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How to Redesign Your Bathroom on a Budget

Updated on October 26, 2015

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Redesigning a bathroom is not a walk in the park. You can't just replace or rearrange your bathroom fixtures as conveniently as the way you do with living room or bedroom furniture. For bathroom remodeling, functionality plays as crucial a role as visual aesthetics. You need to choose the right materials that can withstand water and humidity. The layout of the room must create a safe environment and be practical for regular usage. Plus, the costs of bathroom remodeling can be high, not only because bathroom fixtures are usually pricey but also because you may need to hire a group of professionals to complete the project for you. All these things may sound quite disheartening, especially if your budget is small. However, if there's a will, there's a way! To redesign your bathroom on a budget, you should focus on certain aspects of the room that can be easily and economically altered. And rather than hiring handymen to do the job, why not do it yourself? Here's a budget-friendly guide to DIY bathroom remodeling.

A Simple but Well-Designed Bathroom
A Simple but Well-Designed Bathroom | Source

Planning a Bathroom Remodeling Project

Assess Your Lifestyle and Demands - Take a good look at your bathroom and ask yourself what changes you'd like to see. Do your toilet, sink and medicine cabinet seem well-worn and need to be replaced? Does your bathroom look cramped and depressing, or empty and nondescript? Is there anything you don't like about the atmosphere of the room? And besides you, who else will be using the bathroom? Are you planning to have a child or welcome an elderly adult into your home? Is there anything you need to adapt to make it more convenient or safer for them? Write all these things down, then prioritize which renovations really need to be done and which ones can be omitted in case the budget doesn't allow.

Set a Budget - Decide how much money you can or are willing to spend on this bathroom remodeling project, then distribute your budget to each renovation according to your priority list. Keep in mind that unexpected expenses may arise during the project, so it's wise to just work on the necessary renovations first and see if you have any budget left for the minor things after the main remodeling work is done, rather than spending all your allowance on everything at once in the beginning.

Gather Ideas - Take inspiration from home decor magazines or Internet sites. When you come across pictures of bathroom designs that you find appealing, cut them out or print them out, then keep them together in one folder. After collecting a good number of bathroom photos, compare them to one another, get rid of some that you don't really like after all, and try to come up with a clear picture of the bathroom design of your dreams.

Compare Prices - Get at least three price quotes from different places. Visit your local home improvement stores and bathroom showrooms. Look at catalogs in magazines and search for good deals online. Spend as much time as you can to compare prices before you buy and make sure everything is within the constraints of your budget.

Budget-Friendly Bathroom Makeover Ideas

If you're a budget-challenged homeowner, installing a brand new bathtub or changing the entire layout of the bathroom would probably be beyond your financial limit. So it's better to concentrate on affordable renovations that can be done by yourself. Here are a few makeover ideas you might want to consider.

A Yellow Bathroom
A Yellow Bathroom | Source

Repaint Your Bathroom Walls and Door

This is one of the cheapest and quickest ways to revamp your bathroom. If the current shades of your bathroom walls and door lack charm or aren't welcoming, spruce the room up a bit with a splash of new color. Transform your bathroom into an utterly relaxing realm by using green and neutral tones, soft pastel colors, or shades of blue. To create a livelier mood, go with pink, red, orange, yellow and other bright shades. And don't be afraid to be bold and different, some contrasting color combinations can render a fascinating, dramatic look if done right.

Things to Remember: Only choose water-resistant paints, designed specifically for bathrooms. For better results, dust and clean the walls thoroughly before painting. Also, remember to remove all the accessories, towels and toothbrushes out of the bathroom to avoid paint splatters.

Cost: $50 - $300 for small and medium-size bathrooms


Change the Faucets and Shower Head

Little things like these should never be overlooked. Chic, well-chosen faucets and shower heads can surprisingly turn an ordinary bathroom into a stylish one. Brass faucets with sheen finishes are very classy-looking and durable, but the plastic-bodied versions can help you save quite a bit of money.

Things to Remember: In addition to the look and costs, also consider their practicality when you buy them. For example, if you have young children or seniors in your home, try to choose faucets that are easy for small or arthritic hands to handle.

