Friday, October 14, 2016

Bathroom Remodel: Phase I - The Plan & Budget

Before we started considering bath designs we wanted to know what elements constitute a good layout and use of space. For some helpful information we consulted guidelines put out by the National Kitchen & Bath Association. This organization has a guide for their members but you can also see some of their recommendations in this link.

Budgeting for our bathroom remodel involving putting together an accurate floor plan diagram, material calculations, and labor cost estimates. We used a Visio diagram to guide our square footage calculations for tile, adding 10% for waste.

Here is a diagram of the final design.

The bath is about 8' by 7' and will feature a 36" vanity with a side linen cabinet. The shower will be a fully tiled (even the ceiling) enclosed custom neo-angle shower with storage niches. There will be can lighting and a light bar over the vanity mirror. We attempted to find a balance in the distribution of lighting the spaces in this windowless bathroom. The light in the shower is a vent fan combo providing exhaust along with another fan in the main area just outside the shower.

Since this is our main floor bathroom it's also the most used, consequentially we wanted this project to go as quickly as possible. To speed things along we made an effort to pick out and acquired all of the materials and fixtures before starting the project. Since we work full time jobs this also meant hiring a contractor to do some of the labor. We contacted and had preliminary meetings with a local contractor we found using homeadvisor.com.

After a couple of meetings, the contractor provided an itemized breakdown of the work. This allowed us to see what items we wanted to tackle ourselves to reduce some of the cost.

Here are the detailed labor costs the contractor quoted:
  • $1,160 - Remove, tub, vanity and toilet, drop ceiling, casement, base mouldings (saving?), and all plaster to the studs. We actually performed this task ourselves which helped pay for some upgrades.
  • $500 - Replumb new shower fixture (owner provided), and drain for shower, and toilet, vanity locations.
  • $1,320 - Install concrete shower base, and prep tile walls w/Denshield board, include niche boxes, and waterproof for tile.
  • $650 - Rework electrical to include GFI and additional outlets, can and vanity lighting, and 2 light/ fan combos.
  • $350 - Remove and replace heat register from floor to wall.
  • $760 - Rework drywall prep for painting, include priming.
  • $445 - Install 1/2" Hardi Backer to floor, tile prep.
  • $1,500 - Install new floor tile, with mopboard, and wall tile shower area,  including some mosaic pattern, and niche areas.
  • $140 - Install new accessories and vanity, linen, provided by owner. This is also something we felt we could take care of easily.
  • $800 - Install new shower door frameless glass.
  • $560 - Finish painting 2 coats and install base and casement mouldings. We opted to perform this task ourselves as well.
The total minus the tasks we were going to perform came to $6,325.

Again, none of this included materials, which we purchased ourselves. These included the tile, fixtures, cabinetry, lighting, switches, grout, paint, outlets, fans, toilet and other miscellaneous hardware like towel bars and drain cover.


We wanted a floor on the grey end of the color spectrum to hide dust and dirt, we also wanted a marble look for the shower without the hassle of using real marble. We checked about 5 different tile stores to look at tiles in person including The Tile Shop, Virginia Tile, Genesee Tile, and some other online providers that ship free samples. Oddly enough, we ended up finding the main tiles we liked at Menards, Lowes, and Home Depot, the last places we looked.  This actually worked out well since we can return any unused material, in some instances, and quickly get any extra if it's needed during the project.

The main bathroom floor we chose was Home Depot Traffic Master 12"x 24" in Sidewalk Natural
The grout we planned on using was TEC DeLorean Grey attempting to match the tile color.



For the shower walls and ceiling we chose Titus Hill 4"x 8" Ceramic Tile from Menards.



To contrast the marble look shower tiles we chose TEC Sanded Grout in Dove Gray


For the shower floor we went with Style Selections Mitte Gray Porcelain Tile in a 2"x 2" mosic. This tile was a very close color match to the main floor tile.


For the fixtures we settled on chrome so it would be easy to match and coordinate. We would have liked stainless or brushed nickel for it's resistance to finger prints and water marks but it was difficult to find fixtures we liked to match them all in this finish.

We opted for the Kauai III Spray Hand Shower Combo since it provides both a rain style head and a separate adjustable head for a more traditional shower experience.


For the sink faucet we decided to try out some of the latest technology in touchless/touch operated units. We went with the Addison Single Hole Single-Handle Bathroom Faucet in Chrome with Touch2O.xt Technology


For the vanity top we knew we wanted quartz since we have natural marble and granite in our other bathrooms. The natural stone materials just weren't holding up well to the abuse in those other areas. They would often get water stains and don't allow for the use of some common household cleaners.

At this point we aren't sure if we will use the vanity we selected or opt for a more custom approach using RTA (ready to assemble) items from cabinets.com. This will ultimately dictate the process we use for the customizing the vanity top or buying one prefab. Ultimately we may need to wait until the drywall is in so we can get a final measurement on the space available for the cabinetry.

More to come.... We'll update this as we finalize more of our plans, thanks for reading.


I hope this post helps with your design planning and renovation. Hopefully the budget line items give you some idea of the labor costs as well if you choose to have a contractor involved on your project.



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