Cheap Improvements For Small Bathrooms


Cheap Improvements For Small Bathrooms

bathroom tips, small bathrooms

Remodeling the bathroom is expensive. We’re pretty sure that’s what you and most people are thinking. However, cheap bathroom remodels are possible even though they don’t seem that way. Making design changes and giving your bathroom a new look is absolutely attainable with small investments and a little bit of DIY. You don’t have to rip everything apart and start from scratch, you can make small changes, save your money, and still remodel your bathroom.

Considering the high cost of bathroom remodeling, paying all that money for a small bathroom doesn’t seem like a good idea. And we agree, it isn’t. All you have to do instead is to think outside the box and find cheap and creative ways to remodel and redesign. Start your very own remodeling project and, at the end of it, you’ll have a clean, functional, and pretty bathroom. You’ll also be left with more money in your bank account than those who chose the expensive remodeling route.

Things To Consider Before Remodeling

Are you excited and ready to get started? Great. But first, let’s discuss the things you need to do before you start to redesign your small bathroom.

Make A Budget And Stick To It

Even though you won’t spend $10,000 on remodeling, which, by the way, is the average bathroom remodel cost, you will still need some money to get started. If you’re creative you can get away with spending only $1000 or less. Maybe $3000 if you want to replace some bathroom pieces. Far better, right?

Determine The Changes You Want To Make

Based on your budget, make a list of possible changes you can make. If you have a low budget ($1000 and under), you can still remodel your bathroom but, most probably, only cosmetic changes will be possible. Think new paint, new sink, new bathroom accessories. These small changes can still make a lot of difference though.

If you afford to spend more, you can make larger modifications such as changing the shower, adding tile, replacing a window.

Do Research And Find The Best Deals

Whether you decided on small or big changes, make sure you find the best deals for every item you want to replace or thing you want to change. You’ll save more money this way and you’ll probably end up being more creative.

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Inexpensive Improvements For Small Bathrooms

Time to get working now! We have nine ideas to get you started but don’t let these limit yourself. If you feel there are other things you can do, go ahead and turn those ideas into reality.

Limit The Tile

Tile is expensive, especially if you cannot lay it yourself and you hire a contractor. So, to save money, focus on high-impact areas such as the floor and paint the rest. You can also tile a few horizontal strips for more personality and paint the rest. That’s entirely up to you and your budget.

Alternatively, you can use expensive tile as an accent and cheaper tile for the rest of the bathroom. You’ll save money this way too and you’ll still be able to have that tile that your heart set on.

Use Lower Cost Lookalike Materials

Speaking of your heart’s desires, if you love expensive materials but you cannot afford them, look for cheaper alternatives. Inexpensive options look quite good these days. Vinyl flooring is a great inexpensive alternative for wood plank flooring. Laminate countertops can replace natural stone with success. Porcelain and ceramic mimic the aspect of marble and are great alternatives you can use.

The most budget-friendly option however is refurbishing the existing materials so maybe see what options are available for you there before changing things up.

Refinish Your Tub Instead Of Replacing It

Redoing your existing bathroom fixtures is cheaper than replacing them. For example, you can have your bathtub professionally relined instead of replacing it. It is cheaper and your tub will look like new. Replacing your bathtub should be the last resort. Try refinishing and relining first. If the problem is the aspect of the tub (yellow surface or cracks), you can refinish it. This is a cheaper alternative to liners, which require professional installation.

Alternatively, you can take a step down and just touch up the tub instead of refinishing it. There are touch-up products on the market that can help you with this task. They are easy to use and they get the job done.

Redo Instead Of Replacing

The same thing goes for bathroom fixtures – instead of getting rid of them and replacing them with new ones, you can refinish them yourself, especially if they are made of cast iron, fiberglass or porcelain. You’ll need to invest in some supplies to do it – think spray guns, sander, paintbrushes – but you’re for sure capable to complete the DIY successfully. Plus, it’s actually a fun project.

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We don’t recommend doing this with the shower fixtures or the sink since, usually, the cost of replacing them is actually lower than the cost of refinishing them. The project is not worth the time and money unless you have vintage pieces you want to preserve.

Update Fixtures

Little details can make a huge difference so see what bathroom fixtures you can replace for a small investment. You can update the sink faucet, change the towel racks or update the light fixtures. These little changes may not seem like a lot but they really do make a big difference in your bathroom’s look.

And keep in mind you can always do it yourself. Why buy a new towel rack when you can use items you have in the house? Old plumbing works great, for example, and it adds a nice industrial touch to the bathroom. Or you can create driftwood towel holders for a rustic vibe. Or how about a minimal towel holder? All you need is a freshly painted old ladder. The opportunities are endless, really.


This is a no brainer but fresh paint is the most effective and inexpensive way to improve your small bathroom. Here’s a word of warning though, since the humidity and temperature change often in the bathroom, mold and mildew develop easily, thus it is important to invest in high-quality paint, preferably with a satin finish.

Another thing you should be aware of is the fact that painting the bathroom takes a lot of time. You might have a small bathroom but painting around the sink, mirror, shower, and window takes a lot of time and patience. Make sure you have both!

Save On Counter Tops

You can splurge and save money at the same time by replacing the countertops. How come? Well, granite countertops are very popular these days but most people opt for neutral colors such as light beige or tan, which means the least popular colors are less expensive. Opting for the least popular colors is not only a great way to save money but you can also add a lot of personality to your bathroom. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try something new!

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No matter how inexpensive they are when they are not beige or tan, granite countertops are still expensive for some budgets. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change your countertops! Forget about granite and get ready for some DIY! Make your own budget dresser sink using an old dresser you have in the house (you can buy it for antique stores if you don’t have one). To turn the dresser into a bathroom vanity, cut out the top to accommodate the sink insert, remove drawers, and cut holes in the back of the dressers for plumbing.

Buy Used

Since we mentioned antique stores earlier, we have to point out that everything you want to change in the bathroom can be bought second hand. You can save a lot of money this way and you’ll be able to replace pretty much any bathroom fixture this way, including the shower and toilet, yes.

Go online or find local stores that sell such bathroom necessities. You may be surprised by the amazing mirrors, tubs, and doors you can find if you go this route instead of buying new.

Finding upcycled accessories is another idea you should consider. From wood hanging shelves to vintage bathroom signs and toilet paper holders made out of wood and old plumbing, there are plenty of fun accessories for every bathroom style. Do some research on Etsy to see how many awesome bathroom accessories you can find. They are cheap and creative too so your small bathroom will get the best look. If you’re feeling inspired, you can obviously try to DIY.

Make It Green

Turn your small bathroom into an environment-friendly room by opting for low-flow toilets, showerheads, and sinks. It may seem that these cost more money than traditional ones but they don’t. In fact, in some cases, they can cost less. And, on top of conserving water, you’ll save money on utility bills as well.

Upcycling is also good for the environment so you can also consider making your own bathroom accessories as previously recommended or find new ways to create accessories that go well with your bathroom’s style.