Master Bathroom Remodel

After a couple of years of living in my new home it was finally time to get the master bathroom a very big face lift. It was very outdated and hubby and I really wanted to make it our own. A very big factor when getting a bathroom remodel done is saving enough money for it. It took us a couple of years and many sacrifices to save up for this project. Did you know it can cost between $5,000 to $20,000 (sometimes more) to remodel a bathroom? Of course there are many factors that can lead to the price to be higher or lower. For example: Size of bathroom, tile price, accents, accessories, labor, etc…

For hubby and I, it ended up costing us about $11,600 in the end. Yes, I know it is a lot of money but surprisingly this is actually about average price. We also saved a lot of money by carefully choosing and scavenging out sales on different types of tile, accents, and accessories or else we could have ended up spending about a few thousands dollars more. We also found a great contractor that didn’t over charge for labor for demo and install.

Oh before I forget to mention, we did this whole remodel in pieces. Honestly I wished I would have documented this in my blog a while back (like last year) and showed progress but somehow I didn’t make the connection. Oh well, that means this will be a slightly long blog entry but I promise it is worth ready the whole thing especially if you are ever considering getting a bathroom remodeled. πŸ™‚

Beware, when it comes to remodeling anything, there is always something that can or will go wrong. For hubby and I, we got a fare share of things that went wrong when it came to getting the master bathroom remodeled but it worked out in the end. Don’t worry I will disclose these events here soon.

We also saved some money by installing and modifying things ourselves before the contractor came. It makes a huge difference in the price.

Where to start first. Ah yes. Paint!

Started out painting the master bathroom. The walls were just plain white and it needed some pop of color. Hubby and I went to Lowe’s awhile back and found a beautiful light teal/green color called Sky House by Sherwin Williams. We later ended up using this color for all the bathrooms in the house. You know what the best part was? The paint was on sale for 25% off at the time we purchased the Sherwin Williams paint! I love saving money when I can.

Sky House (HGSW3297)


Note: the lighting in our bathroom makes this color look a little more bluish in tone. You will see in the finished photos. It’s all about the lighting and a good reason to have the sample color with you in the room your painting to make sure it is what you want. That is exactly what we did and it was the perfect color for us. πŸ˜„

I ended up painting the master bathroom all by myself since hubby had to go on travel for work but it was fine since I needed something to do on a long weekend. Just so you know it is not always easy to paint by yourself especially when you need someone to hand you something when you are on a ladder. I ended up going up and down the ladder plenty of times. You can say that I got my exercise that weekend. Hehe.

First day I ended up not painting at all since I had to prep the whole master bathroom for painting. I had to tape off sides of mirror, windows, doors, base board, ceiling, lights, shower and tub area. I probably missed something, but just note always buy extra painters tape. I used up 2 or 3 rolls of tape! Yikes! Second day is when the fun began. I got to finally paint! I love painting, it is very calming and soothing. I was so focused that I got it done all in one day with a few breaks. Awesomeness!

Some Tips:

  • Always save any left over paint for touch ups. Hubby and I had to use some paint to touch up spots when the bathroom was finally complete with new tile.
  • When painting if you know that you are eventually going to change a light fixture make sure you take the old light fixture out to paint underneath. If you somehow forgot, it’s a good thing you kept some left over paint. πŸ˜‰

When you see the before and after photos at the end you will see that the color makes a huge difference!


Since hubby and I work on advance electronic equipment for work, we were able to change from a single eight light Ballerina fixture to 2 three light fixtures. Hubby was able to rewire the electrical wires easily. This saved us a couple hundred dollars alone. We also got the new fixtures on sale plus we got an additional discount since we are both military veterans. I love saving money!

Beautiful! The light fixtures are part of the Moen Oxby Collection that we got at Lowe’s. When we bought the light fixtures we also loved the faucets that are part of the collection too. We wanted to buy the faucets but we ended up waiting since we were planning to change the vanity tops. Which brings me to the next step:

Vanity and Vanity top.

Another money saver was not changing the vanity. The vanity was surprisingly in great condition but the vanity top was another story. Yuck!! The vanity top was stained and discolored and it needed to go! After doing a lot of research, hubby and I went with natural quartz. Natural quartz is usually 95% stone and 5% polymer resins and we found that you don’t have to seal it constantly like you have to with granite. Quartz is actually harder than granite and more durable. It isn’t porous like granite so that means you can keep it relatively bacteria-free. Woohoo! Only draw back with quartz that I found is you can severely damage it with excessive heat. That means natural quartz is fantastic for the bathroom (but be careful with your curling iron ladies!) and a little scary for the kitchen if you forget to place a heating pad on a quartz countertop.

Now that we established type of vanity top hubby and I want, now we have to choose the color…. we both narrowed it down to two colors made by KraftMaid: Shadow Swirl or Silver Sky.

Left: Shadow Swirl Right: Silver Sky

Guess which one we chose? Shadow Swirl! (My selection, BTW) This color had elements of gray and tan which would look great with this floor tile we loved (Montagna Rustic Bay sold at HomeDepot).

Montagna Rustic Bay Porcelain Floor Tile

Hubby and I ordered our vanity top through Lowe’s. We even had them come and measure our vanity to make sure we order the correct size. We plan to install the vanity top ourselves to save more money.

