Redesigning Bathrooms on a Budget

Renovating can seem that much more difficult on a budget, especially when dealing with bathrooms. But there are some good ways to get your bathroom looking nice without spending too much money.

Use Alternative Materials

Consider this example: instead of putting up an old-fashioned tin ceiling, you can find paintable patterned wallpaper, textured to look like plaster. This can be used either for the ceiling or as wainscoting.

If you don’t have the budget for a granite countertop, resurfacing with a granitclad veneer, which is thinner and has a fiberglass backing, will give you the same effect.

Bathroom storage is a good place to reuse odds and ends, such as old bottles or distressed furniture; a smaller dresser with broken or missing drawers will likely be useful for shelving or as a good vanity cabinet.

 Redesigning a basin and storage can be a great way to give the bathroom a new life. 

Redesigning a basin and storage can be a great way to give the bathroom a new life. 

Instead of rewiring for a new chandelier or other fancy lights, consider setting up a candle fixture as a cheaper form of attractive lighting.

Cosmetic Changes

If you’re simply looking for a fresh colour, epoxy paints can often be used on tile and bathtubs. Make sure the tile has been scrubbed and well rinsed beforehand. The main difference to remember here from painting walls or more ordinary finishes is the use of a urethane topcoat to protect the finish (a water-based urethane will help prevent yellowing). Using painting tape to create clean lines, or stencilling designs, can help to dress things up.

Even vinyl flooring can be painted. A specialty primer and a few layers of polyurethane will both change the colour and refresh the look of the tile. You can also use pieces of brown paper, covered with clear layers of polyurethane, to produce a stone effect. Again, you’ll need to make sure the floor is completely clean before you start.

Replacing hardware, along with fresh paint, is an easy way to redo your cabinetry without having to replace it completely, as long as the size and configuration works for you.


Along with doing the renovations yourself, there are some elements of your bathroom that you can make yourself to get a custom look for less money. Shower curtains are one simple project. If you’re determined to get a high-end or custom look, even hiring a seamstress to do the hemming can run less money if you have your own fabric and measurements. You may be able to find a good-quality, good-looking indoor-outdoor fabric that will be more resistant to water and mildew.

Know Where to Spend Money

Prioritising your spending will help you to get maximum impact for your money. Tile and fixtures are a great place to get deals on a feature that will have a strong impact.

In general, good use of paint and repurposed materials can help you improve the appearance of your bathroom without doing a major remodel that would cost more money.