What would you do to upgrade this bathroom?

We are wanting to redo this bath, it is a front bath it needs a update and I am looking for ideas. we are thinking of taking out the tub entirely. We are going to be replacing the lighting, and painting of course. At some point the floors are going to be replaced with a different type of material. But ideas would be welcomed! Thanks!
q another bathroom, bathroom ideas
q another bathroom, bathroom ideas
q another bathroom, bathroom ideas
q another bathroom, bathroom ideas
q another bathroom, bathroom ideas
q another bathroom, bathroom ideas
q another bathroom, bathroom ideas
  34 answers
  • Haysha S. Haysha S. on Dec 27, 2016
    I think your plan of changing up the lighting, painting, and floors, is great. I think updating the shades to something more modern, maybe roman shades, would look good.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 27, 2016
    Take a look here for some ideas to get you started. https://www.pinterest.com/explore/small-bathroom-designs/

    • Chrystine Dimitry Chrystine Dimitry on Dec 29, 2016
      I particularly like this one; not too expensive if you do the work yourself, and I really like your fixtures (ie: toilet). Don't replace what you don't have to. A new countertop, marked down for chips or dings (since your sink area isn't that large, you could cut off the bad areas), and a free-standing basin, maybe? Whatever you like. Porcelain or glass. Hope this helps.

  • KC KC on Dec 27, 2016
    I would remove the dated glass doors so that I could change up the look periodically with a fresh new shower curtain. There are so many lovely styles/patterns out there now-a-days. I would also tile up the existing chair rail on the wall and then paint the upper half with a good semi-gloss. It looks to be a small bathroom so tiling more than halfway might make it look to confining. I did this, except for the glass doors as I didn't start out with them, in both of my bathrooms and it was a relatively simple yet very effective, transforming make-over. And best of all, inexpensive!

  • Lynda McSoriley Lynda McSoriley on Dec 27, 2016
    I would definitely take out the bath and replace with modern look walk in shower, with glass surrounds and easy clean tiles. Definitely a new vanity. I would get rid of all the clutter from the bathroom eg the stand in the corner with the bits and pieces on it and the magazine rack by the toilet - toilets are not a reading place as far as I'm concerned. I'd also paint the whole room in a soft colour eg very pale green - maybe even white.

    • Maggie   Gallagher Maggie Gallagher on Dec 27, 2016
      jeRemember she wants to take the inexpensive route , therefore, take glass doors down, put up fresh light shower curtains, $10-20 bucks, new window blind or do you need anything on the window? We frosted ours, $4.00 a can Then a second-hand pedestal sink, 20-$50 route , therefore, take glass doors down, put up fresh light shower curtains, $10-20 bucks, new window blind or do you need anything on the window? We frosted ours, $4.00 a can Then a second-hand pedestal sink, 20-$50 route ,

  • Jill Jill on Dec 27, 2016
    We just upgraded two bathroom, both of which were dark, dark, dark, but both of which are on outside walls. So I had the contractor install glass on the outside walls above the showers. It has made a world of difference, turning the former dark spaces into nice light ones. I'd highly recommend it If this bathroom has an outside wall.

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Dec 27, 2016
    When you say 'front bath' I assume it is used by guests. I hate seeing a shower if it is not my own. Hide it with curtains or get rid of it.

    • Dobi Dobi on Dec 27, 2016
      yeah, we are planning on taking it out I have two other bathrooms so the bath is not needed any longer! We didn't know if we wanted to put in a stand alone shower or just use the space left when we took the tub out for extra storage. the wall that is adjacent to it is a closet so it could possibly be extended closet space. But... how to do it!

