The master bathroom is finished!

We did it, y’all. We finished the master bathroom makeover. It took about six weeks and cost about $2500, and we had pretty much no idea what we were doing at any point along the way, so no one is more surprised than we are that things turned out so well in the end. But the bathroom is still functional and looks seriously good, so I’m calling this project a success. And I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you.

But first let me fill you in on the last few DIY details. Once the tiling was finished, there were really only a handful of things left to do to get the bathroom in working order. The biggest project was getting the bathroom sinks operational. We’d hung the frame of our IKEA GODMORGON sink cabinet on the wall before tiling and installed the ODENSVIK sink on top of the cabinet before caulking, so all we still needed to do was hook up the plumbing and install the vanity drawers. Sounds simple, but the plumbing was a bit more challenging than we’d anticipated.

That’s because the plumbing that comes with IKEA bathroom sinks is sized in metric units, so it won’t connect properly with U.S. standard-sized plumbing right out of the box. That means we had to come up with a hack. If you Google “IKEA bathroom plumbing hack,” you can see how others have dealt with this problem, but here’s a look at our solution:

The plumbing that travels down from the sink drains and overflows is all IKEA plumbing, until you get to that little gray doohickey with silver bands; that’s the piece that connects the smaller, metric-sized plumbing on top to the larger, U.S. standard-sized plumbing on the bottom. From there, the P trap and the rest of the plumbing is all from the local hardware store. I guess this really doesn’t look all that complicated, yet somehow it required three or four trips to Lowe’s and a whole lot of cussing.

And we weren’t quite finished with hacks yet. I mentioned in an earlier post that GODMORGON sink cabinets allow for only about three or so inches of clearance between the back of the vanity drawers and the wall, and despite our best efforts, our plumbing stuck out from the wall further than that. It kept the bottom right drawer from closing completely, so we came up with a work-around:

We just marked where the back of the drawer was hitting the plumbing, cut out the offending drawer slats with a hack saw, and then nailed a few of the scraps back down perpendicularly to hold the remaining slats in place. It ain’t pretty, but it gets the job done. The drawer now closes perfectly, and we have a pretty new functioning vanity and double sink.

From there it was all downhill: put the doors on the GODMORGON medicine cabinets, install the LILLÅNGEN wall cabinets over the toilet, replace the bath tub faucet and spout, screw in the towel hooks, hang the roller blind in the window, and hook up the vanity light fixtures (which are nothing more than $1.50 porcelain light sockets from Lowe’s that I spray-painted glossy black). As you may have noticed, I’m not very good about taking action shots during our DIY projects, but here’s one of Ben drilling the holes for our Normann Copenhagen “Dropit” wall hooks, which I’m completely obsessed with:

See how they stick out from the wall? They’re absolutely gorgeous. But I’ll admit that I did suffer minor heart palpitations when we had to drill through our pretty new tile to install them. Here’s a tip: make a cross with masking tape over the spot where you’ll be drilling; the tape gives your drill bit something to grab onto and keeps it from jumping around and scratching your tile. Oh, and always use a carbide-tipped drill bit, and don’t apply too much pressure–let the drill do the work.

Well, there were times when I thought that the day would never come, but finally, after about four hours of thorough cleaning, we were finished. It was time to move our stuff back into our bathroom! All of the new storage we added got put to immediate use, and I’m so thrilled with it. The GODMORGON medicine cabinets hold so much stuff, as do the LILLÅNGEN cabinets that we hung over the toilet. And having those lovely large drawers beneath the sinks is so convenient. I really couldn’t be happier with our IKEA bathroom furniture, or with any of the rest of our choices. We’ve been using the bathroom for a few weeks now and sometimes I still like to just sit in there and appreciate how nice everything looks.

Here are a few more photos:

Take a look at these before-and-after shots:

So much less busy now, right? The simplicity is soothing.

And the finishes are so much more modern now–much more in line with the direction I’m trying to take this house. Here’s a super-wide view:

Aaah, so, so satisfying. It was certainly a lot of hard work, and there were more than a few white-knuckle moments, but I’m so glad that we were brave enough to tackle this project. It gives me great hope for future renovations. We may take a little bit of time off, though, before starting on the next bathroom!

