24 Low-Cost Bathroom Updates That Won't Drain Your Savings
Hang Bathroom Wallpaper
Breathe new life into a powder room with bold floral wallpaper. This is a great way to create an upscale look at an affordable price tag. Opt for a temporary peel-and-stick wallpaper to save even more on your bathroom update. Finish the glamorous look with gold fixtures, hardware, and accessories.
Related: How to Hang Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper
DIY Vanity Upgrade
Replacing the vanity instantly changes the look of a bathroom. Shop for vanity combos that come with a countertop and sink already installed for a budget-friendly bath refresh. These off-the-shelf solutions can save you big bucks. Repainting your existing vanity in a bold shade is another low-cost solution.
Related: Learn How to Make This DIY Vanity
Tile a Bathroom Backsplash
A statement wall in a small bathroom is easy to create with a dynamic chevron tile installation. For even more impact, add playful patterned tile to the floor. For a more budget-friendly option, use inexpensive 3x6-inch subway tiles. You can run them in a traditional running bond pattern or create your own herringbone pattern.
Related: Our Best Bathroom Backsplash Ideas
Accessorize with Color
There’s no need to lift a hammer to get a new look. Refresh any bath in a day by updating soft surfaces. New window treatments, rugs, towels, and shower curtains will brighten a neutral bath. If you’re feeling crafty, back a storage unit with colorful adhesive paper and wrap storage bins with wide ribbons for an added dose of color.
Try a Two-Tone Paint Treatment
For a cheap bathroom update, skip the tile and simply use paint to create an elegant wall treatment. For a two-tone look, measure and mark the desired height of your paint line with a pencil. Apply painters tape to your measurement using a level to make sure it's straight, then paint the lower portion in your desired color.
Hang a Bathroom Mirror
Add some glam into your powder room with affordable new features, such as a dramatic round mirror and bold patterned wallpaper. There’s no faster way to update a small space than with a DIY weekend wallpaper project. Finish the look with a gilded mirror, which adds a bit of sparkle to the utilitarian space.
Related: How to Properly Hang a Mirror
Swap in a Secondhand Find
Snag a flea market console or occasional table for just a few dollars and convert it into a stylish primitive vanity. A table also offers a comfortable surface height to support a vessel-style sink. Retrofit the top to accept a faucet. Or, use a wall-mount faucet, and there’s no need to cut into the table. Moisture-proof and protect the wood top with several coats of clear polyurethane.
Replace Light Fixtures
Paint Bathroom Cabinets
Paint or refinish cabinet doors for a quick and easy bathroom update. In an otherwise neutral bathroom, this green vanity pairs with yellow accessories for a playful focal point. For more cheap ways to update a bathroom, install a new toilet seat, or 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.
DIY Vanity Update
When your existing vanity cabinet offers good storage, nice lines, and sturdy construction, renew the look with a fresh coat of paint or stain. For a previously stained cabinet, sand off the old finish and apply updated stain color. You should also sand the gloss off a previously painted cabinet and smooth out any damage with filler, and then apply a coat of primer. Finish with a top coat of color.
Related: How to Paint a Vanity
Swap Out a Vanity Countertop
If you have a vanity you love but its surface is looking a little tired, consider replacing the countertop. For affordable options, consider preformed laminate, or check out costs for a remnant granite slab for a luxury bathroom update for less. If you replace the countertop, it’s an ideal time to update the faucet.
Install Beaded Board
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. Adding shiplap to the bathroom walls will create a farmhouse feel. Ceramic tiles are another way to add interest.
Related: How to Install Beaded Board
Add 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. In this small bathroom, vintage red light fixtures contrast white walls for a pop of color.
Add White Accessories
Pick out basic white components for your must-have features and save thousands in bathroom remodeling dollars. White sinks, tubs, and toilets all cost less than those in colors because manufacturers make and sell more of them. In this powder room, a white pedestal sink and toilet blend in with white do-it-yourself wainscoting to visually expand the small space.
Consider Field Tiles
Low-cost white field tiles are an affordable choice to finish a shower surround and the lower portion of bathroom walls. Spice up the look with a band of accent tiles, such as these sleek black liner tiles that visually link the shower and vanity area. For a cheap bathroom update, simply clean the grout for a like-new look.
Swap Out Shower Fixtures
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. For a budget-friendly bathroom update you can accomplish in minutes, simply swap out your showerhead for an updated model.
Incorporate Convenient Storage
A medicine cabinet can fit neatly between wall studs above the bathroom sink, adding storage and style right where you need it. Add a mirror to the back inside to brighten the interior and make belongings easier to spot. Use vintage glassware to corral items like cotton swabs and makeup brushes.
Boost Cabinet Efficiency
Add pullout shelves to deep cabinets to keep bathroom 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. Utilize baskets and bins to collect cleaning supplies or spare linens within sliding shelves.
Customize a 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. Use open shelves for baskets and bins below.
Related: More DIY Vanity Ideas
Hang a New Shower Curtain
Smartly patterned fabric curtain panels stand in as shower curtains to give this bathroom a designer touch that’s easy and budget-friendly. Pair fabric panels with a clear plastic shower liner to block splatters. If your bathtub has seen better days, consider having the tub surface professionally refinished.
Try a Rain-Style Showerhead
Pamper yourself and give your shower a luxury spa feel by switching out the old showerhead for a large rain-style showerhead. Many affordable models are readily available from home centers and thread easily onto existing plumbing. For a quick bathroom update that costs next to nothing, give your existing showerhead a good clean.
Add Accent Tile
Add a Shower Tile Accent
White porcelain or ceramic tiles cost as little as 50 cents each so you can cover a lot of wall space for a paltry sum. No one will ever suspect you spent so little, however, when you kick up the look by mixing in a few decorative bands of sleek glass liner tiles that lend color and sparkle.
Add stylish bathroom storage using flea market finds. If your space is too small for a freestanding piece of furniture, consider adding floating shelves with a storage bin for each family member. Repurpose an old vanity by removing the doors, repainting it, and adding shelves to fit your needs. Complete with decorative baskets to organize bathroom essentials.