Bathroom on a Budget

Some people would argue that there is no greater gratification in remodeling than a remodeled bathroom.  Your bathroom is your oasis from the world. It is where you spend your morning, so in a way it sets the tone for your entire day.  However large or small your bathroom space may be, you could potentially pour loads of cash into a remodel.  Let’s look at each component of a bathroom to find ways to save on your remodel.



Whether you confine it to the floor or cover every available square inch of your bathroom, tile is the cornerstone of bathroom design.  It is also one of the easiest ways to balance your budget.  Ceramic and porcelain tiles are durable, low maintenance, and reasonably priced.  They now are available in several different sizes, shapes, textures, colors, and patterns. Higher end stone tiles, such as marble and granite are great accent pieces that work seamlessly with their less expensive counterparts.  For example, tile your entire floor with ceramic tile and add a marble tile inlay accent in the center of the floor.  Your eye will be instantly drawn to the decorative inlay, while the ceramic serves a supporting role.



Choosing a vanity on a budget doesn’t mean it has to be boring.  Shop the special order returns section of your local big box hardware store.  Chances are you will find returned special order vanities at a fraction of the cost, and often they are returned simply because they did not fit a space, not because of defect.  Or you can get a pre-fabricated vanity in wood or white, and paint or stain it according to your style.  Remnant granite or stone from your local countertop dealer can easily be cut down to fit your vanity top.  Add custom hardware to create a unique and finished look.



Do you have an avocado green or periwinkle blue bathtub?  Think twice before you pay to have it ripped out and replaced.  You can buy kits online or pay a professional to refinish the surface of your tub to a clean, bright white.  Then replace the faucet and drain and you won’t even recognize your old tub.  Add decorative tile or paint around the enclosure if it does not already exist.



Instead of splurging on a custom color or design for your toilet, choice a classic look that won’t feel dated in ten years.  Why pay double and triple for a functional piece that tends to have a long life span anyway? Toilets can continue to save you money too – toilets designed to conserve water based on the waste that is being flushed can drastically reduce your water bill.



Lighting is a great way to give your bathroom a new look.  Get rid of those movie light globes above your vanity and opt for something more intricate.  Brushed nickel and antique copper are great alternatives to the traditional brass and chrome, and tend to be reasonably priced.  If you have a light over your bathtub, a simple chandelier can add character without becoming too fussy.  Probably the cheapest way to update your bathroom lighting is to add lamps; people tend to under utilize lamps in their bathrooms.  It adds just the right amount of light and texture to a space to create a cozy feel.



In any remodel scenario, paint will always give you the best bang for your buck.  A can of paint changes the entire look and feel of any space.  Be sure to use a bathroom friendly sheen, such as a semi-gloss.



Do what you can yourself!  If it is your first bathroom remodel, you don’t need to become an expert in plumbing, tiling, painting, and electricity all at once.  Pick the project (or two) that intimidate you the least.  You have abundant resources at your disposal – “how-to” books and internet videos, education classes at your hardware store or community center, and the experience of your friends and family.  The pride and sense of accomplishment from completing a portion of your remodel on your own may inspire you to tackle more of the labor on your next remodel..