Homestead Cabin Bathroom. How we built it, and what we used!
When you’re in the middle of a big project, your time can be divided among many different areas. Work is happening, but since so many things are happening simultaneously, it is hard to see the progress. Then one day you wake up and you realize that you have one area at the finishing point–and that feels amazing! That’s how it’s been in our homestead cabin all along!
That is the point we are at with our Homestead cabin building project. We still have umpteen projects going on side-by-side, simultaneously, and all around the house. It may be work demands, school, and life, happenings, every day interruptions, or just materials that are ready right now that dictate what project we work on when. I think it’s just called life.
Today, we are opening the door into our first 100% completed room. Yes, we already have the pantry functioning, but I still feel like there are a few little tweaks that I need to make before I call it finished.
As of yesterday morning, we wrapped up the downstairs bathroom, and now we have a fully functioning hoemstead cabin powder room. And that is nothing to sneeze at!
Homestead Cabin DIY Bathroom
I called this a DIY bathroom, a Thrifted project, or an up-cycled endeavor. I think all of those descriptions simply mean that we did our best to save money, we did most of the work ourselves, and yet, we tried to make it homey, and add sweet touches here and there.
Because I made a detailed YouTube video walking you through the process, and the details, I’m not going to repeat everything here and his blog post. You’re welcome to go over there and check that out, in fact, I’d love it if you did.
Let me share the overview of what we decided to do in our bathroom.
- Vanity sink top
- Vanity faucet
- Bathtub, including tub, surround and shower
- Light fixture
- Sign on the door
- Hickory flooring boards to create the vanity
- Fawn plush decoration
- Cross stitch fox picture
- Medicine cabinet with mirrors
- Decorative wreath in window
- Silver plated candle stick with candle
- Toilet paper hanging thingy
- Ceiling vent fan
Items purchased new
- Rinnai super high efficiency 7.5 gpm propane tankless hot water heater
- Pop-up drain for sink
- Pop-up drain for tub
- ￼ Buffalo check/bear Shower curtain
- Hooks for towels
- Shower curtain rod
- Plumbing and propane hook ups for shower, sink, toilet, and water heater
- Polyurethane for the floor
- Stain for the floor
- New globes for the light fixture. I can’t link the exact ones from Lowe’s, but here are ones from Amazon.
DIY items we made
- Shiplap wall boards made from Cedar 🌲
- Tongue and groove hickory flooring that we cut, had milled, and had tongue and grooved
- Adam made the vanity
- I altered the curtains to fit the sink and hide the pipes
- ￼All the electrical supplies
Items we had to purchase for working on this homestead cabin bathroom project, and the general house projects
- Wood planer. We ended up investing in the commercial one for this whole cabin job.
- Wood shaper with rabbet bit (for shiplap) bit
- Liquid nails for gluing things
- Finish nails and nailer (ours is a Brad nailer, finish nail 3-in-1 Stapler from Harbor Freight) for nailing shiplap
￼Tools we used that we already had
- Kobalt sander
- Kobalt drill and driver
- DeWalt planer–works well for soft wood and small projects. Had to go commercial with all of our hardwood and multiple projects.
- Kobalt router table. Same as above. Had to upgrade to the Powermatic Shaper, but the router table works great for doing small pieces of trim when we don’t want to crank up the big machine.
- Kobalt drain wrench tool to get that pesky bathtub drain out
- Normal tools like hammer, wrenches, caulking, guns, builder, squares, and tape measures
Description and Plan
We wanted this bathroom, which is the main bathroom at the bottom level of our homestead cabin, to be welcoming, and just have a feel of a rustic, homey cabin. ￼ I wanted this bathroom in particular, to reflect more of a rustic lodge feel, as opposed to a more feminine feel (which I lean towards).
The bear theme
Bears and red buffalo plaid fabric is something we could all agree on. It looks masculine enough to please the menfolk, and it looks farmhouse enough to please me. It’s just a very welcoming print.
Choosing the decorating theme happened after most of the other work was already done, and it was the icing on the cake of a long drawn out project. It made all the work worth it, because it’s cheerful and inviting.
Links for the fun bear and lodge decorations ❤️ 🐻 🔥
Good grief, we were building a house, so why all the upcycled stuff?
Easy answer… We are cheapskates.
More complicated answer… We like to save money, we like vintage, and why spend more when you can spend less? That doesn’t sound too complicated does it?
When we ran across building supplies at the Habitat for Humanity stores, if we were in the right frame of mind, we grabbed them. That’s how we ended up with a $25 tub.
I was feeling in a particularly thrifty mood one day when I visited one of our thrift stores, and I felt quite pleased with myself when I grabbed a powder blue toilet at a great price. Needless to say, my family was outraged, and the boys declared they would never use that blue toilet. I’m afraid my husband did not exercise his thrifty bones in the situation, and sided with the boys over the blue toilet.
At that point, I had visions of country, blue, cute, gingham, curtains, and a very sweet, cozy theme. Somehow… that blue toilet ended up with a crack in the tank. I didn’t ask too many questions, but I always wondered how it was that a mishap of that proportion could happen inside the house. At the end of the day, we got rid of the blue toilet. We did opt to use and up-cycled toilet in this bathroom, knowing that if it should ever fail, it’s just as easy to run down to Lowe’s and pick up another one.
