Bathroom Design: Three Different Price Points

As you know, I’m currently designing our kids’ bathroom. There is pretty much an endless amount of money you could spend on a bath remodel, given that plumbing, fixtures and tile are all involved! However, there are also really great more budget options that don’t look “budget.” To that end, I’ve put together three different price point options for finishes, as well as combinations of some of my favorites …

A couple of things are consistent between these designs, of course!  I purchased this antique piece that I’m going to convert into a vanity, and I’m already sold on using vertical wall paneling as exists throughout the house, topped with shaker peg rail around the perimeter of the room.  Otherwise, it’s decision time …

OPTION #1: HIGH

Marble herringbone floor tile: $35.60/sq ft

Irregular marble wall tile: $35/sq ft

Waterworks Easton unlacquered bathroom faucet: $1,400

Waterworks Easton unlacquered brass shower set: $4,938

Polished brass sconces: $458/ea

Medicine cabinet: $405

I love so many of the finishes and color combos here!  This layout is the most expensive primarily because of the Waterworks shower set and faucet, which are in unlacquered brass.  Although unlacquered brass is a ‘living’ finish that will instantly show patina and require tons of babying, it’s always the most expensive finish to choose.  First, because the material is pricey, and second because it’s custom and unreturnable.  I think it would look absolutely beautiful in pretty much every space in my house, but I have to admit that the kids’ bath is 100% the easiest place to eliminate this cost.  This room is already high maintenance enough, and the lovely antique piece combined with woodwork will add plenty of timelessness to the space.

The tile here is also on the higher end.  I saw the wall tile in a bathroom profiled on Emily Henderson’s blog, and LOVE it.  I think it’s a beautiful combo of modern and timeless.  My husband disagrees and thinks you’re basically paying to look messy.

The herringbone floor tile is beautiful – I really like this double length style which keeps it looking quieter than your standard herringbone.  Herringbone is a classic pattern that was heavily used way back in the 18th century when my house was built, but I do worry it skews to ‘fancy’ and ‘modern’ for our house. It’s not like American colonials had stuff in their homes you’d find in French palaces, and this is more 18th century palace than 18th century farm…  But so beautiful!

This design also features an inset medicine cabinet and wall-mount faucet.  Practically speaking, I really want these things.  The medicine cabinet adds storage, and a wall-mount faucet clears up counter space and looks custom.  However, both add serious cost via labor!

OPTION #2: MEDIUM

Black Belgian terracotta floor tile: $28.25

White zellige wall tile: $19.50/sq ft

Gold Rollins faucet: $749

Rollins shower/tub kit: $2,099

Double sconce: $449

Gold frame mirror: $284.97

This design is almost 50% less than the ‘high end’ design above, and I like it just as much!  I adore this black terracotta tile.  I’m less sure about the zellige wall tile.  This stuff is all over Pinterest, and I’ve ordered samples in a few colors.  I actually really like the samples, but kind of hate the tile in photos because it looks a mess.  Honestly, even the samples are a little messy, with chips at the edges here and there.  That’s the point of it – it’s supposed to look natural and aged.  In the right space I can totally see how that would be great (in a modern bath where you want to add texture, in a Spanish revival, Moroccan style, pretty much anywhere in California …).  But in a New England antique?  I think it might stand out like a sore thumb…

Note that big savings here are not just in the finishes, but in the savings on labor by not having a wall-mount and not having an inset cabinet, just a mirror!

OPTION #3: LOWEST

Marble hex floor tile: $7.95/sq ft

Subway wall tile: $7.19/sq ft

Bridge faucet: $259.95

Shower/tub kit: $787.50

Glass sconces: $80/ea

Gold frame mirror: $284.97

Whew!  This is about 75% lower than the ‘medium’ budget above, and I still really, really like it!  I have to admit that marble hex tile price seems a little too good to be true (cheaper by half than anywhere else I’ve seen it), so would certainly order a sample ahead of time to check!

Although the photos of the shower set and the faucet aren’t that great, these are two of my favorite fixture options.  Again, I’m downright suspicious that an exposed shower/tub set like this could be so inexpensive.  I love an exposed shower, and even better, this shower arm isn’t positioned such that it has to be a rainshower style, like most of them.  I know everyone is all about the rainshower these days, but I HATE them. You can’t stand under the water while washing your hair.  The water just dribbles down so it’s hard to rinse.  There is NO water pressure (by design!  WHY???) – so, this one is perfect, because I can attach my favorite blast-you-out-of-the-shower Speakman head to it instead.  Hilariously, the one review on this shower set is that the showerhead isn’t great – which is fine by me since I would replace it anyway.  It’s got vintage styling, and a hand shower that is nice and low.  In most cases a low hand shower like this might be irritating (the cord hanging in the tub, etc.) but for child-spraying purposes?  Ideal situation – easy to grab and rinse of kiddos while kneeling to wash them.

The faucet is so cool.  I love how it sits low, love the cross knobs.  Literally the ONLY thing holding me back from both of these plumbing fixtures is concern about spout extension.  You obviously have to have a spout that reaches well over the lip of your tub, and I can’t stand it when a faucet only reaches a few inches into a sink.  Especially for kids, you want something the’ll be able to reach sooner.  Both of these fixtures are not so great on this front, and I can’t find specs on the shower anywhere, which makes me VERY nervous.  That said, both are easy to order and return!  Which is precisely what I might do …

MIXES OF MY FAVORITES

There are a few things from each of the above I really like and may combine for a ‘medium’ budget bathroom.

OPTION #1

Marble hex floor tile: $7.95/sq ft

Subway wall tile: $7.19/sq ft

Rollins shower/tub kit: $2,099

Wall-mount faucet: $573

Polished brass sconces: $458/ea

Mirror: vintage (already own!)

I love these sconces.  They’re the perfect blend of colonial (we have plenty of old reflective-style sconces around our house) and modern (with that beautiful gold color)!  I think they’re an excellent place to mix metals, while keeping the actual plumbing fixtures low maintenance.  On the cheaper end, I really enjoy the subway tile/marble hex combo.  I did it in my last bathroom, and am really tempted to do it again.  It looks luxe but classic, wears and tears well, and is neutral without being boring.  I will admit that I’m pretty tired of subway, so this long, thin subway tile (about 2″x8″ rather than standard 3″x6″) would be a welcome change, and still lovely.  I also think I will do a 2″ honed hex.  I’ve previously used 1″ polished, but the honed is easier to maintain and a larger tile would make the room look more open.

OPTION 2:

Black Belgian terracotta floor tile: $28.25

Marble subway wall tile: $19.99/sq ft

Gold Rollins faucet: $749

Rollins shower/tub kit: $2,099

Polished brass sconces: $458/ea

Medicine cabinet: $405

Why can I not quit you, black terracotta floor tile???  I love this stuff, and can totally see splurging on it.  I just can’t decide if it would look out of place in this bathroom.  I will admit that this is the first tile that’s made me consider re-tiling our entry.  The entry has slate tiles that are treated, and whatever they’re treated with is peeling off and generally looking terrible.  There’s also nothing wrong with “off the shelf” products (like 90% of the stuff here is “off the shelf”) but when things look generic and your first thought is “Oh yeah, I’ve seen that at Home Depot” – that’s not a great sign!  That’s exactly my entryway floor tile.

Realistically, if I did an inset medicine cabinet, I’d also do a wall-mount faucet.  This is because in my case, the contractor would have to build out a wall to do each of these, so doing one without the other would be pointless, because the space would be there to use!  Still, I love the gold finish and can’t find a gold finish wall-mount faucet I like.

Which is your favorite???

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