Bathrooms get a tremendous amount of use, every day of the year. As a result, your bathroom may need remodeling sooner than other areas of your home that get less use. What is so nice about remodeling your bathroom is that: most bathroom remodels are relatively easy so that projects are do-it-yourself, remodeling can be very low cost with significant impact, and updated bathrooms are one of the top items that homebuyers look for when purchasing a home.
Low Cost, High Impact Ideas
If you are in the mood to refresh your bathroom, but you have very limited funds to do so, one of the most highly recommended projects you can do is to repaint and/or wallpaper the bathroom walls. Painting is one of the most inexpensive ways to refresh any space, including a bathroom. Prior to painting, you might want to consider selecting a theme or idea around which to update your bathroom. This will include selecting a color palette. For example, if you want to create a “beachy” feel, select colors in blues, greens, and tans.
You do not need to simply paint all the walls of your bathroom the same color, although this is a design option. Consider painting one wall a different comparable color as an accent wall. Paint vertical or horizontal stripes. Or, create your own design of dots, bubbles, butterflies, sand castles – whatever inspires you! Refreshing your bathroom with a new coat of paint will make it feel brand new as soon as the paint dries.
Another low cost project that has high impact is to update your vanity. Here, you can switch out old vanity handles with new ones, paint your vanity, and install new handles on your faucets. A next level of renovation would be to replace the faucets, sinks, and the entire vanity. These projects may seem like they would not do anything to make your bathroom appear newer, but you will be amazed at how a little paint and replacing drawer handles brighten up your bathroom!
Switch Out the Flooring
A majority of homebuyers desire updated bathrooms that include new flooring. Like replacing carpeting and tile throughout your home, if your bathroom flooring is old and looks dated, you can replace it for a fraction of the cost. How? Search your local area flooring or hardware store, or online, for discontinued and/or sales on bathroom flooring in the amount that you need to cover the floor. Traditionally, bathroom floors are made from ceramic or another type of tile. Locating a discontinued type of tile will save you quite a bit on your budget. If you decide to go this route, select your flooring first before painting as your original painting scheme may or may not match what tiling is available, and there are thousands of shades of color that you can use to match the tile, instead of the other way around.
Like flooring, stores do have discontinued toilets, mirrors, sliding doors for the bathtub, etc. Look in the scratch and dent aisle. Sometimes the dent or scratch on an item cannot be seen when you install it, so it is worth considering as the item may be one that you would not normally be able to afford brand new (somewhat like purchasing a new car).
Mirrors that are on sale can not only be found at large box stores such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but also at garage sales, flea markets, and at antique stores. If you are creative and handy, you can create your own mirror! For example, you can take an old, sturdy frame, like one from an old window or substantial picture, purchase a large mirror, and install it into the frame. This technique especially highlights a bathroom with old-style or barn-type décor.
Various items can also be crafted into toilet paper, hand towels, and large towel holders. Use a worn horseshoe or a metal spring. Search for ideas on the DIY website or Pinterest. Think out of the box! Things that may found their way into the trash can be recycled for other purposes.
Depending upon the size of a bathroom, storage may be at a premium. Some homes do not have a linen closet, so the bathroom is the place for towels, shampoos, and soaps. If you have wall space, add free-floating shelves. These are very reasonably priced. Store away soap and toilet paper in matching baskets and place them on the shelving. A cabinet with doors and shelves mounted over the toilet expands space options. Storage ideas do not need to be large or expensive. Use old glass canisters to hold cotton balls and Q-tips. Add hooks to hang towels. The ideas are endless!
Your Own Touch
Bathrooms in homes can reflect your personal touch. Most homeowners will stay with a particular color palette that they like. Others select a theme for each bathroom. Beaches, horses, dogs, French- or Italian-influenced, favorite sports (hockey, football), favorite sports teams, favorite hobbies (music, painting) – bathroom themes are endless! Add special touches that are meaningful to you and your family such as children’s framed artwork and photographs. Or be whimsical! Put up Where’s Waldo wallpaper or find wallpaper with old newspaper stories printed on it. These low cost changes will definitely be conversation starters.
Bathroom Budget Remodeling
Remodeling a bathroom does not mean that you need to spend thousands of dollars to make it look new. Unless you have the funds or you must replace plumbing and the bathtub, there are hundreds of other ways to change the look of the space. Spending a day going to garage sales or a flea market and you may come away with some inspiration along with items that match your vision. Be on the lookout for items that can be re-purposed, such as worn tin cans, old time fancy spurs, or a small table that just needs painting to bring it back to life. The nice thing about doing a low cost bathroom remodel is that you can continuously change and add items all the time, making the space look new almost everyday!