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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stylish bathroom remodel for less than $5,000

Stylish bathroom remodel for less than $5,000

by Kara G. Morrison 

kea vanity cabinets, outdoor lights and a dual-flush toilet helped Cavin Costello and Claire Aton, owners of the remodeling business Ranch Mine, turn a forgettable bathroom into a spalike space with pizzazz and eco-friendly features for less than $5,000.

This is the last in a four-part series that has looked at smart Valley remodeling projects, from outdoor living rooms and pools to the most popular of home redo projects: kitchens and bathrooms.

In this final segment, we look at how Costello and Aton tackled the bathroom remodel without derailing their budget and added function and efficiency without sacrificing style.
THE BATHROOM CHALLENGE: Turning a dreary, cramped bathroom into a modern master bath.

Cavin Costello and Claire Aton started the Ranch Mine, a business helping investors and first-time homebuyers remodel their homes and specifically targeting the Valley's popular small ranch houses.

Their approach tends to the minimal. Rather than adding granite countertops and expensive amenities, they focus on making these homes more energy-efficient, functional and fun to live in. They typically start by determining whether the floor plan should be changed and whether walls can be removed to open up space.

In their own case, they found that by moving one wall a few feet and replacing outmoded tile and fixtures, their dated master bath could be transformed from ugly and cramped to stylish and eco-friendly.

Costello and Aton redid their bathroom for less than $3,500, although the project involved some DIY work, including doing their own demolition.

- First, they tried to work with the existing floor plan, keeping most of the plumbing in the same place.

- They replaced their old bathtub/shower combination with a walk-in shower. For the shower wall, they chose ceramic tile with a dark-gray, metallic-sheen from Lowe's; they used a $200 acrylic shower pan rather than tiling the shower floor. A tiled shower floor could cost three times more and require long-term maintenance.

- They continued with the same 13- by 26-inch shower tile for the bathroom floor.

- Between the vanities, they used a piece of butcher-block material to add counter space.

- Home Depot was another favorite haunt. They opted to use industrial-chic outdoor lights above their sinks (outdoor lights are perfect for bathrooms because they're meant to withstand the elements) and silver roof-flashing material for a decorative backsplash.

- The couple's eco-friendly choices included an American Standard EcoFusion dual-flush toilet ($198 at Home Depot) and water-saving faucets from Ikea. A small, inefficient window was replaced with a dual-pane window.

- The couple found deals on sinks and vanity cabinets at Ikea. For a warmer look, they painted the stock cabinetry charcoal gray/black and added modern stainless-steel handles.

Costello said he and Aton are happy with the outcome. "It looks great and performs great," he said, adding that the double vanities are convenient, the shower is easy to clean and the lighting is good.

Cavin Costello and Claire Aton turned a forgettable bathroom into this stylish space in their Phoenix home without breaking their budget.

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