Our Small Family Home Bathroom Reno


When we were going through the house buying process last spring, we knew the bathroom needed WORK, but we weren't sure if we would do it right away. Bathroom renos, even small ones, are notoriously expensive, and we weren't sure if we were ready to shell out the cash.

So despite our utter lack of remodeling knowledge, like any good new homeowners, we considered the DIY route.


Our old bathroom was a beauty, wasn't it? I suppose it could always be worse....

We knew the floor around the toilet was soft and the subfloor would need to be replaced. There were some other complicated issues like leaky plumbing, plaster walls, popcorn ceiling, and no vent. And after talking to friends who have remodeled many of their own homes, we decided against it.

So we got a few quotes for having the bathroom remodeled, and while it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be, it was still a pretty big chunk of change. We thought about just living with the bathroom how it was instead of throwing our meager savings into a new bathroom. But I was worried about water damage and possible mold. Plus, if we ever wanted to remodel, we would need to move out since it's the only bathroom. Or get an outhouse.

We decided to go for it and hired contractors. To save money, we bought the floor tile from a resale shop for extra building supplies; the gray ceramic 12x12 squares cost us a whopping $17. We also chose simple white subway tile from Lowes and dark gray grout with a pedestal sink in a box.


They replaced part of the subfloors and demoed the rest of the bath, leaving the original tub. In hindsight, I probably would have gotten a new tub. We need to have it resurfaced now, and it looks pretty bad. But the contractor had originally told me he would have it resurfaced and it didn't. By the time we realized what had happened, our friends Jenn and Adam of Tiny Ass Camper were arriving for a visit, and we needed a functional bathroom.


We then painted a rainbow on the bathroom wall. Okay, not actually true. Just wanted to make sure you're still with me after all these bath photos! The rainbow wall is a story for another day and another room (spoiler: the kids room!)

AND the finished result. Look how hard we worked on it! Just kidding, we spent a glorious month traveling and came home to this beauty:


By the way: this bathroom really is as small as it looks! I had to climb into the bathtub to get some of these shots. We still need to repaint one of the walls and hang towel hooks. But good enough is better than not at all, amiright?

We've never been able to afford to remodel ANYTHING in the past, and this was a hard one to swing financially. The project ended up costing us more than we thought it would by about 15% for last minute changes and unexpected costs. But a small, functional bathroom is totally worth it, and I am so grateful that we made the decision to do so. Up next: the kitchen!


Have you ever remodeled your own home or do you hire out?