In September 2014, I remodeled our bathroom just in time for my son’s birth, and my cost was about $585 (five hundred eighty five dollars)!
That’s right – I did not spend thousands…
I spent less than a grand, it took me 2 weeks of “part-time” work, and my wife loves it (which is VERY important) as she picked all the materials and colors.
However for most people the cost would be somewhere in $750 range if you do it yourself, and don’t go crazy 🙂
In total, it took me about 30-40 hours from start to finish, so if you will be doing something like this, it will take you 2-3 weekends. Not bad, considering that my neighbor spent $18,000 on his bathroom remodel. Now of course his bathroom is a tad prettier than mine, but 18K is a 3 months salary of a VERY WELL paid worker.
Here is what $750 bathroom remodel looks like and what I did:
So here are the things that I have done:
- Bathtub Restoration using HOMAX DIY bathtub refinishing kit.
- Painted walls (and old tile) using high quality primer and paint
- Installed new IKEA Low Profile Vanity Cabinet and Sink + MOEN Faucet
- Replaced old toilet with New Delta Low Consumption Toilet (and fixed a water leak for the toilet)
- Removed old Medicine Cabinet and installed a Flat Mirror + IKEA Glass Shelf
The most time consuming part of project was refinishing the bathtub – it took me a whole day to prep the tub, and then 3 days for new coating to fully cure. Now, in my case we already had some sort of old “refinishing” product installed, so it took me a VERY long time to remove it. If your bathtub is not coated, preparation should only take you a few hours.
During this time we couldn’t use the tub – no showers, nothing. I had to go to my in-laws to take a shower, which was a bit inconvenient, but if you have a second bathroom, you are all set!
1) Bathtub Restoration with HOMAX D.I.Y kit
This project will be the most challenging and time-consuming of all listed above. Yet, when done right, you will have a beautiful like-new bathtub for less than $100 and you will save $1500-2000 vs having a pro do the restoration, or $3500+ vs ripping out the old tub and installing a new one! Here is my Step by Step Bathtub Restoration Guide
Here is what your new tub will look like:
Note – once you do this, you realize how EASY it really is, and most work actually goes into proper cleaning / preparation of the tub surface, as well as taping off the walls and floors around the tub.
HOMAX Kit – $37
Tape + plastic sheets at dollar store: $10 max
Cleaning supplies at the dollar store (Dollar Tree): $5-7
Total: $75 with tax!
Here is my video about this DIY Bathtub Restoration
Painting Walls (or tiles if they are in poor shape)
By painting your bathroom, you can create a dramatically new look and spend only $100 for all materials and supplies. This can also be your family fun and bonding time – have your wife paint the trim, let kids use the roller (they will LOVE it) and do the heavy lifting yourself – you will spend two afternoons with your family and save $500-700 easily, as well as enjoy your time with family.
In my case, I had old, previously painted tiles and regular drywall split somewhere along the center. We decided to get a premium quality washable paint and primer for the bottom part (tile) and regular washable white paint for the top.
The paint and primer were about $100, because we used a multi-tone combo. The supplies can be purchased at a Dollar Store for about $10-15! As I figured out later, I could get the main paint (I paid $59 for 1 gallon) for about $25-30 less at the Home Depot. I did not feel like driving far, so I bought paint at a nearby ACE Hardware.
IKEA low profile Sink and Cabinet + MOEN Faucet
My wife really wanted a low profile sink, and Home Depot did not have much to offer. So we went to IKEA and bought the Sink + Cabinet. Since IKEA is a furniture company, I did not feel like buying their faucet. So I did some research and found that MOEN makes decent faucets. My wife liked the design, and we picked MOEN Kleo Single Hole faucet for $84 at the Home Depot. If you would get a less known brand, you could save $40-50 here. But we were limited by choice because of our sink to use only a Single Hole design faucet.
In the end, this cost us a total of $223 + tax. Note – I did not use the IKEA legs that are part of the cabinet, but are sold separately. I did not want the sink to be too high off the ground, so my 4 years old daughter can reach it.
Instead of legs, I used three 1×8 boards, with pieces of rubber on the bottom. This gave me perfect height, and rubber protects the boards from water damage. I also painted the boards with chrome paint.
Toilet replacement – New Delta elongated low flush unit
Once again – my wife was the “designer” and I provided manual labor. So we picked Delta Prelude (elongated version) for $169 + tax. You can get a very similar house brand at the Home Depot for $100.
The good thing about it is that it uses very little water (1.28 GPF). The bad thing is that it uses a special mount for the tank, so the tank shakes a lot. So I used foam spacers under the tank to eliminate the shaking / knocking. The $100 toilet DOES NOT have this problem – so if it was up to me, I’d get the cheaper one. Also the cheaper toilet is 1.6 GPF, so i feel like it flushes better (I do have the $100 toilet installed in my rental).
Replace old medicine cabinet with flat mirror + glass shelf
So we had an old, ugly medicine cabinet with mirror doors. I did not like it, and did not want to put in another cabinet. My wife also wanted a more modern, cleaner look. So we got a flat mirror ($18.98) and a glass shelf from IKEA ($9.99)
You can really remodel your bathroom for less than $500!
So as shown above, our costs were about $550-600. However, If we got a $100 Home Depot Toilet (which I wish we did, because I personally feel it is better than DELTA Prelude that we got) we would save $75 and be in my $500 target. But my wife wanted Delta …
But, do not think that our goal was to save money. Originally, we planned to install VERY FANCY Italian tile, which we actually did purchase for about $650. But because my son’s due date was only 2 months away, and I do have a day job, I felt like we did not have enough time to do the tiles.
Also, as I discovered, our bathroom walls weren’t your typical stud + drywall construction. Instead, all drywall and tiles hung on a wire mesh with concrete. So if I removed old tiles, I would first have to also make the wall surface smooth, which would consume another week of my time.
Basically, last minute we decided that doing tiles is a big production, and we went with the simplest method possible, while adhering to my wife’s aesthetics requirements.
In the end, I spent only 3 weekends doing the work and my wife is happy – GREAT SUCCESS!
Published/updated on: April 9, 2015