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Affordable Bathroom Update: 8 Insider Hacks for a Makeover Under $20k

If you’ve decided on sprucing up your old bathroom with brand new furnishings and a whole new look, you’ve made the right decision.

Did you know that a bathroom remodel fetches a higher ROI as compared to other rooms in your home?  And not only is it worth getting an upgrade from a financial perspective, but it can make quite a difference in your life too. Especially if you have been living with a bathroom that has seen mold, chipped paint, damaged tubs, etc.

That being said, as good as it will be for your lifestyle — we understand that a bathroom remodel isn’t always feasible. Especially if you don’t have a bunch of cash lying around. In fact, it can be quite daunting — and we get that.

But hey, if you aren’t quite ready to shell out the national average of $20,000, but still want a decent bathroom — fret not. You can still have a bathroom that brings you comfort and peace. All you need to do is deploy these budget bathroom update ideas.

1. Do Not Move Major Plumbings

For anyone that wants to update their bathroom, one of the initial urges is to redesign the entire space.

While this may be a good idea on paper, it is undoubtedly an expensive one. Redesigning major fixtures like the toilet and the bathtub requires a BIG plumbing overhaul. The cost to move around the plumbing is quite astronomical because of the labor charge involved. It’s also not something you can just DIY because it is indeed risky work.

Instead, leave major fixtures where they are and upgrade them to newer ones or polish them in order to make them look brand new.

2. Refinish Your Bathroom Tub

Speaking of refinishing, the temptation to replace your bathtub and swap it for an expensive new one may be high, but so is the cost.

Unless your bathtub has major structural issues, there is absolutely no need to get a new one. Refinishing or relining your bathtub will make it look as good as new at a fraction of the cost.

3. Give Your Vanity A Makeover

The vanity is the central point of any bathroom space, regardless of its size. Replacing your bathroom vanity will give your bathroom a completely new look and give it the novelty you are after.

You can buy sturdy and stylish off-the-shelf vanities that are cost-effective. If you want to go even cheaper, you can do so by merely repainting your vanity in a bold and bright color.

4. Choose Countertops Smartly

Countertops are all the rage right now, whether you’re installing them in the kitchen or in your bathroom. Although expensive, granite countertops are an increasingly popular choice. Especially because the square footage of the countertop required in a bathroom is actually not that big. So, it’s not as pricey as it would be in a kitchen.

Now, you must be thinking, if it’s expensive how can I afford it? The key here is to be smart while choosing the countertop.

For instance, colors like beige and tan are popular and thus more expensive. If you want to get it for cheaper, consider opting for something more unique. You can also purchase granite slabs with slight imperfections as they tend to be less expensive as compared to more ‘perfect’ pieces. Do not worry about the imperfections. If they happen to be in a location where you’ll fit a sink or some faucets, you won’t even be able to see them.

5. When In Doubt, Go White

Sometimes basics are the best option to choose from, especially when it comes to your bath essentials.

If you want to save some money while updating your bathroom, you have to remember that the color of your bathroom fixtures plays a more significant role in the budget than you think.

For instance, white tubs, sinks, etc cost a lot lower than their colored countertops because manufacturers make more of them as they’re easier to sell. Hence, if you want to save a considerable chunk of your money, opt for white fixtures instead of colored ones.

6. Make A Statement (Wall)

When it comes to updating your bathroom affordably, you need to pick your battles. While most bathrooms are tiled from one corner to the other, if you want to save some money, there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t do that. The first and most important one is that tiling is expensive, both with material cost and the labor cost involved.

The affordable way to do so is to create a statement wall, and this can be a single section, ideally behind your mirror that stands out in your bathroom. You can opt for a chevron or a subway tile with your favorite pattern for the dedicated space.

modern bathroom tiles
Image from Canva

7. Repaint Your Bathroom

Wondering how you can change the vibe of your bathroom with just one change? Add some color to it! Even if you do house cleaning regularly, your bathroom will look a lot better.

Not only is it cheap if you DIY it, but it also gives your bathroom a whole new look and freshness from the get-go. Painting your bathroom is one of the easiest and doable tasks out there, even for a beginner. Do not shy away from experimenting with colors and textures as it will add a new dimension to the bathroom space.

8. Let There Be Light

The way a bathroom looks and feels has to do with the light in it.

Most bathrooms have little to no natural light, and that’s why the importance of artificial lighting is highlighted in a space like a bathroom. Your bathroom may look dull and uninspiring because of the way it’s lit. It would be best if you considered replacing the existing lights and even adding some to enhance the visual appeal of your bathroom.

The Bottom Line

Upgrading your bathroom space is considered to be a costly affair, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. With some smart choices and some DIY work, you can give your bathroom that ‘brand-new’ look without spending tons of money.