Renovating your outdated bathroom can add style to the space and make it much more functional. Home design magazines and sites like Pinterest are filled with amazing remodels complete with insanely expensive fixtures, top of the line flooring, and custom accessories, but all of that adds up to a lot of money. It’s not necessary to replace every single thing in your bathroom to complete a remodel, and a small budget can be enough to achieve the look you want. Cutting costs on your bathroom remodel will come down to using your creativity and carefully putting together a plan. Here are seven ways to improve your bathroom without going broke.
Don’t change what works
Do you truly dislike every single thing in your bathroom? Do none of its current fixtures and elements work well or look nice? More likely than not, there are things in your current bathroom that you like or function well. For instance, there’s no need to replace a toilet that fits nicely into your space, looks fine, and works. Trim your bathroom remodel budget by focusing on replacing items that are seriously outdated or no longer function. You’d be surprised how easy it is to overlook things about your space that you actually like, but didn’t pay attention to before starting your renovation.
Keep the same layout
Switching up the footprint of your bathroom will add on thousands of dollars — changing the location of plumbing and large fixtures is rarely inexpensive. Instead of switching the positions of items like your sink, tub, and toilet, keep them in the same place and simply get new ones if necessary.
Paint is your friend
A fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference to a room and do everything from hide flaws to bring a new feel to the space. Let’s say you don’t like the ceiling or old wood flooring in your bathroom — consider painting either one for a fresh new look. Paint can even make your existing tile and fixtures more attractive. Put light gray paint on the walls, and your pale blue shower tile from the 80s will take a modern turn. Another bonus: paint is fairly inexpensive and can be easily changed.
Know when to call a professional
Doing it yourself is all the rage and is a good way to save money, but only when it comes to things you can handle without causing damage to your home. Attempting to lay flooring when you’ve never done it before isn’t a good idea, and the same goes for tile and installing large pieces such as bath tubs and shower stalls. The cost of hiring a skilled expert from the start will be less than going the DIY route, making mistakes, and paying to repair the damage. Still, even when you do hire a contractor, be sure to buy your own materials to stay within your budget.
Accessorize when possible
The right accessories can completely change your bathroom and be very affordable. Something as simple as a new mirror, shower curtain, or plush rug can make your bathroom remodel less expensive while still achieving your desired look. Even purchasing new towels to set out on your towel bar can add a spa like quality to your bathroom — a new towel bar itself will add function and beauty to the space. Setting out a few attractive, inexpensive baskets to hold magazines, toiletries, and spare toilet paper rolls is another option that looks good and can be done on a budget. Don’t forget to decorate the walls — it’s an easy way to add interest to your bathroom.
Look at the small details
A new shower head, different cabinet pulls and knobs, and the addition of a new faucet to your existing sink are examples of small changes that can have a big payoff for your bathroom remodel. These are also the types of things that you can do yourself without spending much money or investing a lot of time. Changing such details in your bathroom is an excellent idea if you tend to switch up your decor style often or you want flexibility. It’s also a good idea for anyone that is new to home renovation and getting used to the idea of making changes on their own.
Be mindful when buying tile and counters
Tile can serve as the focal point of a bathroom and give it a wonderfully luxurious feel. However, quality tile doesn’t come cheap, especially the ones that you’re probably considering for your remodel. A good strategy to keep the cost of your tile in check is to splurge just a bit on the expensive tile that you want by using it as an accent, and tiling the rest of your bathroom with an inexpensive option. For instance, instead of putting marble subway tile across your entire bathroom floor, have one strip of it run the length of the room and fill out the rest with something cheaper, but complementary. The result will be a bathroom with a high end look and a mix of tile that you’ll love.
Likewise, there are some gorgeous vanities, counters, and cabinets on the market that can quickly eat up your bathroom remodel budget. Try to mimic the look of more expensive counters by switching out your basin or faucet if possible. If you can’t do the latter, or your counters need to be replaced because they’re worn, try to find remnants. Home improvement stores typically have a discount or clearance section that you can scout out. It’s also not unheard of for great bathroom remodel cabinets and vanities to be found in thrift stores — you’ll just need to hunt for the best bargain to save big. A DIY alternative is to make your own vanity from a piece of old furniture. Add the counter top and sink of your choice to create a custom piece for a low price.
Completing your bathroom remodel for little money can be a challenge, but the end result will be worth the time you invest into improving your home.