A bathroom makeover, for €800? You’re kidding, right? Nope, I speak the truth. This post is all about how I managed to makeover my sister’s main bathroom for that exact amount. €800. Truth be told, I originally wanted to spend €500, but hit a few bumps along the makeover journey and ended up spending a bit more. Totally worth it though. Above it the finished room, below is what it looked like before I went to work on it. Some difference, even if I do say so myself.
The bathroom renovation was done for my sister, Aoife and her partner Matt. They moved into their house three years ago and have been slowly tackling each room and renovating it. I wanted to help in some way and offered to make over their main bathroom. The budget was very tight, but I wanted to show them that you don’t need a huge budget to renovate this type of room. It was a challenge for me. I love trying to get a high end finish on a limited budget.
Five steps to the Budget Bathroom Renovation
Advance preparation. Plan a timeline, budget and mood board. My intention was to have the project completed over four Saturday’s. I would attempt any jobs I felt I could tackle myself to save money. Matt, my sisters partner is very handy. He did the plumbing and electrics, so immediately that was a huge amount of money saved from the get go. Budget was crucial to this project, so I tried my best to stick to it. It transpired the old bath was leaking so this added to the cost, but it was worth doing when we were ripping everything out anyway. You can be tempted to go for more expensive options, which will increase your spend, so it is important to decide where best your funds are spent. The mood board helped both Aoife and Matt visualise the end result and get a feel for what the room might look like. I made this board online in Canva. Really handy website and very easy to use.
Decide what you want to keep and what needs to be replaced. You might just want to change paint and accessories or tiles and flooring. In this case, it was everything. We ripped out the old bathroom, which was in pretty bad shape (Free, as we did the work ourselves). Once this was removed, we realised that the plasterboard behind the double tiling was in very poor condition, so a decision was made to remove this and fit new moisture resistant plaster board – €50 for two sheets as only half the bathroom needed to be done.
Fit or replace your sanitary ware. We replaced like for like to keep things simple. That meant that the piped wouldn’t need to be adjusted much and it was basically like swapping out the old and fitting the new. I sourced the bath, taps, toilet, sink and small radiator from CDV supplies for approx €450. Most plumbing suppliers or builders providers will have a trade counter that sells to the public. I found this was the most cost effective option. If I had more time I probably would have sourced nicer taps online, but these can always be replaced at a later stage. We fitted the bath first so I could crack on with the tiling in this area.
Tiling. I can honestly say I had never tiled before in my life until this project. I spent hours researching how to do it on YouTube and blogs, picking up tips along the way. I selected a white metro tile from Right Price Tiles (€20 a square metre). I worked out that we needed 5sqm to tile the bath/shower area and a small splash back behind the sink. I had been given two boxes of the same tile from a family member who had them left over on a project of their own. Thanks Linda! This kept the cost down further. Always ask around or check trading websites like Adverts/DoneDeal before buying stuff like this. You never know who has left over product they are happy to get rid of. Three boxes of tiles, black grout and the tile trim cost €100. My Dad had adhesive left over from a job so I gladly accepted this kind donation also. My tips for tiling would be to map out your pattern before you stick anything to the wall and work in small sections. I took my time and really enjoyed the process. Most of the cuts were straightforward. I used 3ml tile spacers as I wanted the grout to have an impact but a lot of people prefer a thinner gap and use 2ml.
Finishing Touches. These make the bathroom complete. I sourced items from Pennys, Homesense, Dealz, Woodies and Ikea. I spent the remaining €200 on finishing touches (see how I break this down below). I chose Inchyra Blue for the walls but had it colour matched in a Fleetwood base which was cheaper than the actual Farrow and Ball paint. I went for a mid sheen as it was being used in a bathroom which was €30 for 5 litres. I gave the walls a coat of white emulsion to get rid of the horrible terracotta colour that was there before. I had this white paint myself so saved money there. I also kept the existing electric shower as it was working fine and didn’t need replacing.
After the walls were painted, I sanded and stained the floorboards. They were in good condition and took two coats of Ronseal Walnut stain, which I also had left over from my own house. It was a small space and I used a hand sander for the job. The shelves were made using some MDF and I faced off the front of them with some skirting board, which makes them look really thick. In reality they are not! The wall light was €30 from Bright Lights. It is a simple light but I love it in this room. The mirror was from Woodies and was about €45, it is really solid and the brass trim makes it look much more expensive.
There was one large window in the bathroom, so I up-cycled an Ikea roman blind by recovering it in a tropical print fabric, also from Ikea. This blind got a great reaction so I might do a post about how to do it on the blog, for anyone who might be interested in it. The blind cost €32 to make in total.
A shower screen was added which was on sale in Woodies for €60. The towels and baskets were from Pennys and Homesense. The rest of the items for styling we already had. I think the finished room looks great and it wasn’t too difficult to undertake.
I hope this breakdown of the Bathroom Makeover will inspire you to tackle a room in your own house. I love a challenge, so doing this on limited funds was enjoyable for me. The main saving was on labour and selecting the less expensive alternatives. It can be hard to do, but this room doesn’t look like we scrimped on any of the finishes, does it? The little parrot hanging on the wall was only €1.50 and I think he looks right at home in his new tropical surroundings!
This project could not have been done without the help Matt – who is multi talented in many things DIY! Thanks also to my sister Aoife for trusting me to deliver on the finished project.
If you are tackling a project yourself, comment below and let me know how you are getting on and what you think of this one!
Thanks for reading!