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12 DIY Reader Bathroom Renovations (Full of Budget-Friendly Tips, DIYS + Real Cost and Timing)

design by sarah gibson

You don’t have to do a gut job and start from scratch to make your bathroom feel new. But per your request and our love for sharing your amazing projects, may I present the next installment of #showEMyourDIY with these rather awesome bathroom renovations – with real information on timing and a lot of cost breakdowns.

Fair warning, a lot of these renovations dealt with a contractor for part of the process. This is because bathrooms are incredibly hard to 100% DIY when it comes to things like plumbing unless you or someone you know has a killer skill set (which some of these had). No one wants to take a chance on having no water or any sort of “flushing issues”, am I right? But fear not because there are some incredible ideas that you can use and do yourself.

Now I know I just said that most of these bathrooms involved paying for some contracted labor but I wanted to start out with this beauty by Rachel and Matt because they DIY’ed their powder room/home 100% themselves. They did have some expert help from their construction dads and due to the crazy layout reconfiguration they hired a designer, Amy Hirata. But youtube how-to videos were key helpers in this enormous undertaking. I mean color all of us impressed with this before and after…

bathroom renovation

After a complete gut of the main floor (where they reconfigured it to include a mudroom/laundry room, powder room and eventually bigger master bath:)) They had an almost zero budget to design/decorate the powder bath. So the $1,700 Rejuvenation vanity Rachel had her eye on was sadly not going to happen. They had to get creative and think of a really good DIY because she did not want to buy anything she wasn’t going to love. A trip to Lowe’s got them those awesome spindle legs and with leftover wood from their dining room built in made the total price of the vanity $32. Ya, $32. Then the sink was found on an impromptu trip to Ikea where she got it on sale for $50. DEAL. The choice to go monochromatic with the green paint (Pristine Wilderness by Sherwin Williams) was a last minute decision out of creative burnout but she and we love it.

For the other DIY projects, the batten board trim cost around $100 of MDF between the 1X2’s and 1X4’s and the tricky installation of the wallpaper would have cost $75 but ended up being $150 (learning curve tax). The grand total after the space was roughed in and plumbed/electricity installed was $800. It looks incredible and all done with their own two hands.

Second up, we have Coley’s incredibly vintage filled masterpiece…

bathroom renovation
after image source: left | right

Needless to say, it was a transformation. At first, I was a little confused on the layout from the before photos, so I asked her to go into it a little bit. This is what she said, “It was one large room and yes, it had a big window. We closed the window and added a smaller one over the tub and added walls to create the bathroom layout.”

Coley got crafty with these tiles because she couldn’t find a long skinny tile wasn’t over $30 a square foot. The way she got around that was purchasing 12 x 24” tiles and then having them cut to size. It ended up being $3/sq ft plus $500 in labor to cut and lay tile. WAY more budget-friendly. Then her big DIY was that beautiful clawfoot bathtub (everyone’s actual dream tub?). She found it on Craigslist for $200 then painted the outside and legs. The paint and brushes came to a grand total of $30. It looks awesome and makes that space. Then when you add the vintage dressers, cabinet, lights and mirror (all sourced by her and at amazing prices) it’s a bathroom I would love to relax in for an undetermined amount of hours:)

Now, this renovation from Kelin of Hydrangea Treehouse is a true stunner.

bathroom renovation

This bathroom is small at only 5′ x 8′. But it was going to be her and her husband’s master bath so she had to play with the layout to make it work for two adults. They ended up moving the toilet to the shower niche, and with the extra space next to the original sink it allowed the room to install a double vanity (a must for them). Then to give themselves a shower they made the tub a shower/tub combo.

