Master Bathroom Renovation Before & After (Phase One)

When we moved into our house seven years ago the bathroom vanity was falling apart, and . . . kind of gross. So gross I didn’t even want to use it. So we didn’t. For seven years. I built a shelf on the wall above the tub and put most of the bathroom “stuff” on the shelf. Everything else that we regularly use (toothpaste and toothbrushes, hair dryer, deodorant, makeup, etc., etc.) just sat on top of the countertop. The lovely, chipped, mauve countertop. 🙂  

I’d been holding off on renovating the master bathroom because it was the last major room in our house that needed updating. I was a little sad at the thought of not having any more rooms to tear apart and fix. But I decided in November that it was finally time. 


Instead of tackling the whole bathroom all at once I decided to break the renovation into two phases. Phase two will involve re-tiling the tub and shower; I’ll start that sometime in 2022. Phase one, however, is complete and that’s what I’m sharing today. I intentionally hid the “phase two” side of the bathroom. As of now it’s still sporting the 90’s cream and mauve square tiles. 🙂 

Master Bathroom Before & After

Here’s a “phase one” view of the master bathroom before and after:

Master Bathroom Before Comparison
Master Bathroom Renovation Final

Master Bathroom Renovation : The Process

While I was in the middle of this bathroom renovation a friend said something to me about how she would have “no idea” how to even start a bathroom renovation. I know it can seem overwhelming if you’ve never done it before, so I thought I would outline my steps below. As I often say, I’m pretty sure if I can do it, anyone can! Here’s a very basic overview of the process:

Bathroom Vanity

I designed a new vanity, then got to work building the shell of it. I did this so that as soon as the new backsplash was up and the old vanity was out, the new vanity (shell) could immediately be put into place. The less time we have to live without bathroom sinks and running water, the better. 🙂

Build Bathroom Vanity Shell

There are advantages to building your own bathroom vanity (customize it to your storage needs, affordability, etc.), but of course you don’t need to make your own if you’re not yet confident in your building skills. There are plenty of pre-built vanities available in most standard sizes.


After some very basic demo (removing the old backsplash and the two light fixtures), I tiled the wall behind the vanity, then grouted. I left the bottom two rows un-tiled (just temporarily) so that I wouldn’t ruin them when it came time to remove the old countertop.

Wall Tile Bathroom
Full Wall Tile Bathroom Installation

In order to tile all the way to the ceiling I spent a lot of time standing on the bathroom vanity. I chose to tile early in the renovation process because I didn’t like the thought of standing on the new vanity countertop or spilling tile cement and grout all over it.

Bathroom Demo

At this point I removed the old sinks and ripped out the vanity. Goodbye particleboard. Goodbye 1993.

Master Bathroom Demo Day Countertop
Master Bathroom Demo Day Vanity Removal
Master Bathroom Demo Day

FYI – Don’t follow my bad example. Closed toe shoes are a much better choice than Chacos on demo day. 😉

Install Vanity

At this point I was able to bring up the already-finished vanity shell. I used heavy-duty 1/4″ construction screws to fix it securely to the wall through the studs.

Master Bathroom Renovation Vanity

After the vanity was in I started building its drawers and doors and worked on this throughout the rest of the renovation. The functionality of this vanity is my favorite part of the whole bathroom. Be sure to check out the three hidden features of my bathroom vanity.


I went back and forth on what kind of countertop to get. For now I went with this marble laminate countertop. It was about 12 times more affordable than quartz or marble, and in my opinion, it looks almost as nice as the real deal. We will see how it holds up. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Drop In Porcelain Sink

The major downside to the laminate countertop option is not being able to have an under-mount sink, which is easier to clean than the drop-ins I had to get instead. But I was able to cut the counter to size, make the sink cutouts, and install it all by myself, which is a DIY win. 🙂

Laminate Countertop Cutting
Laminate Countertop Sink Cutouts
Laminate Countertop Sink Cutouts with Jigsaw

I fixed small L brackets at various spots inside the vanity to screw the countertop in place.

Installing Laminate Countertop L Brackets

Sinks and Faucets

After the counter was on I added the new sinks and faucets. Hooray for running water in the bathroom.

Caulking Bathroom Sink
Installing Drop In Sink

After the counter was on and the sinks were in I finished tiling the bottom two rows that I had left unfinished.


One of my favorite DIY projects is making my own light fixtures. I put two together, then Jim helped me wire them up.

Diy Light Fixture for Master Bathroom Renovation


I ripped out the old laminate flooring and replaced it with a waterproof “luxury” vinyl.

Vinyl Plank Flooring in Bathroom
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring in Bathroom

Final TouCHES

I hung mirrors, painted the walls, made a wood & brass towel rack, made a brass toilet paper holder, hung some art, installed trim, and finally, added brass knobs to the vanity. Phase one of the bathroom renovation . . . . complete!

DIY Towel Holder
DIY Towel Holder Brass Knobs
Green Painted Master Bathroom Vanity
Brushed Gold Bathroom Faucet
DIY Brass Toilet Paper Holder
Master Bathroom Green DIY Vanity

Bathroom Sources:

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