If you’ve ever thought, “We really need to do something with this bathroom,” you’re not alone! Many homeowners become overwhelmed at the thought of remodeling their bathrooms. Where do you even begin? Since the cost of a bathroom renovation can slowly sneak up on you, it’s essential to put a plan and design together before you get started.
We put together 13 ideas for how to remodel your bathroom on a budget. From installing affordable alternatives like vinyl and wainscot to DIY-ing accents like your mirror and vanity, these tips will ensure your home renovation design stays within budget.
When looking for the most cost-effective ways to renovate your bathroom, follow these 13 bathroom remodel ideas, plus additional design tips, to help keep your renovation affordable and oh-so-stunning.
1. Install Inexpensive Flooring
Bathroom flooring is a good first step to consider when renovating. But with so many choices, it can be hard to know which type of flooring is both cost-effective and durable enough to stand the test of time. While many renovations include tile or stone, vinyl and laminate offer a more affordable flooring option. These cheaper options can give you the look you want at a more affordable price—though it’s important to consider that they might not last quite as long.
2. Paint Your Walls
There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to brighten up your bathroom space. Painting your walls is a cost-effective way to completely change the look of your space. When it comes to bathrooms, light neutral tones help give more depth to your space. This is especially true for bathrooms that don’t have natural light. Have an eclectic taste and prefer something less minimal? Paint an accent wall, apply wallpaper, or add a backsplash for a pop of color.
3. Refinish the Tub
Bathroom tubs can diminish with years of constant use—it’s only natural. But before you spend the money to reinstall a brand new tub, consider if you can refinish your current one instead. It’s a good idea to seek expert help, but if it’s not in the budget and you have a bit of experience, you can refinish your bathtub yourself.
Refinishing a bathtub and shower requires sanding, priming, and using epoxy resin to recoat the tub. It’s a long and challenging project, but if done correctly, refinishing your bathtub versus replacing it can save you a lot of money on your bathroom remodel.
4. Utilize Laminate Countertops
While granite and marble countertops look amazing, they can sometimes lean toward the more expensive side. Thankfully, there are more inexpensive options, like using laminate or faux marble contact paper. Though laminate may not last quite as long as natural stone countertops, there are many benefits such as simple installation, easy maintenance, and many design options to choose from.
Though, as with any more affordable option, It’s also important to weigh the negatives. Keep in mind that laminate countertops can be more susceptible to burns, chipping, and delamination over time. However, all in all, laminate countertops offer an inexpensive bathroom remodel compared to natural stone.
5. Refurbish Your Vanity
The right vanity can take your bathroom from just okay to absolutely stunning. But a new bathroom vanity can consume a large chunk of your remodeling budget. A great way to get the look you want for less is to refurbish your current vanity to match the style you’re looking for.
While putting a new coat of paint can help elevate your current look, you can also use other furniture around the house to match the structural design you want. Turn an old dresser into a rustic bathroom vanity with a little bit of creativity, or transform a TV stand into a modern furnishing—the options are endless.
6. Fix Necessary Plumbing
When it comes to bathroom remodels, it can be challenging to resist the urge to replace just about everything. The key to staying within your budget is to prioritize only the necessary plumbing fixes. This means leaving fixtures with water supply where they are, including your toilet and sink. Instead, focus your budget on broken fixtures, pipes, and fittings to ensure your newly renovated bathroom is working properly.
7. Add a Mirror Frame
Mirrors can be an expensive bathroom component, but there are ways to update your current mirror without going over budget. One great way to do this is to reframe your current mirror instead of purchasing a new one. The frame of your mirror can help tie your design aesthetic together. Additionally, the right frame can make your mirror appear larger than it actually is, giving you the size you want without spending the money.
8. Update Accent Hardware
It’s surprising how updating accent hardware can help modernize your current pieces. Handles, knobs, and locks can become dull or scratched over time, dating your furnishings. Adding new hardware can make sure your staple pieces look new and also give you an opportunity to better tie in your new design. Try brushed gold handles for a modern look or Art Deco-inspired knobs for a more geometric, vintage-inspired style.
