What you see above is a before and after shot of my wife and I's bathroom overhaul. It is the first bathroom overhaul we've done since we moved in together over 10 years ago.
In case you're wondering, no I did not do the labor myself. There were a lot of plumbing, piping, electrical add-ons that were way over my DIY skills and plus massive new walls needed to be put up and I have no clue about how to do it myself. I decided to leave the construction to the pros. I, however, designed the layout, picked the materials, decorated and changed many many things along the way.
Watching shows on DIY network or HGTV is one thing but when it comes down to designing a layout and selecting designs materials yourself, it can be really daunting. What's worse is when you think you have it all done, you then get hit with delays based on bad products, long shipping times and end up overpaying! I hope this blog post inspires you to challenge yourself on your next bathroom overhaul. Let's move on!
First off let me start out by saying my wife and I don't have any formal training with CAD nor any experience designing bathrooms. But for my overhaul, I wanted to give it a shot because I felt I was ready. What made me think that? Well, it's due to the hundreds of hours I've spent watching shows on HGTV. :). Of course, I later find out that things were much harder than it looks. A design I thought maybe would have taken a few days to do ended up taking over 40 hours with redesign after redesign after redesign.
The most difficult thing for me was to figure out where to move the toilet. Previously it was in the middle of the room hidden behind two half walls. There wasn't much privacy at all. But due to the layout of the bathroom with closet doors taking up all of one side and big windows to the other side, there wasn't a whole lot of options. Then finally it hit me, to flip flop the toilet area and the standing shower!
I previously drew everything out by hand but eventually, it just became too messy. So I started looking for some kind of bathroom designer tool on the web. I came across the virtual room designer from Lowe's and it was exactly what I was looking for. It is a very powerful and free tool which allows you to map out both 2D and 3D designs of kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. I loaded up a design for a bathroom, input all my dimensions, added my new shower and set up my bathroom virtually. Below are the end results. This is a highly recommended tool for anyone looking for a free tool to design their dream bathroom.
Here are the pictures we snapped before demolition day. What a night and day difference compared to today!
The construction guys came in and tore everything up within two days. It was very fast work and they immediately cleaned up and started building out the new standing shower. Here are some pics.
Tiles, Tiles, Tiles
I ended up going to Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, The Tile Shop and Floor and Decor about 20 times each in total before settling on a shower tile, a shower floor tile, a mosaic tile, and a floor tile for the bath. Again when watching HGTV it seems like selecting matching tiles should be an easy thing as the pros decide within a few mins. For me being a first timer doing this, this process alone took at least a full week of going between stores 2-3 days a day. Even during lunch break at work, I would be heading somewhere to check out tiles.
It was during this phase that I started to experience some headaches due to low inventory. I actually had to switch one of my tile selection since the store simply didn't have enough on hand and it would have taken weeks for more to come in. After the project, I found that Wayfair also sold tiles. I never thought about checking them but at least it's another option for those who likes their tiles shipped to their house without back breaking labor.
Here are some pics of some of the tiles I choose during my selection phase.
Selecting the other essential pieces
After having the tiles selected, it was time to move on to other pieces the bathroom needed. It's a lot more than I thought! For example the shower door for the new shower enclosure. Also a new vanity, mirrors, lights, bathtub, toilet, faucets, towel accessories, closet doors, to name a few.
Let's start with a vanity. Everywhere local had only dual sink vanities up to 60″ wide. My wife and I wanted to go with 72″ so we were out of luck. Local places that sold 72″ vanities required us to special order it which would have taken weeks to arrive. So after searching and searching, we ended up buying our vanity online. It was shipped free and I was able to select the exact day and time it would be delivered. Everything was wrapped up super nice and there was no damage. You can see our selection here.
After selecting the vanity, I had to select two bathroom faucets. I've spent a ton of time on this and eventually settled for these Delta beauties. Remember there are different types of faucet types and if you're doing an overhaul you need to know which one to buy. Take a look at How to Pick a Bathroom Faucet for help on determining which one.
Next up was selecting a soak bathtub. Everything we saw locally was either overpriced or didn't fit out style. After searching everywhere, eventually we picked one online and it was delivered in a few days free of charge. Our selection here.
Lastly out of the big things I needed to order was the shower door. After getting a quote from a local glass shop that was over $5,000 dollars, I found a shower door kit online that fit our needs perfectly. In fact, I had my construction guys build out the enclosure exactly to specs so there wouldn't be any surprised when it came time to install it. Our selection here. Again free delivery and I choose when it was going to come in.
Unfortunately, some of the things we bought had problems which delayed the overhaul process. For example, our awesome shower panel and closet doors came in defective. The saving grace was Amazon's great return policy. They were picked up free by UPS and a full refund was issued. After new ones arrived the second time, things were good.
There you have it, my first bathroom overhaul. It was a long journey but my wife and I got through it and we are now very happy with our end result. For those who plan on doing an overhaul DIY style, I encourage you on! And for those who are letting the pros do the work yet doing the designing themselves, I applaud you too since it is not nearly as easy as one thinks. I created Bathroom Overhaul to help those where were like me, amateurs looking for a site that made sure all the essentials are done.
For those who are interested in doing a bathroom overhaul, here are my recommended steps:
- Start drafting out a design of your new bathroom. This is a must if you're changing the design or structure of your bathroom. Otherwise, if you're sticking with the same layout, you can skip this part.
- Check out the Inspiration articles I've posted. They will definitely help give you inspiration on what is out there and let you think about what you want in your new bathroom.
- Start making a list of what you want to replace and start looking for new fixtures. I've created a Product Showcase page to help with that.
- Lastly, I recommend checking out the local hardware stores and tiles shops for ideas on tiles.
I'll end our overhaul with some before and after pictures of my master bathroom. Good luck to all!