Man-Cave Bathroom Style: Revealed!

New drywall, tile, windows, fixtures, floor, bead-board, and one urinal later, and I can officially say the man-cave bathroom the most complete room in any of the four buildings on our property.


I would love this bathroom if it just sprang out of the ground looking like this, but I love it even more considering what it started out as…


Um, yeah. It still kinda makes me shudder. And gag.

A little background for those that are new around here. The property we’re renovating rebuilding our house on came with an old gas station, which we gutted and fixed up to live in while we work on the main house. When we move out of our little 400 square foot slice of heaven, this part of the Station will be for MysteryMan’s particular use – you know, a haven for scratching and burping and all of that man stuff.

So when it came time to choose the look and feel of the bathroom, it had to be masculine…


No frills…


And, by god, it needed to have a urinal.


Most women are all areyoueffingkiddingme about the urinal, but  I actually really enjoy it if nothing else just for the shouts of delight from every guy that sees it. I’ve never seen dudes more excited to pee inside the house. (City boys also get pretty jazzed about being able to pee in the cornfields out here, which just goes to show that men really never mature past the age of twelve. And yet we still love you guys.) Also, it uses less water, there are never any, uh, aiming issues to clean up, and there is zero chance of the toilet seat being left up.

Also, this one looks pretty damn sweet if I do say so myself – and not just because I spent hours of my life tiling every square inch of the wall behind it.

The Style

Here was my original idea board from back in January:

While I knew I wanted to use blacks and browns, I was stuck for a while on the use of the materials,  where to tile, and how much. And then I saw this bathroom on Hooked on Houses and all the pieces just fell into place…

Except MysteryMan would have strung me up by my toes if I put anything remotely resembling pink or purple into his bathroom.

So we went a different direction…


What I used:

Finishing Touches

If you’re interested in the How-To, here’s what you need to know:

I admit that the last little bit of it was the worst. And not just because of the temper-tantrum and resulting fingernail injury yesterday. The hardest part about this whole bathroom was actually these windows.


We furred the walls out with 2×3’s and in retrospect should have popped the old windows out and created wood frames around them. (It was February in Michigan at the time though, so I don’t know that we can be faulted for wanting to keep the windows in as long as possible.) Instead we had the glass block installed in the old concrete opening, and we ended up with some nasty areas around the windows to frame in.


After weeks of hemming-and-hawing around it, I finally just got out the table saw, miter saw, finish nailer and some shims and started in on it. Its not remotely square, but I’ve found there’s not much you can do to black trim that won’t be forgiven with a little black caulk.


I was also a little stymied by the top of the half-wall I built between the urinal and sink. Tile? No tile?


Finally I just grabbed some leftover 1×6 from building the window casings…


And used the router to put a fancy edge on it.


I’m so glib about that, but I’ll tell you straight up that even with the router table, I take seven deep breaths before I use that thing. If ever there was a tool I was going to lose a finger to…


Don’t worry, no digits lost this time, people.


The rest of my life weekend was spent trimming around various doors and weekends.


And since I just now decided while looking at these pictures to put some baseboard around the bathroom as well, it ain’t over yet!

The Missing Piece

So the one thing this room needs yet, is a little something on this wall:



But I’m not sure which direction to go. I’m thinking maybe a vintage Texaco sign, since it is a gas station after all.

Or beer?

Maybe a pinup or two?

Nothing has really struck me as being “right” yet, so what do you all think? What’s the perfect finishing piece for this man-cave bathroom?

Edit: To see what I decided on, check out the final wall art here.

35 Responses

  1. Wow! That is amazing. As far as the artwork, I think the one I wouldn’t go with is the pin-up. Just for the fact that men may not be able to get to their business, if you know what I mean. I do like the garage themed artwork, or maybe a collage of old license plates.

  2. Very nicely done. I like the Hot Rod garage artwork. We are in the process of opening a retail location with old vintage signs and a large format digital printer.
    If you do go that direction, some cool old car side mirrors might be neat mounted as a soap holder.

  3. That turned out amazing!

    As far as the “art” goes, my vote is for a couple vintage pin-ups. It is a man-cave bathroom after all.

  4. That is seriously awesome! What a lucky man!! I love the vintage pin ups. 🙂 You did a great job on this room, he better appreciate how lucky he is to have his own loo. LOL.

  5. Regarding wall decoration, how about that iStock photo of the babe touting the power tool? :-p

    I like the hot rod garage one.

  6. that looks AMAZING! I love all three of the art pieces, but I think my favorite would be the Texaco sign, the vintage, distressed feel goes awesome with the clean and beautiful bathroom. When we FINALLY finish our bathroom I’m going with a vintage medicinal poster I thought was hilarious

  7. Awesome job! Personally, I’m not that excited about a urinal. Now, a waterless urinal, or a nice dual-flush toilet… 🙂

    I’d definitely go with a gas station sign as an homage to the building’s original purpose.

  8. I think I would use the photos you have of the original owners of the gas station on that wall. Nice dark vintage frames and maybe find a vintage sign of Titgemeiers or Texaco, it was a Star Texaco station if I remember right? That would be cool.

  9. Absolutely amazing!! I love everything about it…and I think a vintage gas station sign is just the thing to go on that wall. Alicia’s idea for soap holders is also very cool =)

  10. AMAZING transformation! Can’t believe your before pictures and you just took this potty too a whole new level of cool. And I’m jealous of the urinal…3 boys in our house…I WANT ONE! As for wall art…The room has a vintage feel to me so I think the pin up idea is great. Maybe some old prints framed out in black??

  11. This is one of those “If I didn’t see the pictures, I wouldn’t even believe it was possible” kind of transformations. You did an awesome job.

    For artwork, I’m with runtymom. I think the pics you have of your gas station back in the day would be perfect.

  12. It’s so manly yet beautiful! I vote for pinups on the wall, it would fit so well. Maybe a pinup IN a gas station? I must say the black trim and beadboard is stunning. And your tricky molding fixes look like they were carefully planned that way. You go, diva!

  13. This is awesome!
    I have one little question….if this is the man-cave bathroom….what kinda bathroom are you getting? 🙂

  14. Just gotta say the pic of an attractive woman surrounded by her awesome construction and design skills is dead sexy! Hope to be as cool as you one day.

  15. love the brown bathroom! i just did my powder room with white beadboard and i love it. wondering if you know anything about doing a half wall with beadboard – i want to create one between my kitchen and dining room and i would like to do it just using 2×4 (or 6 or 8) and just nail the beadboard right to the studs without using drywall – is that okay to do?? also want to make it about 12 inches wide but not sure how to do the frame so any advice would be much appreciated! thanks much!

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