a bit, and changed the wall color to a soft grey.























The glass cabinet pulls were original. But, you can find reproductions in this style at many hardware stores, or through Rejuvenation Hardware.
Overall it was a fun project, and we were able to make some drastic changes with only a few thousand dollars and less than 2 weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!


retro bathroom



For more posts about this little beach bungalow, and the cheap changes we made there, please see these posts:







Linking up to these fun parties: 




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  10. Mildew does cause a lot of damage. People tend to start renovating with rooms that see a lot of activity, such as their bathroom or kitchen. You want your bathroom to be a comfortable space. In a way, I think many people envision their bathrooms as a place where they can go to relax and even think through the day's events.

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  11. Wow! You must have really used some elbow grease on that tub! I am heading over to check out the kitchen too, because that's next on my list in my home!

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