Bathroom Remodel Update

If you want to catch up on our bathroom remodel, check out these posts:

I had a plumber swing by today and scope out the bathroom and offer recommendations.

First up on the list: our tub. So we for sure are tiling the surround with a subway tile and a charcoal grout (YES!) but that looks like we won’t fit in on his schedule until Mid May which is just fine.

As for the tub, I think because it is already wired for a tub with whirlpool jets that we will replace it with whirlpool jets – an initial expense but we LOVE our whirlpool tub and it it is already set up for a whirlpool tub, the cost of replacing it is also less.

We are thinking about splurging on a fancy shower head. The plumber offered a wholesale plumbing supply company that they typically work with to visit with them about options so I’m working to figure out a tub and shower head with them.

I ordered the toilet and tile from Home Depot and I’ll probably pick that up so it can be ready when our tiler comes next week to do the floors.

On to the vanity. I had debated painting it but if we have to pull it out to re-tile it anyway, might as well replace the vanity right? The vanity is kind of funny shaped – it is actually a kitchen counter top depth so it is already hard to find a sink/counter top to replace it. It is also 48″ long – the standard size is usually 49″x22″ so we will have to custom make the counter top anyway. If we area already customizing the vanity, might as well actually customize it! I’ve been working with a designer on that and this was the original idea I had for the vanity:

A first draft design of what I’m looking for

I had mentioned double sinks but the plumber advised against it considering the size of our bathroom – he knows more than I do and more counter space/storage for me!!

This is turning into a much bigger deal than I initially expected! They say bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive to remodel! They weren’t kidding! Here is the design/vibe I’m going for:

As always, thoughts, ideas and suggestions are always welcome. We have remodeled some but never this in depth. Craig will start in the field this weekend so I’ll be taking on the bulk of the decisions for this project! He’s so easy going “Yes dear” and “whatever you think dear!”

Update: I got my designs back today! What do you think?

I made a few requests. I’d like to see what the storage looks like in the cupboards. I’d like to have a pull out drawer that turns into a step stool under the sink for the boys. I’d like to see the handles in champagne bronze! Check out my inspiration:

The initial pricing is well over our budget but I’m asking my friends: is it worth it? It will provide the storage and organization I’m looking for in the exact style I’m looking for. Have you gone the custom route? Have you regretted it? We plan to live in this house for the foreseeable future. Should I go all out or be more conservative? UGH! I’m not sure what to do!

The cupboard above the toilet adds about $850 to the bill – that could wait. I also feel like I would hit my head on it. How much storage would the taller cupboard on the vanity provide? Would they be worth $1,000 more?

Help me friends!



  1. Joanna
    April 18, 2020 / 10:47 am

    Since you asked, I would do taller cabinet with the vanity. It would allow you to store things that you don’t use often, but that still belong in the bathroom. Or, you could use the high shelf for things you don’t want within reach of the boys. I wouldn’t install the cabinet over the toilet, because if it is deep enough to be useful, you would probably hit your head on it. You might be able to add some shallow shelves with “”pretty” storage for some smaller items (baskets or jars in your style) for a lot less.

  2. Shayna
    April 18, 2020 / 11:36 am

    Where do you plan on storing towels for the boys? That would be the only reason I can think of to go ahead with the over the toilet cabinet – otherwise like you said it can wait and maybe be “phase 2”! I think a lot of it depends on what kind of stuff you’re trying to store for the uppers on the vanity. I LOVE the step stool for the boys! It’s going to be so pretty no matter what – love the inspiration

  3. Sherry Whalen
    April 18, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    Bathroom remodels are interesting – hard and expensive enough that it is difficult to change anything if you absolutely don’t like it. The virtual pics are a great way to imagine what it will look like! I really like the vanity area, but the cupboard over the toilet makes the area look ‘top heavy’. And this coming from me – I love cupboards!! Anyway, since it is expensive, is it something you could add later? You will likely want something there – is there something available that would be more balanced? I have a smaller cupboard over my toilet, it is about 6 – 7 inches deep, stores toilet paper, soap, lotion bottles, extra wash cloths. It isn’t deep enough to hit my head on, but provides storage. Anyway, have fun!