  • Sandyc Sandyc on Dec 27, 2016
    I think a first step is to figure out what you want in a front bath. Thinking it serves as a guest bathroom? How often is it used? Unless it's used regularly like your master bath, I wouldn't spend a fortune on redoing it. My front bath is off the hallway, one end of which opens to the guest bath. I rarely have guests so I'm not going to spend a bunch. Need to replace a custom angled vanity with all-in-on countertop etched beyond its 30 years and I'll replace it with a smaller standalone vanity. But that and new flooring throughout the house is about it. Don't have shower doors but if I did, I'd take them down - a bear to clean - and then do shower curtains and choose paint color and accents from that. And I'd look at a simple shade on the window that you wouldn't even have to have custom-made. I have a narrow sidelight beside my front door. I found a woven bamboo-like runner from Target which was the perfect width. I fixed it around a small tension rod at the top of the window. I fixed the bottom around a second small tension rod. During the day when I want the light, I roll up the bottom of the runner as high as I want it and then drop it at night when I want privacy.

    In the meantime, check out Pinterest and other sites and save pics that appeal to you. A couple of small and inexpensive changes can go a long way toward pleasing you now while you take you time making long-term and permanent changes later.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Dec 27, 2016
    I'd suggest a good cleaning then priming and painting the walls a soft color that you like the most. Paint stores often have returned paint at discount prices. Your local Resale Store will have discounted bath accessories. For something different you could purchase window film in a stained glass design for an elegant look. Best of luck.

  • Dobi Dobi on Dec 27, 2016
    thanks everyone for the suggestions. We have a pretty strict budget right now for the update, and I think that most of it is going to be muscle! I do want the tub out and I need to do a different window treatment and we want to paint. So all in all I am very happy with the suggestions made! thanks again!

    • See 2 previous
    • SheWhoMustBeHeard SheWhoMustBeHeard on Dec 29, 2016
      It's amazing what a spring rod and new shower curtain can do to change up the room. I have a small bathroom (maybe 6 x 10 or 12) with a sink, bathtub/shower, and toilet. There's not room for much else. But by putting in new fixtures, painting and hanging a pretty new shower curtain, it looks great!

  • Sandra Sandra on Dec 27, 2016

  • Karen Bradshaw Smith Karen Bradshaw Smith on Dec 28, 2016
    The first thing I would do is paint it the color I want, add any molding, and go from there. Just one step at a time. If you make a lot of changes and THEN paint, you might be very unhappy. (Ditch the tub if there is another one available. ) Happy designing!

  • Karen Bradshaw Smith Karen Bradshaw Smith on Dec 28, 2016
    The first thing I would do is paint it the color I want, add any molding, and go from there. Just one step at a time. If you make a lot of changes and THEN paint, you might be very unhappy. (Ditch the tub if there is another one available. ) Happy designing!

  • Karen Bradshaw Smith Karen Bradshaw Smith on Dec 28, 2016
    The first thing I would do is paint it the color I want, add any molding, and go from there. Just one step at a time. If you make a lot of changes and THEN paint, you might be very unhappy. (Ditch the tub if there is another one available. ) Happy designing!

  • Karen Rae Lvine Karen Rae Lvine on Dec 28, 2016
    I love the window treatment and the toilet looks new and has character. The least expensive way to go would be to replace the glass doors with a shower curtain, as suggested. An "extra long" will hide the tub. Then new fixtures on the sink. You can paint the walls (primer first!) and even the countertop if you use the right materials and finish with a few coats of polyurethane or polyacrylic. I like the trim and it can be painted a different color than the walls, but wouldn't contrast the colors too much. You can even paint different colors above and below the moulding. Since your accessories are pretty I'd stick to neutral paint colors even if they're a little darker.

    A pedestal sink would give you more space, but less storage. Hopefully you can find one in the color and style of the toilet you have. Keep in mind that if there' no tile under the vanity, or if it's in bad shape or doesn't match, you'll need all new floor tile. That's the inevitable "can of worms"

    Forgive me for noticing the package of toilet paper on the floor. The storage a cabinet offers, unless a new closet in the tub space is accessible from the bathroom, might be more useful for you.

