Ways to spruce up your bathroom on a budget

Bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive rooms to remodel-after all, there are quite a few different components required in these relatively small spaces.

It may seem like an overwhelming project, especially if you are on a tight budget, but by simplifying the entire process, hopefully you won’t be so intimidated.

Have a dollar figure in mind before understanding that there are two absolute truths in construction remodeling:

1. Everything will take twice as long as planned.
2. Your final expenditures will be at least 20% higher than your budget.

The first step is to set a realistic budget and leave yourself some room for any extras that may come up. Don’t get discouraged if you’re tight on the cash.


Instead of the full demolition and bathroom makeover, we want to approach this scenario economically by being realistic and working within the funds:

— Check the condition of the cabinets.

If the vanity cabinet is in good structural condition (but are just tired of the color or the door style), the best financial option might be to do a refacing and change the door style.

At that time you can choose a different stain or paint color.

Depending on how handy you are, you may be able to do most of it yourself–or you can order the cabinet doors yourself.

It is strongly recommended to have a professional cabinet finisher apply the finish on the vanity.


If replacing the tile may not be an option, then we would consider sprucing up the tile.

You may be able to get away with just a deep cleaning and a regrout of the faded or stained grout lines (Unless you absolutely hate the color of your tile).

If you do absolutely hate the color, all is not lost.

Tile painting is a much more economical option if done properly. There are do-it-yourself options and you can always call a professional bathtub-shower refinishing company.

Plumbing Fixtures

This is probably an area where you can get the most bang for your buck.

Changing your faucet and shower trim will be a relatively small investment that will make a huge difference to your bathroom’s total appearance.

Your best bet is to narrow it down to a style or type of look that you would like to achieve.

If you find a faucet that you like from a “famous” brand, chances are you can find a similar faucet available from a lesser known brand of equal or better quality at probably only 60% of the cost of a major brand manufacturer.

In other words, you will save the cost of paying for a major brand’s advertising budget and still achieve the look that you want at a fraction of the cost (without sacrificing quality).

One of the brands that comes to mind right now is Kingston Brass because of their selection and price point.

When it comes to shower valves, replacing the trim is the best option if you do not want to go through the trouble of breaking the wall open and replacing tile.

The trim includes all the exposed parts which consists of face plate, handle, shower head, arm and flange, and if necessary, a tub spout.

To achieve this, you should find out what brand of shower valve you have inside the wall, as they are not universal.

The next step is to look within that brand for a style that will be compatible with your new look.

It does not have to be an exact match since your shower valve generally is not located right next to your faucet. Chances are, it might be hidden behind a shower curtain or shower door.

When it comes to finishes, your least expensive finish will be polished chrome.

The satin nickel finish will be priced approximately 25 percent more and the oil-rubbed bronze finish 50 percent more than chrome.

Bath Accessories

Bath accessories will give your bathroom that finished look.  Generally, you would select your bath accessories after you have selected your faucets but ideally, you want to coordinate all the pieces in your bathroom.


The bottom line is that if you exercise some flexibility and creativity, you should be able to accomplish your goal. Focus on the big picture.

Sure, we all would like to be able to afford a marble heated floor and a master shower with a steam generator, but we should still be able to have a bathroom that we enjoy.