The vanity sink and vanity lights were handed down to us when one of Greg’s customers was remodeling. Because this bathroom is not actually in the main part of the house, we were not feeling too picky about what we used. We wanted functional and long lasting. The vanity top was in good enough shape so that we could use it.
I did try to be cute and upgrade the brass faucet drains and tub fixtures with oil rubbed bronze Rustoleum spray paint. I promise I read an article on the Internet that said it would last. It didn’t. The blackish paint was rubbing off before we even had the stuff installed. I will say that we had a couple of years in between the spraying and the insulation, but still… It wasn’t going to hold up.
You win some and you lose some.
The vanity light was one that was all chipped in black, and was a hand me down two. It had three frosty white ribbed globes. And one of those ended up breaking along the way, so when I went to replace it, I could not find the same one. I wanted to upgrade it anyway, and I’m really pleased with the ones that we found. With the LED Edison bulbs, it makes the whole fixture look up-to-date yet old. And I will say, that my Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint did work pretty well on the light fixture.
Homemade Homestead Cabin Bathroom
The hickory flooring was put down by Adam, while everybody else was in the bed, laid flat with Covid. ￼ He used leftovers from the flooring project from the loft, then stained it a medium brown, and sealed it with polyurethane.
Several years ago, Adam also use some of those leftover flooring boards to make the vanity. It was his first ever building project, and I love how it turned out. It’s properly rustic, looks cute with a skirt, and works really well in this bathroom.
Most of the things in this bathroom are self-explanatory. You can get a lot of the detail in the YouTube video because I talk about everything that’s in there. Also–I realized I’ve taken more photos videos of this project than photos. 🤦♀️
Rinnai Tankless Hot Water Heater
The main thing I wanted to mention is that water heater.
Initially, we partially installed a traditional stand up tank water heater. We use propane, so that was the qualification. Recently, however, we installed a tankless hot water heater for our camper. Greg did a lot of research before we took this step, and we have been nothing but pleased with the tankless water heater. For that reason, and several others, we opted to take out the big water tank and install a larger version of the Rinnai tankless water heater for the whole house. (See link below).
Less Space, Better Efficiency
This water heater takes up a lot less space, it hangs on the wall, and it doesn’t heat the water continuously. We really liked that. In fact, with us being off the grid, and depending on solar, and our battery bank, we didn’t want to be continuously, using propane, using battery power, to keep a tank full of hot water, when people may or may not be using it. It just seems like a waste to us.
This way, when we run the water, the propane kicks on, and starts to heat the water. It’s called an instant hot water heater, and it’s pretty fast. It heats the water as it comes into the box. I can’t call it a tank because it’s a tankless water heater. in a perfect world, as long as you had plenty of water, plenty of propane, and nothing to do, you could theoretically have endless hot water. That is not our goal. Our goal is just to be efficient, to stay off, grid, and to Make wise decisions.
I will say, that the tankless water heater does require a little bit of electricity to kick it on. We get that from our batteries or the solar, but it is the propane that is heating the water.
Propane Lines/homestead Cabin Project
Andrew has been working very diligently for a very long time to install and tweak the propane system. He learned how to install the lines by reading, watching videos, and asking a lot of questions. Also, the school of life was the biggest teacher, and bad experiences. This led him to figure out what to do to make the system work. We are very proud of his persistence, because now we have the whole house run with propane lines, which was no small task.
When the gas inspector came to look at what he had done, he offered Andrew a job on the spot. He was so impressed that he could figure all this out with never having been around it before. Andrew was also offered a job when picking up supplies at the home store. Some men who needed propane work done noticed that he seemed to know more than they did about propane lines, and offered him to come work for them. Both jobs he had to turn down, because he’s very busy these days.
Woodwork and Shiplap
￼ Adam did all of the woodworking in this bathroom. He took the cedar boards that we had milled at the sawmill, plain them, use the shaper to put shiplap edges on the boards, and installed them.
I love the vanity mirror. I picked that up at the thrift store for $20, and it looks like someone hand made it. It fits perfectly in our bathroom space, and I feel really blessed to have found that.
Hand Made Touches
The last item that I wanted to mention, was the cute little Crosstitch picture on the wall. I’ll pass that by two different times when I went to my favorite thrift store, but I talked in the back of my memory when we got the bathroom. All done I knew it was time. I checked back at the store to see if they still had it for sale, and I was happy to see that they did. It is a handmade vintage picture of a fox in the woods. It just really fits the rustic woodsy theme.
If I have my choice, I will always choose handmade, vintage, or one-of-a-kind over mass produced cookie-cutter decor. I know the hobby lobby has many positive aspects, but many times when I go into that store, I feel really anxious. So much stuff, so many choices, and it’s all mass produced. All of those choices leave me feeling very confused. ￼ I would much rather browse through the isles of a quirky, vintage shop, looking at things that have been loved by other families, and incorporating them into our own home.
I’m glad you stopped by. There will be more updates because we are making good progress on the homestead cabin. Sometimes it seems like the work is slow, but little by little, we are getting there.
Over the years I’ve done different updates. You’re welcome to look back over the years and see where we started and what we’ve done over the years.
While looking over some of these archived posts, I realized I’d be remiss not to mention one of my most popular posts of all time. It’s the reason why our boys are ready to pick up a power tool and use it–It’s just what they’re used to.
Be sure to keep following along here and on YouTube. I’m trying to keep up with what’s happening, but life is always happening too, so I can’t do everything. 😜