    Now comes the big money part. If you remove the tub, it's a gut job. All the plumbing will have to come out. The new wall will have to match the old walls, which probably means all the bathroom walls will have to come down and re-sheetrocked for a consistent look. And again, with the mess of removing the tub, you'll probably need all new floor tiles. For me, that's when the snowball starts rolling down the hill ;-) "Might as well add another outlet, new lights, new switches, medicine cabinet, vanity, mirrors ...," etc! If you need the closet space more than the tub, and you have the patience and the money, it can be done.

    I do have an important question. Is this the only bathroom on that floor of your house? When I broke my leg I was confined to one floor and prefered the main one so I wouldn't be confined to a bedroom upstairs. I was very happy we already had a full bathroom on the main floor so that I could access it without going up the stairs (on my butt!). I was only 52 but it made me realize that as we get older, accessibility becomes more and more of an issue. Now when I do a room, I make sure it gets at least a 34" door. Of course not an issue if there's an additional full bath on that floor, but I just wanted to share my "I didn't think of that" experience.

    Good luck!

    • See 1 previous
    • Karen Rae Lvine Karen Rae Lvine on Dec 28, 2016
      Glad I could help. Sometimes you can feel so stuck and it's good to get other suggestions. Best of luck!

  • Sheila Sheila on Dec 28, 2016
    First remove all the clutter on vanity and potty. Paint above the rail one color below another. Or remove rail then paint one color. Maybe paint vanity white add new handles. that will do alot. paint works wonder like for that corner shelf on vanity that is plenty on vanity top. Also, you could paint the metal stand, maybe a favorite color. The window treatment get an extension rod and insert in the window. Might use one you have with adjustments. love to see after pic.😊

  • Pat Pat on Dec 28, 2016
    We took our shower doors off and got a shower curtain...best thing I have ever done. Declutter..looks like some of the clutter is things that should go in the main bath...not the guest bath. I would put a pull down shade on the window, get matching rug and towels. Are your walls paintable? Do your guests read magazines?...put them in their room...extra TP and wastebasket ...under the sink.

  • LaDonna DeHoet LaDonna DeHoet on Dec 29, 2016
    If you want to, you could change the whole look of the vanity by putting on new doors and hardware. Even just changing the knobs would give it a different look. If you put wide molding around the window it would look good without any further window treatment, leaving the actual glass clear to let in all the natural light you can get. To save money and work on the window trim you could do what I call faux trim. Leave the trim in place and add a strip of wood that is thinner than the original trim all the way around. If there are gaps, these can be filled with paintable caulking to give it the look of one solid piece of molding.

  • LEA16391415 LEA16391415 on Dec 29, 2016
    Hi Dobi! You're right, some muscle work and you will change the look of your bathroom without spending a fortune.

    1. The wall paper needs to be removed. Using a tool called the "Paper Tiger" available at big box stores will help remove the paper easily or you could paint over the wall paper but that won't give you the same results.

    2. I wouldn't be comfortable using that bathroom because the window covering doesn't afford me much privacy. A Venetian blind or pretty cafe type curtain would be great. Home Depot is a great source of inexpensive blinds and typically cafe curtains are easily found at thrift stores for inexpensive prices.

    3. The tub doors need to go! You will probably find a shower curtain at the thrift store too. Looks like the shower is used in that bathroom so be sure to get a poly liner to keep the curtain dry and keep water in the tub. (They're about $10 here in Canada)

    4. Brass is coming back - leave the faucet, cabinet, counter top alone.

    5. Judging from your accessories you love orange. Consider painting the walls a lovely shade of muted orange. Predominantly white fabric for shower curtain & window curtain or blind would look fabulous with the orange. Bathroom would have a fresh, warm feel to it.

    6. You have a lot of accessories in your bathroom perhaps scaling down will give a more spacious feel to the bathroom.

    Hope this helps you out!

  • Dobi Dobi on Dec 29, 2016
    thanks so much LaDonna, I appreciate your response! I really want to start the new year with much less clutter and redoing as much as I can, and try and keep the amount of money spent as low as I can!

  • Dobi Dobi on Dec 29, 2016
    thanks! yeah, I am going to be doing some purging! My friendly neighborhood thrift store is going to love me! Most of the clutter is just that clutter and I really trying to have less! thanks for the insight!