According to her, it was a half DIY, half hire-out small bathroom remodel. “I designed the space and hired out a contractor to tackle the big changes such as electrical and plumbing. After their job was done, I installed the wallpaper over a weekend with some help from my husband.”

bathroom renovation

This renovation took about three weeks for the contractor then an extra weekend where she DIY’ed the wallpaper. Apparently, the wallpaper installation was supposed to be a part of the contactor’s workload but at the end, he didn’t want to deal with it and the curved walls. This sounds a bit crazy, but we think it’s good for people to know that it can happen.. The good news is that it didn’t get Kelin down because like I said she DIY’ed it over a weekend using youtube tutorials and in the end saved a little bit of money. The rough total cost of this renovation was 20k. That is $13,000 in labor and $6,000 in materials. Not cheap but it turned out so beautiful!

Moving along, Leigh gives us another incredible wallpaper story but wait there’s more…

bathroom renovation

Not that a Pepto Bismol shower isn’t cool in its own right but Leigh had a different vision for the guest bathroom in her new home. So an almost total gut job it was. “We ripped everything out except for two vintage medicine cabinets located on the side walls.” What is extra cool and special about this bathroom is that that awesome vintage bathtub was taken from their master bath and repurposed in here. It’s so important to remember that when you are doing any kind of redesigning (renovation or decor) that simply reusing what you already have in a different room can give it new life. Obviously, not all of us have such cool materials (like a vintage mint green tub) to work with but it’s still good to consider. Plus it’s free and earth-friendly:)

Leigh and her husband used a contractor for everything but installing the toilet (you go guys!), wallpapering and the very cute design. The materials cost about $1,300 and the labor about $4,000 so the total renovation was about $5,300.

FUN BONUS STORY: Leigh was unbelievably sweet in sharing the story of how they got their house. Some of you might remember that when Emily and Brian were buying their house they had A LOT of competition (like higher than asking cash offers). What they decided to do was write a letter to the homeowners pleading their case and making it personal. Lucky for them it worked and Leigh remembers that when they were putting in the offer for this house. “We beat several all-cash offers and I have to thank Emily for her post or we might not have our dream home today.” First off I got chills when I read this and I know it made Emily’s day! So for everyone looking to buy a house don’t forget that while money is definitely very important, people want to sell their homes to people who are going to love and care for them.

Moving on (house buying pun intended), I would hold onto your hats because Sarah of Room for Tuesday has done a bunch of killer bathroom DIYs you are going to love. Below we have two of her awesome bathrooms from two different homes. The before and afters are just too good so get ready.

bathroom renovation

The bathroom above is from her previous home but the style still obviously holds up:) Sarah and her husband Emmet gutted and installed it all. My personal favorite detail and DIY is the shower valance. It’s such a chic way to up the style of a shower curtain look. The timeline on this renovation was 6 weeks because Sarah was participating in the One Room Challenge which has a strict deadline. So she nailed the deadline and design all for $5,000. So awesome.

bathroom renovation

Now, this bathroom is a guest bath in their new home. Yep, you heard that right. This beauty isn’t even their main bathroom. It is, however, chock full of great DIYs, and my potential favorite is how they customized their readymade vanity. This bathroom is so pretty, so unique and Emmet MADE that burlwood table. I know. We are all trying to think about how we can get an Emmet of our own now. But jokes (or not:)) aside, this renovation took them about three months and $15K in total cost. While that’s not inexpensive, the scope of the project with the amount of those beautiful materials and moments make this price tag is totally reasonable. Had they not done the labor themselves the number could be double. Moral of the story is that you should absolutely head to Sarah’s blog for all the DIY details.

Next Kristin Dion took her guest bathroom and decided to use it to its full potential.

bathroom renovation

When Kristin was planning her guest bath remodel she decided that since they never used that tub (like not once in ten years), she would take it out to make room for something actually useful…a washer and dryer. Now the DIY here is the plywood counter and shelf. The space isn’t crazy large so maximizing the space is crucial. Especially when folding laundry is involved. Ideally, she wanted a butcher block counter but at a price tag of $1000, she found cheaper plywood, stained it and voila! It looks awesome and all up only cost $125. Muuuuuch better.

