Master Bathroom

Master Bedroom To Wheelchair Accessible Master Bathroom Conversion – How Much Did It Cost? (Cost Breakdown And Sources)

At the end of 2022, I showed y’all our finished master bathroom that took 18 months to finish. If you missed that whole before and after post, you can click here to see all of those pictures. I had promised that I would gather the sources and the cost of the remodel for you, and I finally had the opportunity to sit down and go through 18 months worth of receipts to figure out just how much our master bedroom-to-master bathroom conversion cost us.

The whole reason we needed to do this conversion in the first place is because Matt (he’s my husband, for those of you who are new around here) has M.S. and is confined to a wheelchair. So he needs a large bathroom with plenty of room to move around, a wheelchair accessible vanity, and a large, curbless, wheelchair accessible shower.

So starting back in the summer of 2021, we hired a contractor and had him and his workers get to work. My family and I had already done all of the demolition on the room, so the contractor took a room that looked like this…

master bathroom demo day 15

…and turned it into this, with all of the “foundational” work finished, but none of the pretty, finishing work done…

Getting the room to that point required moving a wall to square up the room and give us a bathroom that is 18.5′ x 12.5′. So the bathroom is 231.25 square feet. That’s well over twice the size of my kitchen. 😀

So how much did it cost to have the contractor do all of this work? Here’s how those costs break down, along with the total we paid out to the contractor.

Contractor Costs:

  • Demoing and reframing hallway wall – $1,230.00
  • Pocket door framing installation – $550.00
  • Joist repair – $450.00
  • Plumbing repair (to get rid of the remaining cast iron plumbing) – $1,300.00
  • Framing – $1,200.00
  • OSB subfloor – $1,864.00
  • Hardiboard subfloor – $1,258.00
  • Electrical – $1,430.00
  • Subfloor insulation – $694.00
  • Wall insulation – $361.00
  • Rough-in plumbing – $3,000.00
  • Drywall – $3,730.00
  • Shower pan installation – $1,400.00
  • Toilet installation – $75.00
  • Bathtub installation – $800.00
  • Contractor fees – $1,840.00
    • SUBTOTAL: $21,182.00

After the contractor finished his part, it was up to me to take the room from what you see in the photo above and turn it into this…

The whole project took a year-and-a-half because it was just so extensive, and I got overwhelmed with it on several occasions and had to turn my attention to other things. Plus, last year was a very exciting year for us, filled with a whole lot of new and non-house-related things, so those things took my attention away from the bathroom as well.

But I finally finished the whole bathroom in December 2022. Again, if you missed the whole before and after post, you can click here to see all of the pictures and details. There’s a lot more to see in that post than there will be in this one.

Among the first projects I had to tackle in the room was all of the tile — the shower walls and floor, the toilet area floor, and the main bathroom floor. The shower alone was a beast of a project because it’s so large.

So here’s how all of the tile and tile supply costs break down. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, but they would be minor costs.

Tile & Grout

The biggest challenge in this whole bathroom was building the walnut vanities and storage cabinet. It took me a very long time to figure out how to make the vanities wheelchair accessible without making them look like wheelchair accessible vanities (if you know what I mean). My final solution was to build table-style vanities with plenty of room underneath, and then add a storage cabinet between them to make up for the lack of storage on the actual vanities.

I knew that building with walnut would cost quite a bit more than building with a lower grade lumber that could be painted. I was expecting the higher cost, and willing to pay it because I really wanted walnut for this feature wall, and this is our master bathroom, so the added expense was worth it to me.

What I wasn’t counting on was the cost of the quartz countertops. I mean…YIKES!!! Granted, of the samples that caught my eye, and that I brought home, I did go with the most expensive one. It’s the one I liked the most, and I just kept telling myself that it’s worth it because it’s our master bathroom. I’m very glad I went with it, but it sure did blow that vanity and storage cabinet budget out of the water.

I guess it’s really not bad considering we’re talking about walnut “furniture” spanning a 12.5-foot wall. Here’s how those costs break down.

