Renovating a kitchen is an expensive project, but the bathroom comes second. According to Remodeling’s 2021 Cost-Value Report, it will cost you an average of about $ 24,000 for a mid-range bathroom renovation. These often tiny spaces come with many hidden costs – sinks, vanities, mirrors, lighting, new bathtubs, new toilets, and the potential cost of hiring a plumber or other professional.
But a few clever changes can add some pizzazz to an outdated bathroom without the budget of a complete renovation, whether you’re remodeling a large or small bathroom. Here are some inexpensive ideas for doing just that.
1. Paint the walls
A fresh coat of paint is enough in any room, but especially in the bathroom. Whether you choose the same shade to cover up dirt and grime that has accumulated over the years, or a new shade to brighten up the room, color gives the bathroom an instant freshening up. Consider a neutral or cool white – especially if a bathroom currently has brown or dark walls. Switching from dark to light makes the room appear larger without incurring large bathroom renovation costs.
2. Add a mega mirror
Like a coat of fresh white paint, a mirror creates the optical illusion of a larger room. Adding an ultra-large mirror also offers more than just aesthetic benefits. Tiny mirrors make it difficult to complete tasks that require your reflection, like applying makeup. An oversized mirror makes these things easier while adding a touch of glamor to it at the same time.
3. Painting the bathtub
Installing this gorgeous vintage claw foot tub seemed like a good idea at the time, but years of use has turned the pristine soaker into a pockmarked nightmare. Or maybe you don’t like the color anymore. Instead of getting an expensive replacement, paint the tub to a glossy finish with the help of a tub repair kit like this highly rated option available on Amazon.
Related: The Big Decision for Bathroom Remodeling: Tub vs. Shower
4. Sneak into more storage
Bathrooms never have enough storage space for extra toilet paper, cleaning supplies, towels and bed linen. Get clutter out of the sink and keep the bathroom pristine by adding this premium tall cabinet available on Amazon with a small open shelf, two cabinet doors and a small drawer. It’s also made from mold-resistant materials, making it perfect for a humid environment.
5. Update the chassis hardware
Anyone who already has enough storage space could consider changing the cabinet fittings. Replace outdated or damaged hardware and upgrade a rundown room in less than a day. For a touch of luxury with no price tag, swap out trendy pieces of hardware like brushed gold handles or ornate hexagonal buttons. For a cohesive look, choose the hardware that goes with your plumbing fixtures.
6. Opt for an affordable tile
Options like vinyl or laminate are cheaper than stone or tile, so they’re excellent materials for those looking to upgrade bathroom floors and walls on a budget. Another option is to use peelable tiles like this highly rated option available on Etsy to cover up old, ugly floors or simply painted walls. The inexpensive stickers can make a bathroom look completely new.
Related: The Best Peel and Stick Floor Tiles to Add Value to Your Bathroom
7. Add simple accents
Add simple, stylish accents while keeping things tidy by storing soap and other toiletries in baskets. Use easy-open jars to house things like bath bombs, cotton swabs, and cotton pads. An easy way to create a spa-like atmosphere on a budget is to buy matching accessories like the one in this premium bamboo kit available on Amazon that includes a trash, toothbrush holder, and more.
8. Refresh window treatments
An old, yellowed window treatment can make an otherwise attractive bathroom look downright grubby. Adding a new set of curtains or blinds can revive a dull, lifeless bathroom. Transparent fabric Roman blinds are a great choice for bathrooms with large windows because they let in light without compromising privacy. Just make sure to choose mold-resistant fabrics.
9. Change the lighting
If your old bathroom has lighting that is the wrong kind of retro, consider swapping out the lights for something a little more trendy. The top-rated Replay 3 light fixture available at The Home Depot is a sleek, modern option that will blend in with most bathroom designs. It is available in various mounting options and designs.
10. Turn old furniture into a new vanity
Don’t throw away the old dresser! Revamp it and use it as a new bathroom vanity instead. Upgrade your bathroom by turning old furniture into a shabby, chic vanity. For those not ready to go the DIY route, consider this reclaimed wood device available on Etsy. The rustic washbasin offers plenty of storage space for various bathroom utensils and odds and ends.
Connected: 25 Small Bathrooms We Love
11. Replace the water taps
Over time, faucets can get stained and rusty. And if they’re unsightly, they’ve probably gone out of style too. Simply replacing bathroom faucets can make a bathroom look cleaner and more modern and is particularly good for a shower conversion. It’s a good idea to swap out all of the faucets at once – the bathtub faucet, shower head and handles, and sink faucet – to make sure they all have the same finish.
12. Cover the countertop with contact paper
Another bathroom makeover idea is to cover peeling or cracked countertops with the help of a paper-like sheet of faux marble, like this highly-rated option available on Etsy. This vinyl won’t last forever, but it’s a lot cheaper than the ultra-expensive real version. The peel-and-stick vinyl is easy to apply, waterproof, heat-resistant and tear-resistant. However, it takes a little bit of trial and error to prevent it from gushing while using it.