  • Nancy Nancy on Dec 30, 2016
    First, find two beautiful fabric shower curtains. I removed my shower doors and put up two shower curtains for a nice full look. The shower curtain will help you determine your wall paint color. This is not a silly approach. Sometimes, this is the easiest approach. If you love the colors in a shower curtain and you choose one of those colors for the wall, you wIll always be happy with the entire room. Get a simple shade for the window. Paint the frame of the mirror and the vanity. Get a new light fixture and toilet paper holder, Buy towels and a small rug in a compatible color. Declutter. Then smile every time you brush your teeth in the morning and compliment yourself on a job well done on a budget.

  • Linda Linda on Dec 30, 2016
    I bought curtains at Kirkland's that were on sale and it was cheaper than 2 shower curtains. Ditch the shower door. Many suggestions are excellent. Use a rollup shade for the window. It gives more privacy.

  • Chris Chris on Dec 30, 2016
    Don't use shower curtains, they are too short. Look at Target for curtain panels. Remove the doors or at least spray the frame white to match the fixtures. Put a curtain rod or spring loaded shower rod at the ceiling and hang the curtain panels on each side using white metal clip on curtain rings. That way you can keep them closed when guests arrive. You may need to use more rings than normal to keep the "pleats" smaller. Hem the curtains at floor level if necessary. Iron on hemming tape would work for a powder room usage. Add a simple frosted design on the lower part of the window using static frosted plastic covering. I found some at the dollar store. Take down the window curtain, remove the big mirror and add a pretty wall hung model instead, then paint, paint, paint. Add sparkly items on your counter for soaps, candle, lotion and add pretty towels and a floor model towel rack where the little table is. Simpler art and new knobs and a neutral color scheme to cooordinate with the counter. Declutter....the room is small so items should be limited.

    Taking out the tub may be a great idea if it doesn't reduce the value of your home. You could then move the vanity to the tub space if possible.

  • Jackie Jackie on Dec 30, 2016
    I bought 2 of the same shower curtains so one for each side. You can line one with a clear plastic liner to use when you shower. It kinda frames the tub area, and if you like you can use decorative hold backs for the curtains. You can make your own if you like. Good luck!

  • Gloria Comins Gloria Comins on Dec 30, 2016
    We simply add a new shower door and updated the fixtures with a rubbed bronze and decluttered and added new drapes

  • BabyBoomerSC BabyBoomerSC on Dec 30, 2016
    Depending on your budget, here's what I would do:

    1) remove the fiberglass tub/shower and replace with tile and glass doors. Ceramic tile is not expensive and comes in so many colors and patterns. I'd opt for a gray/creme/plum.

    2) Replace or paint your vanity. Depending on what color scheme you use in the shower would determine the color of the vanity. If you paint the vanity, I'd go with a cream/bone color and change out the hardware.

    3) Paint the walls - I'd go with a light shade of grey for the walls.

    4) Coordinate your bath towels using grey, cream, purple/plum colors.

    5) Color coordinate a roman shade for your window (gray or plum) to create privacy.

    6) Remove all the accessories you have and start over.

  • Rosa Lee Currit Ingram Rosa Lee Currit Ingram on Dec 30, 2016
    Love all the ideas, but the one piece of advice I have is this: When putting up a shower curtain rod, get the one that curves out away from the tub, it will give you a feeling of more space in the shower. We love ours! And the shower curtain we got, has a snap in panel that is easy to wash! Have fun!

  • C C on Dec 31, 2016
    As for your widow and privacy, I would either use Gallery Glass to create a 'Stained Glass' effect and give some privacy to the bathroom or put shutters up with fabric inserts. Either will give you some color in the bathroom and some privacy. If you want really cheap, go for some frosted contact paper. It comes in a pattern of little squares or a lovely rose pattern.

    I used two tension rods over my bath. One for a cornice effect and the other for the two shower curtains tied back on each side. Yes, I also used a shower liner.