Walnut Vanities & Storage Cabinet

All of the plumbing fixtures really added up as well. It’s very difficult to find an entire line of matching fixtures to fit your exact needs and wants, but I ended up going with the Delta Trinsic line in the Champagne Bronze for all of the metal plumbing fixtures.

Here’s the breakdown of all of the plumbing fixtures for the room…

Plumbing Fixtures

About half of the lighting for the room is pretty standard — ultra thin ceiling lights, light and exhaust fan combos. But then I wanted some nice sconces flanking the vanity mirrors, and I wanted a bubble light above the tub. I wanted the bubble light to be an eye-catching feature in the room, so when I couldn’t find one available that suited my needs and my taste, I decided to DIY my own bubble light.

Here’s how the costs of all of the lighting break down for the room…

Lighting

Had we done this bathroom remodel before 2020, the cost of all of the lumber, as well as the French door, would have been about half of what I ended up paying. But lumber these days is so expensive! And when you’re doing wainscoting and lots of trim in a really large room, those costs add up quickly.

I had to go through 18 months of Home Depot receipts, which can get pretty confusing. So the cost of the lumber and trim is the best estimate I could come up with.

Lumber & Building Products

The primer, paint, and clear topcoat (used for cabinet drawers) is pretty standard in every room I do. But unique to this room is the Modern Masters Venetian plaster. I had to mix the color myself to get exactly what I wanted, so unfortunately, I don’t have a formula to pass along to those who have asked about the color.

I had done a similar technique in my mom’s master bathroom remodel over a decade ago (and it’s still beautiful today), but this was my first time working with the Modern Masters Venetian plaster. It cost quite a bit more than latex paint, but I think the final look was well worth the cost. (Actually, it costs about the same as Benjamin Moore Aura paint, so it’s equivalent in cost to a high quality latex paint.)

Here’s the cost breakdown for the paint and other finishes for the room…

Paint & Finishes

Since this bathroom is so big, it needed way more decorative items than a standard bathroom might need. I did a butterfly gallery wall, built a large glass-front storage cabinet, installed a mural behind the bathtub, etc.

I didn’t put every little thing on this list. I tried to keep it to the main bathroomy stuff. So here’s how the costs of the decorative items break down…

Decorative Items

This final category was, by far, the hardest category to figure. I tried my hardest to separate those things that were purchased specifically for the bathroom (sandpaper, caulk, wood filler, sanding discs, blades, etc.) from those things that I purchased while working on the bathroom, but can use for many other projects down the line (like the set of hole saw attachments for my drill). So this is just my best estimate, but I think it’s pretty close…

Miscellaneous

  • Miscellaneous supplies – $650.00 (estimate)
    • SUBTOTAL: $650.00

And that’s it! So how much did this massive project — turning a master bedroom into a huge wheelchair accessible bathroom cost?

GRAND TOTAL: $40,868.79

That’s a large amount to pay for one room. I’m very well aware of that. 🙂 But in the whole scheme of things, I’m pretty satisfied with that cost. (Remember, this is one of the reasons we bought a house that only cost $80,000. We wanted to be able to fully customize it to fit our needs, and to tackle each room as we saved up money for it so that we wouldn’t be taking on a huge mortgage and wasting thousands upon thousands of dollars on interest. This way, we do it on our timeline, accrue no debt, pay zero interest, and have exactly what we want in the end.)

Considering how large the bathroom is, and how open and useful it is for my wheelchair-bound husband, I think it’s worth it. And considering that we’re post-pandemic, and everything costs way more than it did pre-2020, that’s just the way things go these days. Everything costs more, and there’s really no way around that.

I’m very glad I DIYed half of the room myself, though. I’m pretty sure that number would have been closer to $60,000 (or more) had I hired out every last bit of this room and hadn’t done anything myself. So even though that final number is quite large, I’m very confident that I saved us quite a large chunk of money with my DIYing. And that’s money that can go towards finishing up my studio with all of that custom cabinetry that I need to build!

