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The 1980’s Original Bathroom

Original 1980's bathroom

Do you remember when we renovated our kids’ bathroom in the spring of 2020?  Yes, we tackled a home project during a lockdown which provided all sorts of interesting challenges to say the least.  I had just started Instagram and was excited to highlight this project online. Above is a listing photo of our kids’ bathroom when we originally bought our home in the fall of 2006. We did some cosmetic changes like removing the wallpaper, updating the fixtures and painting every surface (see photo below). It was better and worked while our kids were little, but after almost 15 years, we were ready to gut and start all over.

2020 kids bathroom before

Demo Begins!

We got our kids involved and they helped take out staples, carry pieces downstairs and remove the vanity. The goal was to create a light and bright bathroom with a small double vanity that all four kids could share. That would be a challenge but something we definitely accomplished.

Here’s a breakdown of what we did:

*Gutted the tub/shower and replaced it with a tall soaking tub and tiled shower

*Mitch installed heated floors and hexagon ceramic tiles

*Put in a new vanity, countertop and two sinks

*New bathroom fixtures and mirrors

*New lighting

*Added “faux” shiplap 

*New trim and door

*Painted everything White Dove by Benjamin Moore

*New shower curtain and rod

*Mitch built a custom towel rack

*Created a gallery wall with frames gifted by Frame Tt Easy

Adding Luxury by Installing Heated Floors

How to Install a Heated Floor System

Mitch really wanted heated floors for our cold winter months, but to hire someone to install it was very costly. So he decided to install them himself. Here are the DIY steps he used:

  1. Secure heat tape and mesh to clean subfloor

2. Test electrical functionality with multimeter

3. Mix thinset in a 5 gallon bucket  

4. Spread thinset in an even layer with a grout float covering the heat tape

5. Lay waterproof decoupling membrane over the thinset. Wait 24 hours to cure

6. Lay thinset over membrane filling in all the gaps.

7. Lay your flooring and finally turn on your thermostat for luxurious heated floors.  

Customizing a Stock Vanity Base

One of the main issues we had in our kids’ bathroom was that we had a small space for a vanity but wanted two sinks. We have four kids and it would be convenient for 2 kids to share one sink. We decided to buy a 48″ stock vanity base cabinet for under $400 at Wayfair. You can find the vanity here. Mitch then customized it making it a couple of inches bigger (52″ wide) by adding 2 X 2 pine boards around the edges. He then inserted a shaker style cabinet we had left over from our kitchen renovation and built small legs to make it look like a piece of furniture.  

Next, we found two adorable small sinks @kohler linked here and installed them in an extra piece of quartz countertop from our kitchen remodel. And just like that, we converted a single vanity base into a double vanity! Our four kids LOVE having two sinks and I am thrilled to have a budget friendly double vanity in their bathroom. 

Design Choices

I wanted to create a bathroom that would be neutral and timeless. I also wanted to lighten up the space by painting the walls, ceiling and trim Benjamin Moore White Dove in a satin finish. We added a faux shiplap wall behind the vanity using sheets of plywood to bring in some character. Mitch staple gunned 5 1/2 inch MDF boards putting a small gap in between each board and I painted it White Dove by Benjamin Moore.  

For tile choices, I wanted to keep the floor and shower tile white as the vanity was gray and the statement piece in the space. I choice a large hexagon marble looking porcelain ceramic from Wayfair linked here. Mitch used a light gray grout from Lowes.

For the shower, I chose handmade artisan white 3″ X 8″ subway tiles that had less defined edges and a little texture to it from Lowes linked here. In the shower inset, we chose a basic white hexagon mosaic tile. Black shower fixtures added to the modern farmhouse vibe. You can shop those here.

We wanted to keep a tub as our youngest was only 5 years old and still preferred baths. I found this gorgeous deep soaking tub at a reasonable price which you can shop here. We love this tub as it’s streamlined and more modern than the original 1980’s cream tub.

  • Kids bathroom tile
  • Kids bathroom tile ungrouted
  • Kids bathroom tile with grout
  • Kids bathroom tub
  • Amy painting walls

Brass Lighting, Mirrors and Hardware

Once I found our vanity, I knew that I wanted to mix metals. I loved the black Kingston Brass faucets and couldn’t believe that they were under $200 each. You can shop them here. Brass was starting to make a comeback, so I found great hardware on Amazon here for the vanity. I found streamlined double wall mount sconces on Amazon here and these black rimmed vanity mirrors for only $40 at Target. Unfortunately, they aren’t available anymore but I found a variety of similar mirrors here in my LikeToKnowit Shop.

Last Decor Finishes

Mitch built a towel rack with enough hooks for our four kids to share. Frame It Easy gave me three stunning gold frames (Ashford satin gold) that I arranged above the towel rack. I found that gorgeous runner at Target and you can find a similar one here. We bought a new shaker style door from Menards and Mitch added custom trim to the door frame. I found a modern black door handle from Amazon here that we have used on all our interior doors throughout our home.


Overall, this entire bathroom renovation project cost less than $5,000 and we completed it in 2 months!  We learned so much and took a lot of those skills in renovating our master bathroom. You can read about that renovation in this blogpost here. Are you hoping to renovate a bathroom in your home? Comment below. I’d love to hear all about your bathroom goals!

Kids Bathroom Makeover for under $5k

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