Source List and Budget Tips for Master Bath

I know I’ve been dragging out this master bath reveal. Sorry about that. There are just so many things I want to say that it seemed only reasonable to break them up! In an effort to move on, though, I’ve combined the last two things I wanted to share: bathroom renovation budget tips and a source list.

Great budgeting tips for bathroom remodel - Maison de Pax

Our budget for this bathroom was not large… I say that, though, with the realization that everything is relative. And trust me, we’ve run the gamut on totally free do-what-you-can-with-what-you-have renovations to a full kitchen remodel, but I’ve done the research (i.e. I’ve watched enough HGTV, haven’t you?!?!) to know that for a total bath remodel, we managed a very reasonable overall cost. Also, before I talk numbers, I want to remind you that our budget had to include all new plumbing, repairs in the living room, new subfloors, and some new walls, not to mention the tiling, tub, vanity, sink, toilet, etc… We couldn’t save a thing from the previous bathroom. Ok, that said, we did this for under $10K – actually closer to 9. And here are my suggestions for how to keep yourself within a reasonable budget (whatever your budget might be!):

  1. Balance a few high-end finishes with less expensive ones.  I really wanted marble, and one advantage of a small bathroom is that it wasn’t outrageous to spend $5/sf on our marble floors because there aren’t very many square feet! But also, I was able to balance the cost by using dirt cheap subway tiles on the shower and a very standard (on sale!) white toilet. The marble still gives us a beautiful, high-end look, but the balance of subway tiles and sale fixtures kept the cost down.
    Great budgeting tips for bathroom remodel - Maison de Pax
  2. Use what you already have.  The mirror was a black one that used to be outside on our screened porch at our old house. It was the right size, so it got a coat of antique white chalk paint (see here for homemade chalk paint recipes and suggestions) and went on the wall. Free!
    Great budgeting tips for bathroom remodel - Maison de Pax
  3. Consider subway tile and chrome finishes.  I know there are as many different styles and tastes as there are people, but consider some of these classic touches if you’re willing because… they’re cheaper.  And, as it happens, they’re pretty popular right now! Honestly, go look at some faucets and compare the cost of finishes; chrome is almost always at least $20 cheaper. And that adds up!
    Great budgeting tips for bathroom remodel - Maison de Pax
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts.  My vanity (which we ordered online) came with a crack. Thankfully, it was not a structural issue (it’s on the bottom of the inside – no one will ever see it!), so I called the company and asked how much discount they would give me. I got almost $300 off!! Be bold!
    Great budgeting tips for bathroom remodel - Maison de Pax
  5. Set a budget for yourself and with your contractor.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that Mr. Pax and I like to DIY. Mr. Pax recently built us some gorgeous built-in bookshelves, and we re-floored his office ourselves… but a bathroom remodel was not something we wanted to take on. So we used a contractor (a friend, whom we’ve used before), and we told her how much we wanted to spend. And we worked within that. Period. It’s great to have that kind of a relationship – don’t settle for less. She helped me know just how high I could go on my marble countertop to stay within our goal budget… and then I looked only within that range. We set a goal of $100 for lighting, and she found this (which I love!). So much better than falling in love with a ton of expensive things and then adding them up and regretting it horribly. 😉
    Great budgeting tips for bathroom remodel - Maison de Pax

I hope these tips help in some way! I am already thinking of more ideas, but this has gotten too long already… Any more tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment! In the meantime, here is the source list for our master bath:

Please let me know if you have any questions not answered here! And don’t miss the tips on designing small bathrooms here.

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  1. We need to remodel our bathroom and it’ll be a complete gut, down to the studs so we can insulate and update the old window. Then there’s plumbing, fixtures, everything. But anything would be better than we currently have so it’ll be great, no matter what. However, I think our kitchen will be remodeled first (another complete gut).

  2. We can vouch for the tip about going with Chrome. If you’re ok with choosing chrome for your finishes, you will find much more availability, more choices, and lower costs as opposed to going with other finishes such as satin nickel, and oil rubbed bronze.

    Eli Fry
    Classic Clawfoot Tubs

  3. Your bathroom is beautiful! Such great advice too. We will be doing work on our master bath soon, and I will be referring back to this post.

