Emily Winters: The Very Merry Bathroom Reveal

I’ve spent three full months juggling a bathroom renovation with everyday life, and I’m so happy to announce that the day of real before + after progress is here. (It’s here, it’s here, it’s here!)

Forever documented over 16 posts, me and Pete spent countless hours working, taking hundreds of photos, and then recapping the progress of this DIY adventure with you guys. I can’t help but squeal a little bit; I want to dive right in:

Bathroom, after.

Consider that a sneak peek of what’s to come. Keep on reading to see a little video, many more photos of the new space, as well as a much-anticipated breakdown of our budget.

It’s probably most fun for me to walk you through the bathroom, since that’s what I did originally when I was kicking off the project and showing you what I was going to be working with. To get some real-life perspective on how the bathroom looks today, see for yourself, but fair warning, it seems that I talk and flail about faster than a Flip cam can focus, so parts of the video are mighty blurred. But it’s unedited, pure, bathroom-tour-happiness, so I hope you enjoy:

It’s pretty great, we’re forever pleased with ourselves for tackling this project and learning tons in the process.

Can you believe what it looked like when we started?

Bathroom, after.

Bathroom, after.

Bathroom, after.

Bathroom, after.

Bathroom, after.

Bathroom, after.

I kept close tabs on my budget throughout the project. This wasn’t a tear-down-all-of-the-walls renovation, and we didn’t change anything about the footprint of the bathroom, so both of those decisions really helped to keep our budget under control and of modest proportions.

I cautiously estimated and guessed that I could come in at a budget of $1,200, with an extra cushion of $300 to cover unimaginable costs. Turns out that the cushion came in handy: much of our overage directly correlates back to the shower plumbing, which originally we didn’t think would require any reworking, but actually required a 100% overhaul to accomodate a new valve. A second identifiable place that I know I went over budget was in the moulding arena; it may be a small room, but anything that’s sold by the linear yard adds up in price more quickly than I imagined. Also, I bought new paint when I was planning on using the same gray that had been in there before, a small but still tallied cost incurred, bumping me over budget by another $25.00.

The only tool that I had to buy was a wet saw, and I think it’s already earned itself a gold star because it’s been used for at least 3 other projects since we finished the shower tile. Little project add-ons can accumulate fast, but I still think I worked efficiently and made good decisions.

For your enjoyment, the official bathroom renovation breakdown:

Bathroom Renovation Budget Breakdown

Other fun facts:

  • Total Duration: 85 days
  • Days without a tub: 2
  • Days without a toilet: 35
  • Days to install subway tile: 4
  • Days to install floor tile: 1
  • Most trips in a single day to the hardware store for something plumbing related: 3

Thanks to everyone who commented and emailed during the series. Your positivity, thoughts, and encouragement kept us chugging along!

If you missed any of this bathroom renovation series, catch up for yourself by perusing these posts:

  1. A little video introduction and tour!
  2. An overview of the materials I’ve been purchasing! Because what DIY-crazed girl wouldn’t love tile shopping?
  3. And getting down and dirty with demolition!
  4. Training a beginner to repair a drain pipe and install a bathtub!
  5. Building custom shower shelving, and learning how to install HardiBacker.
  6. And learning more than I ever thought I’d know about shower valves and PEX.
  7. Four days of tiling. No exaggeration.
  8. And then we grouted our little hearts out.
  9. Leaned on and learned about underlayment.
  10. Drank lots of coffee, painted (and re-painted), and whipped through the floor install!
  11. Not to be ignored, an important finishing touch: I made custom baseboard trim from common lumber.
  12. The vanity installation brought so much to the room!
  13. Mirror, mirror, how do I hang you on a wall?
  14. We made custom window trim, something totally DIY-able to the masses.
  15. I forged ahead and combined white paint and pretty marble. Not together, of course.
  16. And I added all of the finishing touches.
Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypadand like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.

26 Responses

  1. Judi says:

    Just looking at your bathroom remodel. I am in the process of doing one now. Was wondering where you purchased your marble threshold. I am putting down marble on the floor and hadn't even thouhgt about using marble for the threshold between the wood flooring and the tile. Thank you for sharing your remodel. Judi

  2. Cathie says:

    OK question: hy did you leave the small slivers of tile around the niches rather than just make it a full tile? We're hoping to do the same and just gathering info. thanks.

  3. bathroomInt says:

    Very nice bathroom work .Nice designs with beautiful work.

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  9. AbbyPlew says:

    Plumbers mandurah see this as one of the best renovation yet. I'm pretty sure that they've really worked on the plumbing part of this place. It's better that they focused on it too.

  10. [...] tile floor gets a lot of compliments, and the vanity and coordinating mirror really hold their own (there’s a video of the “finished” space right here if you want to see the whole [...]

  11. Fernando Houston says:

    The simple changes did a lot on changing the look and feel of the bathroom. I like the use of the curtains perth, with its touch of yellow. Good job!

