Friday, January 21, 2011

budget bathroom renos...

We have two bathrooms in our current house - the main one (which is tiny) and our ensuite.  We didn't want to do full on renovations as it would have probably cost us $10k or more for them both, so we decided to make the most changes we could within our budget.  In the end, the main bathroom ended up costing us around $700 and the ensuite cost us around $1300.  I'll give more explanation of what we changed below.

Here is a picture of what the main bathroom looked like before we moved in.  Be sure to notice, won't you, the peach coloured walls, gold shower frame with tinted doors, gold frame mirror, two tone (chrome and gold) tapware, raw pine shelf and wooden towel rails... 

I wasn't wild about the tile colour (being beige in the shower and vanity splashback and green on the floor (as well as a feature of green running through the shower).  The floor tiles were grouted with cement, so they looked dull also - but because of the cement, regrouting is a big job (as we found out in the ensuite) so we decided to live with those for now.  We are thinking we'll do a full reno on this bathroom in a couple of years and somehow incorporate the wasted space in the separate toilet next door.

So in the end we (and when I say we, I mean Boofy) painted the bathroom plain white to get rid of that horrible peach!  The next big thing we did was get rid of that ugly gold-framed shower screen - instead we installed a swing panel frameless one.  We had one of these at our last place and really loved it, and we loved how it opened up this room and made it look so much brighter!  We changed the old tapware with stuff we got fairly cheaply from Bunnings (fitted by my brother Mick who was here on a working visit) and replaced the old mirror with a budget silver-framed mirror.  Last to go was some horrible black plastic knobs on the vanity, which we replaced with sleek silver handles.  I then bought the bench from Ikea which gives good storage (the basket underneath holds Alex's bath toys) and a place for people to lay out their clean clothes while they're showering.
And this is the end result - so much lighter!

Now onto the ensuite (which is actually the opposite order in which we renovated them!)  This is what we started with....  features to point out are of course the same gold framed shower and mirror as the main bathroom, and same two tone tapware.  Also note the wooden toilet seat (which was also cracked) and wooden shelves, and of course lets not forget the peach walls :)

In the ensuite we did a little more than the main bathroom.  Firstly, we got the tiles regrouted.  The grout on the floor was dull (we later found out it was cement, which explained a lot) and the grout and silicone in the shower had holes and was dirty.  I found a local guy who was just starting out and agreed to do the whole bathroom for $300 (he eventually wished he'd never met us and I'm sure is considering a change in career now!)  So Shane set to work getting the old grout up only to discover, as I mentioned, that the grout on the floor was in fact cement - this posed a big problem since his tool for getting up the grout couldn't handle it, so he had to get it up out of the floor with an angle grinder.  Unfortunately for us, he didn't actually consider a lot beyond what he was doing in the bathroom, so no drop sheets, or even closing the door to the ensuite.... right outside our ensuite is our walk through wardrobe and of course the master bedroom, so I don't need to tell you what I came home to!  Luckily Mick was here and realised what was going on about 20 minutes into his angle grinding efforts, so he did his best to cover up what he could, but it was still VERY dusty and took us what felt like months to get rid of!

So regrouting finished, we powered on.  I bought a new vanity and got it delivered, only to realise the drawers were on the wrong side (and would clash with the plumbing) so had to take it back.  The store I got it from would only do credits, and all their vanities had the drawers on the wrong side for us, so what to do?  In the end, we spent our credit on a vanity top, a frameless bevelled-edge mirror and some flash tapware.  In between I also fell in love with a stone mosaic tile (same as the one in the kitchen splashback but little squares instead of stripes) which we decided could go above the existing vanity splashback.  Again, Mick the master handy man installed the vanity top, mosaic tiles, tapware and mirror.  (You'll have to excuse my photos, obviously I don't have the wide-angled lens that the photographer had!)

We bought a kit with a new cistern and toilet seat and Mick also installed those in both the ensuite toilet and the main one.  I bought some glass and chrome shelves from Bunnings and put two above the toilet, and one inside the shower (which looks great and is fantastic storage).

And the last thing we did was rip down the horrible ugly gold framed shower screen and get ourselves a new semi-frameless one...  what a huge difference!  The photo doesn't really do it justice, but you get the idea :)

So there you go!  Bathroom renos on a budget.  The tiles in the bathrooms are definitely not what I'd choose if I got to redo the whole thing again (neither are the vanities) but they look clean and much more modern now, so we're pretty happy with them for the time being!

Bye for now :)


  1. you don't happen to know the name brand of the old shower doors you had. I took them down years ago and I want to reinstall them but I would like to find the installation instructions and parts online. thanks. email

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