  4. Hi! I absolutely love your bathroom and you did a beautiful job remodeling it!
    I found your bathroom picture when I was looking up Krypton by Sherwin Williams. I your pics and went out and bought a sample for my master bath project. When I out it on to test the color, it came out purple grey! I’m so confused as this doesn’t look anything like the colors I’ve seen online. Pottery Barn website initially recommended it for a bathroom and then I found yours and many other beautiful pictures with Krypton and they all appear a grey blue. I was wondering if your color appeared to have a purple grey at first but changed once the room was finished?
    I also have a white vanity and subway tile, light grey tile flooring and chrome hardware with plenty of light coming in. I’m baffled at the color I’m seeing. Its a beautiful purple grey but nothing like the pics I’ve seen.
    Guess that’s the nature of paint and pictures too!

    1. Hi Ruth! I’m so glad you like the bathroom; thank you so much for your sweet comment. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’m going to be much help to you… I don’t see any purple in our bathroom, and I don’t remember it looking purple at first either. Like you said, it could just be the lighting, but that does seem odd… Are you painting over white currently? Or is it going over a different color? Sometimes the bleed through or the contrast to the current color can change it’s effect. I’m so sorry I’m not more help. I do hope you’re able to find the perfect color for your space! 🙂

    1. Hi Jenny, the frame came from Marshall’s almost 10 years ago, and it’s about 36″ x 48″, including the frame. Hope this helps! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Caroline! We got the shelves from the organization section (near the closet organizers, etc.) at Home Depot. They were prefab mdf shelves and black brackets that you buy separately. We spray painted the shelves chrome. Hope this helps!

  5. How do you like your tub? We Have a master bath about the same size as yours. The low 19″ height sounds good for older and younger people to enter and exit the tub.

    1. Hi Dina,
      Sorry for the slow reply! We do love our tub. We actually had it built in a little off the ground, though, so that the ledge would sit right under the windowsill. The top of ours is therefore 24″ off the ground, which is great for my husband and me, but might be a little high for an elderly person. If we had built it in flat to the floor and it truly was only 19″ high, I think it would be the perfect enter/exit height. Hope this helps!

  6. I am so glad I found your blog on pinterest!! We are just beginning to talk about and plan a bathroom remodel and I told my husband yesterday I wanted to do grey/marble/white in our master bath – and then I saw your pics, and fell in love with it! I can’t wait to show him. (We don’t have much space available either- so I really appreciate your ideas and execution of them!)

    1. Wonderful, Eileen! I’m so glad to hear it. We have so enjoyed ours; I hope yours ends up just as wonderful! 🙂

    1. Hi Amy! I think we ordered it from Appliance Connect because they were having a sale at the time, but you can find the same one on Amazon. It’s the first link at the bottom called “vanity.” It came with the countertop. Hope this helps!

  7. Thank you so much for including the room dimensions in your post! I gutted & remodeled a kitchen recently and found is so frustrating that most posts do not include the overall room dimensions and with today’s wide angle lenses, photos can be deceiving! Next on my to-do list is one of two bathrooms which is nearly identical to yours in size & layout so your post was very informative — thank you!

  8. I want to do a ledge near the tub like the one you have, but the space is only 60” or so length-wise and as you probably know most tubs are 60”. There’s a closet next to that space. Except I don’t think I want to lose much of the closet space. What is the size of your ledge? If you have any advice it would be appreciated.

    1. That’s a tough one, Gabrielle. Our ledge is just under 3 feet by 3 feet, and I think it’s perfect. A smaller one wouldn’t necessarily be bad, though, even just a foot would allow you to set toiletries and a candle on it. If you can get at least 18 inches or so, then it can still function as a seat, which would be nice. I’m not familiar with any tubs that are shorter than 60″ (and you probably don’t want one shorter than that anyway), so the construction of your closet and wall obviously make a big difference when considering options. I hope that helps in some way! Good luck whatever you decide to do. 🙂

  9. What is the dimension of your bathroom? Any more layouts available? We have a 5X7 but your bathroom seems like it has so much more space. Ours is five feet deep and 7ft wide. With window on the left wall, toilet and sink on the back wall and a tub/shower on the right wall. Is the marble high maintenance? Do you suggest larger tile on the floor in a small bath? Thanks for your help.

