Bathroom Renovation Cost Breakdown

When I finish a big project, I always wonder how much we spent. I keep a running tally in my head, but stuff always comes up during the process and my head count is not completely accurate. I decided to break down all of the costs we encountered during our recent guest bathroom renovation, just in case you're considering doing something similar. I definitely think it's possible to achieve a high end look on a fairly low budget!

In case you missed it, we went from this:

To this:

Along the way, we replaced the floor, vanity and toilet. We added some bead board and a strip of accent penny tile. We painted the walls and window, replaced the baseboards and relocated the existing lights. We also added two new recessed lights to brighten everything up. We definitely saved ourselves some important dinero by leaving the bathtub and shower surround intact. Thank goodness!

When I was explaining the process, I forgot to include my favorite part– the part where my husband, who I constantly tease about his inability to multitask, actually did two things at once! Here he is, sanding down the texture on the walls while simultaneously vacuuming. He swears it cuts down on the mess of sanding everything. (Apparently I didn't take a picture of him doing it in the bathroom, but here he is in the kitchen. You get the picture. It cracked me up!)

Anyway, back to the bathroom! The most expensive part was the vanity (Montaigne Double Vanity from Home Decorators Collection). We caught a break because it was 50% off when we bought it, bringing the tally to $500. But then we had to pay $150 in shipping. Yet, that $650 was still $350 less than the exact same vanity costs at Home Depot. I'm totally happy with spending that much because I feel like the vanity totally makes the bathroom!

Beyond that, the other expenses definitely added to our final tally. I rounded up on all of these numbers below to make the math easy:

Vanity: $650
Floor tile (Carrara Polished Porcelain, Floor & Decor) and grout: $100
Penny tile (Gray Penny Porcelain Mosaic, Floor & Decor) and grout: $75
Bead board behind vanity: $50
Trim above penny tile and new, bigger baseboards: $40
Toilet: $100
Recessed lighting: $35
Plumber services & upgraded chrome pipes: $280
Accessories (new hand towels, soap dispensers): $30
Painting services and drywall patching (hired out): $125
Bathroom wall hooks: $16

Total: $1,501

We started out with a general budget of $2,000, so we were pretty excited about what we ended up spending. We expected to spend more on the vanity and tile, so it really helped our bottom line when we shopped around and got good prices for those. You can't beat $3/square foot for backsplash tile!

We kept these existing items to save some cash, and I designed the room concept with these in mind. That way all of our new choices would blend nicely with the stuff we wanted to salvage.

Two faucets
Two mirrors
Two wall sconces
Towel bar
Towel ring
Shower surround

Of course we also saved some labor costs by doing the tile, electrical, trim work, etc. ourselves. We did shell out cash for a professional plumber and a painter, but we bundled the cost of painting the bathroom with the kitchen cabinet project, so it was much cheaper than if we had painted the bathroom by itself. 

As we spent money on each little part, we kept reminding ourselves that we would see a high return on investment for this money. Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, and this bathroom was the worst and most dated part of the house. And when we thought about our three guest bedrooms sharing this one bathroom, we thought it was important to make the space as nice as possible (within reason).

My parents, who are definitely our most frequent guests, couldn't be happier about "their" new bathroom. My dad helped Scott do the tile, so he even has some sweat equity involved. They were here for Easter and thoroughly enjoyed the higher vanity height (they're both tall) and the increased lighting. They kept talking about how light and bright it was. My mom said it was "master bathroom worthy." We put a lot of effort into it, so it was nice to hear the positive reviews!

So what do you think, is $1,500 a lot for a bathroom makeover? I don't really think so, but what do I know? We haven't worked on that many bathrooms. Did you think we spent more or less? It can be weird to talk so freely about money, but I think it's important to keep it real and transparent around here!

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