12 Ideas to Remodel a Bathroom on a Budget

Home improvement projects are for everyone. And with the magic of DIY and some professional guidance, remodeling projects can turn out just how you envision them. A new bathroom doesn't always have to be a complete overhaul. Sometimes, smaller DIY projects can yield enormously beneficial results.

Bath remodeling is also incredibly popular because of how beneficial it is for the home and the homeowner. It can improve your safety if you have old or damaged fixtures or poor lighting. It can make your day-to-day easier than ever and even help you save on energy costs if you upgrade certain fixtures.

And the big reason anyone bothers with home improvement: the long haul of increasing your overall home value. You get a lot of mileage from the average bathroom remodel, and an updated master bathroom or even a small bathroom can help you sell your home much faster.

But with so many avenues and angles you could take for your remodel, which ones will give you enough changes without breaking the bank? A great place for homeowners to start is by finding inspiration. Here are twelve budget-friendly ideas that will help you create bathroom designs that are stunning and approachable while also helping you save money.

1. Don’t Underestimate Tiles
Using floor tile strategically in your bathroom can produce a beautiful, unique effect and also help you save money on your bathroom makeover. Using tiles to cover an older or damaged bathroom floor will give the entire room a new vibe. And if you want to get creative, you can even use them to cover your bathroom walls or build yourself a one-of-a-kind backsplash.

You can always opt for laminate or vinyl flooring for even more savings; many options are still gorgeous and durable but don't come with the higher price tag that others, like stone or ceramic tiles, might. Bathroom wall tiles are water-resistant, making them much easier to clean than a simple painted wall.

2. Brighten With Light
Light fixtures make a significant impact on smaller rooms like bathrooms. Everything from small bulbs on your bathroom vanity to trendy hanging pieces for added splashes of light can make your bathroom look different without your needing to become a certified plumber overnight. A stylish, well-placed light fixture can help update your bathroom from something plain to a room with contemporary flair.

If you don't want to redo all of your bathroom lighting, adding a statement piece can add some budget drama and beauty with minimal DIY effort. Better lighting can also improve the bathroom's overall functionality; anything that can help you get ready in the morning while adding to your aesthetic is an easy win.

3. Lean Into the Vanity
It makes sense that something called a vanity would require much of your attention. But if you want high impact and low costs for your DIY bathroom remodel, focusing on your vanity is critical. 

The good news is you don't always have to rip out your bathroom vanity and replace it with a new one if that's not in your budget. Changes like switching out cabinet knobs or replacing other old elements can refresh your bathroom’s look.

However, if you're interested in investing in your vanity, you can always replace the sink, faucet, countertops, mirror, or lighting elements. Mirrors will probably have the most impact, so keep that in mind if you're forced to choose between a few options.

DIYers who want to go all out can take it further by refinishing or staining their vanity; this will transform the way it looks without adversely affecting the total cost of your remodel. And since the vanity makes such a big difference, there’s nothing wrong with finding space in the budget for one you really love.

4. Paint With Broader Strokes
It's not everyone's favorite DIY activity, but painting your bathroom is one of the best ways to remodel a bathroom on a budget. You should consider this if you have a small bathroom with a color that makes it look even smaller. Additionally, you could make a big shift in your interior design concept, like going from more muted tones to bright primary colors.

A fresh coat of paint can do so much for your aesthetic and typically doesn't cost much — you just need the patience and deft hands to turn your basic drywall into a canvas fit for your inspiration!

Are you not a huge fan of how a tile looks, but you still want to add it to your wall to save some cash? Try painting the tile for a completely different look. This method could require you to buy tiles and paint. But it's worth the extra effort if it helps you mimic the look of something significantly more expensive.

5. Think Storage With New Cabinetry and Hardware
What homeowner would ever say no to more bathroom storage? Of all the home renovation projects you can embark upon, aiming for more storage ranks high on the list of improvements that will boost your home's functionality and quality of life.

While new cabinets can be an extreme endeavor for kitchen remodels, they're a lot less expensive for bathroom remodels. Bathrooms don't have as much space or need the same storage, so you can afford to think bigger with your bathroom cabinetry. And going DIY for a larger project like this can also help you save money on labor costs. You’ll be one step closer to having a better place to store toilet paper.

