Looking to upgrade your bathroom but dont want to spend a fortune? Did you know the average bathroom remodel can cost around $10,000? According to Home Advisor in 2021 the average home owner spends around $7,000 on a small bathroom remodel and $21,000 to remodel a master bath. Keep reading to see how we remodeled our bathroom for less than $4,000.


Tips for Gutting The Bathroom

  1. First, Remove anything off the walls including bathroom fixtures, mirrors, and decors
  2. Next, before actually starting to demo start by shutting off the water and safely removing the toilet
  3. Remove any tile or walls around the tub/shower
  4. Tear down walls where necessary, sometimes this is necessary in order to rework plumbing to fit in your new bathroom design
  5. Lastly, remove the vanity, cabinets, flooring, and anything else you plan to replace

Check Your Plumbing and Pipes

After gutting the entire bathroom we saw it was necessary to remove all the old galvanized pipes and replace them with pex. This cost around ______ . Replacing the plumbing is not necessary with all bathroom remodels but our house is over 100 years old and this was a necessary step for us. After all the plumbing was updated and checked by a professional contractor we moved on to the shower.

Remove the Shower/Tub

It was tricky deciding rather to keep the bathtub or take it out and build a walk in shower. I believe walk-in showers are more appealing, but it is recommended to have at least one tub in the house for resale value. We decided to keep the bathtub. After removing the previous tub and walls, we cut out a slot in the wall for a shelf in the shower. Next we put up waterproof drywall- cement backer board on the shower walls. This is important to use so water/moisture does not get on the walls and create mold. Tip: Coat the cement board with a waterproof coating like Red Gard to protect the walls from water damage.

Tile the Shower

After prepping the shower walls and making sure our shelf was secure we started to tile. Tip: You might want to consider painting the ceiling above the shower before you tile. Tiling the shower yourself can save you a lot of money on a bathroom remodel. You can research youtube videos and rent a tile saw from your local hardware store. Tip: If you tile yourself make sure to buy these Tile Leveling Spacers to make sure your tile is spaced evenly and level. These ensure flatness between tiles and make the installation process a lot smoother!

The cement backer board, mortar, grout, tile, and tile accessories cost us around _____

Shower After

Drywall and Paint

Some contractors say that they lay the floors first but we decided to put up new drywall, tape and mud it, and paint before installing the bathroom floor. This way we did not have to worry about getting paint on the new tile.

Lay the Floor

Time to install the floors. We decided on black tile for the floors. Let me tell you black looks sharp but its not the best color flooring if you have a light color dog… and we have a golden retriever. We decided to start tiling at the entrance of the bathroom so we had an entire piece of tile at the front and center. If you start in the back of the bathroom that is fine but you might end up cutting a piece or having the tile off center at the entrance of the bathroom.

Install Vanity

After the walls are up, painted, and the floors are in you can start installing the vanity and sink/counter top. I knew I wanted a white vanity and we got this one for $99 (originally $400 brand new) from Facebook marketplace. It was actually brand new but we got a discount because it had a scratch on the back. If you are trying to save money on a vanity and sink then I highly recommend shopping around for a discounted item.

Vanity, Fixtures, and Decor Before
Vanity, Fixtures, and Decor After

Update Lighting and Fixtures

Time to replace the fixtures and lighting. For this bathroom I knew I wanted gold fixtures so I bought a package from Amazon for $30. They have a variety of items and kits that come with matching towel hooks, toilet paper holder, and other items you might want. We purchased the shower head/tub faucet separate for $130 from Menards.

Hook Up Plumbing

You might have already hooked up the plumbing to your shower/tub and sink but the last step is to hook the toilet back up. If you do not know how to replace a toilet there are guides on most hardware stores websites, you can also youtube a ‘How To’ video.

Tips to Remodel Your Bathroom on a Budget

  1. Do the Demo Yourself – Demo is the easiest part and this will save you a lot of money if you can do this yourself. If you have a large bathroom or this is a big project then it might be worth renting a dumpster.
  2. Learn to tile – If you can tile the shower and floor yourself then this will be a huge cost savings. It can be time consuming and difficult at first but if you are handy or know a few people who can tile then ask them to help. The first time we ever tiled we rented a tile saw from a local hardware store for $50 a day. David watched youtube videos on how to lay tile, cut tile, and grout. Now we own a tile saw and do all our the tile work ourselves.
  3. Paint – Painting yourself can save a few thousand dollars on your remodel. We had a few quotes to paint our tiny bathroom and they came in around $2,000. After that painting ourself was a no brainer to cut costs.
  4. Shop Smart – Depending where you buy your materials and fixtures can save you a lot of money. We purchased most of our materials from Menards (they have a rebate program) and Home Depot. Then for the vanity, linen closet, and a few other items we purchased those from Facebook marketplace.

About Author

Hi, I'm Sierra, a world traveler with an adventurous spirit. I love all things coffee, my dogs, the outdoors, and spur of the moment adventures.

If you are looking for travel inspiration, destinations and itineraries, or budget-friendly vacations, then you came to the right place! I know planning a trip can be incredibly time consuming and stressful but don’t worry, I’ve made is easy for you!

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