    1. Our bathroom is 6×7. I do think that extra foot can make a big different when you’re working with a small space, especially one like a bathroom that has regular sized fixtures (like a tub). We also have an awkwardly placed window, which is what convinced us to use the glass half wall – and I’m so glad we did because it makes the space feel so much bigger! It does help that our door is in the center of our 6′ wall, allowing us to create a “galley” bathroom, if you will. The tub runs down the right side, and the sink and toilet down the left. Anything you can do to streamline your space like that might help simplify the feeling of the room (but it obviously depends on door placement). I like the large rectangular tiles for the floor because I feel like it makes the space stretch out in front of you, making it feel deeper – but again, that’s related to our layout. As for the marble, I love it. It has definitely “etched” (changed in shininess in places where water has sat), but I think the patina of the natural stone is just lovely. I hope this helps in some way!

  10. Two questions. I know that you used grey grout, but could you be more specific? And how about posting a picture with of the bathroom door and the shower/tub transition? That is the area that I’m having the hardest time picturing in my bathroom. It looks gorgeous.

    1. I’m so glad you like it! The grout is called Delorean Gray (purchased at Home Depot) – the same one I used in my kitchen. And I don’t think I have any pictures of the door and shower/tub transition, but maybe an FAQ post is called for before we move… Stay tuned! Hope this helps. 🙂

  11. i would really like to know the paint information for the color you used in your bathroom. It is so tranquil and inviting. I really love it!

    1. Hi Jenessa, it’s listed, but it’s way down at the bottom of the post. 😉 It’s Krypton by Sherwin Williams in a satin finish. I hope this helps!

  12. Rachel, thank you for all the advice. We recently purchased a small house and renovated the one and only bathroom. We purchased a vanity with Carerra marble top.. and I think this was a mistake. It seems to be very hard to keep it.. shiny. Water spots all over stain the marble for whatever reason, and I am having it repolished only after a month after we installed the vanity. What a pain!
    Can you share how you feel about your vanity after some time? Do you have water spots all over or perhaps there are different ‘types’ of Carerra marble 🙁 I’m so disappointed… Please help!

    1. Oh Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear that! I am no marble expert, but my understanding is that it does depend on if/how your marble is sealed. It also depends on whether it started as a polished (shiny) or honed (more matte) finish. All marble will have “etching” from water, though. While ours didn’t bother us AT ALL, I think it depends on two more factors beyond the sealant or the polished/honed finish: lighting and personal preference. The direction your light is hitting your counter can either hide or highlight the water spots, and some personalities like the imperfections, while others it drives them crazy. I actually saw two great post on marble kitchen counters by French Country Cottage and Lilacs and Longhorns, both of which may give you more knowledgeable feedback than I’m able to offer. I hope this helps in some way, and I’m so sorry to hear of the trouble you’re having!

    1. I’m not sure, as we have since moved from that home. I would guess that it was about 3′ wide and 5′ tall. Hope this helps!

  13. Rachel, I love your site. I’ve found it very helpful and inspiring. Quick question for you. I see that you installed marble floor tiles in your master bathroom. Did you find them slippery? I am contemplating installing polished marble tile as well but that was my only concern. Thanks in advance for your reply! I’m so happy I happened upon a post on Pinterest and found you. Look forward to your reply and future posts!

    1. I’m so glad you found me, Michelle! Welcome. 🙂 I was very happy with our floors, but we had a very small space, so the 2’x3′ bath mat covered at least half of the walkable floor. If it was a larger space, I would be more cautious about it. I never slipped, but it’s certainly more slippery that a rougher, porous stone would be. Another option would be smaller tiles so that there was more grout for grip. I hope this helps!

