A to-the-studs bathroom remodel in a 100-year-old farmhouse is nearing completion – take a look at the farmhouse main bathroom plan for decor and progress so far!
I’m so happy to tell you that we are *this* close to being done with our farmhouse fixer main bathroom remodel!
As a recap, we bought a 100-year-old farmhouse on 3 acres in January of 2018 and have been working to make it sturdy and livable since.
There is a manufactured home on the property we’ve been able to live in, which has allowed us to do a lot of the remodel ourselves and coordinate what we couldn’t do.
Those things included:
- A new foundation & plans for addition – the old foundation was on rocks and boulders (see the exterior before tour here). This took almost the whole first year – first to get the building permit, then to find someone to do it (surprisingly hard in our area!), and then the 4 months it took to build and finish the new stone foundation. It took awhile to find someone to draw up our plans, too, and get them approved – all things not new to anyone who’s done major remodels.
- Siding, dry rot fix, and new window moldings after we tore off the old vinyl siding. This was the rest of the first year.
- 8-foot bump-out to the back bedroom to be able to fit a queen bed in a main floor master. This took the first months of year 2.
- Electrical and plumbing. Even though we were told it had been updated, it was shoddy and almost everything has had to be replaced. We did hire a plumber for the bathroom and laundry, since fixtures were moving, and an electrician for moving our whole electrical box (it was on the outside and the wall we were removing for the bump-out). Other than that, Brian has done all the fixing of electrical and plumbing – all to code now under our permit. Seriously, some of the things we found, it’s a wonder it didn’t burn down! The rest of year 2 and into year 3.
- Removing a wall between the kitchen and enclosed porch and installing a load-bearing beam.
- Tear out stairs and rework them to code and safety. We’re still waiting on the contractor we hired to do this – it will be our last major thing before we can install flooring and finish walls, etc.
As you might imagine, there’s a lot more but I think you can get the idea that this house has needed almost everything replaced.
There were a lot of “remuddles” done as well, which we are fixing to be more in line with the age of the house, such as removing wallboard with modern texture and replacing a wall in the main living area that had originally been there.
You can see all the farmhouse articles here, including the before tours and recaps of the renovation.
With all that, we are super excited to finally being in what feels like the home stretch to moving in! Our goal has been to make the main floor livable so we could move in and then continue to work on the other things – like the whole second floor, lol – afterwards.
And the first room that we’re finishing is the main bathroom, which we’ve been working on for awhile. If you’re a Simple Homemade Life follower, you’ve seen and heard our trials with tiling – and the surprise I got when I realized tiling a floor with larger tiles was a LOT easier than the smaller tiles I had done previously.
But I’ve never shared my vision for the bathroom, so I thought I’d take you through a bit of the bathroom remodel and the decor plans I have for it.
Farmhouse Main Bath Remodel Progress
This is what the bathroom looked like when we bought the farmhouse. Small, cramped, and not very farmhouse, right? Also, not very usable since there wasn’t an electrical outlet in the room (that was a new one to me – how did the renters do their hair?).
When we started demo, we found that all the original walls were shiplap or wood – often 10 and 12 inch wide old growth!
We also found that there had been a window on the tub wall and my goal all along was to add one there, so it was fun to see that would be restoring a window to its original spot.
The Bathroom Remodel Progress
As part of our master bedroom addition, we were able to move the wall between the bath and the bedroom 2 feet to gain much needed space in the bathroom (the wall moved is to the right in the photo above).
Everything was taken down to the studs and we salvaged all the wood we could. In the demoing, we discovered this area had originally been the pantry with a window and door to the kitchen in the wall on the left.
Underneath the white paneling on the ceiling was original wood that we were able to salvage, too.
Then it was a matter of plumbing, electrical, insulation, and restoring the wood walls with original shiplap.
You can see the wood ceiling we saved, as well, which will all be painted white.
Then it was time to tile the floor and shower. We really wanted to hire all this out after tiling our two previous bathrooms and not really wanting to do that again.
Two things were against us – the trouble we had finding anyone to give us a bid (contractors and workers are hard to find in our area and super busy) AND the high cost of the bids we did get.
Yikes. So, we DIY’d the floor and the shower tile.
And I learned that laying larger tile in a small area was WAY easier than our previous experience and took only half a day with Brian cutting and me laying. Another couple hours grouting and it was done.
SO worth it. Want to know how much we saved on the floor? $1600 was the bid we got for our 60-square-foot floor, so, uh, WELL worth it.
The shower was different, though. We were quoted a super high price and then one at half that. We initially said no to both, but then a week later realized that it might be worth the smaller amount and tried to contact the bidder, but he never called us back.
