Renovating a Bathroom

Renovating a Bathroom

Tanya Lacourse
May 12, 2011

This week I wrapped up my first bathroom renovation. (Well, almost.) Having never done a bathroom renovation I didn't really know what I was getting into. I remember thinking, how much could it really cost? This room is tiny! For today's post I am going to outline all of my costs from start to finish. I realize that each bathroom comes with its own challenges and issues and this is simply one experience.

Like most people, I wanted to maximize what was already there to keep costs down. I kept the tub and tile surround and had it professionally epoxy coated in bright, shiny white which is only recommended for older, quality tubs not made from plastic. I also kept the double vanity, the overhead cabinets, and the newer white toilet.

Let it be noted that I am located in New Hampshire (I am not paying big city prices) and that I did not make a "budget." I did however do a ton of price comparison research. For the spraying of my tub for example, I had 3-5 different companies give quotes, and as a general rule, I tend to go with the least expensive. (Even though people say not to.)


Demo: My father, brother and I tore up the brown moldy tile that was on the floor and walls. For this, you only need a crow bar, a hammer, and some gusto. We also removed the subfloor since it was sinking in by the toilet and smelled of urine. I removed the rusty lighting fixtures, the built in storage that covered the mirror over the vanity, the human-sized, built in medicine cabinet (opposite the vanity) which had double mirrors, all cabinet hardware, main door hinges (yes these were also rusty), door knob, and the shower head.
COST: Free

Drywall & Cement Board: The toilet was removed by a plumber, and the sub-floor was rebuilt using a layer of plywood topped with a layer of DUROCK. The drywall used in the bathroom was blueboard which has a better moisture barrier. After the drywall is hung, next comes taping, mudding, sanding and priming.
COST: Less than $100 for materials. Dad is a drywaller.

Tile: I chose basic white tile I found for .99 cents a piece at a Tent Sale and hired a professional to install it. It took him a lot longer than I expected due to the unevenness of the floor.
COST: $30 for tile and $375 flat charge for leveling and installation.

Tub & Surround: I opted to paint this area rather than rip it out. It's less mess and less expensive. The downfall is that the walls may be moldy behind the old tile and I can not update the shower system.
COST: $575 flat charge for tub and surround.

Plumbing: Included removal and re-setting of toilet with new wax ring, two new traps for sinks, hot and cold water plumbing for vanity sinks, installing a new plug system for shower, and installing new faucets.
COST: $450 (at $50 per hour plus materials)

Electrical: I wanted a really powerful vent and light system for this bathroom since I had witnessed how musty and damp it was before the renovation. The least offensive one I could find was from Hunter. I also chose very inexpensive vanity lights in chrome. I didn't have much choice here since I needed to mount the lights hanging face down and not on the wall.
COST: $155 for fixtures plus $200 for labor (at $60 per hour)

Cabinets: I enlisted the help of friends and sanded, bin sealed, re-sanded, and painted all cabinets. They took three coats! Later in the process I hired a painter to paint the two small walls and caulk and paint the new trim white. I searched for months for hinges that fit these cabinets and have a classic feel and finally found these. The knobs are from Anthropologie.
COST: Hardware: $150 Painting supplies and labor: $300 (at $20 per hour)

Carpentry: Included installing sub-floor, removing life size medicine cabinet, re-trimming door, adding molding to the top of mirror, removing old counter top, and rebuilding existing vanity for new top.
COST: $280 (at $35 per hour plus materials)

Vanity: I have always wanted a Carerra marble counter top so I went for it. From picking out the stone, template and install, it was a two month process. This space is incredibly tight and awkwardly shaped, and as a result the sinks and counter top were not installed properly the first time. Thankfully, they got it right the second time. Under-mount sinks should be centered within the cut outs and there should not be more than a quarter inch overhang/ gap from sink to counter top.
COST: $1,374 with sinks and faucets.

Miscellaneous: I had to replace the brass doorknob and the door hinges too!
COST: $130


Images: Tanya Lacourse

Post Originally Published: 3.18.2010 - JL

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