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Bathroom Remodeling on a Budget

Updated on May 2, 2014

Are you one of those homeowners that would like to change up your bathroom even just a little bit if not completely remodel it? Are you worried about how much it would cost to hire someone to do this for you? The good news is it’s pretty easy to spruce up your bathroom, even if you are on a budget.

When it comes to bathroom remodeling on a budget, you need to come up with a budget and a plan to adhere to. Are you doing major renovations that will need services to be hired out? You will need to keep your budget in mind when getting bids from contractors. Do you just want to do a little changing up of things here and there as money comes available? You still need to set your budget each time so you don’t find yourself going overboard. Depending on what your plan is, you’ll want to take time to research some prices. Are you wanting to replace the entire shower or just the hardware? Are you wanting one of those fancy new high-dollar type toilets with automatically shutting lids or one that auto-flushes for you or are you just wanting something new that is cost effective but still gets the job done?! Once you’ve gotten the idea of what you plan to do and an idea of the costs, you should be able to finalize that budget and get started.

One of the ways that you can remodel your bathroom while on a budget is by doing things one project at a time. By choosing what you would like to have remodeled first, such as your bathtub, you could do that and then move on the next project when it is easier to afford the materials and supplies needed. We needed to do some projects in our bathroom and while we couldn't afford at the time to get a whole new shower stall or new tub (preferably a jacuzzi tub!), we were still able to give the bathroom an "updated" look just by changing the floors and painting! We'll get around to switching out the other items eventually...we just have to do it in stages.

You will want to shop around for the best prices on your supplies, fixtures, and materials. The easiest way to compare prices is to use the internet. Check out your local home improvement stores, particularly ones that are known for having good prices. My favorite go-to places with a tight budget in mind is Home Depot or Lowes, but I would check around your area to see what stores are available for you. It may also be a good idea to keep an eye out for any television commercials or store fliers that advertise sales on bathroom fixtures, supplies, and remodeling materials. Purchasing all of your bathroom remodeling supplies at a discounted price is the best way to remodel your bathroom while on a budget.

If you do not have any home improvement experience, you can easily learn what you need to know. You can find out all KINDS of stuff online! Sometimes you can find easy to follow videos on YouTube for the project you are doing. Plus you can always find “how-to” books for sale at most home improvement stores or bookstores.

Here are some pics of the bathroom redo that we did. It all got started because the tank on the toilet exploded and the bathroom got flooded! When we moved in, not only was there carpet in the main part of the bathroom and vinyl in the "toilet closet", but the toilet installed by the prior owner was one of those that had a pressurized tank...don't remember the brand. Apparently it somehow started to mess up, and pressure started to build up. One morning while my husband and I were at our younger son's baseball game, our older son and his friend were in the living room and said they heard "an explosion" of glass and found the toilet tank had shattered and water was spewing up to the ceiling! Thankfully no one was sitting on the toilet at the time! The carpet was ruined, the toilet was ruined, so we had to do something but didn't really have money in the budget to spend a bunch on this.

So...the first thing we did was set a plan as to what we wanted to accomplish in there. We knew we HAD to get a new toilet, and we wanted to go with tile instead of carpet, but we also decided we might as well go ahead and paint the walls while we had nothing on the floor.

We then went online to check on prices for the paint, toilet, and supplies needed. We knew how much we needed to spend to accomplish our goals affordably, so we went to our local Home Depot to check out what tile they had in stock that matched as close as possibly to the tile in our shower and around the top edge of the garden tub. Thankfully, they carried a pattern in a color that would work for us and even though I wasn't sure of what pattern we planned to do, we bought 2 different sizes along with the trim tiles...a new toilet...paint...and all the extra supplies (paint brushes, adhesive for tiles, trowel, grout, etc).

When we started the project, we first removed the busted toilet and pulled up the vinyl flooring by the toilet. Next we ripped out the carpet which was already starting to get pretty rank from being so wet! Then it was on to painting. My husband can't STAND to paint, so this task was mostly on me. We just went with a neutral color but it was better than the plain white walls in there!

Once the walls were done, my husband set 2 tack strips for where the carpet would meet the tile in the doorways, then we played around with some layout possibilities. After chalking off some crossing straight lines to make sure we kept the tiles straight, we starting laying the tile. We think our pattern turned out pretty good! We started with the main part of the room and worked toward the edges. This might not be the "correct" way to lay tile, but it worked for us!

You will have to cut pieces to fit around the walls and edges to keep your pattern going correctly, so you'll want to borrow or rent an electric tile cutting saw if you can't afford to buy one. Thankfully we had one we could borrow! The electric ones work SO much but than trying to use the hand cutters. Just always remember..."measure twice, cut once"!

After letting the tile set for a few days for the quick-set to harden, it was time to grout. Don't let this scare you! You can buy pre-mixed grout that makes the job so much easier. Grouting is easy to do...working in sections- you spread it all over, making sure to get it down in all your grout lines...and then using a wet sponge you wipe away the access and smooth out the grout lines. Be careful not to press down too hard and wipe away all the grout you just spread! You'll have to rinse your sponge repeatedly, because you'll gradually be wiping the film off the tile left by the wet grout as you wipe it away. After letting the grout set and dry, you'll want to go back with a sealer. You can find all kinds of little gadgets to make this easier to do because you'll want to make sure you keep the sealer on the grout and not get it on the tile.

Next project? Replacing the shower stall and getting me that jacuzzi tub I've been wanting!


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