Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.
We got it – you’re sick of your bathroom. When you moved in, you promised yourself you would do something about it. But money, time, and hassles all became obstacles that began to pile up.
The average total bathroom remodel ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 for a half-bath, sometimes called a powder room; $14,000 and $20,000 for the guest bathroom, and $30,000 and up for the master bathroom, according to Home Depot.
These numbers include everything from upgrading your faucet, toilet, and countertop to installing new tiles and a new bathtub.
But what if you could change part of your bathroom for a fraction of the cost of completely remodeling it? What if a quick do-it-yourself project could—surprise—make you fall in love with your bathroom again?
It’s possible, we promise, even without a big bathroom remodel budget.
Here are our best bathroom ideas—from budget DIYs to larger projects—in a few cost-effective levels.
How to change your bathroom with $100
Want a quick blast of color or a touch of modernity? Invest in new towel racks.
These low-cost hand towel and bath towel accessories can make a big impact.
Find options between $25 and $100 on Amazon or pricier options at Ferguson’s Build.com. Try modern gold or matte black – and don’t worry if it doesn’t match your plumbing fixtures. Metal mixed in!
Some other ideas:
- Dated bathrooms tend to have antique sink faucets (and antique fixtures). We were there. But a well-made faucet that actually works and matches your new towel rack can really enhance your quality of life.
- Fluorescent bathroom lights may make you afraid to look in the mirror. But warm lamps with warm fixtures that resemble natural light? This is enough to make you smile in the morning as you brush your teeth.
- If you want to see your reflection more clearly, try a new mirror. Etsy has some eclectic, handcrafted offerings. Getting into your bathroom just got more interesting.
- What is the first thing you look at in the morning? If it’s not your mirror, it might be your shower curtain. Here’s an idea: replace it with a new one.
How to change your bathroom for $500
A fresh coat of paint and a new paint color can work wonders in a boring space. If you want to paint your bathroom wall or your closet doors, go ahead.
Try drawing only one part of the wall as a focal point. You can save money by changing the design of your bathroom with such a small task.
Some other ideas:
- Are you having trouble cleaning the toilet? Getting a new one can be relatively easy. Home Depot has options as low as $100 and you won’t have to shell out more to install. You won’t miss your old plumbing fixtures.
- Tired of cleaning dirt from those shower doors? An elegant style in a color that matches new towel rails and plumbing fixtures can be a great idea. We love the modern sliding barn shower door. Bring some rustic farmhouse inspiration straight to your home.
- There’s a reason they call it peel and stick wallpaper. Bathroom walls will never look the same. Decorating a powder room with wallpaper is an easy way to have a beautiful bathroom on a budget. We love this fun tropical option from Chasing Paper.
- Painting tiles is not easy, but it can change the look of bathroom floors and bathroom walls without a complete bathroom renovation. This handy primer from This Old House will show you how to get the job done—and do great work.
Planning to do some renovation yourself? Don’t do it yourself and regret it. Take our advice on when to hire a professional.
How to change your bathroom for $750
If your bathroom has old tiles, it probably has old grout. One way to get around that: re-grout your tiles. Consider choosing a new color of grout to add pop to the space. True Value has a comprehensive guide on this topic.
Some other ideas:
- Like the toilet, the sink is a plumbing fixture that is probably cheaper than one might imagine. You can buy a new sink from a chain such as Home Depot. Taking and putting in a new tub will cost more, but it will probably be worth it, especially if your home has an original bathtub.
- We can’t say new hardware enough. This is a little touch that can really make your cabinet doors and vanity stand out. Just as with towel rails, try a fun color like gold or antique brass. While the hardware may seem inexpensive in isolation, matching your hardware across the board is your best bet, so be prepared for the overhead.
- This is a personal preference, but what about the sconce on the sides of the mirror instead of the light fixture above the mirror? This will provide more natural light and additional lighting through your bathroom vanity. In a small bathroom, this can really up the ante, and in a powder room, this can take your space out of a functional bathroom that feels like a sophisticated remodel.
- So I heard about hardwood floors. But what about solid wood ceilings? One DIY owner did it – and we think their hard work really paid off. Maybe now we’ll all be looking at alternative uses for laminate flooring.
How to change your bathroom with $1,000
Getting a new vanity can update your shower facilities without paying the full cost of a bathroom renovation. Vanities generally come in ranges of standard sizes, so be sure to measure before purchasing a new one.
Try to combine an unexpected color with an interesting work surface. But remember, when calculating prices on websites, the base price is generally for lockers only. An additional fee will be added to the table top.
Some other ideas:
- If you want to change up your color scheme without investing in a complete design, changing all of your plumbing fixtures is the way to go. First, you can experiment with a fun color. Second, you can actually reduce your water bill by getting more efficient fixtures. Big box stores offer many brand-name plumbing fixtures—think Moen, Kohler, and Delta. If you choose a more vibrant color, anything other than a standard color like matte black, stick to the same brand across the faucet and shower trim. Each brand has a slightly different shade, and the difference is generally noticeable.
- For $1,000, it probably won’t make you renovate your entire bathroom, but why not add expensive tile on one wall for a little accent? We love these ideas from Tile Outlets of America. Try porcelain bricks, stone, or interesting ledgers that make their way up the wall.
- You’ve probably stared at the old tile floor and hated it. But what if you could just replace the floors for a fraction of the price of a bathroom remodel? It is not impossible to do it yourself – just check out these videos. Laminate flooring is a cost effective idea that gives you the look of hardwood floors without the cost.
- And as for our last thought: If you can’t get a new nightstand or love your closet, why not a new countertop? Maybe there’s a marble you’ve been eyeing or a vibrant stone. Now is the time. To get the cheapest price, buying stone slab in bulk from a quarry or supplier is the easiest option.
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