This $200 bathroom remodel was steal! A budget friendly bathroom refresh done in under six weeks, it’s an easy way to upgrade your home!
Now, before I start telling you all about my glorious bathroom remodel, there’s one thing you should know: I did this to sell the house. Two weeks after I finished the very last bathroom project, the house went on the market. (And sold two days later, exceeding my wildest expectations.)
This is relevant because I probably would have made different choices if I was going to be using this bathroom long-term. Instead, I aimed to update the bathroom for the next owner in a way that made financial sense for me.
The Bathroom Before
Here’s what I started with:
The above photo doesn’t actually look that offensive, which just shows you how much pictures can distort things. Let me assure you, this bathroom was gross.
The bathtub was chipped.
The tile was weirdly discolored.
The vanity was water damaged, and there was probably a lead paint hazard hiding inside this cupboard.
The rest of the bathroom was fine, it just didn’t look good. A makeover was desperately needed.
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The Big Projects
I was crazy nervous about two of the projects in this remodel: painting the bathtub, and laying new flooring. As you might expect, they were the most expensive projects, and had the most things that could go wrong.
Painting the Bathtub
Honestly, painting the bathtub was terrifying. It was the riskiest project I did in the bathroom, and I was incredibly nervous that I’d start painting and it’d bubble right off, because I read of that happening in the many reviews of the paint I used.
But finally, I talked myself into prepping the tub. And since the prepwork involved a bunch of sanding and abrasive work, by the end of it I had to paint the tub. Talk about manipulating myself into doing a project.
I prepped the tub like crazy since I was so worried about my paint peeling, and for the most part it worked! I had a little bubbling in a few of the decorative tiles, but other than that it looked awesome! Plus it cost under a $100 for a new-tub look. I think it’s a win.
Laying New Flooring
Lucky for me, this bathroom was tiny, so $60 in vinyl sheet flooring was all it took to get it covered. For those of you that are curious, I grabbed this floor from my local Menards.
Since my vinyl sheet flooring said it could be installed on top of tile, I didn’t bother removing the old tile and just put this on top of it. It was the easy way out for sure, and I might have chosen differently if this was my forever home.
I felt a little bad about covering up the old tile, since it was almost certainly of better quality than the vinyl sheet flooring I put on top of it. But I figure if the future owner really wants to, they can just take off the vinyl sheet flooring and re-expose the tile beneath.
Actually laying the flooring was pretty easy to do, even though I was worried about it. It only took a day, and the hardest part was maneuvering around the toilet.
I made the (quite controversial) decision to floor around the toilet, because my toilet bolts were really rusty, and I just didn’t want to mess with that. Given how tricky this made the process, if you can take the toilet off and floor under it, you probably should.
The Small Projects
Once the bathtub and floor were done, I was so relieved. All the other projects were small, decorative projects that would be easy, or so I thought. Turns out, I thought wrong.
Thankfully, this was the quick and easy project I envisioned. Given that the vanity was something I found in the back of the basement (left by the previous owners,) and I had both the paint and primer already, it was also free!
A quick prime and paint job was pretty much all it took to add a splash of color to the room. I had to do a couple of repairs to the vanity as well, but they weren’t a big deal.
I absolutely adore these lights. Honestly, everything else in the room is a bit “meh” to me – a budget friendly upgrade for sure, but actually something I love? No. But these lights? I love these lights.
They look so good, and they only cost me $7.50 to make. They’re a more complicated project for sure, but 100% worth it in my option.
Definitely go check out the full post on these. They can add a gorgeous bit of industrial-style to any room!
I really just added a frame to the mirror that was already there. It’s an easy process for those of you who want a framed bathroom mirror, but have annoying clips in the way so you can’t just glue one on.
Admittedly, I painted this frame a flat black, which was a huge mistake (should have gone with a semi-gloss black… I wasn’t thinking.)
I foreshadowed at the beginning of this section that there was a project that was much more complicated than I though it’d be. That was this.
The plan was to strip the paint from the door and drawer fronts of the built-ins, then stain with a dark stain so they’d really pop.
I thought it’d be simple. I’ve stripped paint off of wood many times before. Turns out, I’ve never stripped paint from something 100+ years old before.
I thought there’d be one layer of paint. There were six. Using a chemical paint stripper six times did not seem like fun, so I grabbed my heat gun and melted/scrapped the paint off the wood.
This was a long and miserable experience, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but if you’re curious, here’s the full saga.
The whole point of this was to give the bathroom as quality of an upgrade as I could while not spending a fortune. Here’s how that turned out:
I am thrilled that I spent less than $200 on this refresh. Like I said, I really just needed to get this room presentable for sale, so $200 was the perfect amount to spend! A number of the projects are missing from above because I used materials I already had, so they were basically free!
Things I Dislike
Honestly, I feel like this is one of the most ambivalent posts I’ve ever written, largely because that’s how I feel about the room. Don’t get me wrong – it looks significantly better than it did before. And for $300, it was a steal, and a quick makeover to get my house sold.
But I don’t love it. I think the room in general is distinctly not my style, which makes me just kind of shrug and say “yeah, it looks better than before.”
There are also small things that I didn’t fix. For example, these faucets drive me crazy:
They top control is not centered at all, and it bugs me every time I see it. But moving it would have cost a fortune, so here we are.
I also got a ton of comments when I posted the floor project about the black vent cover. Apparently, I should’ve painted it white.
I actually don’t mind it, and hesitated to paint it white since every other vent in the house is this same style and color. But it bugs some people, so I thought I’d mention why I didn’t paint it!
This $192 refresh is a significant upgrade from the gross and outdated original bathroom. But, I don’t love it, so it’s probably a good thing I’m selling the house!
That said, maybe it is your style, in which case, let me know in the comments below!
Or maybe you got some ideas from this post for your own budget bathroom refresh, in which case, make sure you save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later!