small basement bathroom remodel after
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Before & After Small Basement Remodel

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Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find small basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

These last couple of months have been a whirlwind. We wrapped up the last renovations on our third fixer-upper by finishing the small basement before putting it on the market.

5 days and 50 showings later the house was under contract. 4 weeks later we exchanged the keys for a check.

Now we are renting a house from friends (a miracle story) until we find our dream property.

But let’s press rewind and finally check out all the before and afters of our 640 sqft basement renovation.

From dark and drab to bright and fab!  Scroll through the before and after pics of our full basement renovation and find your own basement remodel ideas!

Let’s remind ourselves where we started. Hot mess express. Small. Dark. And totally drab. Paint peeling of the block walls. Insulation falling from the ceiling.

From dark and drab to bright and fab!  Scroll through the before and after pics of our full basement renovation and find your own basement remodel ideas!

Someone send help.

From dark and drab to bright and fab!  Scroll through the before and after pics of our full basement renovation and find your own basement remodel ideas!

To look at this basement wasn’t much to speak of and with the ceiling less than 8ft many homeowners wouldn’t have tried to finish it let alone design a full bathroom into it.

From dark and drab to bright and fab!  Scroll through the before and after pics of our full basement renovation and find your own basement remodel ideas!

Hopefully this small basement renovation will inspire you to think outside the box and give you some basement remodel ideas for your own space!

From dark and drab to bright and fab!  Scroll through the before and after pics of our full basement renovation and find your own basement remodel ideas!

Ready to brighten this space up? Let’s do it!

Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

For more basement ideas, be sure to check out:

Basement Remodel Ideas

Painted Concrete Block Basement Walls

To keep this renovation on budget we decided to paint the block walls and run the electric wiring through metal conduit. It gave a slightly more industrial vibe to the room, was significantly cheaper than drywalling, and also left a slightly bigger footprint in the space.

Basement Remodel Ideas Exposed Joist Basement Ceiling Idea

We took a wire brush and removed all the chipped paint from the concrete blocks. Then we primed the walls and painted with Sherwin Williams’ Silver Strand in a semi-gloss finish. I chose semi-gloss because it reflects more light, giving the room and brighter and bigger appearance.

Basement Remodel Ideas

Exposed Joist Basement Ceiling

One of the first design elements I knew I would do down here was an exposed joist basement ceiling. This basement ceiling was low to begin with, and exposing the joists gave added height.

Scroll through the before and after pics of our full basement renovation and find your own basement remodel ideas!

Step number one was removing the old insulation from the joist bays along with the 3,284 staples that held the insulation in place.

Scroll through the before and after pics of our full basement renovation and find your own basement remodel ideas!

It was amazing how much lighter and brighter this space was after painting the walls and exposing the joist ceiling.

The next steps after removing the insulation were a little more complicated and involved running new wires, burying old wires, installing the canned lighting, and painting.

I will do a more detailed post of the exact steps to finish an exposed joist ceiling in your basement, but look at the difference!

Pre-insulation removal.

Post insulation removal.

And then paint!

Look how light and bright! The ceiling was painted with a flat white. I realized too late what Zach and his buddy had bought, but originally I had wanted to spray the ceiling with the same semi-gloss sheen for the light reflection. My go-to white color is Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

Here you can see the industrial-style metal conduit for the electric as well as the heated baseboards. If you have questions about the ceiling drop them in the comments, and I will be sure to answer them!

Basement Remodel Ideas

Basement Bathroom

This basement bathroom is about the smallest possible bathroom design that will still get approved by most codes. Forgoing a full bathroom when remodeling a basement is one of the biggest mistakes people make. If you missed 21 Design Ideas When Remodeling A Basement, then be sure to check it out. I shared a lot of design ideas from our last couple of basement remodels.

The secret? If your basement has stairs then you probably have room for a full bathroom.

See the masking tape on the floor beside the stairs? That is where the bathroom went.

basement stairs remodel

We framed in the stairs with the bathroom wall, and then created a little hallway when you first turned the corner at the bottom of the stairs so the bathroom was on your left.

small basement bathroom remodel

Here it is all framed out. Can you believe that tiny space is going to hold a full tub/shower, toilet, and vanity and still not feel super crowded? It’s true. I was even surprised how roomy it felt when it was done.

Ready to see it almost finished?

Basement bathroom

Still a work in progress here, but check that out! I had more than one person stand amazed that I fit a bathroom down here that was not only roomy but hardly took up any floor space in the basement.

Basement Remodel Ideas

Basement Bar And Sink

basement bar

Once the bathroom was finished the next step was to add the basement bar and sink.

I used this incredible 3D printed stone wallpaper as an accent wall because paint bores me.

And you guys. I cannot even believe how amazing this wallpaper looked. Everyone had to touch it to see if it was real.

basement bar

I reclaimed the skinny oak plank wood flooring that we pulled up from the kitchen in this house to build the bar top and sink countertop. Have leftover wood flooring? Check out this tutorial and learn how to build a countertop from reclaimed oak plank flooring.

Basement Remodel Ideas

Stenciled Basement Stairs

basement stairs makeover

I gave these stairs a complete makeover which included plywood risers, sanding, paint, staining, and then stenciling the risers.

DIY painted staircase makeover
basement stairs makeover

For all the details you can read all about this DIY Painted Stair Case Makeover.

Basement Remodel Ideas

Flooring

Last but not least, the flooring.

Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

This is the BEST vinyl plank floor! We used Khaki Oak Grip Edge Vinyl Flooring from Home Depot, and I would definitely use it again.

I’m not winning style points, but the floor does.

Use this DIY tutorial, materials list, and the breakdown of cost for finishing a basement floor to add farmhouse-style charm to your remodeled basement.

Ready to see all of the before and afters? This is my favorite part.

Come on in.

Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.
Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

From drab to fab for sure.

Those laundry sink cabinets were piecemealed together from another project, but they are from my favorite wholesale kitchen cabinet company that you need to check out if you have any need for bathroom or kitchen cabinets – LilyAnn Cabinet

Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

See that sink cabinet? It was a base microwave cabinet that I converted into a sink base. And that sink was repurposed from the kitchen we tore out upstairs. Hello, budget reno.

Look how light and bright that ceiling makes it down here.

Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

I’m in love with that 3d stone wall paper.

Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

Last but not least let’s check out the bathroom.

Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

What do you think of this small basement renovation? If you have any questions please drop them in the comments.

Hopefully, you have some basement remodel ideas for your next project!

For more basement ideas, be sure to check out:

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Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.
Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.
Scroll through the before and after pics of our basement renovation and find basement remodel ideas including an open joist ceiling.

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12 Comments

  1. I will never understand the allure of the unfinished ceiling in the basement. It’s a haven for spider webs and dust. Plus it isn’t sound proofed. Just a big nope in my plans.

  2. Thank you for posting this! I have a similarly dingy basement that I would love to renovate for a full bathroom and nicer laundry space. A couple questions: 1) what did you do about the floor drain in the basement? Did you cut the flooring around it during install? And 2) Do you feel like this extra bathroom significantly added value to the home vs. what you put into the renovation?

    1. Yes, we cut the flooring around the drain. The full bathroom in this basement definitely was worth the added value but that was largely in part because we did all the work except for the plumbing. So one, you have to assess how much $ you will need to drop into it, and two, what is the standard home value in your neighborhood? Check Zillow and see how many bathrooms most houses have on your street. You want to make sure you are either the same or more. For us adding that full bath put us on par with the majority of our neighborhood…

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