DIY diva

Man-Cave Bathroom Style: Revealed!

August 10, 2010 | 35 Comments | Bath, Memorial House, Style
DIY diva

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.

DIY diva



    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.

  • Julia @ Hooked on Houses

    That’s a pretty amazing transformation. Looks great! Love how you were inspired by a really feminine bathroom and made it masculine.

  • Lisa

    Wow! The remodel looks amazing!

    I dig the options that you are considering for artwork. How about a message board that a business would use?

    Something like these…

  • Alicia Hanson

    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.

  • Shane

    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.

  • Aimee

    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.

  • Rebecca

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

    I like the hot rod garage one.

  • meryl rose

    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

  • Gene

    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.

  • runtymom

    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.

  • Victoria

    As a woman living with two men, i can tell you what they’d say is missing: a flat screen T.V. : ) Great job!

  • Katie S.

    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 =)

  • Andy

    A cracking project. Well executed (and written about)
    I like your style and attitude.

  • Sabrina

    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??

  • Mary

    Love this! For the art work: I vote some outdoor/western/country photography. Something like this, maybe?

  • Kate R

    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.

  • Sara @ Russet Street Reno

    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!

  • Holyoke Home

    A heart and heartfelt congratulations! I’m going to nix all your wall art ideas and insist on this: Because it has a pin up girl AND a gas station.

  • Julie

    Etsy has a bunch of these kinds of photographs. A grouping of vintage car photos would look awesome.

  • Julie

    Oops, I pasted the wrong link….that one is for Route 66 photos.

    Here are some car ones…

    Ignore the first two rows of photos in the link above.

  • Julie

    Or how about a big movie poster? Like a Godfather one

    Or some vintage movie ones?

  • Julie

    Or old comic books? Is he into a certain tv show maybe? Or did he have a favorite cartoon/show as a kid? Or how about board games?
    A vintage football poster? A black and white photo of a favorite building? Photo of architectural details of a city building?

  • Julie

    Would have probably been nice of me to put all of my ideas in one comment…sorry!
    Framed maps?

  • Greg Epps

    I think these pictures would fit well on that empty spot:

  • wanderluster

    Wowee, what a bathroom!! The black beadboard – that is the PERFECT look for a man cave. Nice job on the trimwork too. Well done Diva!

  • Jenne

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

  • Hollie

    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.

  • Glenn

    Wow, very nice bathroom. All three pictures would look great!

  • Pamela Weakland

    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!

  • chimney pipe

    That’s a pretty amazing transformation. Looks great! Love how you were inspired by a really feminine bathroom and made it masculine.

  • chimney pipe

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

    I like the hot rod garage one.

  • David

    Well done, maestro!

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  • Peter

    I like this colorful tiles most of all.
    great Job!

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Man Cave Bathrooms | All Things Bathroom
    Monday, 11 November, 2013

    […] into something that jives with the style of your man cave even if you are merely installing a stand up urinal, windows and a bed-board as pictured in the article. The standup urinal is quite the bathroom […]

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