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Small Bathroom Remodel On A Budget (lake house)

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Sharing our small bathroom remodel on a budget at the lake house which includes a walk in tiled shower, small DIY built in storage cabinet and new luxury vinyl flooring. The small bathroom is 5×7 and to save money, we opted to stay within the same layout. Removing a standard bathtub and installing a walk in shower with frameless sliding glass doors was one of the best small bathroom ideas to stay on budget.

The old bathroom had a dark wood ceiling with paneling and tile on the walls. As you can see, the bathroom layout is small not leaving a lot of options. I have provided shopping links as well, just click any of the tan highlighted text to be taken to the product.

Be sure to use the Table Of Contents feature by selecting the down arrow to navigate the post and feel free to pin any image for later by clicking the “save/pin” button on each image.

1970s lake house log cabin bathroom

There are two bedrooms on either side of this bathroom (click through this post, lake house in New Hampshire purchase to get a house tour) and one of the options was to make this bathroom bigger by sacrificing a bedroom but we quickly decided against that idea as it would have been costly and losing a bedroom was not an option. After all, this is a small bathroom remodel on a budget!

What is the cheapest way to remodel a small bathroom?

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Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas

Our small bathroom remodel on a budget took us 3 weekends to complete and by keeping the same plumbing layout, we saved thousands! See how we packed a new walk in tiled shower, a built in bathroom storage cabinet and new vanity in this small 5×7 bathroom.
Cook Time 6 days
Servings 1 bathroom remodel
Author Jessica Bruno
Cost under $3000

Notes

Print these notes for future reference or pin it for later!
  • The cheapest way to remodel a bathroom on budget is to keep the existing layout and plumbing in place. Moving pipes and walls will increase the expense.
  • Remove old or outdated tile and flooring and replace with newer modern looking tile for under $2 a square foot. If you are capable of installing tile yourself, you will save a lot of money on labor. Installing a shower niche is an easy and affordable way to make a shower look custom while providing storage at the same time.
  • Breath life into an old bathroom with a fresh coat of paint. Updating a bathroom with paint is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to remodel a bathroom. Be sure to get paint that is good for a bathroom and will not peel or bubble if the bathroom gets steamy.
  • Paint or replace the existing vanity. If your existing vanity is in good shape, paint it and update the hardware. If you need to replace the vanity, consider a builder grade (they are cheaper) vanity and get new hardware and add molding or baseboard to give a custom look.
  • Replace or update bathroom doors
  • Update the bathroom vanity mirror
  • Replace old or outdated shower head and valves, bath faucets and install a new toilet are great bathroom remodeling ideas that are cost effective
  • Update the lighting above the vanity and replace outdated bath fans. There are so many newer bath fans that are bluetooth and wifi capable that are not ugly! I am not a fan of bath fan lights but they have come a long way over the years and many are affordable.
  • Purchase new bathroom accessories! Install a new modern style toilet paper holder, Add baskets and wall shelves for additional storage and consider adding towel hooks on the wall or back of door.
  • Update baseboard and door trim to an updated width and style
 

One idea that we considered for this small bathroom remodel was to install a stand up shower which would have allowed for a larger vanity but in the end, we decided to remove the existing tub and install a full walk in tiled shower and keep the smaller vanity.

The old bathroom had a really old window inside the shower which is the oddest place for a window but from the outside, it would look funny without the window so we opted to keep it. The window frame and sill was completely rotted so we replaced the old wood window and frame with a vinyl window and frame.

This bathroom is directly off the kitchen so we wanted it to coordinate with the modern coastal “light and airy” theme we were doing throughout the house.

Jim removed the old bathtub and surrounding tile and added Hardibacker board in preparation for the new tile.

The tile we used is called Kolasus White Matte in 12×24 size from Home Depot. Installing a new walk in tiled shower can be pricey so keeping your material cost down is a great way to save on a bathroom remodel. The tile is under $2 a square foot and if you are looking for that high end white and gray vein look, this is the most budget friendly tile out there. The tile has excellent ratings and for under $200, we installed a brand new modern tile walk in shower.

Wondering how to install a tile walk in shower? Click through to this DIY tile shower installation post.

Budget bathroom remodel before and after

Here is the small bathroom before we remodeled.

1970s lake house log cabin bathroom

Here is the new modern bathroom below after the remodel. Unfortunately I did not have my professional camera with me when I took these pictures so the glare on the glass doors and lights is obnoxious! I plan to take better pictures soon but you get the idea of the dramatic before and after.

small bathroom remodel with new black vanity, 3 light farmhouse fixture, mirror and custom tile shower

What is a realistic budget for a bathroom remodel?

A small bathroom remodel under $3000 is not impossible in fact, if you are handy you can save a lot by doing the work yourself.

We purchased a new black vanity (like this one ours is sold out) with a farmhouse style sink, an affordable 3 light modern farmhouse light fixture, black coordinating hinges (this one) and modern door knob (this one) as well as a black modern faucet (like this one). The shaker 2 panel door can be found here.

We updated all of the interior doors thanks to Masonite to a 2 panel solid core shaker style and they are gorgeous! We opted to have the doors prehung (see our post on why we like prehung solid core doors here) to make installation easier (you will pay a little more for prehung but well worth it in my opinion).

Here are a few door options to get this look if you are struggling with door styles. This 2 panel shaker door is similar , this one at Wayfair and this one too. If you are looking for a door to be delivered to your home, Wayfair and Amazon have great affordable options – just be mindful to order the correct size! Search for 2 panel solid shaker style door.

small bathroom remodel with new black vanity, 3 light farmhouse fixture, mirror and custom tile shower

This small bathroom remodel cost under $3000 with the frameless shower doors making up a big portion of the cost (see frameless doors here). Keep in mind, we (well Jim did most of it -ha) if you don’t do the work yourself, you will have a labor cost which many times is twice or three times as much as materials depending on the size of the bathroom and materials you pick. We picked very inexpensive materials “to get a high end look” and did most of the work ourselves. Jim did pay for some labor but was minimal.

We had leftover white ceiling and wall planks from our basement remodel that we installed directly over the walls near the toilet and vanity to give a shiplap wall look. We glued the light weight planks with adhesive directly over the old tile and paneling. It came out so good!

small bathroom remodel with a white built in cabinet for storage

We installed a kitchen upper cabinet (installation post coming soon) in the bathroom wall to create additional storage for towels and toiletries. This bathroom had no storage options so this was the best solution. We added coordinating modern black cabinet knobs , towel hooks and a new toilet paper holder as well.

We ended up replacing the floor in the bathroom so that it would match the rest of the house flooring. The living room and kitchen flooring (adjacent rooms) needed to be replaced so we decided to carry the same flooring into this bathroom so everything coordinated.

Overall, we are thrilled with how our small bathroom remodel turned out and even happier that we stayed in budget! The glass shower doors ate up a large chunk of the budget but we felt like the doors were a focal point and added the modern look we were going after. You can save $1000 plus if you use a fabric shower curtain instead of glass doors.

Updated 2022: Our lake house is now available to rent in the New Hampshire Lakes Region, just 15 minutes south of Lake Winnipesaukee so if you are interested, click through to this page, “rent our New Hampshire Lake House” for more information.

Looking for more small bathroom remodel ideas? Click through this post, small “5×8 bathroom remodel and cost” we recently did at the split level flip house for more ideas on associated bathroom cost.

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