If you are looking to spruce up the look of your bathroom either for yourself or for potential buyers, you can do so without breaking the bank. The average bathroom remodel can set you back $10,000 and can cost double if you are looking to go for a high end finish. But with some proper planning and some DIY spirit, you will be able to completely transform the look of your bathroom for closer to $1,000 - $3,000.
Start by making a list of the things that you want to address before you remove any old fixtures so you can come up with a realistic budget. Once you have a rough idea of everything that needs to be included in the renovation, here is how you can shave some money off your bottom line:
Be Stingy with New Tile
If you are updating the tile in your bathroom renovation, do so strategically. Tile can get expensive, especially if you are hiring a professional to install the tiles for you. To save money, decide where the tiles will make the most impact – like the walls OR the floor versus the walls and the floor. If new tile is necessary throughout the entire space, opt for a low cost, neutral design. A classic white subway tile will never go out of style and can be purchased in bulk. You can always add in an artistic flourish with an accent tile or horizontal stripe if the bathroom calls for it.
Save Money on Your Countertop
Repurposing old furniture is a popular trend with DIYers right now so you can use an old dresser as a sink pedestal rather than buying a new vanity at the store. For those that want a more polished look, granite is king. Keep in mind that neutral colors are most popular and are often the most expensive. Consider a wider range of shades to open up the budget a bit. Since the bathroom space is limited, you can consider granite pieces with imperfections to save money, as well. The sink will take up a large portion so try finding a piece that has a defect located where the sink and fixtures will go and you can save a lot!
A fresh coat of quality paint is a great way to change the look of a space for very little money. If you have never painted a bathroom before, make sure to allot yourself enough time to complete the job. While the room might be small, you will have to go slowly and take care around all the windows, fixtures, cabinets, tub or shower, toilet, and other wall mounted painting hazards. When purchasing your paint, opt for a satin finish rather than flat and consider something with a moisture control barrier. Bathrooms have a lot of moisture so it’s best to prevent mold or mildew growth before it starts.
Update Your Fixtures
This is a great option for giving a bathroom a more updated look without breaking the bank. Take a look at all the details like the light fixture, sink and tub faucets, towel racks, cabinet handles, and drawer pulls and choose a cohesive look that matches the design aesthetic you are going for in the bathroom. There are options from antique, oil rubbed bronze to modern chrome so you can completely change the look of your bathroom with a few screws.
Caulk and Grout
Nothing will make a bathroom look old and dirty faster than discolored or dirty grout and caulk. There are lots of DIY grout cleaners you can by on the market but for really stubborn stains, you can always call out a professional to clean your grout. With a professional steaming tool, it will sparkle like never before. As for your caulk, you can remove the old stained caulk line and replace it with a fresh clean one. These two steps will make a huge impact.
Refinish Your Tub
Do you have an old tub or shower that is looking aged? Did you know you can have porcelain or cast iron refinished rather than having to tear it out and buy a new one? The result often looks just as good and it will save you a lot of money. For old sinks and fixtures though, it is best to just replace those due to cost.
Shop Outside the Hardware Stores
There are lots of places to buy bathroom renovation supplies other than Home Depot and Lowe’s. Get creative and look at some gently used or resale options. Check out sites like NextDoor, Craigslist, LetGo, and Facebook Marketplace to find some great deals on items like fixtures, tubs, showers, tile, even toilets. Don’t forget to check out your nearest Habitat for Humanity ReStore which sells home necessities like mirrors, sinks, door, etc. You can find brand new items and slightly used items in great condition for a fraction of the price of the big box stores.
A bathroom renovation can be as big or as small as you want it to be. The great thing about redoing a bathroom, is that the possibilities are endless. A new bathroom doesn’t have to mean gutting the room to the studs. But with a fresh coat of paint, some new fixtures, and a good grout cleaning, you can have your bathroom looking brand new in a single weekend without it costing as much as a used car.