Sources:
GODMORGON/ODENSVIK 47 1/4-inch sink cabinet with 4 drawers, high gloss white, from IKEA
GODMORGON 23 5/8-inch mirror cabinets with 2 doors, from IKEA
Hansgrohe 31701 Focus S bathroom faucets from FaucetDirect.com
Porcelain light sockets from Lowe’s, spray-painted black
G25 silver tipped bulbs from 1000bulbs.com
Nate Berkus for Target arrowhead rug
Black porcelain wall hooks from Rejuvenation
Normann Copenhagen Dropit wall hooks
Turkish bath towels by Bathstyle
Dip-dyed stool from Serena & Lily
Red-rimmed glass from Anthropologie
ENJE 48-inch white roller blind from IKEA
LILLÅNGEN white wall cabinets from IKEA
SimpleHuman 1.2 gallon round step white trash can
Coin Nitro black vinyl garage flooring roll from Rubber Flooring Inc.
Matte white ice ceramic wall tile, 4.25×10 inches, from The Home Depot
Frost white Tivoli Model One radio
Hugo Guinness “Briefs” linocut print in vintage frame
“Holy Shit I Love You” screenprint by Kyle & Courtney Harmon
White terrycloth cube from Serena & Lily (no longer available)
Acrylic tank tray from CB2, filled with vintage pieces and neon orange faceted bowl from Target

For the full story of our master bathroom makeover, check out:
Part 1: Tackling the master bathroom
Part 2: Bathroom inspiration
Part 3: Prep work
Part 4: Rubber flooring
Part 5: Wall tile

  • Mirela

    What a transformation! PERFECT!ReplyCancel

  • My gosh! I love what you did to your master’s bathroom! A two-thumbs up will not suffice how marvelous it look like now! http://www.edenbath.com/ReplyCancel

  • Em

    How are the rubber floors holding up? Do you see more dirt on the black floors than you thought?ReplyCancel

    • Hi, Em! The rubber floors are holding up really great, even with a toddler in the house. :) They’re super easy to clean, and though black floors always show dirt more than any others, these stay cleaner-looking than I expected. I think it has to do with the raised dot pattern. But they clean well with a swiffer, a vacuum, or with a damp cloth.ReplyCancel

  • Emily

    So thrilled to have found this post? What size dropit hooks do you have? Do you find they hold your towels securely? I’m contemplating them for my newly renovated bathroom. And did you get the small sized dipped stool? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Hi, Emily! Yes, my dip-dyed stool is the small one. And we actually have one set of the large dropit hooks and two sets of the small ones. We hang our towels only on the large ones, and they are very secure. I think the smaller drops would probably hold lighter weight (Turkish-style) towels, and maybe standard towels when they are dry, but I don’t know about a very wet, heavy towel. Though they do install very securely!ReplyCancel

  • Dena

    Emily, what is the height of your vanity? I just installed one that looks like yours with dark grey flooring, but somehow my vanity looks a little low. It’s at 34 inch.ReplyCancel

    • Hi, Dena! The top of the sink on our vanity is at 34.5 inches. That feels very comfortable for my husband and me, but I know everyone has a different preference!ReplyCancel

  • Brent

    Wow, your bathroom looks awesome!

    We’re in the middle of doing ours as well and I’ve been looking at the same model sink…how difficult was it to wall mount? All of the documentation I can find says that it has to have legs. Do you ever fear that it’s going to break hanging from the wall? Our bathroom is even smaller than yours and we need to mount it to have at least a little storage space under the sink. Does Ikea recommend wall mounting or is that a hack that you did?ReplyCancel

    • Hi, Brent! We mounted the sink cabinet to the wall, and then the sink itself just rests on top of the cabinet. Ikea definitely contemplates wall-mounting the cabinet, but I believe the instructions just said to add legs if necessary for support–they leave it to you to determine. We’re not worried about it tearing off the wall though–it’s mounted to heavy-duty hardiebacker and the wood beams behind it with several supports. We haven’t had any trouble with it!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    Are you aware the coin nitro floor is made of polyvinyl if you google polyvinyl toxicity you can see it probably isn’t a great idea . The look is pretty neat though !ReplyCancel

  • Its very nice bathroom you furnished,and its looks better after the furnished and you choose white color that’s it looks very beatiful furniture you made it.ReplyCancel

