My Parents Bathroom Renovation

Since finishing up the Cottage House Flip this past February, I haven’t been able to work on a single house project in nine months—the longest break from DIY/rehabbing since I bought my first home in 2008!

Fortunately, my parents took on a project of their own during this time and I think it turned out pretty amazing—so amazing that I just had to share it with you guys. Their bathroom needed a makeover in a major way, and after two months of work, the final result was unrecognizable.

I wish I could take credit for this one, but the extent of my help was limited to opinions on tile and placing a few orders. Even though our styles aren’t exactly the same, I can always appreciate design with unique and personal touches, and that’s what this bathroom has.

They lived with the Before like this for quite some time…


Then came demo day, and putting it back together…


And here’s what it looks like today:


To help with their small space problem, my dad built a sliding barn door from tongue & groove boards he purchased from Lowe’s (then stained and distressed).

More white tongue & groove boards cover the walls and ceiling, helping the space to feel bright and open.


Dark gray tile set in a herringbone pattern continue the rustic theme, while radiant heat flooring underneath keep bare feet warm on those cold winter days.

A window surround built by my dad from barn wood replaces standard white trim, and ties in with the vanity and flooring.


Sweet farmhouse touches like metal sheep heads and vintage photos show off their mountain-country style.


My mom purchased a vanity online complete with a marble top, and spray painted the handles to match the champagne bronze faucet. The mirror was a $20 thrift store find she painted gold.


The old bathroom had no storage space at all, so they relocated a water heater to the garage and freed up space for custom open shelving.


A furnace still lives to the right of the shelving, and my dad built a custom sliding barn door to keep it hidden yet still easily accessible.


My mom loves color, so she had fun picking out tile for the shower. Classic subway tile set in a celadon green play nicely with flat river rock in varying shades of green, gray and brown.


The old, cramped tub was ditched in favor of a large shower with a wide seat.


Champagne bronze hardware keep the color palette warm and tie into the metals on the sink. Tempered glass doors allow for privacy while still allowing the room to feel open.


I’m such a fan of the way it turned out—how about you?


Thanks Mom & Dad for letting me take over your bathroom for an afternoon!


They’ve even offered to share all of their sources and costs (okay so I convinced them to… I do it all for you guys! <3)

Paint: Valspar Bistro White

All tile from a local store, not found online unfortunately 🙁

Vanity: Jude 42″ French Vanity in Gray (it is more gray in person than these photos show!)

Sink faucet: Delta Linden in Champagne Bronze

Vanity light: Spray painted existing fixture

Barn door track hardware

Delta Linden Faucet & shower head

Delta hand shower system

Kohler shower grab bars

Bronze shower drain

And now for the costs!

Tile: $1850

Toilet: $200

Shower doors: $1300

Radiant heat flooring: $820

Building materials: $2660

Vanity: $1100

Hardware/fixtures: $1500

Labor: $14,700

Total: $24,130

I won’t lie, I was pretty shocked running through the numbers… those labor costs are killer! Apparently they ran into dry rot/framing issues that had to be completely redone, along with all new plumbing which ate up a lot of time and money.  Even still, I’ve averaged around $5k in most of my bathroom remodels and am hoping to spend less than this on kitchens in future rehabs! How does it compare to your experience and prices in your area?

I hope you enjoyed this post—it feels great to be back on the Home Blogging scene, and it’s just a taste of what’s to come in 2018! Lucas and I have some big plans and exciting updates to share in the new year, which is coming up fast. On January 9th we’ll land in Tampa to start our new lives together, and we’ll be documenting the process of moving across the country & settling in over on Instagram & Facebook if you want to follow along!

But for now, we’re enjoying the final days with our friends and family here in California before we say goodbye. I hope you have a wonderful and gratitude-filled holiday season with your loved ones this year. Happy holidays and we’ll see you back here next year!




29 thoughts on “My Parents Bathroom Renovation

  1. Your parents have incredible taste! I’d be shocked if my parents did any remodeling that closely resembles that, haha! What your folks did with their bathroom is wonderful!

    Wishing you and Lucas all the best in the coming new year. You both have been on an incredible journey together, and I am so excited to see what’s in store for you guys. Have a wonderful holiday! <3

  2. I’ve loved following the adventures abroad but it feels good to see a home renovation post here again today! Ha the price comment at the end made me laugh – I found it refreshing to finally see something comparable to what we have to pay in the northeast (Jersey – suburban to NYC) when you have to hire out labor!
    PS I have been forwarding your summary trip posts to my husband – I was so happy to see Greece as one of your top places to visit because I am pushing hard to go there next! We took a traveling break for a few years but hoping to get in an trip without kids in the coming year. Welcome home and happy holidays!

    1. Oh I bet it’s the most expensive up there! Nothing like the crazy low costs they claim on HGTV renovation shows — I never understood how those numbers could be possible when labor is involved.

      And yes, please do go to Greece, you’ll fall in love!

  3. If I hadn’t had to completely re-frame my shed dormer into something new, our bathroom probably wouldn’t ended up here $$-wise. As it was ours was $40,000, which we won’t see back, but enjoy every. single. day. and was such a huge necessity for both us and resale. It’s on my blog under “Bathroom”
    It turned out lovely and I love that vanity!