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31 Comments

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    January 13, 2023 at 11:26 am

    I was within $100 on my guess. Simplifying your life, Matt’s comfort…… priceless.

    Are there insurance, accessibility, MS related grants that might be available to underwrite some of this cost?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheri
    January 13, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Absolutely beautiful 😍

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jill Nelson
    January 13, 2023 at 11:33 am

    I have no words…you are so crazy talented! Stunning work….and that you did so much of it yourself? Wow….just wow! Well done!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    January 13, 2023 at 11:35 am

    Yes, it is a huge number, but, my gosh, that is the most stunning, useful, practical, gorgeous bathroom I have ever seen! Super well done, Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann
    January 13, 2023 at 11:36 am

    Are you using this bathroom yet? How do you like it? Is it easier for your husband to use? After using it, are there things you’d do differently since you have the benefit of hindsight?

    It sure is pretty!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shirley
    January 13, 2023 at 11:50 am

    Beautiful and I would say you did very well with the costs and its quality. You wouldn’t get that level of quality for a contractor unless he was very expensive. Now, it is time to enjoy it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara Pilcher
    January 13, 2023 at 11:55 am

    Kudos to you not only for the impressive DIY work you do but also for tracking your expenses so accurately. Keeping it real! Thank you for that. Hope you are enjoying the room now.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elizabeth
    January 13, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Kristi! It’s GORGEOUS!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    January 13, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Kristi, if you hadn’t done so much yourself the cost would have been probably double! The contractors in our area have gone wild, and the new home builders as well. Double and triple the cost of materials and labor is the norm. The new home builders double and triple costs if you want to make ANY changes to their layouts – even tiny ones. Upgrades the same. It is beyond believable, and therefore although we are getting older, the house we are building will be their standard/included level finishes, and we will go back after closing and put what we want. It is daunting, but it will save us in the end. That size bathroom with those finishes would be out of this world in price! Enjoy!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michele
    January 13, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    Beautiful! Please make sure to write off all of your ADA upgrades. You certainly deserve the tax breaks if you can use them!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    RSC
    January 13, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    A-m-a-z-i-n-g ! I’ve enjoyed following along every step of the way but it’s still exciting to see it all finished. Your uncanny ability to visualize the tiny details of the project is mind-boggling. I hope that Matt realizes when he rolls into the shower or up to his vanity how lucky he is to have you as a designer, laborer and workhorse.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melanie
    January 13, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    You don’t have to justify the costs. It is a complete masterpiece! Well worth it and you are correct if your portion of the work had been hired out $60,000 additional would not be out of line. There is NO ONE who has a more beautiful bathroom at any price point.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tracy
    January 13, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Mind. Blown.
    You are so talented and creative dynamo!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cindy
    January 13, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    Amazing and gorgeous. I know you “saved” by doing the tile work and vanities and all the finishing yourself BUT over 1 year of your time and labor is worth more than $20,000, don’t shortchange yourself. As someone who just redid a bathroom I’d estimate your’s around 70K-75K likely more.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mason Leskowitz
    January 13, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    This room is a thing of beauty, and a thing of beauty s a joy forever!
    Gorgeous and well done.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susie
    January 13, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    Beautiful! Just freaking beautiful! I hope Matt loves it as much as you & the rest of us do!
    Anything that improves your life/comfort, especially with Matt being wheelchair-bound, is worth it, IMO.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Peggy Clark
    January 13, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    It certainly is a gorgeous spa bathroom. I love it

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    January 13, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    Considering what you have there, with tile, plumbing, lighting and using quality products, I don’t think your costs are terrible. I myself could never afford this, but I’m not most people either. This room will serve you both very well, and last you quite a while! Great job, as always!
    Now take a break!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    January 13, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    This bathroom is truly beautiful, Kristi, and so functional for the two of you. A labor of love and one you will be smiling about during every soak you enjoy.

