Catherine
Catherine
  • Hometalker
  • Columbus, OH

Before & After: A Little Black & White Bathroom Gets an Update


We finally finished our historic townhome renovation! (If you follow us on Instagram, you probably knew that already, but stick with us ok?) One of our favorite makeovers in the house was the bathroom. Not only was it small and awkward (the whole thing is only 6x6), but it was also the only one in the house. A few of its many quirks included oversized sconces that prevented the door from fully opening, a toilet that almost touched the tub, and a tub that took up half the room. Also, it felt old. Not the cute, vintagey kind of old, but the grimey kind of old.
before after the little black white bathroom, bathroom ideas
before after the little black white bathroom, bathroom ideas
We didn’t intend to fully gut the bathroom because we wanted to keep costs down, but quickly discovered we would need to when we found some nasty water damage on the floor under the tub.
before after the little black white bathroom, bathroom ideas
before after the little black white bathroom, bathroom ideas
So, we started from scratch and took everything out, including the rotten subfloor. We opted to keep the original mini-clawfoot tub, but moved it to the back wall and added in-wall plumbing. We repainted the outside of the tub in Farrow & Ball Downpipe, and revived the feet with brass spray paint. We tiled all of the bathroom walls with floor to ceiling subway tile and dark grout. We replaced the old cracked pedestal sink with a new one, and swapped the two oversized sconces with one overhead pendant to save space. For the floor, we opted for an updated take on the old black & white tiles with a patterned tile from Home Depot.
before after the little black white bathroom, bathroom ideas
We purchased our fixtures from Amazon (hint: ordering the trim kit and valve separately saved us lots of moola!) We found the round mirror at Target and the pendant at Restoration Hardware Outlet for $30. The turkish towels are also from Amazon.
before after the little black white bathroom, bathroom ideas
By DIYing the bulk of the work and being smart shoppers, we kept the cost under $3k. For source information & direct links to the products we used, head over to the blog! In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Instagram @beginninginthemiddle.
Catherine

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

15 questions
  • Life on Morgan
    on Jul 12, 2016

    Love, love, love this!! What a great job:) One question (from someone with a small bathroom too) where is your storage? I noticed you lost your medicine cabinet (love the mirror) and I see the beautiful stand by the sink, but is there some storage we can't see? Going to check out your site asap:)

    • Catherine
      on Jul 12, 2016

      Thank you! We just have the stand in there now, which actually does the trick for most of our stuff b/c it has so many levels. Extra towels and larger items are kept in the hall closet. We are working on adding some wall mounted baskets above the toilet for even more, which aren't pictured!

  • Bunny
    on Jul 12, 2016

    Where's the toilet? I don't see it in the "after" photos.

    • Catherine
      on Jul 12, 2016

      It's off to the right - not pictured. We replaced it with a slim one and rotated it 90 degrees. We're working on adding more storage above it and will post pics when we're done!

  • Dee
    on Jul 12, 2016

    Did you originally paint the outside of the tub black? If yes, what did you do to get the paint to stick and what kind of paint did you use - really love it

    • Catherine
      on Jul 14, 2016

      We didn't - it had already been painted. We primed it first and then used a foam roller to apply regular eggshell paint. A $3 paint sample was enough for the whole tub!

  • Delores
    on Jul 12, 2016

    Where did you get the floor tiles? I love them!

    • Catherine
      on Jul 12, 2016

      We got them at Home Depot! The brand is Merola. We have a direct link to them in our blog.

    • Delores
      on Jul 12, 2016

      Thank you. I read your blog but I overlooked that.

    • Donna-Marie Stenlake
      on Jul 13, 2016

      Is that a slipper tub? What are the dimensions please. We are deciding on a 3/4 bath remodel. This is much like what we are doing. It's lovely.

    • Catherine
      on Jul 14, 2016

      Thanks! The tub is about 50" long x 30" wide.

  • 1821047
    on Jul 12, 2016

    Where did you get the subway tile? The only subway tile I find are off white. Your reno is great!

  • Mary Smith
    on Jul 13, 2016

    Where do you store your 'bathroom' items, such as t p, toothbrushes, etc? In renovating my 1940 bathroom, I had to install a vanity for storage. Would've loved a ped sink.

    • Karen Beth Blatcher
      on Jul 13, 2016

      If you look in the pictures there is a silver shelving unit and you can see the toilet paper on the lower shelf.

    • Catherine
      on Jul 13, 2016

      Exactly what Karen said. We can put a basket on one of the shelves that holds all of that stuff and keeps it organized, it's just not pictured.

  • Barbara Myers
    on Jul 13, 2016

    What is on the ceiling ?

  • Cynthia
    on Jul 13, 2016

    Beautiful! Did you put anything under the feet of the tub to disperse the weight so the tile does not crack? Or is the floor tile made for focused pressure points like that? I am moving my claw foot and am considering tiling underneath it and putting in a floor drain since water always gets on the floor with these tubs! Looks really great. Thanks.

    • Catherine
      on Jul 13, 2016

      We didn't put anything under the feet but I think vintage tub & bath sells little clawfoot rests. We also installed a floor drain for that same reason :)

  • Rosy
    on Jul 14, 2016

    Where did you get the shower curtain. Looks really long. Love the redo. Fantastic job on the subway tile.

    • Catherine
      on Jul 15, 2016

      We ordered it on Amazon... It's 84" long!

    • Rosy
      on Jul 15, 2016

      Thanks for the quick response. Had no idea that they made shower curtains that long. Everything looks perfect.

  • Mag7841223
    on Sep 4, 2016

    LOVE the floor and sink -- where did you get them?

    • Catherine
      on Sep 4, 2016

      Floor is from homedepot.com (search Merola tile) and sink is Kohler. Links to the exact ones we purchased are in the blog link!

  • Jill Richley
    on Sep 10, 2016

    I love the floor tile. Was it special order? I never see anything that nice in a big box home improvement store.

  • Clara
    on Oct 21, 2016

    Where did you get the shower hoop hardware? thanks

  • Allie Whalen Shanahan
    on Jan 6, 2017

    What color grout did you use with the merola tile?

  • Ann Paul
    on Jul 24, 2017

    What do u put behind subway tiles

  • Kristen Hammel
    on Jan 6, 2018

    What size of spacers did you use and what color grout for your bathroom floor tile?

Join the conversation

2 of 65 comments
  • D
    on Sep 4, 2016

    Excellent! I love that you kept the original tub in keeping with the historic nature. It's fresh, bright, gorgeous, but still historic. Thank you for the purchase references!

  • Clara
    on Oct 21, 2016

    Where did you get the shower hoop and hardware?

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