Bathroom before
Bathroom before

Bathroom renovations are still top of the list when updating a home. Trying to stay within budget is just one of the tricky issues.

The larger the bathroom, the more generous the budget needs to be. Updating any bathroom space can be easy if the homeowner is willing to work within the existing space constraints.

A recent project included renovating a small, 4-feet-by-10-feet bathroom. An angled wall in the shower posed a bit of a dilemma. The best solution was to keep all plumbing in place and update the fixtures. One solution was to pull out the fiberglass tub/shower combination and replace it with a walk-in tile-shower enclosure. This modification would update the bathroom's look, especially in a small, one-bedroom downtown space. That option, however, could also increase the budget for the project.

The following consultation listing was provided to the homeowner:

n Update the bathroom vanity, toilet, mirror and lighting.

n Remove the 1990s sheet vinyl from the floor.

n Install tile floor.

n Pull out the one-piece, fiberglass tub/shower unit, and update with a new walk-in shower design.

n Install glass shower doors

With the consulting listing as a guide, we went to work. The bathroom was stripped of the tub/shower unit, vanity and toilet. The vinyl-sheet floor was also removed. In reassessing the budget, items were purchased that had some style and were readily available.


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With the list of items chosen, all in all the fixtures for the new bathroom space were under $2,500, excluding installation labor.

The list contained:

n A new, 31-inch vanity that included a white marble countertop predrilled for an 8-inch spread faucet, $489.

n A new light fixture, $40.

n A new toilet, $89.

n 1-inch white porcelain penny tile, $400.

n A stylish, curved-wall walk-in shower enclosure, $779.

n Coastal-style glass shower doors, $399.

Bathroom after
Bathroom after

n Shower faucet kit, $120.

n A vanity mirror, $140.00.

Adhering to the consultation listing allowed for a stylish and updated bathroom design without breaking the bank.

This 4-feet-by-10-feet bathroom space is 75 percent completed, thanks to Jonathan Oliver of Glen Trail Enterprises his quick attention to the tile-floor installation. The new vanity and toilet allowed for the homeowner to have running water and a functioning toilet without delay, with the shower installation slated to happen shortly.

The homeowner has also decided to add an interesting wallpaper to the space to enhance the completed look even more. When adding a wallpaper to a wet space, it is suggested that a commercial vinyl-backed paper be used with proper prepping of the walls. Making sure that proper ventilation is also in place will also prolong the life of the paper.

Debbe Daley is owner and principal designer at Debbe Daley Designs, with offices in Lowell, Boston and Portsmouth, N.H.