Affordable Master Bath Update

The first home we bought was built in 2008, and we purchased it in 2015. It wasn’t old, but the master bathroom had those square tiles that look like someone got them at a major discount so threw them in to save money. They weren’t even white; they were almond. The tub was a beige color that was just as awful as the almond. It made the bathroom look extremely dated even though it was only a few years old. Rather than gut the bathroom, which we couldn’t afford to do at the time anyway, we decided to do a cheap bathroom update.










Aside from the tiles, I didn’t like the odd corner shelf between the tub and shower (what DO you do with that anyway?). I bought a peace lily to hide most of the wall tile, added a basket with rolled-up towels, and candles. Then I hung wall art I got from Marshall’s. Voila! The corner didn’t look so bad anymore. Next we built a wooden bathtub tray to disguise the tub color a little bit, but also for me to use when I took baths to relax. It was the perfect place for candles, a laptop on busy nights, and even food, if I’m being honest. You can’t really tell, but the walls were a pale yellow when we moved in and we painted them a beige/taupe color to blend with the tiles more.


We changed the tiny faux chrome shower head to a bronze rainfall one, which included a handheld attachment to make the bathroom feel a little luxurious. After adding the bronze it started to bring the entire bathroom together. Working with what we were stuck with, almond tile and beige tub, I went for tones in the brown family instead of trying to fight the colors. Using white would’ve made the off-whites look more dated. We changed all the tub and shower hardware to bronze, along with the sink faucets. towel rods, and light fixtures. Changing those made the ugly gold knobs and hinges more apparent, so we swapped those out, too. Later we removed the huge mirror and replaced it with two faux bronze ones with a fun shape. Those big mirrors always remind me of apartments and it’s not something I wanted in my first home, even with the cheap wood frame. The very last thing we did was hide the McDonald’s bathroom floor, as I called it. We got sticky tiles that look like wood, and it really made a huge difference. Not just aesthetically, but it was even warmer on the feet!









The bathroom I hated turned into one I loved; even with the same tile. The lesson learned is to work with what you have-not against it. You’ll save lots of money and turn it into something you can be proud of since you did it yourself.


    1. Thank you! We put the vinyl floor tile right on top of the ugly tile. We got the kind that has sticky adhesive on the bottom and cut to fit each tile around the edge of the bathroom and the toilet. They stuck great and mimic wood flooring because they’re matte and a thicker plank that has been popular in recent years. If we got the 12×12 sticky tiles, it likely would’ve looked just as dated as the square almond tiles. Thanks for your comment, Ann!

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