TODAY WE’RE SHARING THREE DIFFERENT BATHROOMS WITH THREE DIFFERENT BUDGETS RANGING FROM $600-$12K!
Mom and I took all three of these bathrooms on last year and they had three very different budgets. Here we’re sharing the prices of items and exactly what was spent on each project. Our goal here is to give your real-life examples to help you price out the perfect bathroom updates for your own home.
HIGHEST BUDGET – $5850
This is my master bathroom so I allocated the most to it, but didn’t overspend. We used higher-end finishes like natural stones including the marble in the bench seat. We used tile from Bedrosian’s and a nicer shower head from Delta so we could get a spa-like experience. The glass going floor to ceiling creates a steam room experience but was definitely a budget upgrade.
There were still places I saved in this bathroom. The vanity was actually in good shape, but the doors were very dated. Rather than getting a new vanity I simply had new doors made and installed for the existing one. I struck gold in this house because the previous homeowner put quartzite in this bathroom that looks like marble. It was a remnant from another project they had so this saved me a ton as well. I chose more budget-friendly mirrors and vanity lights since the cost was quickly stacking up.
I also saved by not changing the layout of this bathroom. The only layout update I made was closing in the door so it became a dedicated bathroom to the primary retreat rather than there being access from the hallway.
Please understand that prices have changed on many items since I purchased them. For example, the bathtub I purchased for the second bathroom last year was $294 and is now listed at $399.
Closing in the Doorway – $500
Wall Tile – $900
Floor Tile – $350
Marble Bench Seat – $150 (Floor and Decor)
Tile Installation – $1500
Frameless Glass – $1750
Vanity Door Replacement – $300
Mirrors – $50/each
Lights – $130/each
Hardware – $40
TOTAL – $5850
SHOP BATHROOM 1
MIDDLE BUDGET – $3580
This is the hall bath used primarily by my daughter. We used faux marble porcelain tile from Floor and Decor. I scored a remnant of Quartz for the countertops. The gold shower head was from Amazon and the bathtub was for less than $350 at Home Depot. We used beautiful wallpaper from Livette’s with a beadboard accent below.
Wall Tile – $150
Floor Tile – $354
Tile Installation – $750
Bathtub – $294
Showerhead/Faucet – $139
Vanity Door Replacement – $300
Quartz Countertop Remnant – $325
Linen Cabinet Built In – $750
Mirrors Frame – $150
Lights – $175/each
Hardware – $18
TOTAL – $3580
Bonus items I added later…
Barn door – $250
Beadboard – $200
SHOP BATHROOM 2
LOWEST BUDGET – $608
This is the hall bathroom at my mom’s house that is only used by guests so she didn’t want to over-invest right now in it. We painted the vanity, painted the floors with a stencil, and replaced the lighting and mirror. This bathroom was completely transformed for under $150! Even if you want to temporarily update a bathroom that you plan on making a larger investment in the future this is a great option!
Tile Paint – $50
Quartz Remnant – $300
Hardware – $18
Light – $150
Mirror – $90
TOTAL – $608
This is mom’s primary bathroom that we’ll be taking on this year. This bathroom is simply in the mock-up phase. This will be the largest investment of all the bathroom renos. It’s not only important to make your bath beautiful and functional but it’s important to consider the overall value so you don’t over-improve. We have a home in an area where we will see a return on our investment with the changes we are making. However, I always love budget-friendly items so I have invested in some areas and found some finishes that look higher end but don’t break the bank.
TOTAL – $12,000
RENOVATION BUDGET TIPS FROM THESE BATHROOMS
SELF CONTRACT AND SAVE
Mom and I self contract all of our jobs that are purely cosmetic. See notes below on when to hire a general contractor.
KEEP THE EXISTING LAYOUT TO SAVE BIG
In all of these bathrooms, we have kept the existing layouts. Moving plumbing can be costly and easily double the cost of a bathroom update. Sometimes it’s necessary though!
WHEN HIRING PROS HAVE THEM DO MORE THAN ONE PROJECT & SAVE
The more projects you have for a professional like a painter or tile installer, the better deal they will be able to give you.
USE COUNTERTOP REMNANTS
In all of these bathrooms, we use remnants for countertops. A remnant refers to the remaining portion of a stone slab that has already been cut into countertop pieces. When getting a quote from a countertop installer ask if they have any remnants on hand.
REMODEL IN PHASES
Some projects can be taken on in phases. The second bathroom was done this way. We did all the tile, paint, and countertops. After we saved a bit more we did the wallpaper, beadboard and added the antique barn door to add character.
REPLACE THE VANITY DOORS & KEEP THE BOXES
I don’t recommend this for all projects but when your cabinets are in great shape replacing the doors will save you so much money! In all of these bathrooms, the boxes were real wood and had no damage. Cabinets I would not recommend you doing this on would be ones made of particle board or a material other than solid wood.
WHEN TO HIRE A GENERAL CONTRACTOR AND SELF CONTRACTING
Our projects are generally self-contracted. That means we have to select the right subs for our projects. Choosing a sub who has the skills to do quality work is the single most important factor if you’re going this route. We have had subs who do excellent work and we’ve had subs who have done a poor job. The way we ensure we’re hiring people with the right skillset is twofold. First, we vet them thoroughly through trusted friends and GC’s. Second, we are on the job site to watch carefully, especially as work begins. You can usually see if someone is struggling to execute a job. Let me give you an example, I have had tile guys who can lay floor tile very well, but when they were called to lay a patterned tile or a more intricate wall tile the work was messy. Sometimes installing tile is straightforward and entry-level and sometimes it requires a high-level professional tile guy. This goes for paint, plumbing, electrical, etc.
We recommend hiring a general contractor when the project is more involved. Removing walls, framing new walls, moving plumbing, are examples of work where you would need a professional contractor on site to inspect the work as it’s done. Again, selecting a GC is much like hiring subs. Recommendations from trusted friends, reading reviews, and looking at work they have performed in the past is a good start. How long have they been in business? The GC’s who are well respected have a track record. Even so, we always recommend inspecting the work. I hired a GC once because I did not have time for the project. He was not available to manage the project and his subs were not doing a good job. So, our best advice is to be present. Even the very highest level pros can get it wrong. We hired an excellent contractor to paint our house. We texted the paint color we wanted, SW Oyster Bar, a creamy warm white. We came home to find the majority of the house painted Oyster Bay! A shockingly dark, deep-sea blue-green color! LOL! Easy mistake, but it could have been avoided if I’d have popped in when the work began.
Notice they all look amazing at all price points. I hope this is helpful to see there is potential in every space no matter what the spend. We were intentional about what we invested in making the projects stand the test of time. I’d love to hear about your bathroom remodels below.