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Best Powder Room Before and Afters 2013

You showed us your efficient yet beautiful redone half baths. Now see which ones were finalists in our annual Reader Remodel Contest

Big Style for Half Baths

Powder rooms provide a convenient place for guests to freshen up without offering them unfettered access to your master bathroom. In our annual Reader Remodel Contest, we saw spaces carved out from closets and tucked under staircases, with layouts that make every inch count. While these winning powder rooms may be petite, their designs are worthy of even the grandest full bathroom. See the best renovations of powder rooms, as chosen by the editors of This Old House.

Small But Charming New Space: Before

Who: Karen C.

Where: Hamilton, OH

This remodel started because our old toilet was not flushing properly and it had been cracked for years. We gutted the bathroom and removed a wall mirror, which was covering a bad wall repair that would have to be addressed. We removed the toilet and flooring and even had to move the plumbing and electrical for the sink.

Small But Charming New Space: After

Who: Karen C.

Where: Hamilton, OH

The little room is as charming as it can be for such a small room. It's really adorable. From the toilet to the sink to the mirror that tilts so you can see your entire outfit, it's just a warm and inviting little half bath.

Who did the work: We did all the work ourselves.

Cost: $1,000-$5,000

See all the images from this entry.

A More Functional Use of Space: Before

Who: Timothy F.

Where: Brookfield, IL

The most difficult part of the remodel was preparing the walls. The house is constructed with plaster walls, and soon I found out the elevation of the plaster was different in the foyer and closet. Additionally, the plaster was adhered to steel lath, and cutting and plastering in a small room proved to be quite the challenge.

A More Functional Use of Space: After

Who: Timothy F.

Where: Brookfield, IL

What I like best about the remodel is the creative use of space by including another half bath—demanded in today's housing market. Also, with the construction of a wall between the front door and dining room, the dining room has its own space, and a proper foyer for the home was also created.

Who did the work: I did most of the work myself.

Cost: $1,000-$5,000

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Half Bath Renovated Into a Cozy Space With Lots of Charm: Before

Who: Thomas F.

Where: Sayreville, NJ

The floor under the toilet was removed and the supports, floor, and drain-pipe assembly were replaced. A new white toilet was installed. The glass in the window above the toilet was replaced, and white molding and stained glass was added. A bright-white two-drawer vanity with a custom-made sink top was installed.

Half Bath Renovated Into a Cozy Space With Lots of Charm: After

Who: Thomas F.

Where: Sayreville, NJ

My wife likes that it's lighter and brighter. I love the tile sink top. It was handmade and cost much less to make than if a similar one were purchased.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.

Cost: $500-$1,000

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Powder Room to be Proud of: Before

Who: Colin H.

Where: Bedminster, NJ

We gutted the bathroom, replaced the tile floor, and replaced the sink, vanity, and toilet. Then we installed custom wainscoting, rewired electric lines, installed sconces and overhead lighting, installed a mirror, and painted.

Powder Room to be Proud of: After

Who: Colin H.

Where: Bedminster, NJ

We love the blending of traditional elements (e.g., wainscoting) with more modern features (e.g., curved mirror and sconces). Even the traditional Shaker-style vanity is combined with an updated quartz top of recycled glass.

Who did the work: A contractor did all the work.

Cost: $5,000-$10,000

See all the images from this entry.

Outdated Bathroom Now a Serene Space: Before

Who: Donald H.

Where: Nashua, NH

My wife and I gutted the entire bathroom and ran a 12-amp circuit for a ceiling light/fan and GFCI outlet. Insulation was added all around for warmth and soundproofing. The subfloor was tightened down to eliminate squeaking, and self-leveling compound was poured to level the floor.

Outdated Bathroom Now a Serene Space: After

Who: Donald H.

Where: Nashua, NH

My wife and I searched out clearance areas in the home improvement stores and found bargains on special-order items that were returned and discounted items. I'm happy the project was finished before it finished my marriage.

Who did the work: We did all the work ourselves.

Cost: $100-$500

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Custom Fixture Maximizes Space: Before

Who: Rebecca H.

Where: Xenia, OH

The hardest part of the remodel was not overwhelming such a small space. When I saw this sink at IKEA, I knew it was the perfect one. I didn't like the cabinet that came with it, so I had a custom one made. I bought the toilet with the smallest footprint that I could afford to ensure maximum floor space.

Custom Fixture Maximizes Space: After

Who: Rebecca H.

Where: Xenia, OH

I love the way the space is small but feels very special. I worked extremely hard to keep the proportions right and to use materials that were not too expensive but would add a lot of pop. This bathroom is only 3 by 5 feet and has a sloped ceiling, but I don't think it feels small when you are in it. It's great having a second bathroom in the house!

Who did the work: I did most of the work myself.

Cost: $1,000-$5,000

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Reno Included Removing Four Layers of Flooring: Before

Who: Brett P.

Where: Tiverton, RI

I stripped all the old wallpaper, carpeting (3 layers), and linoleum, and tore out the worst pocket door I've ever seen. I rebuilt one wall, moved some electrical and plumbing, and ran new wire and pipe. I installed a new solid raised-panel door in place of the pocket door; leveled the subfloor; installed a floating bamboo floor; installed new wainscoting, base molding, a chair-rail and stool, and crown molding.

Reno Included Removing Four Layers of Flooring: After

Who: Brett P.

Where: Tiverton, RI

I love the finished result. I can't believe how much I go out of my way to go into this room now. Before, it was gross, it smelled, and it was literally falling apart. Now the colors and light make it such a warm and comfy space for a bathroom.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.

Cost: $500-$1,000

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Fresh and Cheerful Bathroom Makeover: Before

Who: Terri P.

Where: Carroll, IA

I tore off old wallpaper, patched plaster walls, filled in grooves on a paneled wall, closed in the stairway with shelves and storage, papered below the chair rail with beadboard wallpaper, and papered and painted the walls.

Fresh and Cheerful Bathroom Makeover: After

Who: Terri P.

Where: Carroll, IA

It is so bright and cheery! I love how the foundation is disguised to look like a piece of furniture. I am very pleased with the painted stairs.

Who did the work: I did most of the work myself.

Cost: $100-$500

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Treasure From the Beach Creates a Coastal Bathroom: Before

Who: Rose P.

Where: Hilton Head Island, SC

The half bath was in fine condition but did not reflect my style or the style of the house. I stripped the wallpaper and my sweetheart, Peter, gutted everything else, saving only the toilet.

Treasure From the Beach Creates a Coastal Bathroom: After

Who: Rose P.

Where: Hilton Head Island, SC

The driftwood is my favorite—every time you're in the bathroom you see something different. I've even learned to love the sand that still seeps out from time to time; I tell myself I'm at the beach!

Who did the work: We did all the work ourselves.

Cost: $100-$500

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Kitchen Pantry Converted to Half Bath: Before

Who: Greg S.

Where: Hopkins, MN

Turned a kitchen pantry into a half bath. I had to remove a dividing wall, replace hardwood flooring with tiles, etc. The space was very limited; I had to move the door 2 inches to the left to get more room. I was able to get very nice piece of leftover granite from a local stone shop ($200 with cutting and polishing) as a countertop and custom-made all the stainless-steel and aluminum brackets and supports.

Kitchen Pantry Converted to Half Bath: After

Who: Greg S.

Where: Hopkins, MN

I like that we have a second toilet. Especially needed when three kids have to go at the same time!

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.

Cost: $100-$500

See all the images from this entry.