  • Krista

    Thanks for sharing your bathroom remodel! I’m obsessed with the dropit hooks now too! Did you buy them directly from Normann Copenhagen or did you find a US retailer? The shipping is so high from Normann Copenhagen!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian Horan

    Your bathroom looks great, thank you for sharing! I had a question about your Ikea sink. We also just recently renovated our bathroom and used the same Odvensik double sink bowl. It has only been installed 2 days and they are small gray lines (almost look like cracks but don’t seem to have penetrated the surface) appearing on the sink. How is your sink bowl holding up? Have you seen anything similar on yours? I’d really appreciate your feed back…thanks so much :)

    JillianReplyCancel

    • Hi, Jillian! Yes, we too have seen some faint gray lines on our ODENSVIK sink. I think they’re scratches, but like you said, don’t seem to have penetrated the surface. You have to be looking pretty closely to see them, so they haven’t bothered me too much. I just try to be careful with anything sharp or heavy near the porcelain!ReplyCancel

  • thank you for documenting this so thoroughly! Some water damage has made the SOMEDAY bathroom remodel suddenly urgent. Do you use cleaners on your floor? I love how it looks. We are looking for ‘green’ floor, not sure this is it, but I love most industrial floorings.
    Also, do you use the towels or are they more for decoration? i LOVE them, and love how they must dry faster on hooks, which is what our family of 5 must use, rather than towel bars.
    And while I’m at it, I LOVE how your tile turned out, white grout and all. that is something my husband and i have been having a hard time deciding. white, yes. how to place tile and color of grout, no. I can see how you might prefer the darker grout in small bits, but I think it’s so much calmer with white when you did such a big area.
    well done!ReplyCancel

    • Thanks, Kirsten! I vacuum and Swiffer the rubber floor when I do the rest of the house, and if there are spots to clean I just use an all-purpose cleaning spray and towel. Honestly though, everything so far has cleaned up really easily, often just with water. And we definitely use the Turkish towels! They get softer and softer all the time, and are more absorbent than our regular towels. And yes, dry more quickly too! Good luck with your project!ReplyCancel

    • J. G.

      If you’re looking for a “green floor” option, check out marmoleum! Super eco friendly and holds up great. Comes in all sorts of colors/patterns.ReplyCancel

  • What paint color did you use to match that white tile?ReplyCancel

    • It’s BM “Simply White” — the same white we used throughout the rest of the house! I love it.ReplyCancel

  • Claudia

    I stumbled upon this post and it’s perfect, we’re thinking of doing something really similar! Question on the LILLÅNGEN cabinets over the toilet… I looked them up and realized you hung them horizontally instead of vertically. So, do the doors open bottom-up like a garage door? Awesome job!ReplyCancel

    • Yep, the cabinet hinge is along the top, so they open like garage doors!ReplyCancel

  • kelly

    Just wondering about the shaving cabinets – do you have two of them placed next to each other? My partner was under the impression you wouldnt be able to do this as the doors would open on to each other. How are you finding it? I was wanting to install the larger 1000 x 96 and then then 60 x 96 next to each other.

    Great looking bathroom!ReplyCancel

  • Sara Thiba

    Hi, did you install 2 godmorgan 23″ medicine cabinets side-by-side? Are you able to install them flush and still get the doors to open properly? Also, what tile size did you use and where did you source them? Thanks!! SusanReplyCancel

  • Kim

    Great transformation!! Thank you for posting this and responding so diligently to questions. I also had the same question about the medicine cabinets — two 23″ side by side? Do the doors open fine? Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Shari

      Hi. Can u install the mirror cabinet into the wall? Thanks room look so cool!ReplyCancel

  • jenn

    So we are getting ready to do our master bathroom and bought the Godmorgon vanity. How high did you hang your vanity? I didn’t think it would matter until we just read the part in the instructions that state max 29 7/8″. Problem is my husband is 6’4 so we wanted it a bit higher do u see that being an issues?ReplyCancel

    • Pete

      Jenn,
      I’m not sure when you posted this question but i believe the reason ikea gives a max and min height is because the legs, if you choose to use them, are adjustable by only about an inch.
      The max height given is from the floor to the upper mounting brackets, not the top of the cabinet or sink top. This ensures that the legs will fit between the cabinet and the floor.
      If you’re not using the legs, I don’t see any problem installing it higher, which is what I’m in the process of doing.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline

