A couple of years ago we began renovating Camellia’s Cottage- we had a kitchen, two and one half baths plus numerous other whole house updates – we made our wish lists, prioritized and came to the conclusion that our main goal was that each project would have to be beautiful and budget friendly. For this bathroom, the wish list was:

  • Replace the vinyl flooring with tile.
  • Replace the old, almost child sized toilet
  • Replace the low double sink and cabinet
  • Remove, get rid of, expel the fiberglass tub!

Well… best laid plans sometimes go awry- the despised fiberglass tub- could not be removed. It is an upstairs bathroom, even if it was removed, how would we ever get it out of the house?? To my horror, as chainsaws were being discussed- the plumber was poking around and said, ‘Why would you want to spend the money to replace this tub? The older fiberglass tubs are heavier and better made than the new ones. And getting a porcelain tub upstairs would be almost impossible.’ My heart sank. That tub was the worst thing in the bathroom, at least to me! I thought about it…long and hard- put the men on another project and went back to my drawing board. Here is what we came up with…


The carpenters built a frame right outside the original tub wall, with 2×4’s- we had no space to waste! They covered the frame with sheetrock and on the top right next to the top of the existing tub- our tile man cut and placed the same marble that we were using for the floor. It gave the old tub a ‘spa’ feel to it, with a wider ledge than the old tub. We replaced the old bathtub fittings with brushed nickel and the old fiberglass tub isn’t an eyesore anymore!

We came in well under budget for a bathroom remodel. This update worked so well for us, we updated the equally despised fiberglass shower in another bathroom the same way! For another look at what we did to the fiberglass tub- see the photographs below:

As for the rest of the bathroom, almost everything we had on our wish list was installed. The sink was reused, it was porcelain- we updated the fixture. A deep shelf was installed instead of a cabinet; and to keep the bathroom from looking too slick or sterile, we opted for wicker storage baskets below.

The old, out-of-date, cramped bathroom seems larger but is actually about 6 inches smaller! A beautiful, budget friendly transformation. If you have an old fiberglass tub, maybe this will give you an idea of how to update it. And most of all, remember this whether in renovating or in life-

‘If your plan isn’t working, put down the plan!’

Love y’all, Camellia

One thought on “Budget Bathroom Update…

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