Before and After: A Dingy 1980s Bathroom Gets a Luxe-Looking Transformation

published Feb 2, 2021
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Before: Outdated bathroom with light mint green walls
Credit: Evan D.

Often, a primary issue with an old bathroom is the size or layout. That wasn’t what irked Evan about his bathroom, though. His issue was with aesthetics: “The tile, the oak vanity with the composite countertop, the color, everything screamed WRONG to me when I bought this condo,” Evan says.

The condo was built in 1986 — Evan’s grandfather actually did the plumbing back then — and the bathroom was unfortunately caught in the time warp.

Credit: Evan D.

After tackling his bedroom and living area, Evan knew the next thing on his list needed to be the bathroom. “It simply no longer fit the aesthetic of the rest of my living space,” Evan says. “The silicone was disgusting, the colors were horrid, and it just had to be upgraded.”

Credit: Evan D.

Thankfully, Evan had been saving up for the bathroom renovation and had a vision in mind: something “black and white with a very manly feel to it.” With most of the month of November off from work, Evan decided to tackle the project himself.

Credit: Evan D.

Like most projects, though, this one proved to be a bit more complicated than Evan had imagined. The demolition alone took him a full week to do, he says, leaving the rest of the month to do the actual renovation. “Here I though it would take three weeks tops, and boy was I overzealous,” he says.

Credit: Evan D.

Even though it was Evan’s first time remodeling a bathroom, he was able to DIY most of the work himself. Once the demo was complete, Evan tiled the floor with an oversized hex tile in a matte black finish. He also swapped in a new white vanity with a black countertop; its classic Shaker-style doors make it look both modern and timeless.

On the walls, Evan installed a combination of beadboard paneling and subway tile, both in crisp white.

Credit: Evan D.

While Evan did much of the work himself, he did bring in a contractor to help install new valves for the new tub and shower. Evan’s dad also pitched in with painting.

Credit: Evan D.

All together — tile, shower, vanity, toilet, paint, lights, fixtures — the project cost Evan $6,200. DIYing everything he could saved him tons, since he didn’t have to pay for labor, and it helped him develop plenty of new skills, too.

“If this is your first time DIYing, all I can say is this: Take your time, and watch others online,” Evan says. “Also, take your estimated time of completing the project, and add two weeks.”

Credit: Evan D.

Even with the unexpected extra time, Evan’s pleased with the results. “What don’t I love about the after?” he says. “I wouldn’t change a thing now. The beauty of living by myself is having the creative license to do what I want with my space and I did just that.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.