Sarah brings us a breath of fresh and colorful air with some very cool DIYs.

bathroom renovation

I think we need to start with the shower side because WOW what a change. At first glance, you may think that Sarah replaced the shower and wall tile but look again. Instead of dealing with the intensity and $$$ of tile replacement she used “a Rust-Oleum epoxy kit to paint the shower, tub, and tile that extended throughout the bathroom”. She also switched out the fixtures to make them more modern. Then for the floor tile, she used plain old regular wall paint in a super cute pattern then sealed it with a clear sealer. It made such an insane difference and looks so much happier.

You may also notice in the shower window there is a very cute copper pipe and wood shelving unit that she DIY’d herself. It helped to maximize the space and add style.

bathroom renovation

Another huge DIY improvement is that faux shiplap treatment and the new vanity. For the shiplap, she took sheets of MDF and then cut them down to her preferred size, painted then installed. The treatment was also a great idea so that any remaining damage from removing the medicine cabinet is easily covered.

Lastly, the same wood used for the shower shelf was used for the long shelf along the back wall and since the medicine cabinet was removed she replaced the sink with a vanity that has storage.

All great, all user-friendly DIYs and landing at a total estimated cost of $1,200. Quite a transformation for that budget!

When Kelly remodeled her bathroom she decided to channel her inner artist.

bathroom renovation

You may think the walls are covered in wallpaper but look again. Kelly HANDPAINTED that print. This is how she said she did it, “I bought some Dalmatian fabric, and a stencil making kit, and then made a stencil of the dots.  I then bought a tiny little sample pot of paint from home depot and went to work.  I had to constantly wipe the stencil in order to make sure that none of the black paint got on the white wall where it shouldn’t.  I had to start in sections and then go back to fill in the gaps. All in all, it cost me about $20-25 and makes a huge impact.  I love that the brush strokes show in the dots.” The painstaking work paid off and at a crazy affordable price.

Brianne and her husband were another power couple who DIY’ed almost this entire bathroom.

bathroom renovation

They had a total budget of $5,000. This needed to include a plumber to move the rough-in plumbing to new locations. But since she has an eye for design and closeout deals (which is how she got their shower door, vanity, and the shower faucet system) and her husband is extremely handy there were able to gut and remodel themselves. The open storage next to the shower is great and funnily enough, I recently saw this tile on Pinterest and kinda loved it. Then a couple of days later Brianne sent me her bathroom. Coincidence? I think not. It has a vintage feel, brings in a lot of pattern but isn’t overwhelming.

Tamlyn and her husband decided to buy a home/working farm and boy have they been working…

bathroom renovation

This wonderful powder bath did not exist when they moved in. So to create it, they “stole space from a poorly laid out bathroom and what was the shower/ tub combo.” Tamlyn has the same belief as Team EHD, powder baths are places to take risks and that is what she did with this cutie. So they installed a glass tile on the floor and a custom walnut paneling. It obviously paid off. Her and probably our favorite part is that awesome working transom window. Now let’s get down to the brass tacks. The estimated total cost of this bathroom was about $8,000 which included a contractor to handle the plumbing. Ready for her next transformation?

bathroom renovation

This guy is their master bathroom and it’s beautiful. Once again they had a contractor that handled the plumbing and a few other bits. But Tamlyn and her husband worked alongside him, handling tiling, lots of trim carpentry, lighting and electrical and little detail work like changing out door hardware, floating shelving, etc. The total estimated cost of this bathroom was about $15,000. That matte black penny tile looks so awesome.

Now, I don’t know about you, but all I want to do right now is makeover my bathroom ASAP because A. it needs it and B. how could I not be inspired to get on it?? I hope you are feeling the same (maybe even empowered to DIY?) because your bathroom should be the sanctuary you deserve. I think we should all show at least vow to indulge in a bubble bath this weekend (well those of us that have bathtubs). Thank you to everyone that submitted and let us know in the comments what you DIY you want to see next. Happy Friday!

Love you, mean it.

WAIT. If you are looking for more even renovation goodness including posts and shopping options head to the rooms and shop page.

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4 years ago

Love this! Makes me think “if they can do this, I can do this.”

4 years ago

There is so much inspiration here! I’d love to do my powder room and this is giving me a lot of food for thought… I also have a half done guest bath in need of some love.

As for the next DIY, maybe something having to do with outdoor spaces? Patios, gardens, front porches, etc. It’s that time of year 😀

Christina Sabo
4 years ago

These are awesome! But I have to note, the saying is getting down to brass tacks, not brass tax. 😉

4 years ago

Where is the tile from in Brianne’s reno? So cool!

4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Hi this is Brianne. I purchased the tile from the tilebar. Their customer service was great and I think their pricing was better than wayfair last time I checked.

Cris S.
4 years ago

Love seeing so many readers’ homes – such great ideas!

Just an FYI – the phrase is “brass tacks” as in “getting down to the brass tacks” or the essentials. Not “brass tax,” which I at first thought was a deliberate play on words as using brass is often more expensive. You can see more on the history of the phrase here:

4 years ago

I love me some mid-century kitsch. Even though these afters are all beautiful, some of them make me sad. I wish more people would embrace their home’s history and character and try to elevate and modernize without doing so many total gut jobs.

4 years ago
Reply to  Megan

Seriously. If you’re ripping out something original you’re probably doing it wrong.

4 years ago
Reply to  Megan

There’s no history or character in a home built in in 1992. None of these homes look like they had any character gutted or ripped out because none of them were old enough to have character. And if any of these homes were old enough, even so, all they did was gut bad 90’s renovations.

4 years ago

Heart eyes emoji! I wanted to ask–how practical is art in the bathroom, or are there tricks I’m missing? It always looks gorgeous in the photos and reveals but don’t things end up getting steamy/damaged/waterlogged? Was trying to figure out if the key was buying art you don’t care about or if it’s just there for staging and isn’t actually practical…or if everyone just has amazing ventilation in their bathrooms, lucky ducks 🙂

Paula Carr
4 years ago
Reply to  Kristin

I found a Japanese woodblock print that I loved and would go perfectly in my master bathroom. However, I was NOT going to put a $2K print in the bathroom. So, I got a printed copy that looks fine, and I don’t have to worry about it.

4 years ago

Sarah and Emmett are great people with mad design and DIY skills, so thank you for showcasing one of their latest projects. Cheers to all, Ardith

Sarah Gibson
4 years ago
Reply to  Ardith

Aww thank you Ardith 🙂 xox

4 years ago

Love these! Curious where Leigh’s bathroom wallpaper is from?

4 years ago
Reply to  Alice

Hi Alice! It is from Aimee Wilder. The design is Desert Spirit and the color is Fuzz, but it comes in several other colors 🙂

4 years ago

Does anyone have experience with Rustoleum epoxy or the wall paint-on-floor-tile? I have considered both in my kids’ bathroom to cover 80s style green “marble,” but I’ve heard so many horror stories… would love to know if anyone has done either successfully.

Sarah Wissinger
4 years ago
Reply to  Erica

Hi Erica! My bathroom is the one above with the painted tile. Both the walls/tub and the floor are holding up great. The Rustoleum epoxy is meant for tub and tile refreshing so it works really well and feels just like ceramic tile. You have to follow the steps on the can (lots of cleaning, sanding, etc.) but if you do that it should be great! After painting our floor we applied a clear sealer on top (followed a DIY from Young House Love) and it feels really solid. We only have one bathroom so it is heavily trafficked and we haven’t had any issues with peeling or chipping paint. Hope that helps a bit!

4 years ago

Great list with such cool ideas! Over on the blog Flipping the Flip, she’s done some neat DIY budget friendly things with a couple bathrooms, definitely worth a look too.

Melanie Ocana
4 years ago

Those hand-painted Dalmatian dots!! Reno by a power couple — LOVE IT! As a woman whose business partner is her husband… hand-painting the dots must have been great marriage therapy! 🙂 Love the before/afters throughout!

Regine from The 256 Project
4 years ago

This is all great inspiration. I can’t wait to renovate our full bathroom. We renovated our powder room and laundry room combo, which I call the #beautilityroom (since it’s much more beautiful than just a utility room) and now I just want all new rooms!