DIY: How to Gut Your Bathroom for Less Than $3,000

Thursday, July 23, 2009



After last week's post about our DIY kitchen remodel, I had several emails from readers asking me if I had any other major renovations we've done ourselves. So I thought I would share with you one more of our larger scale DIYs... gutting and remodeling a bathroom.

Here's what it looked like before we moved in the house:


You can imagine that golfing wallpaper did not live long once I had the keys...


There was no tub, just a stand up shower and cabinet

Step 1: Pull out all the existing tile from the floor & walls, remove large mirror over the sink, seal off electrical from those hideous lights, remove vanity from sink. 


Step 2:  Rip out old stand up shower and cabinet and fake wooden blinds from the window (I was amazed at what a difference removing the wooden shutters made - I did that all over the house and was amazed at how much larger it made all the windows feel).We had a plumber come out and move the drain for the shower over to allow for the install of a tub.


Step 3: Re-drywall; in the new tub area we used special waterproof sheetrock designed for bathroom areas (this is key!). This project was the first time we ever drywalled, so John's dad gave us a lesson (it's really quite easy & since this project we've done it numerous times).


Step 4: Tiling! I had tiled a floor before but never a wall. So we went to the store, asked a lot of questions, did some research and rolled up our sleeves. Really just as easy as laying a tile floor - just make sure to use a level.


Step 4: We split the plumbing (again, thanks to a plumber) to allow for 2 sinks. Instead of shelling out for a new vanity we laid down some Hardiebacker on the existing cabinet and used our left over subway tiles to make a new vanity.

And the finished result:

Here's where the shower & cabinet used to be... we newly installed the tub. Notice on the left I forwent the normal towel bar (I never think these work... if you can't get your husband to use one, do you think your kids will?). These hooks worked so well in here I bought some for my master bathroom. 

And, the redesigned sink area with 2 mirror and 2 sinks. 

This to me is a pretty major rehaul, but the total cost was around $2,600 (and, yes, that includes paying the plumber). Not bad considering I would have to pay a contractor at least 3 times that. If you are interested in seeing a few  of our other house projects I've posted about check them out here. I might do a few more of these posts of old projects if there's any interest...

What's the biggest DIY project you've tackled?

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