  12. Shirley Lee says:

    That's such a lovely bathroom and the renovation made it look bigger. Since my family is growing, I think I also need to renovate my bathroom with the help of my plumber in Perth. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Rico says:

    Very impressive renovation work. You just made me want to redo my bathroom as well. I might add anoak vanity unit though.

  14. [...] it or not, it’s been a quick 6-months since we finished our big bathroom renovation. Good news: We still love it (especially when we go down memory lane and recall how gross the [...]

  15. Liza says:

    It looks great Emily! It looks so clean. I started my bathroom in January so I am glad it is not me just being slow and lazy. I have the toilet, vanity and med cabinets to install still. We do have another bathroom in our house. But with the weather being nice I just want to work in the yard when I am not working 40 hrs. Thanks for sharing!

  16. coloradowindo says:

    I'm totally doing that in both of my bathrooms! Particularly my upstairs bathroom, which needs to be reno'd. it looks amazing.

  17. Tamara W. Tucson says:

    Hi, first of all, I have loved this blog. Your excitement is infectious. I think the bathroom looks truly lovely. About the shower curtain…I love bringing yellow in to brighten up, but I agree the huge, stark white lines maybe are not the best. I just hope you can find something that still has that bright pop. I will say that I went crazy looking for an asian-themed shower curtain in the correct colors. I had to find something that looked great, but was in my budget ( boy, the prices of bathroom accesseries have gone up). I ended up waiting and watching. Eventually, I found a beautiful curtain at a famous auction site and paid about a 1/5 what it was worth. Patience can really pay off and the curtain is not as bad as you think…just, in your mind, I guess, not perfect. The whole though, is quite beautiful and serene.

  18. susan says:

    it looks amazing.

  19. Your work is amazing.
    Love the finished work.

  20. Mrs. Marks says:

    Beautiful! I love the floor, the subway tile, the vanity & it's side dresser, the window & baseboards & that shower curtain is sharp. You are right if you decide you don't like the shower curtain it could be great pillows. You did a great job & it was fun to watch (hope a bit of fun for you too). Now I have to check if the McDonalds near my mom has wi-fi so I can show my mom all your work. Great job for that budget (you even included the vanity which you had already purchased).

    • emily says:

      More than a bit of fun for us, it's what we love to do, we're just lucky we didn't run into even more issues along the way! Buying the vanity and sink up front was a good plan in the end; it was definitely worth buying it on the spot when I found it on sale instead of waiting for when the bathroom was ready to be torn out. Glad you like!

  21. Katie says:

    I love it!! I really like the window trim. That's got the wheels in my head turning… I agree about the shower curtain, but I can't place why. I'm not sure if it's the white that's got me. I just don't know. At least that is an easy fix. I love the ideas of transforming that curtain into pillows down the road. One of the happiest surprise elements (surprise to me) was the marble threshold. I'm totally doing that in both of my bathrooms! Particularly my upstairs bathroom, which needs to be reno'd. A few years back we installed wood laminate floor in the hallway up there (took out ratty carpet) and planned poorly around the bathroom door. We left too wide a gap for regular thresholds, and are still left with an ouchy-if-you-step-on-it tacking strip for the time being. We always have to remember to step OVER it. ;)

    • emily says:

      Glad you like the marble! I love it too; a traditional metal piece would have worked fine too in this case (the gap wasn't too wide) but it would be great as a remedy for the wide gap you're talking about. I really love how it transitions the wood to the vinyl in a classier-than-expected way, kind of brings the vinyl up a notch too. So shiny and pretty, and it ties into the marble shelves that are in the shower (we used the same thresholds as inexpensive solid bases too)!

  22. Cait@HernandoHosue says:

    Such a great post, Emily! I love the budget breakdown! (And the part about unforeseen costs makes me feel better about our bathroom reno!)

    Also, I see what you mean about the shower curtain. I like it, but I'm not sure I'm 100% sold.

    • emily says:

      It's too white, right? I need to keep shopping around… I'm still considering making one. On the other hand though, I do love that curtain, and I've seen a lot of people using that style as normal in-the-house curtains, so I could always do that. Or make pillow cases :)

      The budget thing's tough; obviously, I didn't want to go over budget, so there aren't a lot of bells and whistles and extras. The vanity/side table/faucet had already been bought, so I couldn't downgrade that, and subway tiles are still about as inexpensive as you can find. The plumbing stuff, had to do it, and I couldn't not buy trim to go around the windows :) Oh well, live and learn, and drink fewer store-bought mochas for a few months to break-even on the overage. And then learn to estimate better.

      Glad you like!

  23. [...] some time today to browse through my collection of before and after photos, all shared in my latest post for DIY Network. There’s even a walking tour video (where I say approximately 400 words in a single breath), [...]

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About Emily Fazio 

187Posts

I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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