Saturday, April 23, 2011

Master Bathroom: Garden Tub


Have you ever started a projected that should have taken a long weekend but it ended up taking you oh I don’t know…2 months?!?


Well that’s exactly what happened with our master bathroom renovation. It’s still not complete but the major stuff is done.

We started out with a basic builders grade bathroom with ugly brown walls. (There was a giant mirror there above the sinks, but I only remember to grab my camera after I’ve already started to tear things apart.)
mantel 004mantel 010


Not quite how I picture a “Spa” bathroom.

One of my biggest issues with this room was that the garden tub looks like it was just plopped in there. I wanted it to have a “built in” look.

Since completely tearing out the bathtub and putting in tile was not in the budget (this is a thrifty home after all) I decided to work with it.

We decided on putting up a board and batten around the tub surround area. We used 2 1/2 inch MDF for the horizontal pieces and 1 1/2 inch MDF for the vertical pieces. We smoothed out the lovely orange peel texture and then primed and painted the wall before we put the the MDF up using liquid nails. You can find some great tutorials on how to put up board and batten on the cheap here and here.

The next step was to build a panel for the front of the tub to cover the faux tiles and give it more of a built in look.

This was a little bit tricky. At first we were just going to use a large piece of plywood, glue the MDF to the plywood and then use silicone to attach it to the front of the tub. We quickly realized that this would show a seam at the top of the tub that would show where the two materials were put together.

Enter my handy dandy hubby! He used his router on each of the pieces so that they looked like this:
bathroom 001

And then routered the center piece to look like this:
bathroom 002

We used silicone to attach the MDF “frame” directly to the front of the tub and then let it sit for 24 hours so that it wouldn’t slide around when we put the plywood panels in.
bathroom 008

After we impatiently waited for the silicone to set we slid in the two pieces of plywood that we cut to fit into the frame. (Center piece shown)
bathroom 003

And finally we put the top piece on. bathroom 005

Puzzle complete!
bathroom 014

And here is the finished look:
bathroom 015

You can see how I made the shutters above the bathtub here.
bathroom 021

This entire project including all of the accessories cost me less than $100. Not bad eh?

My dreams of having a Spa bathroom are slowly becoming a reality....b4andafter

I would like to change the faucet on the bathtub but I'm not sure if it can be removed without tearing things apart. Has anybody ever done this before?

{{{Check out my Rate My Space for a sneak peek of the rest of our bathroom makeover.}}}

Linking up with:

Blackberry Vine

Making the World Cuter My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia The DIY Show Off Catch a Glimpse Button
Photobucket UndertheTableandDreaming Sumo's Sweet Stuff Keeping It Simple My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia Anything Related Chic on a Shoestring Decorating Transformation Thursday Designer Garden
Thrifty Decor Chick


  1. That looks fabulous, you and your hubby did such a great job. I know your bathroom will be gorgeous when finished.

  2. That is AMAZING!! I have book marked it and I'd love to post about it next week on my site!! :)

  3. Beautiful! I would have never thought of board & batten around a tub, but I LOVE it!

  4. Looks great! I did a makeover to my laundry room in a coastal/beach theme. I am now your Google friend :) I hope you come to my blog too.

  5. I totally need to keep this in mind for my next home! Moving super soon! This rocks

    I'm your newest follower! hopped over from homemaker on a dime! <3

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  6. Love, love, love this! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I have a board and batten project planned for this weekend... since I won't have a tricky bathtub to deal with, my fingers are crossed that it won't take much longer than that to do!

  7. Wow, good for you, it looks amazing! I'd love for you to come link this project and any other great ideas you have at DIY Thrifty Thursday @

  8. loving the result!!! it looks beautiful and cozy! great job!

    Im following you from the Homemakeronadime Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop!

    Susan @

  9. That is really an amazing transformation! TFS

  10. You both did a wonderful job, what a great before and after! Love the starfish shutters too!

  11. Absolutely beautiful! Congrats on your new spa retreat. Following now!


  12. Beautiful! Did you seal the wood at all? I'm thinking of covering some tile around my kitchen sink (in a B & B style, of course) and I'm wondering what type of finish will keep the water damage to a minimum. Looking forward to seeing more great stuff! Thanks!!

  13. Your bathroom looks amazing, love the shutters!
    I am new to your blog and would love to have you join mine!

  14. It looks awesome! When I read that you were covering the tiles I wondered why for a second, but I completely get it now!!! It looks so great matching the top!

