So you’re ready to redecorate and redesign your bathroom. But losing $20,000 in a luxurious spa is light years away from what you can afford to spend. Here’s the good news: you don’t need the mega-dollars to turn your bathroom into a relaxing and cool space. There are many ways to renew and redesign a budget.
According to the cost vs. value ratio of Remodeling Magazine, an average bathroom renovation costs about $10,500 while a high-end renovation will earn you $26,000. However, if you do the work yourself and become creative, this old house estimates that you can make a renovation from $1,000 to $3,000, or even less, depending on how much you want to change.
Also, upgrading or adding a bathroom to your home is a home improvement project that adds value. In other words, you will recover a significant part of the costs when you sell your home, up to 100%.
Determine how much you can afford to spend on your renovation to determine the extent of the changes you can make. If your budget is low (i.e. $1,000 or less), we recommend that you stick to aesthetic changes, such as new projectors or a new heat sink and paint. If you have more to spend, you can focus on larger changes, such as adding a card, a larger shower or a window. Again, it’s all up to your budget.
So, what can you do to save on your bathroom redesign or renovation?
Cheap bathroom remodeling ideas
1. Limit your tiles
Tiles become expensive, especially when you hire a contractor to set it aside for you. To save money, limit the amount of tiles and focus on high-impact areas like the floor (instead of the floor and inside the shower walls). Alternatively, you can place a horizontal strip along the wall and paint the rest.
If you have your heart on a tile that is artistic and expensive, use it as an accent next to a cheaper tile. Not only will the artistic tiles be more noticeable, but you’ll save a lot of money by using only a few here and there.
2. Save on the counter
A popular trend is to allow yourself luxury on granite worktops. Because the bathroom counter is so small, the investment is often quite low compared to what you would spend on kitchen counters, for example.
So, how can you save here? First, look at the color. Neutral colors like tan, brown and light beige are more popular, which means they are more expensive. To save money, consider and evaluate a wide range of colors.
Another way to save on granite shelves is to buy a slab containing imperfections. The more visible the imperfection, the cheaper the price will be. Remember that your sink will take up a lot of space, so if the imperfection is where the sink or faucets are, you won’t see it anyway!
At the moment, one of the biggest trends in the bathroom industry is also the one that DIY budget lovers can pull off in style. The trend is using old drawers as sink pedestals. Simply cut the top of the dresser to accommodate a sink insert, cut or remove the internal drawers if necessary, and drill holes in the back for the plumbing. These “sinks” can sell thousands of dollars in retail stores, but you can easily create one with a cheap chest of drawers, some patience and the right tools.
You don’t have much to spend, so repainting will be the cheapest and perhaps the most effective way to give your bathroom a new look.
Here’s a word of warning, though. It will take longer than you think. Why? Your bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but you’ll have to paint slowly and gently around the window, the bathtub or shower, the sink, the mirror, the bathroom, the electric plates, the corners of the walls and the floor. This takes time and patience (and a good supply of the painter’s tape), so be sure to keep it in mind when planning your renovation.
Another thing to consider is humidity. Since mold and mould easily develop in a bathroom, and humidity and temperature often change, it’s a good idea to invest in high quality paint with a satin finish. You may also want to go over the ceiling with a special bathroom paint that helps withstand the growth of mold.
Come on, look at the little details. You can upgrade chandeliers, taps, towel rails and pulls for a relatively small investment. These items may seem insignificant, but updating them can make a big difference in the look of your bathroom. Discover sites like ModernBathroom.com for ideas. The items might be outside your price range, but you can find ways to replicate the look for less.
Keep in mind that you don’t always have to buy towel rails in a household or IKEA store. One of my friends used the old plumbing for his towel rails and gave his bathroom a very cool, industrial look. Also, since he saved them from an old house that was about to be demolished, they were free!
5. Refreshing Caulk and Mortar
Another often overlooked but important detail is the mortar and the calafate. When it becomes dirty, it becomes unpleasant. Simply by cleaning the mortar and adding clean, straight lines of mastic around the tank and sinking, you can add spark for a few dollars. You may be surprised what can make the difference! Putty and lime are both cheap, so this is a very cheap way to refresh the bathroom.
6. Restore, not buy new
Replacing your old bathtub or shower will cost you a nice penny. Instead, do it relied professionally, which is much cheaper.
However, don’t try it with a sink and shower because it costs more to finish than to replace them. Finishing these projectors is more expensive because very few people decide to do it unless they have old vintage pieces, and contractors offering this service often charge a premium price.
However, let’s say you have some vintage sanitary ware or an old tub you don’t want to get rid of. The good news? You can finish them yourself if they’re made of porcelain, cast iron or fiberglass. That said, it takes time and some investment. A basic DIY finishing kit will save you $150, but you’ll also need additional supplies like a sander, spray gun, face mask, brush, etc. You can see a good basic tutorial for DIY finishing at HGTV.
7. Buy used
You can also save money on fixtures, toilets and showers, if you buy them used. Browse sites like eBay and Craigslist or go to your nearest Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which specifically sells household items like doors, mirrors, sinks, toilets and baths.
Another great place to look for recycled bathroom accessories is Etsy. What can you find there? You’re just limited by your imagination. For example, an Etsy artist takes brightly colored vintage Tupperware and turns it into fantastic pendant lamps. These could be fun and funky hanging in the bathroom! Another Etsy artist creates fantastic, recycled metal shelving that looks like a tick. These could be fun for stacking folded towels. You can easily find recycled bathroom accessories on Etsy by searching with keywords like “bath” or “upcycled”.
8. Turn green with updates
When you upgrade your bathroom, don’t forget to redesign it with the environment in mind. Low-flow toilets, sinks and showers will not only help you save water, they will also save you money. In addition, water-saving shower heads and taps often cost the same, if not less, than traditional ones. So you don’t have to spend money to save money here.
Buying used or repurposing materials is also good for the environment. In addition to looking for sites like Etsy for up-to-date updates, look for ideas and do it yourself. For example, it’s quite easy to turn mason jars into soap dispensers. You can see detailed instructions on how to do it here.
Want another idea? Find three cool vintage cans. Practice cans side by side in a 2ft piece of old dashboard. Then, drill the board on the wall of the bathroom (in the picture below by laissez faire). Now you have a fantastic way to preserve the needs of the bathroom such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs and brushes and Q-tips. You can even keep fresh flowers in a can!
You can also use vintage chandeliers, old pieces of barn for shelves or an old mirror above the sink. Every time you use something old instead of something new, you’re probably saving money and reducing your consumption. Both things are very good!
Don’t forget to return them too. Any item you take out of your bathroom can be donated to your local Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
I recently thought about taking my bath again. My house was built in 1900 and I have a very small bathroom. Thanks to an unfortunate choice of paint color, the walls look as if they have been watered with Pepto Bismol. In other words, it really needs a little work and repainting is number one on my list.
After that, I’d like to do some old wood or metal to create shelves above the toilet and near the sink. Even the towel warmers are definitely coming in.
And you? Do you have any ideas on how to save money on redesigning or repainting a bathroom?