complete 6x8 bath makeover bath for under $3000 - get the look!
for an interior designer, it’s not an uncommon for a client to spend upwards of well over $20k on a bathroom remodel - just on fixtures. as a general rule of thumb, contractors and plumbers will cost around $120-$150 an hour or $1000 per fixture. this generally pans out to approximately the price of fixtures or more, making it easy to spend $20,000 on a 6’ x 8’ bathroom.
unfortunately, for the majority of the population, spending $20,000 on fixtures for a bathroom remodel isn’t all that feasible. millennials in particular, care less about the overall quality of plumbing fixtures than they do about style. with more and more people turning to the internet to circumvent those white glove shipping charges and showroom markups, we decided to scavenge the internet to see how low we could really go for a quality, design-inspired bath, but at rock-bottom prices.
to start, we drew up our layout for our style: a universal 6’x8’ bath with 36” vanity, alcove tub, and tub/shower configuration. whether in the heart of downtown or in a brand new suburban development, this size and layout is bound to be familiar.
next up, we chose our design style and browsed for inspiration. we landed on the ever-so-pinterest-popular black and white, encaustic tiled bath. timeless and universally appealing.
after picking our style and determining our layout, we got to the good stuff: fixture picks. check out what we landed on!
matte black tub / shower trim - $322.49
a clean, modern and streamlined trim keeps it plain and simple. since the black of the trim itself is pretty bold, keeping the shower trim minimal ensures the bath doesn’t get too overwhelming.
note: all of our fixtures for this design are matte black to make that huge kind of design statement. this look can also be done with chrome fixtures, which can cut costs even further, running anywhere from ~20-40% less. we felt it necessary to complete this particular look and splurged a little. this trim is from symmons, which we love for several reasons: symmons is a favorite of plumbers and contractors alike, as most symmons trims come with universal valves. that means, in the future, if you get sick of your trim, it’s insanely easy to whip up a cheap and easy retrofit.
kohler bellwether tub - $616.23
the kohler bellwether is my favorite tub and I recommend it to virtually all of my clients doing a tub/shower combination - regardless of budget. it has the perfect height for stepping in and out of, but is still deep enough for a good soak. cast iron is going to outlive you and everyone you know (sorry), and it has a clean shape that will go with any decor, traditional, transitional, or contemporary. at such a great price (for a tub, at least), this is definitely an investment fixture you need to invest in.
home decorator’s collection vanity - $486.75
all delight of design readers and those that know me personally know that I have this “thing” against home depot. against all big box stores, really. this post was really a case study in quality and low-priced big-box finds than anything, and ultimately, I came out a believer. this vanity by home decorator’s collection is beautiful and you can get it for SO CHEAP. let’s be honest, you’re not getting the highest quality construction. it’s not going to last forever. it’s probably mostly ply, and you can tell that the hinges are misaligned. even still, it looks really nice and it will absolutely suffice for an inexpensive bath remodel.
one item I simply couldn’t bring myself to put on this list was a cheap and gaudy faucet; they exist, sure, but they shouldn’t. that thing will fall apart as soon as you say “that thing is going to fall apart and looks like crap.” one of kohler’s newest collections, components, was the catalyst for this design scheme. the mix-and-match handle & spout faucet collection has a masculine feel with a bold, impactful design. the tube spout is elegant, and the handles are an ornate focal point. the price is absolutely justified for the quality.
kohler ceramic impressions top - $486.68
a price-saving and practical fixture that we absolutely love is kohler’s one piece ceramic impressions. for a small vanity, you can get an undermount sink and custom-cut slab top, but your price will absolutely not be comparable. even if it is, the seamless top + sink makes the vanity much less fussy, making it not only super easy to clean, but also making the faucet stand out.
round matte black mirror - $189.95
unfortunately, one fixture we couldn’t find at a rock-bottom price, and were shockingly difficult to find, were stylish mirrors. we wanted one of the trendy oversized ones to be a focal point of our design, so we had to justify the higher pricepoint.
black and white pattern tile - $3.49 / sqft
encaustic tile is the key to our design, and it’s an incredible choice for SO many reasons. first, this is a porcelain tile, meaning that it has unrivaled durability. you don’t need to worry about chipping or staining. secondly, the encaustic pattern hides dirt and imperfections. let’s face it, bathrooms get dirty and grimy. this pattern, more than most, tends to conceal smudges and dirt until its next clean better than almost any tile. thirdly, the standard 8”x8” size is ideal, especially for the size of bathroom we’re working with.
ceramic subway tile - $4.79 / sqft
it’s far from difficult to find subway tile online - or in big box stores - for under $1. subway tiles, especially, is a case of “you get what you pay for.” a cheap subway tile is just that: cheap. the glaze will be uneven, barely even applied in some areas. account for a large amount of breakage, since the clay refinement is virtually nothing, making the tiles almost too brittle for install. account for a height variation of up to 30% between tiles, and sloped tile itself. spending a bit more on quality subway tile is worth its weight in gold, so absolutely don’t hesitate to put a bit more of your budget towards one of the most permanent fixtures in your bath.
it’s possible to spend $100’s on accessories alone, but luckily, towel bars, tp holders, robe hooks, etc., are some of the easiest to replace and install. take a risk with design, and don’t feel pressured to spend a large chunk of your budget on the accessories.
behr silver clouds paint - $27.98
a soft grey paint compliments the blacks and whites in the design, creating a tranquil space. behr is a great brand, and affordable. with a 6x8 space, you’ll just need a single gallon to cover all exposed walls with a double layer.
turkish towel set - $39.99
one way to make any bath feel luxurious is the finishings, such as towels. most people associate “turkish towel” with “pricey af,” but this towel set proves that entire mentality wrong. I’ve owned a $100 RH towel and I’ve owned this $40 full set of towels. 10/10 would absolutely choose these towels, everytime.
what do you think of this design? are there any ideas that you would utilize for your own space, or other low-cost options that you’ve used for your own projects? let us know in the comments!
x - mk