  15. I love this idea! I'm putting it on my (very long!) to-do list. Just found your blog...following you now!


  16. looks GREAT! I am getting ready to makeover our bathroom...thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Wowza!!! It looks phenomenal! I am so remembering this for when we buy a house! LOVE! :)
    Thanks for linking up to Making the World Cuter!

  18. Wow! You are very creative. I didn't quite understand what you meant by a built in look. I never would have pictured that. Love it! Your newest follower. Hope you can visit me sometime soon.

  19. Beautiful!! It really looks built in! Great job :)I want to come take a bath right now!

    Found you through the Creative bloggers party hop :) New follower & can't wait to see more!

  20. Gorgeous... what an amazing transformation! That was a lot of work, but it really paid off. Using the router on the MDF really gives the molding a custom look! Aren't handy husbands the best!!

  21. You & your hubby did an amazing job Angie!!! love the new look!

  22. WOW this turned out great!!
    I love it!!
    I love what you did to the front of the tub!

  23. Angie, your bathroom is looking fab and gorgeous! Really appreciate you sharing this at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

  24. wow what a great look! so creative... and the Paint color is so much better--what possesses people to paint stuff so dark! You did an awesome job!

  25. It‘s so nice that I found your blog about your link on 'My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia'. Of course I’ve scrolled a little and like what I see. Now I’m your new follower! ;)

    Take care

  26. Hi! This is amazing!! I'm so sorry if this is mentioned somewhere else, but what color paint did you use? It is beautiful!

  27. This is wonderful!!! We have the UGLIEST CARPET SURROUND on our tub (don't even get me started), and I've been afraid to tile—but this we could seriously do.

    Thank you!

  28. Wow! Looks wonderful a really simple transformation made such a big impact! Good Job!


  29. Very cool! I would love for you to stop by my blog, and post it there too!

  30. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - I featured you today! - Mandy,

  31. Looks great!!! It looks so cozy now ;)

    I can't wait to get moved into our new home so I can start decorating...I would love for you to stop on over and visit me!!

  32. Great job on the board and batten! I'm so glad you linked it to the Tuesday To Do party! Can't wait to see what lovely you post next!

  33. This looks fantastic!! Love the board & batten! Found you at Beneath My Heart! I linked up my board & batten laundry room!

  34. Excellent job with making the tub look built in. You really had a vision and executed it.

  35. I was just taking a look at Homemaker on a Dime and I saw pics of your bathroom!! Listed as the favorite blog out of all the links :) :) congrats to you!!!!

  36. Angie - this looks fantastic! I have the same kind of treatment on the lower half of my tub and just love the idea of adding it above the tile too - Awesome job! Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this today! Hope you have a fabulous week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  37. What an outstanding idea! I never would have thought of that, so I commend you. Great job!

  38. Just wanted to let you know I featured you this week! Feel free to stop by and grab a button!

  39. I just noticed your question about the tub faucet & handles. Yes, they can easily be replaced by popping them off, & putting the new ones on. I had the same set up, and replaced mine.

    Looks great!

  40. Wow ! what an interesting blog with nice pictures.Thanks for sharing this information.Your information is really informative for us.
    Nice blog on Master Bathroom.
    Keep sharing more & more.....

    I'd like to have more information on the MDF you used, would you mind e-mailing me ( this information? Did you use anything to seal the mdf after? And what kind of mdf did you use? I'm looking to do this for my shower- bathtub.
    How is it holding up - any damages so far?

  42. wow you are definitely a talented couple! I love the way you took a different approach and not just ripped everything out and started over!

    The end result is amazing! Enjoy your new spa location!


  43. Awesome transformation! It turned out really beautiful. It's definitely worth the long wait. I wish I had a bathroom like this one. It's like hotel's bathroom. Great job!

  44. Now that is my kind of makeover! I'm a sucker for the calm, coastal look, yes, but I just love that you managed to make a crappy, builder grade tub turn into something so beautiful! We recently purchased a new construction home and have that oh so lovely "before" tub. Thank you for sharing, I'm going to have to show this to hubby and see if he'll give it a try for me!

  45. Great ideas for a standard builder's bathroom (like ours). Do you recall the name of the paint color you used?

  46. I really like the way the tub turned out. I can't believe by just adding something so simple it can make that much of a difference. Thanks for the step by step instructions that were easy to follow. I'm really excited to try it, and hopefully it turns out as well as yours did.