Monday, July 21, 2014

Retro Budget Bathroom Remodel


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: 


  1. This is a lot of information regarding choosing the Best Bathroom Remodel Services. Thank you for the post.
    Bathroom Remodel Colorado Springs

  2. thanks for sharing about choosing the Best Bathroom Remodel Services. I really love it, I think it will be help of all...........

    room addition los angeles

  3. You share very good information .it will be very useful for many others.
    Remodeling contractor Austin

  4. I read your blog which makes me feel how beautiful your bathroom is looking . You have described it very nicely .There are many innovative sites with which we makeover our bathroom with creative bathroom floor tiles,Small Bathroom Ideas and bathroom design ideas and get your bathroom looks wonderful.

  5. Thanks you are share the very useful information for bathroom remodeling.It can provide the great change.
    See More at -

  6. Nice post. I have bookmarked you to check your new stuff. Thanks for sharing this useful information. Its really useful for us.

    Bathroom Remodeling Maryland

  7. Nice and useful information for everyone.There is this one very nice site where you can get ideas for your small bathroom.

  8. Hi! Nice blog .You have done a great job. Keep on working. . Granite fabrication Shop

  9. Thanks for sharing such a useful information. It is very useful and informative.
    water damage restoration Toronto

  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.

    Traci Romero @ Harris Plumbing

  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!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful blog on building bathroom nice..
    bathroom remodel Toronto

  15. It's a wonderful article,
    i really like that,.
    home remodel

  16. Keep sharing more informative post about home renovation,
    .Home inspection Encino

  17. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
    Bathroom Remodeling

  18. It's really an amazing and helpful article about home inspection,.
    interior exterior painting

  19. Thanks for sharing this informative and really nice article about home renovation,.
    painting athens ga

  20. Thanks for sharing this nice information about modeling,.
    kitchen remodel las vegas

  21. Your bathroom looks so classy I love the grey tones and those shelves are fantastic for displaying pretty things :) Great job guys Bath remodel Austin

  22. Wow. It’s stunning and just gorgeous. I like the cabinets, vanities and especially draw. bathroom remodelling Austin
    What an amazing transformation!!!!!! It boggles the mind how a bathroom can be recreated to make SO much more sense but keep the same footprint! I love the new cabinets & drawers (especially since they have the soft close feature which means no rude early morning awakenings by a careless husband!), and raising the half wall in the tub area makes a world of difference! LOVE the basket weave on the wall in the shower!!!!!!!

  23. That is very impressive. We have redone several bathrooms in various houses that we have moved into but none have every looked so bad. I am sure you are very proud of yourselves! I am so in love with the tiling. I especially like the small tiles on the floor and how you used different sizes for different areas there.

    Essie Reed @ Valley Home Improvement

  24. Nice Blog , This is what I exactly Looking for , Keep sharing more blog.

    Bathroom Renovations Brisbane

  25. Your ability to spot the house’s potential even in its run-down state and the slashed remodelling costs is remarkable. For instance, I love the subway tiles on the wall and the flair they bring to the room. The grey infusion on the wall is brilliant as it is more subtle and chic. The overall transformation is genius. Keep at it.

    Wilfred Andrews @ LB Plumbing and Heating

  26. I was searching for this nice and informative post,.
    Creme brulee torch

  27. Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!. loft conversions london

  28. Images are looking stunning.Thanks for showing us bathroom renovation ideas.For more info please visit here.

  29. I have spent a lot of the time in different blogs but this is really a unique blog for me.

    water restoration port st lucie

  30. Absolutely fantastic posting! Lots of useful information and inspiration, both of which we all need!Relay appreciate your work. loft conversions

  31. It looks great! The tub surround looks really good painted white, I love the shape of the tiles. Thanks so much for getting into detail about your process and costs, it's really helpful for people like me with no reno experience!

  32. Your website is terribly informative and your articles are wonderful.

  33. Very useful Blog thanks to blogger mentioned useful information.....

    Small Bathroom Renovation Ideas

  34. The tile is stunning! It works perfectly with your cabinets and counter tops Vintage Tiles in Bangalore | Imported Tiles in Bangalore

  35. It is wonderful and great bathroom. The Tiles or Flooring Design are so attractive deferentially people love this type of bathroom or homes.
    Thank You,

  36. Thanks for showing us bathroom renovation ideas and getting into detail about your process and costs, it's really helpful for people like me with no reno experience!

    Best Shower renovation Springfield va

  37. Remarkable blog! I have no words to praise, it has really allured me. custom homes kansas city mo

  38. I am very happy to read such a wonderful blog which gives the helpful information. thanks for sharing. 

    Kitchen Bath Design
    Bathroom And Kitchen Remodeling

  39. Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers.

  40. I love using classic elements like hexagon and subway tile mixed with more updated
    plumbing fixtures like this modern brass faucet and modern steam generator units

  41. I wanna thanks to a great extent for providing such informative and qualitative material therefore often.

  42. Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. Los Angeles Home Remodeling Services

  43. Very excellent blog, I read this have fruitful content and helpful for me. Thanks for publishing this blog. Please Visit:

    richardson home improvement
    kitchen remodel mckinney
    roofing richardson tx

  44. Whether or not or not you might be thinking about learning tips how to create a brand new bathroom sink, replace your bathtub, or set up a whole new bathtub stall, you must simply be able to find what you are looking for online. bathroom remodeling contractor Calabasas

  45. Excellent and helpful post… I am so glad to left comment on this. This has been a so interesting ..I appreciate your effort..
    bathroom tilers sydney | tile repairs sydney

  46. Excellent tips. Really useful stuff .Never had an idea about this, will look for more of such informative posts from your side... Good job...Keep it up
    Bathroom Tiles

  47. This really is stunning! I am passed up the type of this astounding.I've perused a great deal of articles, financial firms one of the best ones that I've perused. Continue providing more articles this way.remodel your bathroom for cheap

  48. I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. complete bathroom fitting service sydney

  49. Thanks a lot for one’s intriguing write-up. It’s actually exceptional. Searching ahead for this sort of revisions. complete bathroom fitting service sydney

  50. Thanks for your post. I’ve been thinking about writing a very comparable post over the last couple of weeks, I’ll probably keep it short and sweet and link to this instead if thats cool. Thanks. dig this

  51. Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people..find more

  52. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time.
    Bathroom Renovation
    Thank you and good luck.

  53. nice renovation of bathroom. thanks for this article
    Online rta cabinets

  54. I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!. To know more

  55. Excellent blog I visit this blog it's really awesome.The important thing is that in this blog content written clearly and understandable.Content of information is very informative. Thanks for excelent and great idea.keep blogging! kitchens and bathrooms

  56. Your own ideas tend to be amazing. We frequently study your site and it is very useful. diesel dewatering pump


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...