Custom Search

Monday, June 6, 2011

Frugal Bathroom Remodel: Aesthetics vs Frugality

Still in the thinking stage. We had our kitchen contractor out for a look-see. He liked my idea: to add on to the larger of our two inadequate bathrooms by bumping out another small space. This would lead to a two-part room, with a sink in the entry space and the bath and toilet in the new space. Plus we could put in a little storage space. The current space does not have room for a towel rack.

The bid wasn't too bad. We could do it. And maybe we will. But then I realized how we could bump out the other bathroom and put in a tub. The current shower--which probably cost under $100, I kid you not--is tiny and the cheapest plastique. Mr. FS won't even use it and he's on the thin side. Anyway, that shower could be removed and turned into a closet! Mr. FS estimates that the cost would be around 40% of the other plan.

As usual, I start out by trying to do the conventional thing, but then my frugality comes up against the norm. That is why I don't have a backsplash in my kitchen (I don't like them and they are expensive). In spite of dire predictions, the wall looks fine.

The contractor said that we would need a tub surround and that decent quality surrounds cost about $1000 for material plus labor. Tiling--the beautiful solution--is much more expensive. Oh no! I don't want that ugly surround! I also don't want expensive tilework.

I know! Let's put in a tub with no shower--or a little hand shower.

So the combination of my aesthetics and my frugality is going to lead--once more--to a choice that will mystify others. I love my kitchen, which satisfied both aesthetics and frugality, but my sister-in-law, extremely conventional, said, when I showed her pictures, "OK, so where are the AFTER PICTURES?"

Here's what I'm reading.

Any words of wisdom?


Duchesse said...

While a diagram would help a lot, and I may be confused, I would not put a sink in an entry and then the tub and toilet in another section. I would put the toilet+sink in one section and the tub (or shower, or whatever) in the other. Because that way someone can shower and someone else can use the toilet if need arises. One of the best bathrooms I saw had two separate entries, so the person in the bath part could enter entirely separately from someone in the toilet part.

Even if you have more than one bathroom, this is a good feature.

Any reno can be 'overbuilt' but the other end of the spectrum is that bitty cheap plastic shower, so I'm sure you will find a happy medium.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse-I will post diagrams when I get farther along. The 2-part idea (which I LOVE) is on the backburner at the moment. I think I will start with the simpler project (and get rid of that shower). It's amazing how junky some of the things are in my poor house (not stuff I did--previous owners).