Wednesday, September 22, 2021

9 Cheap Ways to Remodel Your Bathroom . . .

. . . But Still Look High-End

Blueprints for a bathroom remodel.


An Instagram-worthy bathroom remodel is the envy of every homeowner. But at some point, reality kicks in. High-end remodels full of marble, custom tile, gorgeous fixtures, and luxe spa features can break the budget in a hurry.

Do you have to give up on your dream bathroom? Never. There are plenty of ways to get a gorgeous and luxurious bathroom on a budget. In fact, here are 10 ways to upgrade your bathroom for cheap.


1. Repair Instead of Replace

You can save a lot of money by doing some repairs on existing items in your bathroom instead of replacing them. This works best for cosmetic and minor issues. For major items, be sure to consult an expert.

A leaky faucet may just need a gasket replacement. An endlessly running toilet probably needs a new flapper. A single cracked floor tile doesn’t mean the whole floor needs replacing. 

If the bathtub looks a little aged, you might consider giving it a thorough scrubbing or even bringing in a professional cleaner. A good cleaning is an excellent way to give new life to your bathroom. You can fix superficial damage to many bathtubs and sinks with a refinishing kit.


Composite marble on a countertop with toothbrushes and soap.


2. Lookalike Products

If you have your heart set on a marble vanity top you can save money by opting for a marble look-alike. Engineered or cultured marble and marble-look granite has the same look but at a much nicer price. Or trim even more from the budget by going with an epoxy-topped concrete countertop. 

Wood look tile or vinyl on the floor offers the look you want at a fraction of the price. Instead of hardwood cabinets on the vanity, try a high-density fiberboard cabinet finished to look like hardwood (or veneered). 

Sometimes, as is the case with wood look tile and HDF cabinetry, these lookalike materials have better durability than their counterparts adding value to your bathroom remodel.


3. Refresh with Hardware

That old shower surround or dated vanity can be spruced up with some new hardware. New drawer pulls or knobs can transform the look and feel of your bathroom. A good cleaning and a new spa shower may be all it takes to amp up the shower.

A new sink faucet may make you forget that the sink itself is a holdover from the past. Consider something flashy or edgy that draws attention to itself and away from the plainness of other elements that you’d rather replace.


4. DIY

A huge amount of your bathroom remodel budget goes to labor. The craftspeople who work on your remodel do excellent work and can be worth every penny for things you know nothing about. However, if there are things you have some skill in (or could easily learn), do it yourself. 

Painting, installing a toilet, replacing knobs, even tiling are great projects for the skilled adventurous. Be realistic about what you actually have the skill and time for and you’ll achieve a cheap bathroom remodel with some DIY.


5. Keep the Footprint

Some of the costliest items in the budget come when you change the layout of your bathroom. Moving the toilet from one wall to another may seem pretty simple but it requires a shift in the plumbing and that can be involved. 

Keeping the same footprint in your remodel will save you a bundle. If you really feel that your layout must change, ask the experts how to change things up with the least impact. Slightly adjusting the layout will cost less than completely stripping it back and starting over. 


6. Recycle

There’s nothing better to save money than to buy used or repurpose something you already have. If you saved a sink from another remodel or you can move a bathtub from one bathroom to another, that’s money you don’t have to spend. 

Check out  websites like Craigslist or shop stores like ReStore that sell used bathroom items. You may just find a gem that makes your bathroom unique. Lighting is an excellent item to buy used. The technology hasn’t changed much so it remains compatible with your electrical. 


7. Don’t Change Your Mind

One of the most costly, and avoidable, things that can happen in a remodel is deviating from the plan. During a remodel when you’re finalizing materials and colors, you’re bound to see some must-have that you can’t live without. But resist that temptation. 

Changing things once you’re already in motion is very expensive. Even if it looks like nothing is happening yet, all the behind the scenes work is well under way and any changes waste what’s already been done. Plan ahead and stick to the plan. Focus your energies on finding the very best price for what you’ve already decided on. 


Bathtub with water-saving faucet.


8. Do Your Research

What you don’t know can hurt you. For instance, did you know that round toilets and elongated ones are generally priced differently? Or that it costs more to install a wall mounted vanity than a traditional one? What about the fact that water-saving fixtures can save upwards of 700 gallons of water per year (big money savings!).

Research can help you determine what you can do yourself versus what you need to hire out. DIY can save you big money, but only if you have the skills. DIY projects gone wrong can actually end up costing you. Bottom line, find out before you start a project if you’re equipped to do it. 


9. Shop Sales

If you know a bathroom remodel is in your future, start watching for the sales. Getting a discount on your bathroom products can help offset and pad the budget a bit. 

Labor Day and Presidents Day are traditionally some of the best sales you’ll get on home products. But look for other offers as well. You may also find extra savings from exclusive sales if you subscribe to emails and newsletters from your favorite online retailers.


Upgrade your bathroom for cheap and still get the space of your dreams with a few tricks. From DIY to being a savvy shopper, you can trim up your budget and keep that money in your pocket for your next project. Kitchen remodel anyone?


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