  4. Sandie
    April 18, 2020 / 12:38 pm

    I like the vanity area just the way it’s designed. You can never have too much storage! I also like the idea of the over the toilet cabinet. Cabinets in that location are typically the same depth (or shallower!) than your upper kitchen cabinets, so the likelihood of hitting your head is pretty small, especially with the amount of space between the top of the tank anD bottom of the cabinet. It’s a discreet place to store your TP, Feminine needs, and safe place to store bathroom cleaning chemicals where little guys won’t be able to get to them. BUT- I also can see the point of someone who said it looked “heavy”, and suggested shelves with baskets or crates instead. Much cheaper than the cabinet and just as functional.

  5. Ellie
    April 18, 2020 / 12:49 pm

    I agree with Sherry the over the toilet cabinet looks top heavy. Joanna’s idea of shelves and baskets would provide some storage and be lighter and still use the space. Good luck with your project. It is a big expense but choose the things you want for the long term rather than just the cost. You will live with your choices for a long time

  6. Linda
    April 18, 2020 / 1:00 pm

    I have a cabinet over my toilet and I have never hit my head and it is a repurposed cabinet from the kitchen. That is the only place in my tiny bathroom to store mjy towels and such. But you could wait and donit later.

  7. KIM Z
    April 18, 2020 / 2:49 pm

    Make it what you want, especially if you plan on living there for a long time. My only concern with the cabinets on each side of the sink is if the boys will be using this bathroom. Kids love playing in a sink & water goes everywhere. I would hate to see water damage to your new cabinets. I am sure what ever you decide will be beautiful.

  8. Mary
    April 18, 2020 / 2:50 pm

    I have a cabinet over my toilet that I got at Lowe’s hardware for less than $100.00. Perfect for toilet paper, Cleaning supplies, etc. and it is shallow so there is little to no chance of hitting my head. I also got it in white to blend with the white toilet so it does not look bulky or out of place.

  9. Sherri C
    April 18, 2020 / 4:05 pm

    I wouldn’t have the cabinets “sit” on the countertop. Water could ruin the finish. Looks great but might not be practical. With the way the picture looks, there doesn’t seem to be much room for a toothbrush holder and soap dispenser.

  10. Cindy F
    April 18, 2020 / 6:37 pm

    I had cabinets over the toilets in a previous house and no one ever hit their heads. I wouldn’t go with open shelving there as the toilet paper “dust” will get everywhere. Closed storage makes for easier cleaning. With paint and/or decoration on the wall it won’t look top heavy. The cabinet surrounds over the sink look great but I too would worry about water damage and you could never keep anything in front of it because of having to open the doors. You lose counter space with them coming all the way to the counter. Maybe having them come down 3/4 of the way would give you more counter space and keep it from water damage. Lots of design options with more counter space too. Lots of advice from all of us but it’s your bathroom. 🙂

  11. Colleen
    April 18, 2020 / 8:02 pm

    Your likes and what works for you are most important.

    IMHO: you don’t need the expensive cabinet above the toilet if you have new cabinets on either side of the mirror. Use that space for some artwork instead, or, as suggested, add some shelves later for a lighter, airier look.

    While I like the cabinets on either side of the sink/mirror, I also wonder if they will make the space at the sink seem cramped. Perhaps shorter cabinets, with a nice tile work underneath all the way across below them and the mirror?

    Good luck with your project. Please continue to post pics as it’s fun to see progress being made.

  12. Paula N.
    April 18, 2020 / 9:43 pm

    Personally, I wouldn’t have the two side cabinets on sink counter top. Looks crowded. I have a cabinet over my commode that stores a lot. It’s wood colored though . Go with what makes you feel happy when you are in that room.