  14. Rachel, I stumbled on this post on Pinterest. Beautiful! I have the same layout in the master bath of my condo and have been planning a remodel in my head. 🙂 Your color scheme and materials are exactly what I am planning. I have a large shower with an ugly fiberglass surround where your tub is (there is currently no tile) and was thinking of converting it to a tub/shower combo with a glass door. Where your ledge is I have a linen closet. Storage space is at a premium in a condo so I’ve been debating whether to keep it. I still haven’t decided but your ledge is a lovely option.
    Thanks so much for sharing. I will definitely be stealing some of your ideas and the pics you posted will be a great help. I will be following you on Pinterest for more great ideas. Have a great summer!

  15. Love, love, love the bathroom remodel. The color scheme and utilization of the space is awesome!

  16. I’m planning a new bathroom and don’t love the 4-in backsplash that comes with the vanity, but also don’t have the layout of money to tile the wall. I really want to leave it like yours – painted wall, no backsplash. Have you had any issues with water or cleaning the bit of painted wall right at the vanity counter?

    1. I totally understand your concern! We don’t live in that house any more, but we did live in it for two years after we updated the bathroom, and we never had a problem on that wall. We did, however, use a high quality paint in eggshell; I think that’s important so that the water doesn’t leave spots. I hope this helps!

  17. Thank you. This post was very helpful. The single bathroom in my old house is similar to what we see in your former home. Your ideas are superior: practical and tasteful. As best I can, I’m going to steal them. It was especially helpful that you included the renovation cost, which may have increased in the last three years but still gives me a reference. I feel less nervous about this project. Thank you again.

  18. I have watched one too many episodes of “fixer upper” and took a sledgehammer to our bathroom. Demo day sounded so fun (and it was!). My husband was not really expecting that as we had just demoed a bedroom to the studs including pulling out all the lath and plaster and finding out we had to redo the rafters on our 155-year-old farmhouse. It was a lot already. So demo day is fun but I dont have a team to fix it when I am done. I have been looking for six months how to redo it. And this was it!!!! 🙂 I have the exact same layout but the shower will be up by the window. I have struggled to decide how to enclose the shower and this was 100% the answer! I am soo excited to have found this, you saved my remodel weary brain! Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Aubrey! What a great story. I hope your bathroom turns out exactly how you want it. 🙂

  19. I need help as I’m confused. The email I received about your bathroom renovation shows a beautiful picture of a vanity with navy cabinets, gold hardware, oval mirrors, etc. However, when I click on the article about the reno, I see a completely different bathroom; one with a marble floor, ivory cabinets, etc. Where is the bathroom with the navy cabinets? Thank you for your time and response.

  20. I liked that you pointed out that using subway tiles and chrome plated fixtures can look really nice. I do like the classic look that design gives a bathroom. It also is nice to know that it is a cheap design to do. I want to remodel my guest bathroom this summer, and my budget to do so is pretty small.

  21. I just wanted to thank you for these tips for budgeting and changing a master bath. I like that you mentioned you should still use what you have in the bath. This seems like a great way to save money. Plus, you’ll still be putting items in the bathroom to good use instead of getting rid of them.

    1. Thank you, Jan! The vanity was ordered in that color and the trim is Sherwin Williams Extra White, straight out of the can! Hope this helps.

  22. Hi Rachel,
    Excellent job! I have my own home improvement company in Phoenix, Arizona, and for some projects we have done the same as you: using subway tiles and chrome-plated fixtures. They really bring the bathroom a sleek and different look and vibe, especially when the client’s budget is not very permissive, because it allows us to deliver a great result while keeping the costs down.

  23. The home that I will be moving into here soon is in need of a bathroom remodel. Now the toilet is new but all of the other components do need to be changed. Anyways, the tile and the cabinets got to go. I do like what you said about using a cheaper option in some places and more expensive things elsewhere. Not too sure which to do on mine but we will see!

  24. I agree with your opinion to hand over the project to any professional contractor, other tips are great as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  25. Your tips really do help. My husband and I are blindly building an in-law suite and we are 15 months in. We have finished the tile floors, gorgeous tile marble bathroom and roughly setting up the kitchen. We also are opting for the stationary halfglass shower wall. Thank you for your insight and tips. So ready to be done with this long project! Love your site!

    1. Lisa, renovating a bathroom or kitchen is hard work, but you’ll soon get to enjoy your new beautiful bathroom!

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