    1. As long as it’s worth it to you and you can afford it, there’s no problem spending more! This is my parents forever home and to them it was worth every penny 🙂 I’m glad you love yours too!

  4. Ouch at the labor! I would have freaked at that and probably told the GC to gtfo but there is something to be said for just paying to get it done and not deal with it. It turned out gorgeous…the hardware and bath accessories are to die for, I gasped when I saw the first picture….like oooooh me likey.

  5. Speaking of your beautiful Flip – what happened to that house? When you started, yu said you were going to share the cost breakdown an so on – is that still coming? obviously, you don’t owe anyone disclosure of your finances (though I hope you made a profit), but I would love to read about the selling process.

    Your parents bathroom looks great. You get yor talent from somewhere, after all …

  6. Really beautiful and not that expensive compared to Norwegian prices! One thing that puzzles me, is it not common in the US to use membrane on the floors and walls to waterproof them? I never see that part in the makeovers online or in television programmes.

    1. The shower area is definitely waterproof and there’s specific requirements for tile floors — but there are different materials you can use other than membrane! It’s also not necessary on other walls that aren’t exposed to water 🙂

  7. We live in Tampa and cannot wait to see you on your new adventure. Hope this isn’t to weird to say but if you all would like a small boat ride/fishing trip let me know as I’d love to meet you. We can direct you to some awesome things we love about Tampa and give you an insiders view on local areas. Of course I have some hidden dream that I’m only 25 and would love to be your apprentice , I’m 51 and would have to wait till retirement, but that’s not going to happen darn it. DM me if you want or seek me out on facebook. Most of all continue to enjoy your adventure !

  8. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree! Nicely done. Looking forward to more DIY projects and your next remodel. Merry Christmas from the PNW Jenna!

  9. Beautifully done. Just curious….why FL? Our kitchen reno was about double what I thought it would be. We did add more to it but even though I love it, I think I would go a different and cheaper route cabinet wise.

  10. I certainly loved following you and Lucas in your travels, but I gotta say, I LOVE that you’re home and “at it” again! Your parents remodel is great…and even though you weren’t involved in the actual doing of it…it’s a tiny bit like having you back in business. I’m excited to see where you land and what lies ahead in your future! Merry Christmas to you and Lucas!

  11. I am a native Tampan and think it’s pretty cool that I stumbled across your blog by accident, followed your last flip and then world travels and now you are coming to my hometown. I am super excited to see what you do with your flips here sine I love your style. I always tell newcomers that Tampa is a great, big/little city. Welcome and here’s to 2018!

  12. Hi Jenna! I was just wondering if you could let us in on what lens you used to capture this beautiful space? It turned out so lovely and the photos reflect that so well!

  13. Absolutely love how your parents bathroom remodel turned out! Do you or your dad have any tips on building the tongue and groove door?

  14. I’ll be honest, I always thought $5000 labor for bathrooms and kitchens must be a joke that’s not reality, it’s seen only on HGTV shows. Our labor for our bathroom was $16,000 from a “budget” contractor. We had 3 other bids with a similar quote. No one quoted significantly less than that, and I asked neighbors and colleagues what they paid too — everyone we asked who had similar size and scope of job paid this labor cost. All in the same ballpark. Our materials were about $16,000 so this was a freakin’ $32,000 master bath renovation! The cost makes me not want to do it again! Good thing we don’t have kids because that could have gone toward a college education. One factor in the cost is, we are in an upscale neighborhood in the Chicago area. Due to the house we’re in, we chose good materials but not the most expensive. We used brands like Rohl for plumbing, Rejuvenation for lights, Restoration Hardware for things like towel bars. We used travertine tile from The Tile Shop. There’s no tub – we installed a large tiled shower with glass walls. Double sink vanity with marble top. Radiant heat under floor. The room was ripped out to the studs and rebuilt. We have 2 bathrooms to update before we sell and we will not do extensive jobs due to the labor cost here. We’ll likely just replace the vanities/sinks/counters and have our plumber install them. I’d LOVE to find out how you can get a bathroom fully re-done for $5K labor. Like, what’s an expected hourly rate to pay?? $5k at $60/hour is 83 hours as an example. Can you get a bathroom done for 83 man-hours? Our contractor had 1 guy in our house full-time for 3 weeks + more people on some days. I’m thinking they worked 160-180 hours, maybe more. They also did 100% of everything. At that time 11 years ago we didn’t even own any tools you had to plug in to use! LOL So we did no labor ourselves in that bathroom. I’m thinking if you do some work yourself, you save a ton in labor. We also built an apartment in India, we built a kitchen and 2 bathrooms from the ground up, and the labor costs there make me want to cry about what we paid in Chicago. Sorry for writing a novel. This has always bugged the heck out of me — how to get this done for such low labor cost?

    1. With my bathroom remodels that came in right around $5k, I did probably half the labor myself and hired out subcontractors at $40/hour (demo/construction) $60/hour (tile/plumbing) and $80/hour (electrician). I believe labor made up about 2/3rds of the cost, and I sourced super cheap materials & DIY’d the rest!

      1. Good to know how that works for you!! We have more skills now 11 years later, and could probably DIY more – we just demo’d our basement ourselves and stripped and painted the whole exterior of our house. Saves a ton of money!

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