Cost: $25 - $200

How to Replace a Bathroom Faucet

How to Change a Shower Head

Bathroom Shelf Unit
Bathroom Shelf Unit | Source

Redesign Your Storage System

Maintaining a practical storage system without compromising on style can be difficult sometimes. For an effective bathroom-storage makeover, what you should do first is remove all the unnecessary things from your bathroom, then consider how much storage space you actually need for the stuff you do wish to keep in there. If you have a small bathroom, you may want to utilize some of the wall space by installing shelves and hooks. If your bathroom is spacious, why allow lotion and perfume bottles to litter the sink top? Adding a lovely side table or freestanding shelf unit to one corner can make the room look a lot more organized. And if you hate the bulky appearance of your medicine cabinet, consider taking it down and replacing it with a nice mirror. Your medicines can go into a neatly arranged basket, and be placed on a side table or wall shelf.

Install New Hardware

Small hardware upgrades can do more wonders than you might imagine. Don't only think about the obvious things, like towel bars, wall mirrors or shower doors. Instead, pay a bit more attention to little details, such as door knobs, cabinet handles and shower door pulls as well. Changing these things not only make the bathroom appear newer but can also add style to it. For example, if you decide to repaint your bathroom door bright orange, it will be wise to also replace the old wooden door knob with a sleek-looking, metal one in order to embrace the modern theme.


Submit a Comment

  • Michelle Ascani profile image

    Michelle Ascani 3 years ago from Deep in the Heart of Texas

    always can use budgeting tips!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

    Hey watergeek! Good to see you. I'm glad to hear your little bathroom project went well. Small changes can surely make a huge impression. Thanks a lot for facebooking this =D

  • watergeek profile image

    watergeek 5 years ago from Pasadena CA

    Good article Om, and oh so true about simple budget changes making a difference. I replaced the knobs on my undersink cupboards not long ago with wooden ones, and replaced the switchplate with a wooden one as well. Since my countertop is a marble simulation with the same colors, it really looks great. I'm sharing this on Facebook.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

    Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting, rfmoran!

  • rfmoran profile image

    Russ Moran 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

    Solid advice. Yes it can be done inexpensively; it just takes some careful planning and thought. Voted up and useful.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

    @krsharp - Nice! Glad to hear my hub is so timely :)

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

    @spartucusjones - Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the hub :)

    @RTalloni - Hey, great to see you! Thanks for the kind words. I'm happy to hear that you find the tutorials helpful!

    @boundarybathrooms - Thanks a lot.

    @CassyLu - Thank you, my fellow hubaholic.

    @Austinstar - Yeah, do it NOW! hehehe

    @leahlefler - Wow, from 1970s? Those bathroom fixtures of yours are many years older than me!

    @Simone - So you spent a year decorating your living room but did nothing with your bathroom? ***sigh***

    @anglnwu - Glad you like these budget-friendly decor tips, Angeline! Always good to see you :)

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    You've everything covered from faucet to the color of the walls. Granted that bathrooms are quite private, still, an inviting ambience is a definite plus. Will keep these tips in mind. Thanks and rated up.

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

    Awesome tips. At this point, my bathroom has ZERO style. It's completely bare bones, and a lot of the fixtures are... well, they've seen better days. After reading this Hub, I feel inspired to look into at least getting some new faucets or something. Thanks for reminding me about all the potential improvements I can make!

  • leahlefler profile image

    Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

    We're in the middle of a bathroom remodel right now - my husband is doing the work so it saves on the labor cost. New faucets and paint go a long way to improving the aesthetics! We did remove our toilet and tub (we had the original Harvest Gold items placed in the 1970's). This is really a great hub!

  • Austinstar profile image

    Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

    Oh wow. I need to redesign my bathroom. Thanks for the tips!

  • krsharp05 profile image

    Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

    This couldn't come at a better time! I'm just getting ready to start a bathroom and I've spent more time staring through the doorway! Now I have a jumping off point. Great ideas Om. Thank you! -K

  • CassyLu1981 profile image

    CassyLu1981 5 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

    Excellent tips Om :)

  • boundarybathrooms profile image

    Thomas Mulrooney 5 years ago from Colne, Lancashire, UK

    Some really useful tips here!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

    A super guideline with practical tutorials. This will be encouraging and helpful to lots of people!

    Having fun saving dollars and getting an update for the effort? Not a better bargain around! :)

  • spartucusjones profile image

    CJ Baker 5 years ago from Parts Unknown

    Many practical tips for the designed challenge individuals like myself. I also appreciate your use of visual aids!