    Thanks so much for showing your plumbing. I bought the small Lillangen sink and cabinet and ended up with the same issue, IKEA plumbing didn’t fit my house plumbing. I took pictures of my plumbing situation. I went to two different stores, with my two sets of pipes, the bigger and the smaller one, I showed them my pictures and your picture with the gray attachment and had them try it on my pieces to make sure it would work. I wasn’t going back a third time. Spent 30 minutes with 2 employees in the plumbing department for a $4 part, but when I got home, it worked!!! Thanks again for your pictures, it saved me a lot of explaining. Even with your picture, they didn’t think it would work, but they had no alternatives to offer that would have worked for me. I said I’ll take my chances on a $4 part. It’s working, not leaking, and I’m very happy! Your bathroom looks great by the way.ReplyCancel

  • MikeC

    Looks great!

    I know this post is old, but did your sink meet the top of the vanity? My vanity is hanging on the wall, but the sink seems to have a gap in front between the bottom of the sink front and the top of the vanity. I doubt it can be seen unless you sit on the floor, but I don’t see anyway of adjusting it.ReplyCancel

  • Vivian

    This is amazing! Your before and after shots are inspiring me as we start on our 1974 bathrooms. =) I also love how you took simple things (the light sockets from Lowe’s) and really added style to them.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey

    Thanks for your great documentation of this process!

    Now 2.5 years later, how has the rubber floor held up? Is it still in great shape? Any major issues? I’m falling in love with the idea of rubber floors for our bathrooms!ReplyCancel

  • Farrah

    Hi there–your bathroom looks great! I wondered what you did with the window in terms of privacy, given that it’s in the shower. We have a similar issue and didn’t order privacy glass windows, but I assume you can’t really have a shade in the shower? Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole

    How is the high gloss finish holding up? I love the look, but am worried about scratches and am between this and the regular white. What are your thoughts?ReplyCancel

  • Melissa

    Hi: I’m about to install this vanity and sink, and I’m having a hard time finding a faucet that will work well with such a shallow sink. How well do you like these faucets? Are they annoying or too splashy with such a shallow sink? Do you find the sink bowl accessible for being so shallow with such a short faucet? Just wondering. I bought a delta faucet but may return it and order one of these, based on your recommendation!ReplyCancel

  • Jay M

    Looks great! I’m about to install this myself and the hardware store told me the drains are problematic and wondered if you’ve had any issues thus far?ReplyCancel

  • umami

    Hi,

    is the rubber flooring something i can take out if i put it in my rental apartment? my bathroom and living currently has rubber coin flooringReplyCancel

  • Samantha

    I love your bathroom. We have been planning to use the same style vanity and the same medicine cabinets. I have a question for you about the cabinets as I haven’t been able to find any pictures or videos online to help me with this and am 175 mi. away from Ikea.

    You have mounted the two cabinets next to each other. Do the doors hit each other when you open the two on the inside? Do the doors open in such a way that one of these cabinets could be mounted in a corner and the door would still open all the way?

    Thank you!! I just creeped your IG and it is fantastic.ReplyCancel

  • Sparkleen Enterprises

    How are those wall mounted sink vanities holding up? You should use legs on them (as the instructions say, $40 per set of 4 per sink vanity) or get cabinets like the old ones that sit on the floor. Client had one of those fall off the wall just leaning on it… the installers had mounted it with plastic anchors into tile over drywall, they also did NOT mount the sink with the proper sink mounting bar, nor did they use the adhesive caulk from sink to tile NOR from sink to cabinet as the instructions showed.
    I shudder to think how many of these have fallen off the walls when people sat or stood on them. Poor idea and poor design. Plus I’d never buy a vanity (or any cabinet) made out of that damn presswood, I’d build my own first out of solid oak or a hardwood, or in case of cost restraints, plywood. ANY ‘engineered wood’ product has NO place in ANY home. I wish they’d stop selling that JUNK and anything made of plastic or similar materials.
    At least the old wall mounted sinks (ceramic) had a metal mounting plate that screwed into the wall and then fastened to the sink itself (you see these in public restrooms quite a lot.)
    I like the looks of the old bathroom better, by the way. More storage, and better use of space, and just looks much better. The new one looks like something from a cheap motel.ReplyCancel

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