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Goal: Create a Spa-like Bathroom for under $10k

Master Bath Reno Before

When do you know it’s time to gut and renovate your master bathroom? For us, it was the paint chipping on the vanity from when I painted it 10 years prior. We moved into our home in November, 2006 and we spent a month painting EVERY surface, removing wallpaper, installing wood floor on the main level and updating light fixtures. But in 2022, we decided it was time to gut and renovate our master bath for the One Room Challenge sponsored by Apartment Therapy. Our goal was to do most of the work ourselves and spend under $10k (before pictures are below). Here’s what we wanted to accomplish:

  • Eliminate the master walk-in closet to expand the bathroom for a double vanity
  • Install a heated floor system
  • Install a double white oak vanity
  • Update light fixtures and bathroom fixtures to antique brass
  • Install new vanity mirrors
  • Install all new tile
  • Expand the shower and put in the famous Chloe Tile on the shower walls
  • Change out the bathroom window to allow more light in
  • Remove pony wall by the toilet
  • Eliminate the cabinetry by the closet and replace with an antique
  • Install a new shaker door and update the baseboards and door trim
  • Create a new master closet in our master bedroom (will explain on another blogpost)
  • Master Bath Reno Before Closet
  • Master Bath Reno Before Shower
  • Master Bath Reno Before Window
  • Master Bath Reno Before

Who We Hired and Why

First, my husband Mitch demoed the space which he really enjoyed, although the shower was a pain to rip out. Ususally, we do all of the renovation work, but this time we decided to hire our handyman friend, Brad to do some basic plumbing, electrical, as well as frame and drywall the space. With Mitch working full-time, this was well worth the $2300 we paid Brad for labor and supplies. Once Brad finished drywalling, Mitch was ready to start installing the heated floors.

Bathroom Tile Choices

For so long, our master bath was ugly and outdated. My design goal was to design a bathroom that felt bright and luxurious with spa-like finishes. I knew that in order to stay on budget, I needed to find inexpensive porcelain tiles that were durable and low maintenance. I ended up picking Satori Statuario Matte 12″ X 24″ porcelain floor tile linked here for only $1.99 per square foot at Lowes. Mitch installed a heated floor system (details on a future blogpost) which would make the bathroom feel warm and luxurious in the long winter months.

For the shower walls, I wanted to put in the famous Chloe Tile by Bedrosians but it was out of stock at Lowes online and I didn’t want to pay the extra shipping cost from the Bedrosian website. Shipping tile is expensive, so I typically try to find tile from a store that ships free or to store for free pickup. I ended up finding it at Home Depot for $8.99 per square foot. It is called Kingston White 3” X 8” Ceramic tile by Ivy Hill Tile in white linked here and is exactly the same as the Chloe tile. You can find it on Wayfair or Home Depot.

For the shower floors, I wanted to find a similar Carrara look as the floor tile but in a small hexagon mosaic. I ended up choosing Satori Regent Carrara 12” X 12” Matte Porcelain Hexagon here for $5.98 per pack at Lowes.

Double Vanity: Why We Chose to Build a Custom Vanity

When I am researching design choices for a bathroom, I make a design board on Pinterest. For our bathroom, I kept coming back to this amazing solid wood white oak double vanity by Room and Board. However, it cost $3,999 + $337 for taxes and shipping which was way above my budget. So, I showed Mitch the picture and asked him if he could build a similar one.

Mitch was excited about the challenge so he bought the lumber at a local lumberyard, DeLeeuw Lumber. He spent a total of $800 on building supplies and enjoyed the slow process of crafting a vanity from scratch.  We found Kohler sinks for $95 each off on Amazon and ordered a solid white quartz countertop for $700 from Classic Stone Creations, a local ma and pa shop that saved a piece from our kitchen renovation.  We spent a total of $1700 for the vanity, sinks and countertop which means we saved $2637!  If you don’t want to make a custom wood vanity, here are some similar options online that are affordable.

How Paint Can Make a Room Feel Bigger

Our master bathroom is not big by any means so to make it appear bigger, I went with my favorite white paint color which is Benjamin Moore White Dove. We used it on the walls, the trim and the ceiling. This white is so pretty because it’s neutral, soft and not stark. For the ceiling and walls, we used it in an eggshell finish and on the trim and door, we used a satin finish.

We ended up removing our old window because it was so large and we constantly had the blinds down. I wanted natural light so we replaced the old window with a smaller window and trimmed it out with craftsman style trim. There isn’t a need for a window covering because the window is high enough that you can’t see inside, so there’s plenty of privacy without needing a shade.

Master bath reno paint
Master bath reno door paint

Antique Brass Finishes

In order to bring in some warmth, I picked out antique brass finishes for the faucets, the arched mirrors and the lighting. For the shower, I chose a champagne bronze shower head (Don’t buy plastic. Always buy solid metal faucets and showerheads) that is a close match to the antique brass of the faucet. We found a great deal on our shower door with a brass handle and hired a retired glass installer to install it for us. These finishes are like jewelry and set the tone in your bathroom.

Master Bath Reveal

It took 10 weeks total from demo to final reveal and I absolutely LOVE the finished space. Our bathroom is one of my most liked space in my LikeToKnow Shop here and I love designing bathrooms for clients. For me, I love the challenge of seeing all of the possible options and narrowing it down to create a cohesive look in my own home and for others.


In the end, we spent $8k on a complete gut and renovation from our 1989 slightly renovated bathroom to a completely renovated and brand new master bathroom. Scroll through the before and after pictures below to see the dramatic change. If you can’t completely renovate your master bath, what is one thing you could change about your bathroom? In the meantime, if your goal is to gut and renovate, start saving and creating a mood board on Pinterest. If you are in West Michigan and want help designing your bathroom, reach out on my CONTACT page. You won’t regret investing in making your master bathroom both beautiful and functional.

  • Master Bath Reno Before
  • Master Bath Reno Before Window
  • Master bath reveal window
  • Master Bath Reno Before Closet
  • Master Bath Reno Before Shower
  • Master bath shower door

Master Bathroom Makeover: Before and After

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