  • CecileH CecileH on Dec 31, 2016
    You say you are on a strict budget so I have a question, what style do you want the room to be? Country, Industrial, Spa, or Gym Shower? Even though you are on a budget I would hire someone to take the tub out and cement board the inner portion of the shower area if you are making it a walk in shower. They have to pour a cement base as well so it would be money well spent and save you having to have them come in and repair what you do! I'm not saying you can't do it, but often hiring a recommended contractor is the cheaper route. I like the bathroom minus the brass accents to me that is what is dating it. I happen to love the ReStore, I have found tiles, flooring and many other awesome inexpensive resources to complete projects. My suggestion since it seems to be a very bright room is to buy one shutter that would fit the window and slightly distress it. You can easily mount it inside the opening or if it is slightly bigger, mount it on the outside of the opening. I would add trim around the opening as well to make it appear larger. The way you have the room decorated now makes me think you would steer more to the country style of decorating...paint the lower half in a solid of what ever colour you like and paper the top half. I would also paint the vanity base the colour you paint the lower half of the room. Your toilet and vanity seem to be in decent shape so why bother replacing when adding a bit of paint to the vanity will spice it up!

  • Erin Erin on Dec 31, 2016
    You could change the entire feel of this room for under $250, very little work and in a weekend.
    1. Dont take out shower or shower doors just cover them with the rod and curtains - less mess and trash - no one will know they are there and you will have less to do
    2. Take out everything - keep the picture frame and spray paint it then add new art
    3. Dont do anything with the vanity and sink other than change the faucet as the vanity looks like it is in good shape
    4. Paint the whole room a color that works with the vanity top color - light grey, griege, blue, light aqua
    5. use tension rod and small sheer curtain in window
    6. I would flip over the table that the books are - I assume its an open bottom - and use that for toilet paper storage and instead of that magazine tiolet paper holder
    6. Check out craigslist free section...people are always giving away perfectly good things. I am re doing my entire house for free right now

    I looked online at some prices (Lowes)
    $30 - new nickel finish sink faucet
    $12 - 4 new nickel cabinet handles
    $20 nickel towel holder (or use metal spray paint for $6 )
    $50 new light
    $50 curtain panels with grommits (2)
    $30 tension shower curtain rod (60") curves away from tub
    $20 tension rod and sheer curtain for window
    $25 1 gallon paint
    TOTAL SPENT $237

    Smart shopping and you could even do it for less. GOOD LUCK and Happy New Year!!

  • Lan9843207 Lan9843207 on Dec 31, 2016
    We just redid our bathroom that is very much this style. First we painted all the cabinets and trim with a dark gray "oops" paint we bought at Lowe's for $8. We removed all the hardware including the facets and the shower door frame spray painted them with a hammered bronze spray paint and they are beautiful! $4 a can, we used 2 cans. We replaced the medicine cabinet mirror with a picture in the frame in the same dimensions, we bought the picture at the thrift store for $2 and painted the frame gray to match the cabinets. We painted the reverse side of the shower doors with a sea glass paint. I chalk painted some accessories and distressed them to hold cotton balls, q tips etc. We had a space between the two sinks and I bought a night stand that was the right side and we painted it with the same white with a hint of gray that we used on the walls and painted the front of the drawers and feet dark gray. We spent a total of about $25 and it looks amazing.

    • Dobi Dobi on Jan 13, 2017
      do you have any photos? Would love to see them! We are still a work in progress! We did replace the hand towels. And we took down our shower doors. I looked at shower curtains today, but didn't like the selection. thanks for your response!

  • Karen Rae Lvine Karen Rae Lvine on Jan 01, 2017
    Hi again. This reminded me of your bathroom. I love the shower curtain idea.

  • LaDonna DeHoet LaDonna DeHoet on Jan 02, 2017
    My grandparents had a bath shower combo that they didn't use. The expense of taking the tub out was too much. They installed shelves across the tub and hung a curtain in front of them.

  • Natalie Hanson Natalie Hanson on Jan 05, 2021