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5 Before & After Bathroom Transformations

If you’re interested in completing a before and after bathroom transformation, one thing to note is that bathroom renovations are exciting, expensive, and complicated. Thoughtful planning, research, and hiring the right team are the first steps you need to take to get the spa-like bathroom of your dreams. 


Bathrooms are complicated rooms to renovate because of all of the different trades and elements involved. The team will consist of a general contractor, plumber, electrician, tiler, and often other specialty tradespeople, such as a stone fabricator to craft your shower curbs, bench seats, and more (note that as the client you will typically contract directly with the general contractor, who will then provide all of the other trades needed for the project). Bathroom transformations almost always require some type of permit, if not multiple permits, to ensure everything is up to code. It is important to hire tradespeople who are skilled and experienced, so that you don’t end up with tiles that are not cut or installed correctly, or even worse, a bathroom that is unsafe, or lacks proper clearances making it difficult to use. 


These are all key reasons why we recommend you hire an expert interior designer to ensure you get the best results for your bathroom renovation. We will help you avoid costly mistakes, manage your budget and the various trades involved in the project, not to mention design a beautiful and luxurious bathroom for your home! 


I’m sure the first question on everyone’s mind is, how much does it cost to renovate your bathroom? 

Short answer: it depends, but a bathroom renovation costs somewhere in the $30,000 to $120,000 range. At a minimum, you should budget $30,000 for the renovation of a standard size bathroom, including a tub and/or shower. Do keep in mind that this minimum starting budget will cover some labor and cost-effective finishes and fixtures, but it is likely not enough to cover design fees, which on average will add an additional fifteen to thirty percent of your budget. 


In this post, we will reveal a variety of striking before and after bathroom renovations in the $30,000 to $50,000 range, while sharing some useful bathroom remodeling tips. (Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will show you before and after bathroom transformations in the $50,000 to $120,000 range). These include powder bathrooms and secondary bathrooms, such as a kids bathroom, and guest bathrooms. All of the bathroom remodel examples featured here have one thing in common: They’re modern and livable, featuring natural and organic materials, which are quintessential components of Lorla Studio’s modern, warm, and approachable style. 






Before and After: A Dated 1990s Powder Room Gets a Stylish Glow Up 

This dated, 1990s-era powder room, located on the ground floor of a modern home in Washington, DC, got a modern, organic and sexy glow up. We said goodbye to the beige walls, creamy ceramic floor tiles, and dull white vanity, and hello to dark plaster walls, a floating marble vanity, and polished nickel and ribbed glass accents. The homeowner entertains frequently, and wanted a beautiful bathroom for guests to use. We replaced all of the finishes and fixtures and installed a floating carrara marble vanity and sink in lieu of a traditional vanity. While the large honed marble vanity was a splurge, it is a showstopper that creates a timeless, modern, and organic feeling that wows guests. This bathroom is full of natural and organic materials (marble, lime plaster walls, and handmade terracotta tiles) that create a dramatic yet peaceful environment. While natural materials typically cost more than man-made versions, their beauty is second to none, and they often become more beautiful as the patina over time. The total spent on transforming this bathroom is approximately $50,000. 


Hot tip # 1: Choose where to save and where to spend. This marble vanity was worth every penny, but to ensure we had enough room in the budget for it, we made the strategic decisions to keep all of the plumbing fixtures in the same locations, work within the existing footprint, and skip a wall mount faucet in favor of a single hole deck mount faucet. These are all cost-saving tactics and represent another example of why you should hire a pro—interior designers can help you make the most of your budget. 





Before and After: A Fresh and Fun DC Powder Room is Now Colorful and Energetic

This fresh and fun DC powder room got a speedy makeover with colorful terrazzo tiles on the wall that pop against the existing aged black terracotta floor tiles and a modern matte black vanity. We introduced matte black lighting, accessories, and graphic photography to complete this huge transformation. What was an old and unremarkable powder room is now a fun, energetic space that is one of the homeowner’s favorites. By keeping the existing toilet and floor tiles in place, this bathroom came in closer to $30,000. 




Before and After: A Girl’s Bathroom Goes From Forgettable to Fun

Honed marble mosaic floor tiles and pink Fireclay ceramic tiles in the shower take this sweet girl’s bathroom from forgettable to fun. Installing shower tiles in a vertical stack (the tiles and grout lines align - they are not offset) is a modern take, while the honed calacatta marble mosaic floor provides a dose of organic movement that grounds the space. We love the feeling that can be created from juxtaposing modern materials and methods along with organic, natural, and timeless materials. The existing tub was reglazed, but we installed new polished nickel fixtures and a new shower glass door to complete this approachable and modern bathroom remodel. The approximate cost of this before and after bathroom transformation was $35,000. 


Hot tip # 2: If you have a bathtub that looks a bit run-down but is otherwise fine, ask your general contractor if they can reglaze it. They can sand down the existing finish, fill in any cracks and chips, and apply a fresh primer and finish. When completed, your bathtub looks as good as new, and for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Not to mention, consider the environmental upside of not disposing of a perfectly good bathtub!






Before and After: A Modern Bathroom Remodel Breaks the Budget Formula 

The $40,000 Washington, DC, powder bathroom before and after is an example of a modern and livable powder bathroom that breaks our budget formula. It’s important to understand that the cost of a transformation will depend entirely on all of the conditions that are specific to your project. This modern powder bathroom with black fixtures, a matte black vanity, and an organic patterned black and white cement floor tile is a showstopper located in the finished basement of this home. The basement was previously unfinished, which is why—although compact in size—this powder bathroom has a higher cost associated with it. Running plumbing, electrical, obtaining permits and overcoming some difficulties encountered during construction was well worth it in the end. 


Hot Tip # 3: It is hard for us to break out the exact cost of this contemporary bathroom remodel before and after, and that is because it was part of a much larger renovation project, including finishing the entire 1,400 square foot basement. If budget permits, we recommend completing as much work as you can at one time as opposed to breaking a large job into several smaller projects. This will save you time, money, and stress in the end. Plus, you get the added bonus of your very own HGTV big reveal moment (or you will if you work with us!). Trust us, it is well worth it. 



Before and After: This Bathroom is Small, Sweet, and Full of Style

Small and sweet are the words that come to mind with this tiny powder room remodel that cost $35,000. We relocated this tiny powder bathroom from under the stairs to the newly created entry nook in this Bethesda, Maryland, home. Small spaces present the opportunity to be bold, daring, and to have a little fun. We installed beadboard on the walls painted in a dark, teal color that pops against this playful and timeless Rebecca Atwood wallpaper. Small on space but big on style, this bathroom before and after is a timeless balance of styles and colors. The mirror was found in a flea market in France, and the aged brass finishes on the lighting and faucet are gentle and warm, inviting you to stay a while. 


As you can see, many remarkable changes can be made to bathrooms while sticking to a $30,000 to $50,000 budget. In part two, I’ll highlight some projects within the $50,000 to $120,000 range, so that you can get a sense of what a larger investment can yield.


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