    It occurred to me that unless someone in Waco follows your blog, the people who drive by your house would never imagine what masterpieces exist inside what looks like a modest home. That is part of the fun. I know you aren’t doing it to impress anyone.

    Should you ever need extra funds, you could always make a walking path through the house, rope off the “do not touch” areas, and charge a fee to see the sites/sights.

    I want to also thank the many folks who read your blog and add their own experiences, ideas, and suggestions in their comments. I have learned from them as well and appreciate their generous spirit and the time it takes to include their input.

    Hats off to you and a hug to Matt.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cam koerber
    January 13, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    marilyn hull-parkes
    January 14, 2023 at 4:14 am

    It`s absolutely amazing and totally unique, and it is just the way you wanted it, and what works for you and Matt,,you wouldn`e really get that with a contractor, not specifically the way you wanted or needed it to be, looking forward to the rest of your renovations and re- modelling for the rest of your House and Garden,,and Cooper,s play area….

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca B
    January 14, 2023 at 7:20 am

    That was interesting, Kristi. Carpentry plumbing and electric is quite expensive even for a DIY person. The most surprising cost to me was the turned walnut legs for the vanities. Also I have been wondering, what is a shower pan?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      January 14, 2023 at 12:14 pm

      A shower pan is the base of a shower that is properly sloped towards the drain. You can purchase a pre-made, solid piece shower pan if your shower is a standard size. Or there are several systems available to help a person make a custom size shower pan. Since ours is a custom size, with a custom slope, ours was made with concrete, and it took them two days to pour it since it had to be done in two separate sections — one section that is level with the main bathroom floor, and one section that slopes towards the linear drains on the shower head end of the shower.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Combs
    January 14, 2023 at 10:27 am

    I love the breakdown so helpful when trying to plan a project. You have done such an incredible job and the vanities are fabulous.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sherry
    January 14, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    Kristi it is absolutely stunning! So your studio is next? I hope you never run out of projects to work on in the new studio. I would certainly miss the pleasure and education I get from watching your projects.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Yvonne
    January 16, 2023 at 7:01 am

    Your bathroom is so beautiful. I hope that when you are standing in that space you look around and marvel at the fact that YOU made that. I also hope when you look in the mirror over your gorgeous custom vanity you see the talented, accomplished woman WE see. You are truly astounding.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    RAinNC
    January 16, 2023 at 8:19 am

    That really isn’t out of line for what is essentially three very customized tiled rooms and four pieces of custom furniture, plus a custom light fixture and art. Ya done good. Way good.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Becky
    January 17, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    Very impressive! And I agree, lumber prices are killing the DIY savings! Ouch. Still, custom and quality make it worth it. Well done!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jan
    February 3, 2023 at 8:47 am

    That’s a fantastic price, even with doing so much work yourself. And you almost certainly increased that value of your home by more than that, lots of people not in a wheelchair would appreciate a huge bathroom with what is essentially a large double shower, though a second showerhead would be needed. But that’s ok, after every project I’ve done I think, well the next time I redo this I’ll know what to do (which of course is a joke because I will never redo it again 😂). I’m dying at that cabinet between the vanities, I would love that exact look as a dresser, but with shorter with one less drawer on top and 3 more to make extra wide. I’m years from upgrading my bedroom but I would seriously consider customizing a dresser based on this! I’m curious how much more it would have cost if you did all walnut vs plywood and veneer?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      February 3, 2023 at 9:23 am

      I’d be curious to know that, too! I didn’t even price that out because, for me, having the grain of the walnut flow from one drawer front to the other was key, and there’s really no way to do that when working with solid walnut. You can get that look with walnut plywood, though. But I saved quite a bit of money applying veneer to plywood myself rather than purchasing walnut plywood. But I’ve seen way too many furniture pieces built with solid walnut, and while it’s gorgeous and better quality than what I have, there’s always one or two pieces of the wood that is a different color (lighter or darker) than the rest, and the different grain from one piece to the next stands out as well.

      It’s really just a matter of personal taste, but it’s something to consider before you build or have something built from walnut. 🙂