  13. Wendy P
    April 18, 2020 / 11:23 pm

    Think about what you are really going to put in each cupboard. I would love a larger one in the room for towels. I would not do the pull out step up for the boys – they will grow past the stage of needing it way before you are going to replace the vanity again – and then the area is of no use to you. Just buy a good quality stable step stool. I saw that you had the drawers on the bottom – think about reversing that – drawers are handy – maybe one for each family member – for personal items. One sink = more counter space. Of which there is never enough. Good luck with your decisions. I would go for one large cupboard / bigger mirror / drawers.

  14. Susan the Farm Quilter
    April 18, 2020 / 11:52 pm

    If this was my bathroom, I would not use the dark cabinets…in the pictures your bathroom looks smaller and with the dark cabinets, it really feels heavy, dark and small. The cabinets on top of the counter really makes the sink area appear teeny and squished…as much as the extra hidden storage is welcome, it makes me feel claustrophobic. Love all the drawers on the vanity – best use of storage there. The cabinet over the toilet is really expensive and looks overwhelmingly huge. As to the cost, what would Dave say?? All that said, it is your bathroom, so only you and your family need to like it. I would find boxes to simulate the cabinets on the vanity and over the toilet, stick them in place and see how it feels to you!

  15. Susan Rizzi
    April 19, 2020 / 3:36 am

    In my opinion, the cabinet over the toilet looks too overwhelming. Some type of shelving and baskets would be more open, lighter looking and still good storage. Also, I think you won’t be happy with cabinets down to the counter. It cuts down your counter area too much. Will you have an electric outlet someplace for hairdryer, electric toothbrushes, etc. I wish that we had 4 outlets instead of only 2. Think about how you presently use a bathroom counter – do you lay your toothpaste down after you squzee it on your brush or do you put it away before actually brushing? Where do you put your makeup on and is it all in a cabinet or bag while you are applying it? Will you have enough space for both boys to wash their hands at the same time without getting those long cabinets wet? Maybe cabinets halfway down the wall would be a better compromise. Don’t forget to consider (or ask the designer) how the overhead lighting would work with the cabinets. Will long cabinets block the light to any extent?

  16. Wanda
    April 19, 2020 / 11:57 pm

    We have a overjohn cabinet over our toilet that is white and it doesn’t look heavy at all. I can’t remember, but we didn’t pay anywhere near 850.00 for it. Open shelving with or without baskets will have to be dusted and kept clutter free. Keep it all behind closed doors! With a smaller bathroom, lighter cabinets may be better than dark. But as others have said, it is your bathroom, and I’m sure it will turn out great, no matter what you decide!

  17. Bernadette
    April 20, 2020 / 1:34 am

    If I were you, I would go for a simple tile design. Those look so busy and you would be tired of it in a few years. A variegated marble design might be easier on the eye so you will be happy with it for many years to come. You know what they say, less is more.

  18. Sally
    April 20, 2020 / 4:49 am

    Be sure the drawers are as large as they can be for the space. In the drawing you received, the drawers look tiny and there appears to be a lot of wasted space between the drawers.

  19. April 20, 2020 / 5:44 pm

    Do it all now because it won’t get any cheaper and you won’t be more motivated. You won’t hit your head on the storage! Do it and be done done, as we quilters say.

    My only comment is black cabinets make the space look dark and tiny. Just a thought.

  20. Tammy
    April 21, 2020 / 1:15 am

    I like the cabinet above the toilet, I don’t think it’s as large as it looks in the picture. I would not do the cabinets on top of the vanity. You lose so much counter space and it makes it look to enclosed I wouldn’t do a real dark color for them only because as someone else commented tp dust. I did mine in a medium grey color and the dust shows in all the crevices. Will you lose your tall cabinet? That looks like it’s really good storage, maybe paint it. We have lived in our home 44 years and just redid our bathroom for the 3rd or 4th time, hopefully the last! If your cabinets are in good shape I would paint them and custom your countertop. Our son and daughter in law just redid their kitchen including the countertop with paint and new hardware It looks like a totally new kitchen. They went from wood grain look to a light grey. Custom prices are always higher. Good luck and can’t wait to see the results!

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