6. Accent Away
The term "remodel" can be loosely interpreted as anything that gives a space a new look. With that in mind, it's time to let go of what you thought a remodel could be.

Smaller accents like new shower curtain rings or stylish cabinet hardware can make more of an impact than many homeowners realize. And plants are one of the best additions to make a room feel more alive instantly. Many plants will thrive in a moist environment, but do your research on which ones can handle living in the bathroom.

Shower curtains will also dramatically affect a small bathroom remodel. So if your bathroom's square footage seems a little sparse, don't hesitate to get creative with more minor elements that amplify the big picture. After all, the difference between a master bathroom and a powder room can often be about how the design feels, not how large the space is.

Other bath accessories like new rings or hooks for your robe or towels can be the cherry on top of a design, so don't forget to look out for those!

7. Upgrade the Shower Head
Don’t overlook your fixtures if you want to remodel a bathroom on a budget. Many fixtures in the bathroom are vital to making your days more manageable and comfortable. A great example is your showerhead. Invest just a small amount of money into upgrading your basic shower head and see how big of a difference it can make during your morning showers.

You can apply this logic to other bathroom elements that you might not add much in the way of looks. Remember that you'll use your bathroom frequently enough that you can't rely on beauty alone, so don't hesitate to search for features that will improve your quality of life.

8. Think About Sinks
A new sink faucet or sink could potentially be costly, depending on what you're interested in buying. But if you're a crafty DIYer, this is the perfect time to put those skills to the test and install a new sink! Cut down on expenses by installing the sink yourself; many models are easier than you think to set up, and it could dramatically improve how your bathroom looks and operates.

A new sink could also help open up more storage or counter space. If you don't have a lot of space below the sink, a smaller replacement could simplify storage. And a smaller sink on the counter also gives you more room to play with. It seems like a scary task, but truthfully, replacing your sink is something you can do with an online guide and an afternoon.

9. Focus on the Bathtub
A spa-like atmosphere in the bathroom is every homeowner's dream. And you'll be happy to hear that there's a relatively easy — and inexpensive — way to make this a reality. Instead of swapping your older bathtub for a completely new one, you can breathe new life into your current tub with a nice, high-gloss finish. Stores like Amazon and Home Depot carry high-quality glosses that look phenomenal.

There's also the argument to be made about shifting some of your budget to invest in a new bathtub. You can find some affordable options, and since it's such a big part of the bathroom, installing a new tub would make a bigger statement. Just make sure you're prioritizing the right things in your bathroom renovation, and you should be well on your way to maintaining a budget-friendly project.

10. Windows and Doors
Window treatments aren't necessarily the first thing anyone notices when they walk into your bathroom. But a dingy window can certainly dampen whatever vibe you were going for. Don't forget to liven up your bathroom with fresh window treatments. Before you buy curtains, however, make sure you're buying mildew-resistant fabrics. You'll thank yourself later.

Smaller bathrooms also greatly benefit from windows, so do your best not to hide them too much. Opt for something that strikes a good balance between privacy and bringing in natural light. And don’t overlook the door — a new bathroom door might be just what you need to change things up.

11. Go Vertical
Building new pieces of furniture may not be every DIYer's cup of tea. Still, if you haven't tried it, start with something easy like shelving. Making and putting up new shelves can add much more usable space to your bathroom. Not only that, but you can add more design elements and accents to these shelves, further cementing your interior design concept.

Installing new shelves is one of the easier ways to remodel a bathroom on a budget. Shelves can offer more storage space and allow you to display more of what you love.

12. Unleash Your Creativity
Allow yourself to dream big. Then take those dreams and find creative ways to pare them down in a way that makes sense for your budget. If you initially wanted to paint the entire bathroom, you could paint just the ceiling instead for a bold look that saves you some extra money. Look for affordable alternatives to luxury items that don't make you compromise your vision. You'll be much happier and have a new bathroom that's uniquely yours!

Dream Big on Any Budget With DIY Solutions From Seconds & Surplus
Keep your bathroom remodel cost low without ever needing to lower your expectations! The team at Seconds & Surplus has everything you need to remodel a bathroom on a budget. Contact us today or browse our catalog to find a fantastic selection of fixtures to add to your new bathroom.