A Small Bathroom Makeover Delivers with a Sleek Shower and DIY Touches

The forecast is brighter for this bath now that a practical, high-style shower has moved in.

Someone in Kim Rivera's house wasn't happy about sharing a bathroom. And it wasn't her kids. Izabel and Richie were used to taking turns in the 5x8-foot bath between their bedrooms. But once they stopped using the tub, Kim found herself in line outside her own bathroom, waiting for the shower. It was time to reclaim her space and give the teenagers a more useful bathroom.

The family bathroom makeover was made possible with a game-changing update: A fixed glass panel was added to delineate a shower that fills the space of the original 1948 pink tub. To waterproof the stall, white ceramic subway tile over cement board runs floor to ceiling and wraps the edges of the window recess.

What makes the new doorless shower work? Moving the controls to the opposite wall, mounting a pan-style showerhead on a curved arm, and protecting the surfaces with tile. The shower inspired a black-and-white color scheme that lifts the whole room.

black and white bathroom counter with mirror
Adam Albright

Paint gives the old bathroom vanity an affordable mini makeover. Shiny new hardware that matches the room's faucet and accessories completes the vanity makeover. A round mirror with a strap appears to hang from the new light fixture (it's actually mounted to the wall) and continues the black-and-white color scheme. Its round shape contrasts the geometric lines of the walk-in shower.

bathroom shelves
Adam Albright

Floating shelves with spray-painted brackets increase display space but not visual weight. The bathroom storage holds artwork and makeup brushes, while a tray on top of the toilet corrals spa-day essentials.

Sink with copper tap
Adam Albright Photography Inc

For an easy and affordable update, consider swapping out the existing faucet. In this bathroom, a new bronze faucet modernizes the old sink. The single-handle lever style is easier to turn on and keep clean than a traditional two-handle model. Plus the warm metal finish counters the room's cool surfaces.

black and white bathroom floor tiles
Adam Albright Photography Inc

Tearing up the tile floor would have required a jackhammer. Instead, the homeowners took a simpler route. They covered the tile with budget-friendly peel-and-stick vinyl tiles. The intricate pattern on the floor tiles adds interest to the otherwise neutral space.

Mounting the shower panel was just as easy. It's secured in two black channels with clear silicone. Its black finish adds a modern edge to classic subway tile and beige wall paint. Not only did this renovation add style and function to the once-dated bathroom, but it also improved the whole family's morning routine. Now a line forms outside the bathroom.

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