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Design on a Dime: Bathroom Edition

By Chris Bibey

budget bathroom ideasAre you one of those people who believe that a bathroom remodel has to cost tens of thousands of dollars? While the sky truly is the limit, you may be on a budget and there is nothing wrong with that. Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to update any bathroom in your home without overspending. Kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms where you’ll get the biggest return on your investment. People can live with a living room looking a little outdated, because usually a little paint and flooring can freshen up any room, but kitchens and bathrooms are different. Remodeling your bathrooms will add a ton of value to your home and help you sell it for more money and faster when that time comes.

The following tips should serve as inspiration for your bathroom project:

1. Just like every space, paint can go a long way in refreshing a bathroom. Why not add a modern shade to your walls to see what it can do? For whatever reason, many homeowners leave their bathroom the same color for years on end. Some even have wallpaper and refuse to take it down. Even if you change nothing else, a new paint color will transform the appearance of your bathroom.

Tip: use a semi-gloss paint as it will hold up best against humidity and temperature change. This type of paint is also easiest to clean.

Helpful links:

Bathroom Paint

How to Paint a Bathroom

2. Flooring. One thing that many people learn is that replacing the flooring in their bathroom is cheap, because it is a relatively small area. While not all bathrooms are small, the majority of them are. This should open up a world of opportunities in terms of the types of flooring that you can consider. Some of the most popular options include ceramic tile, vinyl, and marble/travertine.

Tip: Never lay carpet in a bathroom. This is something that was popular in the 80’s and early 90’s, but even then, it was never a good idea. With so much moisture, carpeting is a bad choice for any bathroom.

Helpful links:

Top 7 Bathroom Flooring Options

How to Install a New Bathroom Floor

3. Upgrade your vanity, but don’t buy a new one. You are on a budget, so there is a good chance that swapping out your old vanity for a new one will be out of your price range. Rather than spend money on a modern vanity and the labor to install it, refresh the one that you already have. You can do this easily enough by refinishing or repainting the base, drawers, and doors.

Helpful links:

Painting a Bathroom Vanity

How to Paint a Bathroom Vanity

4. Update your hardware and fixtures. Some people focus on all the wrong details when upgrading their bathroom. While it would be nice to upgrade your vanity, mirrors, and other large details, this is not always in the budget. Fortunately, you can achieve a new look and feel easily enough by updating your hardware.

Tip: Consider swapping out the faucet, towel racks, knobs and pulls on the vanity, toilet handle, and toilet paper rack.

Helpful links:

Bath Hardware & Bath Accessories

Bath Accessories

5. Get rid of that old, grimy toilet! Let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than an outdated, dirty toilet. In addition to being an off-color, such as pink or yellow, if not taken care of properly, a toilet can turn into a sight for sore eyes. Replacing a toilet is cheaper and easier than most people believe. For roughly $75 to $100, you should be able to find a basic white (or shade of white) toilet. This will quickly improve your bathroom.

Helpful links:

How to Install a Toilet

Have you recently updated your bathroom? If so, do you have anything to add to the tips above? We’d love to see some photos of your new and improved bathroom! Post them on our Facebook page!

(photo credit: Bathroom Remodeling Fairfax)

Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

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  • colouredbathrooms

    Very informative and cracking ideas!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Westcoaster

    Instead of “sight for sore eyes,” you may mean “eyesore.” The two phrases mean opposite things.

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