After a few weeks went by the double sink vanity top was delivered directly to our house. We were so excited that we ripped open the box the vanity top was in and we were amazed how beautiful it was. After I calmed down from the excitement I noticed something didn’t look right. I told hubby to grab a tape measure. I wanted to make sure my eyes weren’t tricking me because I swear that the left sink was closer to side edge by a few inches than the right sink to the side edge. Load and behold, I was correct. The right sink was 4 inches closer to the edge, this is not good. Ugh, you got to be kidding me….

We called our local Lowe’s store and spoke to one of the store managers. We explained the situation to her and she said that they would give us a 10% discount if we wanted to keep it or they can pick up the vanity top then order a new one. Guess which option we chose? Yes, we chose to order a new one. This sucks!! Now we have to wait another 2-3 weeks for the new double sink… but this time we measured and ordered the correct size.

Vanity Top

When we did get the correct vanity top, it was amazing!! We bought the Oxby Collection faucets that matched the lights. Doesn’t it look great with the vanity top? (Pictured above)

We also ended up buying the Oxby Collection towel bars and toilet paper holder. Beautiful!


After we got the vanity top installed it was the perfect time to give a face lift to the long big mirror. I thought about getting rid of the big mirror and possibly getting two separate mirrors to install underneath the two new lights we have but I changed my mind. Just to buy a very nice framed mirror would cost about $90 each. If you want something more elaborate you are talking a few hundred dollars.

While searching around the internet, I saw that multiple people were framing or tiling their existing mirrors vice buying a new one. I loved this idea since this would save us some money and I love saving money! I went straight to Home Depot and Lowe’s to see if I can find a nice moulding in the Milwork aisles that would work for this project. Load and behold at Home Depot I found a baseboard moulding that both hubby and I liked.


Nice right? Simple but elegant.

I think this makes the mirror look more expensive but it only cost me about $30 dollars total. Hehe.


So the last final step was picking the tile. Well, technically at this point we had already chosen the floor tile already as I mentioned earlier. We bought the Montagna Rustic Bay porcelain floor tile at Home Depot.


I just love that wood look so much. It was also textured so you can’t slip easily at all. Bonus! What was better is this tile did not cost us much. When we bought the tile it cost us $216 dollars total for 120 sqft of tile so that was about $1.80 per sqft. Not too shabby I say.

Hubby and I still weren’t sure what tile we wanted for the shower and tub areas. We didn’t want the same tile as the floor since we thought it would be too tacky for us so hubby did some research. He came across a tile that is porcelain but looks like slate. It perfectly complements with the floor tile.

Also, porcelain tile is much cheaper than real slate and less maintenance. Real slate requires yearly sealing. More work then I need. I rather go with the cheaper and easier option. Lol

We bought this porcelain slate tile at our local tile store called Mosaic. We got 12 X 24 (for shower and tub area) , 3 X 6 (used for accent trim) and 2 X 2 tiles (shower floor). Also, hubby found a mosaic tile that matches the porcelain slate. Awesomeness! We plan to use the mosaic tile to add a strip accent in shower and around the tub area.

Mosaic Tile

Perfect right? Hubby and I thought so.

Demo and Install

Finally we are at the final stretch. Our contractor came with his guys to demo the bathroom. First day of demo went great but second day, well that’s another story. One of the guys forgot to remove the drain and disconnect it from the trap before removing the one piece shower. When he ripped the one piece out he snapped the trap in half. Yeah… it gets better. Same guy ends up putting his size 10 foot through the ONLY hole in the floor and right through the downstairs ceiling above the kitchen. COME ON! Who puts there foot through the 8 in wide hole in the floor where the piping/trap/drain hooks up at for shower. Yeah… that guy.

Contractor cut a square around the opening to make it easier to repair it. You can also see the circle hole in the plywood where his employee’s foot went through.
View of the hole from the living room/kitchen area.

As you can see from the picture above we have textured ceilings so you can imagine the frustration… Accidents happen which I completely understand and our contractor did the right thing and took ownership of it and fixed the problem. I really felt bad for our contractor because he did a fantastic job on the bathroom and now he has to pay for damages that were done. I think he might of lost a lot of his profits on this job because of this accident. πŸ˜”

Also, it’s a good time for me to point out that you should always have a contract when having any big project done by a hired contractor. This gives you a binding contract so if anything goes wrong both parties have something written and signed on paper. I’ve heard horror stories from other people who got screwed over since they didn’t have a contract or paid everything full up front and the job was never completed as discussed. Sometimes you pay partial up front then the rest at the end for a project while other jobs you might have to pay all of it up front. No matter how it is done, always make sure you protect yourself by having a signed contract and everything discussed is written down. Also, do your research on the person and make sure they are truly certified to do the job. (Hubby does his research.)

Here you can see that they match the texture ceiling pretty well.

They did a pretty good job fixing the ceiling but of course we can tell the slight difference. I’m just impressed they were able to match the ceiling pattern pretty closely. They also had to paint the whole down stairs ceiling since it was hard to find the matching color. He attempted but any color he tried made it stick out like a soar thumb so painting the whole ceiling was the only plausible option.

After that fiasco, everything went smoother for the install. So now I will show you before and after photos!



Before Pics Collage (1)

After Pics Collage

Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you ever had any issues happen during big projects or any good experiences. I would love to hear about them. 😊

Thanks for stopping by!

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