Bathroom Makeover For Under $5000 - Part 1

I am so excited talk to you today about our bathroom renovations as I have got round to taking the final shots. I was showing sneak peeks of the progress on Instagram a few months ago and I wanted to keep the final reveal to show you on the blog.  The bathroom has been finished for a couple of months now and I wanted to run through the full project with you from start to finish. Let's look at the before photos first.

When we purchased our house 5 years ago the bathroom had looked like it had been renovated in the last 10 years but not very well. The wall and floor tiles were reasonably new, the vanity wasn’t to daggy and it had newish feature tiles around the shower and bathtub. The finish of the entire bathroom was kind of wanting though. The edging of the shower screen & mirror (gold anyone?) was not to my taste and neither was the feature tile colours. When we moved in 5 years ago we just gave the bathroom a fresh coat of paint on the walls and left it at that until we had time and money to invest into making it into the bathroom that we wanted. We added it to our long term to-do list and lived with the pimped up gold shower screen and mirror for a while longer.

Fast forward 5 years the to-do list is still as long as our arm but the time had come to start looking at what we wanted to do to the bathroom. The before pictures is what the bathroom had been like for the last 5 years. Not terrible but it definitely needed a makeover to refresh it and bring it up to date. The shower also really needed some attention too as some of the tiles in the shower recess had cracks in them causing water damage and mould so it was time to jump into getting it fixed before any further damage was done.

Our project brief for the bathroom was to:

  1. Get a new shower screen
  2. New feature tiles around the bathtub and shower
  3. Fix the cracked tiles in the shower
  4. Replace the toilet, vanity unit, towel rails & mirror
  5. Replace the tap ware and accessories 
  6. Re-grout the floor
  7. Re-chalk the entire bathroom
  8. New wall colour 
  9. Add an interesting feature/art work 

We had set a budget in mind to complete the work in around 2 weeks and under $5000.
The first step in the project was to start removing the feature tile around the bathtub and in the shower. We were keeping the wall tiles, floor tiles and the bathtub as they were in good condition plus were a neutral white/ grey marble colour which would work well with whatever new colour scheme we chose. By doing this it saved us TONS of money not stripping everything back to bare bones. I know not everyone is lucky to have a neutral base to start like we did.

To remove the feature tile without damaging the surrounding tiles Bevan removed the grout along the top and bottom of the feature tile with the cutting blade of a multi-tool. He then gently hammered it out with a chisel and hammer slowly working his way around the bath tub area. To do the shower he removed the shower screen (we couldn’t have showers for 2 weeks after that) and repeated the same process as around the bath tub. He also used this same technique to remove the cracked tiles in the shower recess and a couple on the shower walls as well as the tiles above the vanity unit.

Once all the tiles had been removed and the old glue had been cleaned up from the space they had been in it was time to add some new waterproofing to these areas. It is important to add new waterproofing to any wet area’s that have been compromised by removing tiles etc. in a wet area such as a shower or bath. Give the waterproofing 24 hours to dry completely before tiling over the area.

Trying to find a tile that fit the original feature tile space proved to be a bit of a drama during our scouting trips. We finally settled on a gorgeous marble mosaic tile by Silverlake Australia which fit into the space perfectly. This gave us the starting point with the colour scheme for the rest of the bathroom. We added these feature tiles into the shower recess to create a bit more of a feature in the shower area and added them back into the feature tile space around the top of the shower and bathtub. We also replaced the tiles we removed on the shower walls with similar tiles we sourced from out local tile shop. This actually was the most difficult part of the whole part of the bathroom trying to source the correct shade of white for the shower wall tiles. I think we ended up buying three different versions of the same tile to try and get the right shade. It still wasn’t perfect but matched in as best we could. We got a local window and door company to install a new semi-frame less shower screen for us once the shower area was complete. We chose the semi-frame less shower screen as it give the feel of a frame less screen without the price tag. The step up from a semi-frame less shower screen to a full frame less screen is about double the price. We went with matte silver edging around the screen which flowed seamlessly with the rest of the bathroom. No more ugly gold!

Bevan then removed the vanity unit and old mirror from the bathroom before proceeding to start painting the walls. The next step was to choose a new wall colour for the bathroom walls. We had originally painted the walls that same colour as the rest of the house – Hogs Bristle by Dulux (1/2 strength). However I wanted a bit of a cooler colour in the bathroom to suit the grey & white marble floor tiles and the marble mosaic feature tiles. After about 3- 4 test pots of different colours we settled on a colour called Casper White by Dulux. It’s essentially a white paint but with a really lovely soft grey tone to it.

While we were in the throes of choosing paint colours Bevan decided to re-grout the bathroom floor and the shower wall tiles to refresh them since we weren’t replacing them. To remove the grout he used a small grout removing tool which has small metal teeth attached to its head. This scrapes out the old grout in between the tiles and allows you to then add new grout into this space. We stayed with the same colour grout for the floor and wall tiles – white for the wall tiles, grey for the floor tiles. We let this dry overnight before moving onto installing the new vanity unit and mirror.


For the vanity unit I wanted something a little bit different than the standard white vanity. After doing a little scouting around and even getting a quote for a custom built vanity (EXPENSIVE!!) we settled on buying one from Beaumont Tiles. I initially wanted a wall mounted unit which is really in style at the moment but because the drainage from the original vanity unit went through the floor this wasn’t possible. We chose the Indianna Vanity in Divine Oak with the Alpha Ceramic Top. Choosing a coloured vanity was WAY out of my comfort zone but can I say I really am happy with our selection.

Once the vanity was installed and a new mirror from Bunnings was attached to the wall and the new toilet was installed, it was time to add the finishing touches such as new tap ware, towel rails and our “interesting feature” to the bathroom. What that is…. You will have to wait till the reveal in next week’s reveal post. Here is a sneak peek of what it looks like now.


Wall Colour: Dulux Casper White
Feature Tile: Athens Blend Mosaic - Sticks CN01
Vanity Unit: Indianna Vanity 1200mm in Divine Oak with Alpha Ceramic Top by Timberline
Bathroom Mirror: Highgrove 1200 x 900 Bevel Edged Mirror from Bunnings
Shower Screen: Semi Frameless Shower Screen by Bradnams
Tapware & Towel Rails: Phoenix GenX



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