With no choice, we started it ourselves (with help from You Tube videos, ha!). And now after doing this ourselves with help from a friend, including all the water-proofing, sloping of the floor, bench, and niche, and finding all the tile (edges, thresholds, corners, etc.) we would’ve hired this in a minute for the lower amount. It was hard.
And many of our stumbling blocks came from being novices and choosing the wrong tile that didn’t have accessory pieces. So it took us months to complete.
But it’s done and I do love it!
Farmhouse Main Bathroom Decor Plan
Next to the subway tile shower, I’m most excited about our new dresser-turned-vanity.
I knew after converting a dresser to a vanity in our previous master bathroom, that I’d want to do it again if I could. It took months of looking for a dresser of the right proportions with the right drawer set up, but I found one that’s almost perfect on Facebook Marketplace.
I want to say that the reason I like to use dressers is two-fold:
- They look great and add a unique element to bathrooms.
- But mainly for me, they are $100’s of dollars cheaper than bathroom vanities. Our dresser was $125 and is all wood.
The “almost perfect” part of this dresser was the fact that the top had some veneer pieces coming off and also two holes the size of nickels at the back of the top where a mirror had been attached at some point.
It needed to be painted and I decided to paint a faux marble finish. It turned out great (after a few trial-and-errors, but that’s the great thing about paint), and with six coats of water-based polyurethane is smooth and ready to be put to use.
I’ll have a tutorial about how I did this as soon as the vanity is in place when I can get some good after photos.
Sink: Kohler Memoirs Stately 17″ Drop In Bathroom Sink. The sink was chosen for its vintage look as well as its overhang so the painted top would be protected more.
Faucet: Glacier Bay Lyndhurst 8-inch Widespread 2-Handle High-Arc Bathroom Faucet in Brushed Nickel. I decided to go with silver vs. oil-rubbed bronze as it seems a more classic, been-around-longer look. Brushed finishes show less fingerprints and the shape is similar to what our kitchen faucet will look like.
Mirror: Threshold 30″ x 42″ French Country Wall Mirror. I bought this more than a year ago after seeing it on Young House Love, and I love it. It’s often sold out, and I’m not sure they are making more, but I’m providing a link just in case.
Vanity Sconces: LNC 9.1-in H On/Off Switch Black Swing Arm Modern Glass Shade. You can choose hard-wire or outlet for these sconces. I liked that they were adjustable and would tie into the black floors and brown-gold mirror. I don’t care for the modern clear glass shades, and prefer a softer light for makeup, so I will be looking for similar replacement shades in white.
Subway Tile: Satori Hudson Brilliant White Glossy 12-in x 12-in Glossy Porcelain Brick Wall Tile. We chose the sheets of subway tile thinking they would be easier (and no math needed!) than larger, single tiles. Maybe they did go faster, but with setting and then grouting, we’re now thinking larger may have been better.
Note: I’m linking to the style and brand we SHOULD’VE used with the accessory pieces that matched, not what we did use (a Daltile exclusive to Home Depot). We eventually found our way to Lowes’s great tile area and realized our mistake.
Shower Floor, Bench, Niche Tile: Restore Matte Black Hexagon 10 in. x 12 in. x 6.35 mm Glazed Ceramic Mosaic Tile. This had been my dream tile for years. It was a bear to work with, but I love, love, love it.
Shower Head: Attract with Magnetix Dual Shower Head and Adjustable Handheld in Brushed Nickel. This is a compromise for Brian and me – I wanted a shower head with a handheld head that was on a slider and Brian didn’t want to screw anything into that tile he just labored over!
After living with white tile floors in our previous home, I knew I didn’t want to have that again in a bathroom. My preference was wood, but there were reasons why that wouldn’t work for us.
Next I would’ve liked the whole floor done with the black hexagon tiles, but they are pretty expensive and a bear to lay in that amount.
So I searched for a tile that would be matte black and maybe have a fun element to it. I think what I found is a nice balance, and it was certainly easy to lay.
I’ve been using these fun towels from World Market for about a year. I like the balance of white, but with enough color in it that it doesn’t look dirty immediately.
Shower accessories: Dark Green Plastic Pump Bottles. For holding shampoo, conditioner, and oil. I’ll be looking for waterproof labels soon.
I love the unusual color of the bottles and they will coordinate with the one thing I haven’t shown yet – a vintage china hutch I’m going to use for a linen cabinet. We painted it a yummy dark green and I think it’s going to look great – stay tuned for more on that!
I think all I have left to find is the towel hooks I want to use.
Hopefully we’ll have the room finished in the next few weeks and we’ll have a full reveal and video to share, which you can guess I’ll be so excited about.
Curious about the old farmhouse? Check out the page here with all the articles since we bought it.
Like to see how we turned an early 1980’s ranch house into a cottage, complete with long front porch, french doors, and vintage touches? See the full tour here with links to the various remodels.