7 Ways to Skimp on a Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom remodels are one of the most costly and time-consuming home projects you can undertake—but they're also one of the few surefire ways to increase the value of your home. A mid-range bathroom remodeling project costs an average of $16,000—but if that's not in your budget you can still make big and small changes that will completely refresh your bath. It requires a little out of the box thinking—and a lot of elbow grease—but it is more than doable to reinvent your bathroom without breaking the bank. Click thru for several easy ideas to help you renovate your bathroom on a budget.

By Donna Boyle Schwartz | Updated Nov 16, 2020 12:53 PM

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Dresser Vanity

Pricey countertops and vanities can eat up your bathroom remodeling budget—but you can save tons of money by repurposing old furniture. For example, remake an old dresser into a vanity by cutting a hole in the top to accommodate the sink—and in the back for the plumbing.

Related:  Make Your Own Vanity—12 Inventive Bathroom Rehabs

Zillow Digs home in Happy Valley, OR

Paint Power

Bathroom Paint Ideas

A fresh coat of paint is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to give your bathroom a new look. Make sure to use a semi-gloss or glossy finish that resists moisture to prevent mold and mildew. And while you’re painting the walls, update ugly cabinets using a waterproof latex paint.

Related:  Beyond White—11 Alternative Hues to Color Your Bath


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The Great Cover Up

Tub and Tile Refinishing Kit

If you can't afford to replace all your bathroom fixtures, try covering them instead. A refinishing kit like this one can fill in small cracks in the bathtub or be applied to the entire surface to update the color. These kits typically include a high-performance epoxy that can be applied to ceramic, porcelain, or fiberglass.

Related: Bathing Beauties, Before & After—7 Stunning Bathroom Makeovers


Fabulous Pre-Fab

Fiberglass Shower

Even if you love the look of tile, a pre-fabricated fiberglass shower unit can save big bucks. Eliminating dirty grout isn't the only upside of going pre-fab. Many units come complete with shower doors, pre-drilled holes for plumbing, and accessories like grab bars, or universal design accessibility. 

Related:  10 Wow-Worthy Walk-In Showers


Details, Details

Drawer Pulls

Even the smallest changes can have a big impact. If a full tear-down isn't in your future, swap out the small things like drawer pulls, handles, faucet, shower head, and towel racks. These upgrades are remarkably easy to DIY and will create a new ambiance on a budget.

Related:  20 Insanely Easy 60-Minute Home Improvements


Trimming Tile

Bathroom Tile Ideas

Tile is beautiful, durable—and unfortunately—expensive. To save money on tile, consider using less-expensive, plain tile on the majority of the space and use the decorative pieces as accents. Or, simply use decorative tile as a border, rather than covering the entire space.

Zillow Digs home in Portland, OR

Doing Better By Doing Good

Habitat for Humanity Restore

Visit your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore to find a wonderful selection of new and gently used building materials, fixtures, and appliances at a fraction of the original retail price. While you can feel good that you're saving money on your remodel, take pride in the fact that the Restore proceeds help build homes in your community.

Related:  Thrift Store Savvy—10 Treasure-Hunting Tips from a Seasoned Shopper

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