9 Money-Saving Tips to Stretch Your Bathroom Budget
While it’s true that renovating a bathroom can be expensive, you don’t have to compromise function or style on a small budget. Use these tips to get the most bang for your buck.
Build Into Your Walls
Moving walls and changing your bathroom’s floor plan will blow up your budget in a hurry. That’s why it’s important to try building into its existing structure. For instance, incorporating recessed shelves into a blank area between wall studs will create vertical storage that won’t take up valuable floor space. Another option is to recess a medicine cabinet for built-in storage that hardly affects the available space above the sink.
Lighten and Brighten with Mirrors
Adding a new window or skylight is another budget buster. If your bathroom feels a little dark and gloomy, consider using a large mirror (or multiple mirrors) and light, bright paint colors to trick the eyes. When paired with ceiling lights or wall-mounted lighting above the vanity, this combo reflects light and brightens the room significantly.
Refresh by Re-grouting
If your existing tile is in good shape — no missing pieces or cracks — but feels a little dated, consider replacing the grout. While grout replacement is a bit labor intensive, it’s considerably less expensive and time consuming than a complete overhaul. Fresh grout will help your tiled area look new, but consider applying a different color grout for an even more dramatic update.
Sprinkle in Some Designer Tiles
For those of you who prefer a more customized shower surround, but can’t afford walls of fancy tile, there is good news! You don’t need tons of fancy tile to get a custom feel. Subway tiles, for example, create a timeless look for only a few dollars per square foot. For a more unique look, install them at an angle or develop a creative arrangement other than the standard brick alignment. Consider mixing in a small area of more costly accent tiles for character or a pop of color.
By wisely choosing the items on which to splurge, you can give your bathroom a high-end look without the high-end price tag. For example, consider adding a few rows of more costly designer floor tiles for a big dose of pattern and character. Other areas where splurging will deliver a big bang for your buck include countertop materials and light fixtures.
Stay Away from Fads
Filling your remodel with fads you like but don’t love is a recipe for wasted money. Fast-forward a couple years and your space might look and feel as dated as avocado-colored appliances. To ensure your investment lasts for years, incorporate a foundation of natural finishes and neutral colors. While fads may be fun for a time, tried-and-true classics are typically less expensive and more likely to stand the test of time.
Repurpose Old Furniture
For those with the ability, forgo spending big bucks on a new furniture-style vanity by transforming an old piece of furniture yourself. Converting an old dresser, desk, TV stand or console table is an opportunity to make a style statement and incorporate some valuable bathroom storage space. Plus, you’ll also be doing your part to help safeguard the environment. Tip: There are plenty of relatively simple DIY tutorials available online.
Supplement Your Storage
If replacing your vanity is a must, don’t skimp on quality. After all, a bathroom is a wet environment that can damage cheap particleboard vanities rather easily. To save money in the long run, choose a well-made unit that also provides covered storage. Then, simply supplement your storage by adding inexpensive options elsewhere, like open shelves, towel hooks or other repurposed furniture pieces.
Add Personality With Wallpaper
While floor-to-ceiling tile gives bathrooms an upscale, luxurious look, it comes with a large price tag to match. To save money without sacrificing style, consider using a patterned wallpaper on your bathroom walls instead. A water-resistant paper made especially for bathrooms will ensure you avoid peeling and other problems.