$1,000 Bathroom Remodel (almost) Complete!

When last we visited (in July, yes, 6 months ago), the bathroom remodel had progressed quite well! The wallpaper came off, the floors were redone, and then… everything stalled.

So, eight months later (yes, I started this thing in May), the bathroom reno is like 95% complete! So let’s start out with what I did.

First, I removed all the wallpaper. That took a couple days but only because I broke it up. Wallpaper was originally the only thing I wanted to do to this bathroom, but someone *cough* my brother-in-law*cough* said, “why don’t we just rip everything out and start fresh?” So we did.

Then we did demo. We took out the toilet, the floor, the vanity, the mirror, the tile.

In the meantime, we had to replace some pipes under the sink and all of the valves. Granted, they probably hadn’t been replaced since the 80s and one valve handle had actually fallen off (it was like that when I bought the house, but I figured I’d be redoing the bathroom at some point so I didn’t make the homeowner fix it). The copper pipes had ‘congealed’ for lack of a better term. The water here is ridiculously hard and builds up really fast. So my brother-in-law sweated off the old copper pipes and put on new ones with new valves. “It isn’t DIY until you put a hole in the wall!”

After demo, we skim-coated all the walls and put in the new floor. I primed and painted the walls in the same white that is in the rest of the house. Here’s where things sort of stalled for a while. We got the new toilet in halfway (the bottom half) so that sewer gases wouldn’t seep up, but I didn’t have the chord to attach the top to the bottom, so for like a month, it was just the bottom half of a toilet until I gave in and did it myself, putting the rest of the toilet together.


Look, here’s the deal. Plumbing terrifies me. Gushing water that ruins everything and drips and causes problems. Remember when I flooded the kitchen? Yeah, plumbing. So I am super anxious when it comes to me (anyone) doing any sort of plumbing work.

During the interim, I replaced the vanity light, cleaned out the exhaust fan, and I took out the hideously ugly ceiling heater. Since it was wired already, I decided to replace it with an extra LED light since this is the only room in the house without a window, and therefore is darker than usual. I figured more lighting couldn’t hurt.

The baseboards went in and then… then we waited. When we started this remodel in May, I knew it would take a while because I didn’t have $1000 to spend right at that very moment, so I waited to buy the vanity. Plus, it took me forever to pick one. There was the problem of the plumbing being so low to the ground (and any of the vanities with drawers or cutouts for plumbing, I didn’t trust to line up), plus I had concerns with spacing and water lines and etc. So I searched for several weeks before deciding on the vanity I chose. There was also the dilemma of what size to get, and how much I wanted to spend. The original vanity in that bathroom was something like 52″ long, which is pretty huge for only one sink. I wanted something smaller, but 48″ wasn’t small enough and I couldn’t find any I liked. The one I went with is 36″ with an off-set sink, which I chose due to plumbing issues. Plus it gives more counter space and it makes the bathroom seem bigger.


The vanity sat there for many months. Not hooked up, just waiting. Like I said, I hate plumbing and I don’t trust myself to do it right, but I just couldn’t sit there anymore. So on Friday, I went to the store and I bought a p-trap kit, and a nice plumber man took pity on me in the store and explained a few things about hooking it up. Saturday morning, I was determined. I sat down and did a dry-run assembly so I could position the vanity correctly before attaching it to the wall. Then I put the faucet on. That took a while, but I went really slowly, methodically, staring at the pictures in the instructions intently. I was determined not to screw this up.

So the faucet was attached. The drain worked properly, and I was ready to attach the top to the vanity. So here we are! I hooked up all the plumbing things, with only one trip back to the store for the right size. Had some slight issues, but I think it’s gonna be okay, and if it’s not, that’s what real plumbers are for.


I also got these nifty hooks from IKEA when I was in Denver last fall and installed them as towel hooks rather than a regular rowel rack. They fold closed when not in use.


The only things left is to buy a mirror since I won’t be reusing the old one, a towel holder, and a toilet paper holder. Then I have to decide what to do about the backsplash. I really want to do some sort of tile, but there’s too many choices. Here’s what I’m really drawn to:

Dew Drop by Fireclay Tile

So we’ll see. In the meantime, the bathroom is practically done!


In case you’re wondering, here’s what everything cost:

  • Toilet: $90
  • Plumbing supplies: $120
  • Walls (skim coating + supplies): $30
  • Floor: $60
  • Vanity: $450
  • Lights: $50 + $70
  • Paint: $17 (primer only. I already had the white paint from the house)
  • Faucet: $104
  • Baseboards: $17
  • Towel hooks: $20
  • Total: $1,000

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