Low-Cost Bathroom Updates

Refresh your bathroom in a weekend or less with these creative and affordable updates.


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Pedestal Sink Ideas
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Think White

    Pick out basic white components for your must-have bath features and save thousands in remodeling dollars. White sinks, tubs, and toilets all cost less than those in colors because manufacturers make and sell more of them.

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Buy Less Tile

    Stretch your remodeling budget by tiling only the shower and/or bath area walls. If it's within your budget, tile halfway up the wall, add a border design, and paint above the area.

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Update the Hardware

    Install new cabinet hardware to provide an instant visual impact at a minimal cost. An even lower-cost option: Consider painting existing unfinished wood knobs. Use an artist's brush for small designs. Protect the painted designs with two coats of clear polyurethane.

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Tub Transformation

    Give an old tub a bold, new look and change the mood of your bathroom by painting the exterior with primer and paint made for porcelain. You can find the paint at home centers and paint stores.

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Boost Cabinet Efficiency

    Add pullout shelves to deep cabinets to keep necessities in order and viewable. Equipping cabinet interiors with these sliding surfaces helps you avoid digging around in the dark or buying more of the things you already have on hand.

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High-Style Vanity

    Turn an existing piece of furniture into a vanity. Save on expensive cabinetry by cutting a hole in the top of a dresser or chest for a drop-in sink and faucet.

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Easy Enhancers

    Paint or refinish the cabinet doors for a quick and easy update. Also, install a new toilet seat and add a few matching accessories such as towel bars and a toilet paper holder. Switch out your shower controls and other hardware to create a unified suite look in just a few hours.

8/20
Wake Up Your Walls

    Painting is always a simple do-it-yourself weekend project that can transform a room. Buy mold- and mildewproof primers and paints. Create a spa mood with watery blues, greens, and neutrals. Add more color with towels, soaps, and candles.

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Trendy Tile

    If you love the look of pricey hand-painted or imported tile but you're on a budget, include a few in a random pattern among affordable field tiles. You can find basic 4x4-inch white field tiles for under $5 a square foot uninstalled.

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Give Walls Texture

    Add architectural interest to a basic bath with beaded board. Installing panels is quicker and more affordable than installing individual boards. The panels are virtually indistinguishable from authentic beaded board and are sold in lightweight 4x8-foot sheets for about $20 each.

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Vintage Charm

    Find a great deal and inject a dose of personality into your bath with flea market gems. Architectural salvage yards and Internet auction sites are great suppliers of vintage tubs, sinks, countertops, flooring, benches, and unique accents.

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Add Function

    Make taking a bath and maintaining the tub more convenient by installing a handheld sprayer. It eases chores such as rinsing hair and cleaning the tub.

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Give a Sink a Skirt

    Hide unsightly plumbing and under-sink storage with a skirt. Cut and hem fabric to wrap around the sink or vanity, then attach with adhesive-back hook-and-loop fastener, which is easy to remove.

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Mirror, Mirror

    If your bathroom has an outdated medicine cabinet, replace it with a good-size mirror with a frame. It's amazing how this little change can dress up the room. The larger the mirror, the more light and color it reflects, making the room seem bigger.

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Vintage Storage

    Add stylish storage using flea market finds. If your bathroom is too small for a freestanding piece of furniture, consider adding a vintage shelf or cabinet that hangs on the wall and stores bath essentials. Clean and give them a fresh coat of paint. To hang a cabinet, drill through the back and into studs in the wall.

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Declutter with Organizers

    Use spring-loaded separators, valet trays, and small acrylic trays in vanity drawers to keep lipsticks and other cosmetics in order.

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Make the Mirror Work for You

    Make a mirror more practical. Set it on ball-shape mounting hardware so it can pivot away from the wall.

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Get a New Countertop

    If your vanity is in good condition, just replace the countertop. Formed laminate countertop and backsplash units install quickly, and their one-piece design eliminates a seam where dirt and moisture can collect.

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Multifunctional Furniture

    Bring in furniture to add utility and character. An old shelving unit updated with paint provides a bath-side perch for towels, soaps, and accessories.

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