Mid-size bathroom makeovers

See the materials, design decisions and budgets needed to make these bathrooms work better for their owners

September 9, 2018

A midsize bathroom typically contains a substantial vanity, a toilet, a comfortable shower and a decent amount of elbow room. It’s the kind of thing you’ll see in many average suburban homes. While not extravagant on square footage, it’s enough space that the possibilities are nearly infinite. The following six bathroom makeovers — which range in size from 36 to 69 square feet — show what you can do to give these hardworking rooms more light, space and personality.

1. Basic to Beautiful Bathroom at a Glance Who uses this space: Keenan Miller and Danielle Thibaudeau Location: London, Ontario Size: 55 square feet (5.1 square meters) Designer: Crea Henry of Hampton Rowe Cost: between $15,000 and $20,000, which included moving a wall. The homeowners also did a lot of work themselves.

Before. The existing bathroom was functional and looked OK, but the homeowners wanted to add more square feet and update the style. Designer Crea Henry found they could move the entry wall to gain 12 more square feet.

After. Grayish-green shiplappaneling adds texture to the room, while the new roomier shower features elongated hexagonal tiles set vertically for visual interest.

Adding square footage allowed the homeowners to fit in a vanity that packs more storage. 

While the overall color palette stayed generally the same, Henry added character by introducing brushed-nickel plumbing fixtures, brushed-brass cabinet hardware and a three-bulb brushed-nickel caged sconce light fixture.

2. Green Tile to Black-and-White Style Bathroom at a Glance Who lives here: Ben and Margaret Wright and their goldendoodle, Hyran Location: Charleston, South Carolina Size: 36 square feet (3.3 square meters)  Cost: $4,300. The homeowners did all the work themselves, including demolition and moving some plumbing. The construction and plumbing materials came to $2,378. The floor and shower tile cost $1,344.

Before. The 1950s-era master bathroom had been a 4-by-4-foot half bathroom without a shower. The owners wanted a little more counter space and an updated color palette for the tile.

After. The homeowners reconfigured the room, moving the toilet under the window and adding a larger vanity, which was a buffet cabinet one of the homeowners converted. A wall-mounted faucet saves countertop space. The homeowners also used square footage from a couple of closets on the other side of the wall to create a walk-in shower with a geometric-tile floor. The room increased in size to 4½ by 8 feet.

.3. Gah to Gorgeous Bathroom at a Glance Who lives here: This was the guest bathroom of designer Jenna Sue of Jenna Sue Design. She no longer lives in the home.  Location: Sonora, California Size: 56 square feet (5.2 square meters); 7 by 8 feet Cost: between $4,000 and $6,000, including materials and labor. The homeowner was also the designer. 

Before. The original bathroom had a Harvest Gold bathtub and shower insert, vinyl floor tile and beige walls. 

After. Gray shiplap nailed right to the drywall and a buffet converted to a vanity kicked off the new modern farmhouse look. Patterned floor tile and accessories fill the room with personality.

A vintage-style claw-foot tub got a lime-and-chalk paint treatment that gives it an aged look.

4. Dated to Dazzling Bathroom at a Glance Who uses it: Two busy parents with three children Location: Hockessin, Delaware Size: 69 square feet (6.4 square meters); 13¾ by 5 feet Designer: Liza Nicole Interiors Cost: $40,000, which included materials, labor and design fees. The remodel involved moving plumbing, expanding the footprint, rearranging the door locations and adding radiant floor heating.

Before. Old fixtures, a tight layout and moisture issues made this Delaware bathroom feel unwelcoming.

After. Designer Liza Nicole helped the owners move plumbing around, take over a bedroom closet to expand the footprint and add all new tile, lighting and millwork. 

A tall, slim cabinet provides storage for towels and toiletries and gives a dose of visual warmth amid the crisp new white quartz countertop and Carrara marble floor tile. An antique-looking double vanity with pewter ring pulls creates a warm, refined look, while chrome faucets and mirror frames give the new roomier bathroom contemporary flair. 

5. Old to Bold Bathroom at a Glance Who lives here: A family of four Location: Petoskey, Michigan Size: 60 square feet (5.5 square meters) Designer: Lindsey Young of Designs by Dawn Cost: $15,000 to $16,000, which included about $9,800 for most materials and $3,500 for some labor. 

Before. The old Michigan farmhouse bathroom included a lot of wood paneling and fixtures that the homeowners wanted to update.

After. Bright colors and patterns gave the room a fresh new look. Adding a new custom vanity and repainting the claw-foot tub helped fill the room with even more personality.

Black fixtures set against a white wood plank backdrop offer a cool graphic element. 

6. Boring to Buttoned Up Bathroom at a Glance Who lives here: Ivana and Sean Jorgensen Location: Las Vegas Size: About 60 square feet (5.6 square meters) Cost: $10,000. The homeowners did most of the work themselves, including replacing a section of wall studs. They hired a plumber to replace original pipes with new copper ones.

Before. Granite countertops, beige floor tile and a basic frosted-glass shower stall did little to excite the owners of this Las Vegas home.

After. A jaw-dropping converted vanity anchors the remodeled bathroom. One of the homeowners bought a midcentury dresser online and worked with her husband to add a vessel sink on top and some waterproofing varnish to the exterior.

Hex tile on the floors and vanity wall, as well as a new black-tile and clear-glass shower, round out the new bathroom.

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