How to Do a Bathroom Renovation by Yourself & Save Money 

 December 14, 2020

By Scott Teesdale  

minutes read time

A bathroom renovation is a significant home investment. But buying materials, hiring a designer, and labor can cost you the earth. To make sure you don’t break your bank with bathroom renovations, we’ve compiled a list of 9 cheap bathroom renovation tips. Enjoy!

Whether you are renovating your old home or you just bought a fixer-upper, if you’ve been researching bathroom renovation, you must have come across many ideas, some of which are exceptionally costly.

And when having a classy bathroom is everyone’s dream, your budget may not allow you to do a bathroom makeover like the one you saw your favorite YouTuber do.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fix up your bathroom that you can use and still have a flashy bathroom.

In this article, we will discuss:

  • Cheap bathroom renovation ideas
  • DIY bathroom renovation ideas

So, let’s dive right into the tips.

1. Budget for Your Renovation

It’s essential that you’re clear about the amount you’ll spend on the whole process. When you know the money you’re willing to spend, it will be easy to allocate money to materials and labor evenly.

This will also ensure your project doesn’t come at a halt due to cost issues.

2. Update Fixtures 

Sometimes the only thing you need to see a difference is small updates. Update your sink faucets, light fixtures, drawer pulls, and towel racks for a small investment. These things may seem insignificant, but they can really improve your bathroom look. 

You can check some of our home improvement tools on our site for the best quality and variety. For the products that you find out of your price range, you can get an expert to replicate it at a friendly price.

Don’t be too rigid on where you buy your items. For example, besides buying your towel racks in IKEA or home improvement shops, you can use old plumbing from an old house.

3. Paint 

Bathroom sink
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

If you’re trying to save on bathroom renovation costs, then repainting is among the cheapest and most effective ways to increase your home’s resale value by merely looking better. A new paint job makes anything look much better and a bathroom is no different.

If you decide to paint the bathroom for yourself, be sure to clear your schedule as it may take longer than you expected it to. Despite the bathroom being the smallest room in your house, you’ll need to paint gently and slowly around the tub, shower, window, switch, floor, and wall corners. This requires time and patience and a really good painter’s tape.

The other thing you’ll need to consider is the moisture. Since mold and mildew easily develop in bathrooms, and temperature and humidity often change, it’s advisable to invest in a high-quality paint with a satin finish.

Also, consider painting the ceiling with a special paint that regulates or stops the growth of mold.

4. Save on Countertops 

One popular trend in bathroom renovation is to splurge on granite countertops. And since the bathroom counter is relatively small, the investment is low compared to the money spent on kitchen counters.

So, how can you save on costs in this case? The first way is researching what colors are trending in the market. For instance, colors such as brown, tan, and light beige are trendy, meaning they’re costly. Going for wider swath colors can help you save a few bucks.

Another way to save on granite countertops is to go for a slab with imperfections. The more visible the slab imperfection is, the cheaper it will be.

There is really no need to worry about the imperfections because you may not even see them after installation. The sink basin will take up lots of space, so if the faults are located where the faucets or sink will be, you won’t see them.

Another small bathroom renovation idea that is trending is the DIYers. The designers are using obsolete dressers as sink pedestals. You only need to cut the top part of the dresser to create space for the sink. You then remove all the interior drawers if need be, and make holes for plumbing. These dresser sinks can cost a fortune in retail, but with patience and the right tools, you can do it yourself.

5. Redo Instead of Buying New

Replacing your old shower or tub can cost you a fortune. Instead, you can have it relined by a professional, which will be cheaper.

However, you’ll need to be wise on the parts that you decide to redo as replacing some may be cheaper than repairing. For example, shower fixtures and sinks are costly to redo as only a few people who have vintage pieces hire professionals for such repairs. The experts who offer the services are very premium.

On the other hand, if you’ve got vintage pieces, you can redo them on your own if they’re made of fiberglass, cast iron or porcelain. With that said, you’ll need time and some investment. You’ll have to buy a refinishing kit at around $100-$150 and additional items such as paintbrushes, face masks, a spray brush, and a sander. This can really be fun if you do it as a team with your family members.

A beautifully tiled bathroom with detachable shower head, outdoor view from the bathtub, and teal green walls

6. Buying Used Items

If you want a bathroom renovation under $3000, buying used items can help you get everything you need within your budget range. You can check sites such as eBay and craigslist for items such as showers, toilets, or even fixtures.

You can also find so many things on Etsy that can give your bathroom a fabulous look.

For example, one artist takes awesome colored Tupperware and designs them to cool hanging lamps that you can use in your bathroom.

To find bathroom accessories on Etsy, simply search ‘upcycled’ or ‘bathroom.’

7. Go for Affordable Flooring Options

With so many flooring varieties, there is no need to break the bank for one to get a luxury look. If you love the stone look, but your budget doesn’t allow, consider checking out the vinyl.

Vinyl’s a classic and affordable style, waterproof, highly durable, and comes in different designs that suit any requirement.

You can go for a stone effect design, modern designs, or a natural wood design. And the best part? You won’t feel cold under the feet during the winter season.

8. Use a Mix of Luxurious Mosaics and Ceramic Tiles

Mosaic can be very costly, especially if you use them for an entire bathroom. One of the bathroom renovation tips that can help save on costs is only to use the mosaic to create a feature wall. Ceramic tiles that look like wood, stone, or marble allow you to create a luxury look without too much spending.

Black and white marble bathroom with gold trim around the appliances.

9. Sell Your Old Bathroom Suite 

Multiple auction sites facilitate the sale of unwanted fixtures that are still in good shape, such as sinks and taps.

By selling some of the items that you don’t plan on using, you can get a few bucks to renovate your bathroom.

Final Call

How much does a bathroom renovation cost? Well, according to experts, average bathroom renovation costs around $16128.

With that said, with creative bathroom renovation steps, the right tools, and an open mind, a small bathroom renovation can cost less than $3000 and save you from hiring a general contractor for home improvement.

You’ll need to invest a little time to do some things such as painting or repairing the sink, but it will be worth it.

Looking to renovate another part of your home? Check out our blog on renovating your house on a budget.

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I use data and technology to help Millennials navigate the ins-and-outs of buying or selling a home in today's market. From appraisals to mortgages to zoning, I cover it all with the goal to teach others. Connect with me on social via the icons above.