How to Update a Bathroom on a Budget

Folded towels on the side of a bathtub

Are you renovating your bathroom, but have a strict budget to follow? Are you wondering where you should save money and where you should splurge on your bathroom remodel? Will your bathroom update be a DIY project or professionally done? No matter what type of budget you have to work with, whether you're tackling the job yourself or paying for a professional to take care of it, we have tips and tricks to make your next remodel go smoothly and help you stick to your budget!

Save on Countertops

A wooden bathroom

We get it. Granite countertops are gorgeous, and they’re extremely popular right now. But is the expense worth the price? Well, it can be, but if you’re working on a budget there are ways to save your money when picking out a new countertop for your bathroom.

So how can you save money on bathroom countertops? Bathroom counters are usually smaller than kitchens, so you’re already spending less. Next, look at color. Neutral colored granite tends to be the most popular, which also means most expensive. Try looking at other colors to save some money. If you’re still set on granite, another way to save is to buy a granite slab with some imperfections. It’s all about location. If the imperfection will be covered by your sink basin or faucet, it’s the perfect money-saving option!

Other less expensive countertop options include concrete, ceramic tile, wood, and even tile granite. Don’t be afraid of laminate! You can find a good-looking laminate counter, and they generally have the sink insert already cut for you. It’s a great option for DIY’ers!

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

A bathroom with light blue walls

Paint is generally the easiest, most inexpensive way to update any room. You’ll effectively give your bathroom a whole new look with fresh paint on the walls, and you can even paint an outdated vanity! Keep in mind that bathrooms need a different paint finish because of extra moisture, so opt for a semi-gloss paint. It’s a sleeker-looking paint, and it virtually repels moisture. Eggshell and satin can work in a bathroom also, but they’re more suited for lower traffic rooms like a guest bath. While painting your bathroom is inexpensive, it does take more time than other rooms in your home. Bathrooms usually require quite a bit of trimming because you have to slowly paint around the sink, toilet, shower or tub, mirror, and electrical outlets. In the end, the money you’ll save with this inexpensive update will outweigh the time and effort, so stick with it! Here are some interior painting tips.

Update Fixtures

A running faucet

It’s all in the details! The smallest details, like the drawer pulls on your vanity, can really set the tone of your new bathroom. Even if you’re saving money by keeping your old vanity, changing the hardware is a must. Other fixtures to update fairly inexpensively are your towel rods. Faucets, shower heads, and medicine cabinets may be out of the budget this time around, but at the very least, make sure they are all in working order. You can always buy new ones that coordinate well with any existing fixtures. 

Add Some Sparkle

A person scrubbing tile grout

One area that is often overlooked in a bathroom remodel is cleanliness. Is your tile grout dirty and dingy? Is your caulk peeling? By simply cleaning your grout and replacing old caulk lines, you’ll update the look of your bathroom immediately.

Selective Splurging

A bathroom with tiled floor

Every bathroom remodel has a budget. It’s just a matter of sticking to it, but a budget doesn’t mean you can’t splurge in a few areas. So, where should I splurge in my bathroom remodel? 

Splurge on smart storage solutions, quality flooring, and going green. Storage is always a must in any bathroom, especially smaller ones. Think dimmers, electrical outlets or USB ports in your vanity! Tile flooring is great for bathrooms because of all the excess moisture. To make it even more durable, try epoxy grout, which is extremely hard and nearly stain-proof. Lastly, sustainable fixtures that will save you even more money over time are a no-brainer! 

Where should I save money on my bathroom remodel? 

  • Custom Cabinetry
  • Moving Existing Plumbing

Save on custom cabinetry, which is so expensive. Try painting that existing vanity, or finding an inexpensive one that fits with your overall look and feel of your new bathroom. Plan around existing plumbing. We cannot stress this one enough! Changing plumbing lines can get expensive fast!

Dress Up Your Mirror

A bathroom with two vanities

Simply adding molding to an existing mirror can create a high-end look that’s inexpensive and requires very little effort. 

Updating your bathroom doesn't have to blow your budget. Stick with the basics, make sure everything works, and try to add some new features in with the old. Even minor updates like a fresh coat of paint and new drawer pulls could dramatically change the look and feel of your bathroom.


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