Reasons for bathroom remodel: tub reglazed by previous owner made it too slick to stand in safely, cracked tile floor grout, granite tile counter, short toilet, old/moldy tub/shower, outdated shower fixtures, short shower head, one unnecessary doorway and hallway, popcorn ceiling, poorly patched walls
Initial Budget: $7,000 Actual: $10,500
I started this six-week remodel by removing the popcorn ceiling texture and the shower door enclosure. I used a small garden sprayer to apply water to the ceiling and then scraped the popcorn off. It was messy but easy. Taking off the shower door was also an easy process. I saved all the parts and put it up for sale on Craigslist after the Habitat for Humanity Restore turned down the donation. No takers on Craigslist so I ended up putting it in the landfill. Bummer!
Next, I put blue tape over the old bathtub drain so I wouldn’t clog it up with tile and dust. Then I put on my safety glasses and removed the tile surround and drywall (no cement board behind the tile) by using a short handled sledge hammer. Removing the tile became a three Band-aid job because I didn’t wear gloves. I would recommend you wear gloves when removing tile. The tile went into the tub so it was pretty easy to clean up. I just transferred the broken tile and dust to buckets. Luckily, in Loveland, Colorado, where I live, homeowners are encouraged to recycle ceramic tile so that is what I did at no extra cost.
I hired a licensed plumber who removed/recycled the tub and the sink and then he installed the new tub, the vanity top, the new toilet and replaced all the existing bathroom fixtures with the exception of the sink faucet which we reused. A carpenter widened one doorway, moved a light switch, closed off another doorway, removed the granite tile countertop, skim coated the walls and two large skylight areas, retextured walls and skylight areas, and painted the two skylight areas. He also put up the cement board, installed the niche, and tiled the tub/shower surround.
After removing the popcorn ceiling, the shower doors and tile, I removed the door trim on two doorways, removed the existing tile floor which was installed over the original laminate flooring, removed the wood flooring in a small hallway which was now becoming part of the bathroom, removed the toilet and took it to the recycling center. I also selected new 12″ x 36″ shower tile (River Marble, “River Rapids”), 6″ x 36″ tile flooring (Natural Timber, “Whitewash” from Lowes’s), a white onyx vanity top, Hydro 60″ x 32″ soaker tub, Delta Leland Venetian bronze tub/shower fixtures including rubbed bronze handshower and rain shower head, a new light fixture and mirror, Behr paint (“Almond Wisp”), comfort height toilet, new baseboards, and a new unfinished vanity side panel which I stained and installed along with the toilet paper holder. I applied a primer coat of paint on the ceiling and the walls and later painted the finish coat.
I installed the new wood-look tile floor. It took a lot of time to lay it out and I think it turned out nicely for my first time installing a ceramic tile floor. I purchased a tile cutting saw to use on the fireplace surround I completed months before this project so I didn’t have to buy one for this project. It worked beautifully on the floor tile. The grouting took a little practice and I think I wiped out too much of it on the first day, but did a better job on the second day. Next, I installed the baseboards. I had to redo a couple of them but overall, it went smoothly using the chop saw I already had.
Every time I walk into my newly remodeled bathroom, I can’t believe the transformation and the amount of money I spent! It was well worth it though and I believe it adds value to my home. I would not change a thing.
Note: The shelf above the toilet is a drawer from a late 19th century dresser I got free from a neighbor. I reused the vanity and the sink faucet. Everything else is new.
Important safety tips: Always wear gloves and safety glasses! Also in the case of an emergency, keep your cell phone close by (I keep mine in my pocket) if you work alone like I do.