Guest Bathroom | The Evolution + The Process

If you’ve been following me on Instagram the past several weeks then you know we’ve been hard at work updating our very ugly and tired guest bathroom. Our goal going in was simply to improve the resale value on our home. Prior to starting this renovation, we had made the decision to sell our home in the coming months (going on the market next week!) so we intentionally did a “surfaces only” upgrade to keep our costs minimal while maximizing the resale potential.

Some may ask why we would put more money into a home we we’re planning to sell and the answer is simple is: for profit or ROI. Ever heard of the phrase “you have to spend money to make money”? Our bathroom is the perfect example.

We felt that our bathroom as-is would be a deterrent for some buyers: peeling/chipping linoleum, severely yellowed tub, and a strangely short vanity but after pricing everything out, we realized that if we spent a little money upfront (less than 2k) when it came time to sell it would literally pay off –  3x over!

But let’s be honest…anything is better than this:


And this:


And this too:

(See the lifting linoleum? Metal threshold? Heck! The old thermostat?! Oye!)


About a year ago we decided to host our very first Thansgiving and got a major itch to spruce the place up a bit before guests arrived since this was the bathroom they’d be using throughout the day.

I shared all about the “paint everything” makeover we did in this post which cost less than $150. Click here for the whole budget breakdown of that one.


I painted the vanity by mixing together a bunch of leftover test pots I had from when we picked a color for the living room walls and that along with some new gold hardware really breathed new life into the old vanity.


I also painted the walls a nice bright white which really brightened the room but it also made a few things stand out in a bad way. The vanity top and the tub/shower surround now appeared more yellow/cream against the crisp white walls. You can see the cultured marble vanity top and a little peak at the shower surround in the mirror below.

The previous paint color was a warmer off-white so these two features just kinda blended in and weren’t as noticeable but after painting, it stood out in an obvious way.


So while the $150 paint everything makeover got us through and held us over, we knew that a more in depth surfaces only update was needed.

Since we both work full time and a lot of our weekends are tied up with softball, we waited until the Summer softball season was over before taking a sledge hammer to the bathroom. If you’re interested in seeing how it all went down, I saved all the videos in my Instagram highlights.

If you dont want to watch through all the videos, I’m going to share the whole process in photos below!

This is what the bathroom looked like on #demoday:


After clearing everything out, we removed the medicine cabinet, the vanity, and three layers of linoleum flooring. We eventually removed the toilet too and it just sat inside the tub for a few weeks.


We did a dry fit of the hardie backer board:


Made a special cut for the toilet flange:


Had a little fun:


After dry fitting our hardie backer boards we spread mortar down and screwed the boards into place. We also taped the seams and let it dry overnight (forgot to snap a picture of this).


We tiled:


And grouted:


After grouting, we allowed it to dry overnight and then admired our handiwork the next morning:


Wanna see the VERY satisfying evolution of our bathroom floors? So good!


After finishing the floors we turned our attention to the walls. We had a lot of patching to do from where the vanity was remove and also dry walled up the medicine cabinet but not before leaving a little memory behind:


After closing up the medicine cabinet, we added board and batten around the remaining perimeter walls:



Then I spent the best years of my life painting everything! Again!  A dark inky-green up top and bright white on bottom:


After all the painting was complete we hired someone to come spray the tub a nice bright white! Goodbye yellow!


After the tub was sprayed and cured for a few days all that was left to do was install the vanity, new light fixture, towel hooks, style, shoot, and reveal!

But you’ll have to wait for the reveal tomorrow so come back and see the final result of all our hard work above. Hope you’ve enjoyed following along so far!

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