11 Ways To Revamp Your Bathroom on a Budget

11 Ways To Revamp Your Bathroom on a Budget

Bathroom Remodeling
Decoration and Design
Interior Design
By Mateos Glen Hayes February 22, 2022

In the realm of home improvement, there’s nothing quite like a project that completely reimagines a space in your home. A revamped bathroom is a wonderful example of this, as an expert renovation project can vastly improve your bathroom. Having a modern and functional space for keeping clean and doing your morning routine is a great way to improve your well-being both mentally and physically.

While it’s not always feasible to do a full bathroom renovation, you’ll be happy to know that you can make these changes without breaking the bank. Affordable bathroom renovation is about being strategic with what you choose to spend your money on.   

1. DIY Bathroom Design 

Designing Your Own Bathroom Is Easier Than It Sounds

Designing Your Own Bathroom Is Easier Than It Sounds

Instead of putting down big bucks for a professional design, consider doing your own designs. Professional designs can be useful, but they can also easily break your budget if you aren’t careful.

If saving money is your goal, it’s better to avoid this risk and instead focus on making a design of your own. This is actually easier than it sounds since most bathrooms aren’t that big and are relatively simple compared to larger rooms such as kitchens. To get an idea of what to aim for, you can draw inspiration from dedicated websites such as the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

A number of big-box hardware stores will also provide you with a free design if you give them the measurements of your bathroom. This is a good compromise if you don’t want to pay for a professional design but would rather leave the brainstorming to someone else. 

2. Wainscot Installation 

Wainscotting Is Easy to Install

Wainscotting Is Easy to Install

One rule that is quite useful in affordable bathroom renovation is “reuse, don’t replace”. In other words, instead of tearing out an old fixture or replacing some old material, you can refinish and refurbish it. This gives you a low-cost way of adding years to the service life of many parts of your bathroom.

A good example of this rule in action is wainscot renovation. Older bathrooms sometimes have white wood paneling on the lower half of their walls that is designed to protect them from damage and scuffing. This is known as wainscotting or beadboard. If you have tired-looking wainscoting, doing a DIY refinishing job will always be cheaper than having it completely replaced.    

3. Custom Vanity 

Custom Vanities Are Add a Personal Touch

Custom Vanities Are Add a Personal Touch

Bathroom vanities tend to be the cheapest fixture you can upgrade in your bathroom. It’s relatively easy to find a vanity that fits your bathroom’s measurements and is made of your desired materials.

These vanities can be bought partially or fully assembled and sometimes come as a full set that includes both a mirror and a sink. This complete bathroom vanity is a perfect option if you’d prefer to not do any finicky DIY assembly.

4. Prefab Shower 

Prefab Showers Can Be Customized

Prefab Showers Can Be Customized

Custom-made showers can be built to your exact specifications, but they are easily one of the most expensive additions you can make to your bathroom. A prefabricated shower, on the other hand, will come with fewer options but it will be far lower in cost. While a custom shower needs to be built from scratch, prefab showers don't have that issue.

Plus, you can still customize a prefab shower in certain ways, if you are creative about it. For example, a prefab shower pan can be paired with a custom tiled wall so that you have something aesthetically pleasing that isn’t exorbitantly priced. 

5. DIY Plumbing 

DIY Plumbers Can Save Big Bucks

DIY Plumbers Can Save Big Bucks

If you want to do some minor plumbing work, a plumber might not be necessary. Modern innovations such as plastic piping and push-in fittings can make installation much easier even if you aren’t a master craftsman.

You don’t have to do dangerous stuff such as soldering metal pipes or using elbow grease to force things into position like in the old days. However, while you should be able to make minor adjustments without any hitch, it’s a good idea to avoid any major changes that could get you stuck in a plumbing quagmire.

Complicated jobs such as moving your toilet or bathtub to a new place can be a time-consuming process, and missing an important detail could lead to water leaks and other unpleasant problems. Even if you can do these major changes yourself, the project will still be more expensive and take longer. Instead, stick to smaller changes that keep costs low and prevent your plumbing work from dragging on. 

6. Do the Job Yourself 

Commode Installation Doesn’t Require Much Prep Work

Commode Installation Doesn’t Require Much Prep Work

Speaking of toilets, you’ll probably want to install a new one as part of your renovation, and fortunately, that’s an affordable and easy job to complete. As long as you have the strength to pick up and move a toilet, you can easily do the installation without calling a plumber.

As far as plumbing jobs go, commode installation is relatively easy since there isn’t much to hook up and attach. If you’re worried about moving the hefty toilet, either a hand truck or a friend can make this much easier.  

7. DIY Repainting 

Make Your Bathroom Pop With a Fresh Coat of Paint

Make Your Bathroom Pop With a Fresh Coat of Paint

What better way to refresh your toilet than with a brand new paint job? Repainting your bathroom is an easy and quick improvement that will brighten things up. Bathrooms don’t have large painted surfaces and so a professional isn’t essential for giving your water closet a fresh coat of paint.

After all, most wall space in your bathroom is taken up by tiling, bathing areas, a toilet, mirrors, and cabinetry. At most, you’ll only have a few square feet of wall to paint, and you can easily do this yourself even if you aren’t an experienced DIYer. 

8. Don’t Replace Your Tub 

Refresh Your Old Tub With Some Detailing Work

Refresh Your Old Tub With Some Detailing Work

An old tub usually doesn’t look pretty, and can sometimes have gross stains, so it's understandable if you want to throw yours out. However, pulling out a tub and replacing it with a new one can get expensive fast, and should really only be the option of last resort if you’re trying to keep a tight budget.

Refinishing your old tub is a much more affordable option, and can make your tub look good as new. This option can usually get rid of any unpleasant yellowed surfaces and nicks — and when paired with upgraded faucets, will breathe new life into your bathtub.  

9. New Cabinet Hardware 

Like New Bathroom Cabinets Are Easy to Attain

Like New Bathroom Cabinets Are Easy to Attain

Custom cabinets are pretty pricey options and aren’t necessary for revamping your bathroom properly. As with other fixtures, refurbishing old stuff is the smarter option because it keeps costs low. If parts of your cabinetry are rotting, all you have to do is strip out these parts and replace them.

Old hardware can be replaced with high-quality pieces, preferably something made of polished brass as this is a hot trend in 2022. Aside from the low costs, replacing the hardware on your old cabinets is also a pretty easy process, especially if you get hardware that lines up with the existing screw holes of the old cabinet handles.  

10. Do Touch-Ups Instead 

Detail Work Will Vastly Improve Your Bathroom’s Aesthetic

Detail Work Will Vastly Improve Your Bathroom’s Aesthetic

Much like a basement transformation, you can vastly improve the aesthetic of your bathroom with minor detail work. Of course, your old tub might not actually be in bad condition, in which case all it will need is a few touch-ups to be brought back into good shape. Minor damage such as small nicks or spots of peeling paint can be spot fixed.

The other major item is to caulk the edges of the tub as it’s necessary to provide good sealing for the tub. The caulking can wear off fast so it needs to be redone to keep mold growth from taking over. 

11. Low-Cost Materials 

Affordable Materials Can Imitate Premium Ones

Affordable Materials Can Imitate Premium Ones

Most premium materials are by definition pretty pricey, even for a smaller bathroom. Fortunately, there are plenty of cheaper lookalikes that you can use to substitute for these really expensive materials.

Mediterranean style tiles, for instance, are super popular nowadays for their handcrafted artisanal styling, but the genuine article can be really expensive. If you really want these gorgeous tiles in your bathroom, however, you can find mass-produced versions that are far more affordable.

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes