How We Updated Our Builder-Grade Beige Master Bathroom

8 Materials
$4000
6 Weeks
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Today I am sharing how we updated our builder-grade beige master bathroom into a modern oasis! I'm going to walk you through the steps we took to get the most bang for our buck, including what we replaced and what we kept. (Note: We did a lot of this ourselves, but we did work with a licensed contractor in the family to ensure everything was done up to par.)

Here's what it looked like before:
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
My plan? Well, I dreamed of a cleaner-looking, more modern bathroom. I wanted more wall tile, a soaker tub, and a frameless shower door for the major upgrades. For the minor stuff, I wanted to update the hardware on the vanity, frame out the mirror, and update some of the lighting. So let's dive right in, shall we?

The first step was to take out the things we didn't want. We said goodbye to the bump-out closet next to the vanity and also pulled out the shower (pan, door, and tile) and all of the floor tile. Now, I know I'm going to get some comments that say something like this: "Why would you get rid of that huge shower???" Well, I really like soaker tubs. That's why.

While everything was exposed, we had a plumber run plumbing to where the tub would go.

(For a ton of gory demo pics and cat cameos, check out this post.)
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
We kept the vanity (cabinets and top), the large mirror, and the toilet.

Unfortunately (or fortunately!), when we pulled up the toilet, we saw that it had been leaking. For a while. Turns out there was no wax ring put on it when it was installed. Oof.
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
Once everything was out, the next step was to clean up, install the new subfloor, put up drywall in the areas we'd pulled it out, and put up water-proof durock in the shower area. As this point, we also put in a new smaller shower pan to make room for the soaker tub.

We now had a a fairly blank canvas, and it was starting to look like a bathroom again. Rest assured that we had cat helpers from start to finish.
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
The next step was to get to tiling! This was fun because I got to learn about how to tile from my dad. We laid large-scale dark gray tiles with a medium gray grout on the floor and the bump-out wall behind the tub. Then we laid a muted white glass tile with a light gray grout on the walls around the tub and shower area.
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
At this point I was absolutely in love with the tile! The little bump-out where the dark gray tile goes up the wall was a nice touch. (We had to bump that out for the tub plumbing.)

The tub went in next. We went with a standalone acrylic tub to keep costs down and because they are so much lighter. The tub was from a brand called Maykke. Ordering online without seeing it was a bit of a risk, but for the price, I was willing to take it. And it paid off.
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
After the tub was installed, we began the finishing touches: getting the frameless shower door installed, cleaning up all the grout mess, installing a new light fixture above the vanity, installing the rainfall shower head ( ), framing out the mirror with wood, reattaching the baseboards, and painting everything.
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
We also mounted some open shelving for additional storage, though the area under the vanity is more than enough for us.
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
Are you ready for the after picture? After all of that work, here's what it looked like!
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
major updates to our build grade beige master bathroom
I love how everything turned out. Love love love it. Some people might not be a fan of a smaller shower, but it's a year later and it hasn't bothered us yet. Sure, I'd like a big shower and a big tub, but if I can't have both, I have to pick the tub. We've gotten so much use out of it, too! What do you think?

There are a ton more pictures and details in the original blog post linked here and below. Happy to answer questions as well!!

(Also, about the cost below, we saved a lot of money because of family members who are licensed contractors and plumbers—I do NOT personally recommend messing with DIY plumbing, electrical, or structural work—so the amount below is a ballpark of what we spent and might not be realistic for everyone.)

Suggested materials:

  • Demo tools
  • Tile
  • Frameless shower door
See all materials
Brittany @by Brittany Goldwyn

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

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