9. Replace Faucets
Over time, bathroom faucets can become stained and rusted. Just like your accent hardware, these flaws, while seemingly small, can date your bathroom elements. Replacing your faucets is an inexpensive way to reimagine your accent pieces and create a clean foundation for your renovation. This includes replacing your shower head, shower faucet, and sink faucet to match each other and your new design look.
10. Opt for Open Shelving
Shelving is another fundamental bathroom component that can get expensive if not planned properly. One way to prevent going over budget is to opt for open shelving designs. Open storage pieces tend to cost less as they require fewer materials to build.
Not only are they more affordable, but they also keep your bathroom design unobstructed, maximizing the space you have. Shelving is a great place to store bathroom essentials like towels and toiletries for you and guests to access easily.
11. Install Wainscoting
Wainscoting is wooden paneling on the lower part of the walls of a room. This is used for two reasons: first, to protect your walls from mildew, and secondly, for design purposes. Wainscoting is an affordable wall accent that can cover up previous damages such as knicks and holes, but also looks great. Wainscoting is usually constructed of oak and extends as high as 48 inches. It’s a great option to tie in your design style as well as protect and cover your bathroom walls.
12. Paint Your Wooden Floor
Wooden bathroom floors are a rather outdated choice, as they aren’t great for moist areas like bathrooms, but if you already have them installed there are ways to update them. If your wooden floors are on the older side, consider refurbishing them instead of replacing them.
This can help you save money in the interim, although you may need to replace them with material better suited to moisture, like tile, eventually. While they may appear scuffed from years of use, a coat of protective enamel paint can help brighten up your wooden floors.
13. Add Stylish Accents
A bathroom remodel isn’t complete without the simple, yet necessary accents that make it feel like home. Accents can include vanity pieces like a matching soap dispenser and toothbrush holder or wall decor like paintings and a backsplash.
Your finishing touches don’t need to be overly intricate to look unique. It’s amazing how these little personal pieces can tie in your style and make your bathroom feel more like you. Be sure to add multiple small accents to make your new bathroom feel welcoming for both you and your guests.
Tips to Save Money on Your Bathroom Remodel
Along with the above 13 bathroom remodel ideas, you can take a few other steps to make your design as simple and affordable as possible. From working with professional design consultants to getting creative by reusing existing furniture pieces, here are three tips for saving money on your bathroom remodel or renovation.
1. Use an Affordable Design Service
Working with an interior design service like Modsy can help take your ideas and turn them into reality using life-like 3D designs. With professional renovation design help, you’ll partner with an expert who can guide you every step of the way and provide all the recommendations you’ll need to start your project.
This is especially helpful when considering a renovation that is budget-friendly. Once you land on the design you love, you can purchase your fixtures and ensure you adhere to your budget. And if you choose to utilize a builder, you can be sure they have what they need before they begin construction.
2. Do the Remodel Yourself
Another great tip for saving money is to DIY the renovation. Of course, this will require at least some previous expertise in remodeling projects. Renovating your bathroom yourself can save you a significant amount of money on contractor costs, but there are some risks involved.
Before trying to do the work yourself, be sure to make a plan ahead of time—preferably by consulting with an expert. Having a detailed plan can ensure things go accordingly and you’re prepared for mishaps along the way. (Again, Modsy can help plan your bathroom remodel!)
3. Reuse Existing Pieces
Lastly, when looking to save money on a remodeling project try to reuse existing pieces when possible. You can do this by either using existing bathroom pieces in a new way or upcycling them by painting or refinishing them.
Reusing existing pieces can save you money by avoiding new purchases and helps create the look you want with a little bit of DIY work. You can also use other household items to upcycle like an old dresser or side tables. This is also a more sustainable approach to remodeling!
Design Your Dream Bathroom
Now that you know the most affordable bathroom tips to consider, you’re ready to get started on the renovation of your dreams. Need a little help creating the style you want? Our new renovation design services connect you with a design professional to create the bathroom of your dreams. Go from ‘dream bathroom’ to ‘your bathroom’ with our expert help.