Projects & Improvements

Before and After: This $800 Bathroom Remodel Is the Stuff DIY Dreams Are Made Of

published Mar 11, 2019
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(Image credit: Miriam)

When Miriam first bought her apartment, the bathroom still looked straight out of the 1980s, with wall-to-wall tiles, a weird fake-wood ceiling, and a beige toilet. It was a lot of brown. The challenge was to renovate before they moved in, which was only four weeks away.

(Image credit: Miriam)

From start to finish, they completed the bathroom in about two weeks, and probably five full days of actual work. They ripped out the square tiles, re-skimmed the walls (which were in bad shape after the tile came off), leveled the floor, painted everything white, installed the new toilet, and built the back wall behind the toilet.

They left some work, including the tiling, to professionals, but built the vanity and the shelf themselves, as well as installed the sink and faucet. All that DIY saved them some money, to be sure. Miriam estimates they spent about $800 for the whole project: roughly 380 euros for materials and 300 euros for labor.

That’s an impressively small budget, with some equally impressive results. Despite some reservations about the pro’s tiling job (“You win some, you lose some,” she says), Miriam is happy overall:

We LOVE the small DIY vanity and the wood shelf behind the toilet. We think the old wood just goes really well with the overall white. We are thinking about adding a colorful wallpaper sometime in the future but, right now, we enjoy the “clean” look after all the beige-brown madness.

But perhaps the biggest takeaway from the whole experience is this: Don’t think you can do a bathroom remodel after you’ve already moved in, when there’s no second bathroom in your home:

Don’t think you can live without a toilet for even a day. Just don’t. Trust us.

Thanks so much Miriam!