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How to remodel a bathroom on a budget?

How to remodel a bathroom on a budget
When looking at how to remodel a bathroom on a budget the step-by-step guide still applies to the actual work you must do, this is no matter if  you’re dealing with a small or large bathroom. The main considerations for remodeling a bathroom on a budget are obviously price and how to accomplish the task. Remodeling your bathroom can be done on a budget, all it takes is a bit more research and effort.

Tips for the budget conscious bathroom remodel

General Tips:

Do it yourself: The best way to control the cost of your remodel is to do almost everything yourself. When you are operating on a budget you normally don’t have to rewire or do much plumbing. This means almost everything is within your reach. It might take some study and effort, but learning how to tile and do most of the other work cuts thousands from your costs.

Refinish instead of buy new: To save some money, if you have antique or uncommon faucets or a unique showerhead, consider refinishing them instead of replacing. This isn’t such a good idea if you have standard off the shelf low end fixtures, but if you have antiques this can save you a lot of money.

Use less tile: Tile is a more expensive option than paint. To keep the budget low use less tile. Instead of tiling every wall, paint some and tile others. Or decide to tile only the area by the mirror/vanity and paint the other walls. To use even less tile, avoid it altogether. Select a good paint that can resist the humidity in your bathroom.

Buy used: A great savings can be found through purchasing used materials. There are online outlets that sell used or discount toilets, sinks and vanities. Habitat for humanity runs a chain of “reStores” that sell gently used materials from houses they demolish. Both of these options can be a place to save money on your remodel.

Go green and save in the long run: Another cost saving option is to go green. While the initial cost may be as much or more than a standard option, green options can save you money over time. The water and energy savings through using low flow showerheads and economical flush toilets can save you a lot of money over the lifespan of your remodel.

Do your renovation in stages: While not something that will actually save you money, doing your renovation in stages allows you to tackle it one step at a time. This spreads the overall cost out over time and allows you to not break your bank account.

Walls and Floors:

Redo the grout and caulk to freshen the look: Another low cost high impact option is to redo the grout and caulk. Often your bathroom can get a great lift just from removing aged grout and caulk. Fresh looking grout and caulk removes the dull, grey, stained look from your bathroom and brightens the room.

Repair drywall don’t replace it: Rather than tearing out every piece of drywall and putting new in its place, consider repairing it instead. Even cutting out sections and patching it with new drywall will be cheaper than replacing the entire structure.

Repurpose dressers as sink cabinets: A great trend in modern design is to use an old dresser and repurpose it as a cabinet in the bathroom. This is great for those on a budget. Taking an old dresser, refinishing it, and using it as a cabinet can save you a lot on furniture.

Keep the rest, replace the vanity: A slightly more expensive but still viable option for the budget conscious is just replacing the vanity. Leaving the other fixtures and just changing the vanity will make a vast difference in the look of your bathroom.

Change the hardware on your cabinets: One of the cheapest fixes is just to change out the hardware on your cabinets and doors. While a small change it can often give your bathroom just enough of a change to make it updated.

Add hooks or custom storage instead of a new cabinet: To save the cost of purchasing and having to demo the cabinetry that you already have you can add custom storage or hooks. This saves you the cost of purchasing whole new cabinets, and the cost for redoing the bathroom floor or walls that are exposed by the different size and shape.

Paint the cabinets instead of replacing them: To keep the cabinets and save yourself money you can simply keep the cabinets and repaint them. This can often be done in place, avoiding the need to remove anything else. Ensure that you choose a paint that can stand up to the humidity of normal use in your bathroom.

Upgrade vanity with glue on embellishments: Another low cost option for your vanity is to add glue on embellishments when you repaint it. This can take your average vanity and make it both stylish and reflect a new style. These can be found both in home improvement stores and in craft stores. Often the craft stores are your best options. Utilize a heavy duty glue and ensure to clamp them if possible.


Update just the fixtures: For a quick fresh look you may be able to just replace the fixtures. The showerhead, the faucet, knobs and handles can all be changed out for a quick change. While this won’t give a huge change it is often enough to make your bathroom just different enough.

Keep the enclosure, update the showerhead: Another very low budget option is just to change out the showerhead. If your shower enclosure is still serviceable buying a dual showerhead can give it an updated look without the cost of changing out everything.

Use mostly low cost tiles with bands of more expensive tile for accent: If you choose to tile your walls or floors, but wish to keep it as low budget as possible don’t use all expensive tiles. By using mostly inexpensive standard tiles you keep the costs down. To give yourself some sense of style or luxury accent this standard tile with more expensive options.


Keep the toilet, change the lids: Often there is no real benefit to buying a new toilet as long as the one you have is functional, and not broken or run down. Most of the time just purchasing a new seat and lid can bring your toilet up to standards.

Counters and Things

Consider economy counter tops, or ones with imperfections: Your counters in the bathroom can be a major source of cost. To reduce this consider using either premade laminate counters or if you really want the look of stone think about using imperfect stone. Often you can find stone countertops that have imperfections, with the savings increasing with the amount of imperfections you can handle.

Update exhaust fan: Sometimes all you need for your bathroom to be a bit better is less noise. It’s hard to have your bathroom be an oasis of peace and calm when your exhaust fan sounds like a helicopter. Changing out the exhaust fan can bring a quieter more pleasant experience and make your bathroom seem better without any other changes.

Replace lighting: Changing out the lighting in your bathroom can be cheap, and change the look of the entire space. Taking old light fixtures out and finding newer more modern alternatives gives your bathroom an updated look without having to tear out the walls.

Frame your mirror: To give your bathroom a more artistic look, frame your mirror. By adding a frame around your mirror you give your bathroom more of a finished look. The frame can be made to reflect your individual style.