Bathroom Remodel on a Budget with Reclaimed Materials

bathroom with beadboard ceiling

I can’t tell you how ready I am to finally share this with you.  We finished our bathroom.  WE FINALLY FINISHED OUR BATHROOM!  I had all intentions of making this statement in May, at the end of Calling it Home’s One Room Challenge, but we had a couple of hiccups (that actually ended up saving us quite a bit of money, thank goodness) that stretched the remodel out for four more months.  Let’s not wait any longer, here is our new bathroom!

bathroom with barn wood ceiling

Should I show you what it looked like before?

goodbye 1970s bathroom

If you’re interested in all the nitty gritty details of the space to begin with and the steps in the remodel, you can check out the progress posts here, here, here, and here.  To keep it short and simple, almost the whole space was gutted – shower, tiles, vanity, bottom half of the wall, and toilet.  We replaced everything on a tight budget.

We moved around the plumbing and then installed the bathtub and tile.  I chose white ceramic subway tile primarily because it is cheap, but I also liked the clean look it gave the room, especially with my ideas for such a colorful ceiling.

subway tile with gray grey grout

I stood firm on the light gray grout for the wall and floor tile, even though my dad thought I was crazy. I must say, I started to regret my decision after it was installed.  My dad and husband said it resembled an insane asylum, and I found myself agreeing with them. Thankfully, once the ceiling was installed, it changed the whole look of the space.

The only thing I knew I wanted in this space was an antique bead board ceiling.  This wood came from an old milk barn in Wisconsin.  I love it.  It might be my favorite thing in the whole house.  If you want to put some old wood on your ceiling, too, read this post on how I installed the beadboard on the ceiling.

beadboard ceiling DIY

Now, it wasn’t the plumbing, tile install, or ceiling that held up this bathroom remodel.  Everything in the space was completed by the end of spring, except for that vanity.

My dad found this antique washstand in an empty apartment that had been used as a sink, and as soon as I laid eyes on it, I told him that was going to be our vanity at our cottage.  The sink that was in it was rectangular and the faucet was on the side, because washstands are fairly narrow in depth.  We had ideas of how we could retrofit it to fit a countertop and add some space to the back of it so a standard sink would fit.

I found a slab of quartz countertop (but it looks just like marble) at my local ReStore for $20 and an under-mount sink for $10.  It was just big enough to fit the washstand; we didn’t have an extra inch.  It was unfinished and chipped on one side, so we made a template and brought it to a local countertop shop, who quoted us at $175 to finish the stone and attach the sink.  $205 for a complete vanity sounded perfect!

Long story short, that piece of stone sat at the countertop shop for five months.  To give them credit, we did tell them not to rush on it, since it was a small side job.  After a lost template, a lost phone number, a few questions about our “vanity”, we finally got our finished slab.  Because it took them so long, they wouldn’t accept our payment.  We were shocked, because although it had taken so long, we understood, and we weren’t upset about it.  I told you we have been remodeling on a tight budget, so our patience with this vanity top saved us a lot of money, which I am very grateful for.

bathroom remodel on a budget

We stripped down the finish and stained the washstand in an ebony color.  My dad cut out the drawer so the sink would fit, added a panel to the back because the washstand needed to stand about 6 inches out from the wall, and added cleats to the wall for the back of the countertop to sit on top of.  (Although I was completely willing to take this on myself, my dad was pretty excited about this project, so I let him work his magic.)

bathroom with antique washstand sink

I added my vintage faucet towel rack to help us corral all those extra towels when guests stay with us.bathroom remodel with vintage materials

I saved more money by painting our old medicine cabinet.  I really don’t love the look of it, and when I find an antique medicine cabinet with a mirror, I’ll probably replace it, but for now, I have a virtually free (and still sturdy) medicine cabinet.

bathroom remodel with refinished medicine cabinet

I told you our budget was tight.  Would you believe me if I told you we renovated everything for under $1,000?!?  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Bathtub (acrylic) – $150
  • Toilet – $90
  • Countertop & sink – $30
  • Faucet (on clearance!) – $55
  • Bathtub faucet fixtures – $95
  • Subway ceramic tile  – $135 (900 tiles @ $0.15 per tile)
  • Mosaic floor tile – $65 (25 sq. feet @ $2.57 per sq. foot)
  • Grout & mortar – $50
  • Cement board, plywood, drywall, misc. – $75
  • Antique bead board – $80
  • Paint & stain (wall paint, milk paint for ceiling, vanity stain) – $30
  • Ceiling light and vent fan – $95
  • Towel rack – $10
  • Electrical outlets and wiring – $15

The grand total?  $975.  Our original budget was $1,500.  If you added in the countertop cost that wasn’t charged to us, we would still have come in under budget at $1,150.

bathroom remodel with beadboard ceiling dresser vanity

A full bathroom remodel for under $1,000?  I’ll take it, and I’ll give myself and my dad two big pats on the backs.

bathroom with subway tile

bathroom remodel for under 1000

We’re changing everything in our little lake house cottage.  Feel free to take a tour:

Welcome to our Cottage!
Welcome to our Cottage!


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33 thoughts on “Bathroom Remodel on a Budget with Reclaimed Materials

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! That is so awesome that the company you worked with comped you the countertop; they probably did because you were so understanding about it. If we re-do my mom’s bathroom I am definitely going to be getting a lot of inspiration from this post 🙂

    1. Thanks, Erin! I love the towel hooks too, mainly because we now have so much more room for all those towels (although I think I need to add a couple more on the back of the door, still)!

  2. I would NEVER guess you only paid $1000 to redo your bathroom. I really need to gut my bathroom and the tub is going to be a large part of my budget. Where did you find a tub for $150?

    1. I actually got it from our big box home improvement store (Menards). It is acrylic, which kept the cost down, and I waited for it to go on sale. I don’t know if you have a ReStore in your area, but I’ve also seen new, nice bathtubs there, but it is totally hit or miss.

    1. Good question, and one we were debating, too. We ended up not sealing ours because we have a pretty powerful bathroom fan and a window in the shower that is often open. Because of this, we really don’t get much condensation in this bathroom at all. If this wasn’t the case, I would definitely seal it with a clear polyacrylic or something to keep out the moisture!

  3. Did you install the bathtub and tile yourself? I’m planning a bathroom remodel and I found the biggest expense is just labor.

    1. Yes, you are so right about the labor being a major cost! My dad installed the tub, because I’d never trust myself to do that, but I installed the tile. It definitely helps us keep our project budgets low that my dad knows how to do so much.

  4. The after looks great! I can’t believe you came out that much under budget.

    Quartz looks a lot more expensive than it is. We just installed in our kitchen. I’m loving it!

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