23 Small Bathroom Remodels Done With Budget-Friendly Ideas

black white modern bathroom with plants
Photo: Adam Albright

Remodeling a small bathroom can be a big project. But these budget small bathroom ideas prove you don't need a ton of space or cash to make a big impact. See how these petite baths were completely transformed while keeping costs and style in mind.

01 of 29

Before: Old-Fashioned Bathroom

outdated bathroom before renovation

Filled with dated fixtures and surfaces, this space badly needed an upgrade. The budget small bathroom remodel replaced the old flooring, pipes, tub, and vanity to make it more functional for a young family. The overall layout and an octagon-shaped window were the only elements left unchanged.

02 of 29

After: Modern Black-and-White Bath

newly renovated bathroom with black-and-white tiles
Julie Soefer

Boldly patterned cement tiles set the tone for this small bathroom design. The tile's high-contrast color scheme is repeated on matte black fixtures and stretches of white subway tile with black grout lines. An inexpensive IKEA vanity replaced the old one while keeping costs low. Wood drawer fronts add texture and dimension to the contemporary space.

03 of 29

Before: Old, Impractical Bathtub

brown and yellow bathroom before renovation
Courtesy of homeowner

The original 1948 pink tub instantly betrayed this bathroom's age. And for a family that preferred showers over baths, the 5x8-foot space struggled to keep up with their morning routine. A remodel added a more practical shower and tons of style to this small bathroom.

04 of 29

After: Stylish Small Bathroom Makeover

black white modern bathroom with plants
Adam Albright

A subway tiled walk-in shower takes the place of the decades-old tub to give this remodeled bathroom a fresh look. To stay within budget, the homeowners kept the original vanity and simply updated it with paint and new hardware. Instead of replacing the old floor tile, they covered it with inexpensive peel-and-stick tiles for a quick, low-cost update.

05 of 29

Before: Stuck in a Timewarp

small gray and white bathroom

Filled with charms and challenges, this small bathroom in a 1920s bungalow needed a few spruce-ups to unlock its full potential. A leaky water-guzzling toilet, a stained pedestal sink, and dated fixtures topped the must-fix list. This small bathroom remodel was accomplished on a $1,500 budget (excluding labor) and some DIY sweat equity.

06 of 29

After: Classic Small Bathroom Idea

small bathroom with blue intricate patterned wallpaper
Jay Wilde

This small bathroom remodel preserved and enhanced classic details while updating the functionality of the space. The blue floor tiles inspired the addition of sophisticated navy-and-gray damask-print wallpaper, which the homeowners hung themselves. New beaded-board wainscoting painted bright white restored some of the room's architectural detail and proved to be more cost-effective than taking the wallpaper to the floor.

07 of 29

Money-Saving Small Bath Idea

close-up toilet small bathroom with blue wallpaper
Jay Wilde

The homeowners have already noticed savings in their water bill after replacing their bath's original toilet during the remodel. The new WaterSense-certified model is much more efficient, saving both water and money. Toilets built before the 1980s can use up to 5-7 gallons per flush while today's high-efficiency models use as little as 1.28 gallons.

08 of 29

Small Bathroom Sink Idea

close-up sink and mirror small bathroom with blue wallpaper
Jay Wilde

A pedestal sink fits the home's style but lacks storage, so a glass shelf and a new medicine cabinet stand in as handy storage. During a bathroom remodel, make sure the new recessed medicine cabinet will fit the existing hole before applying wallpaper in case the opening needs to be modified. Replacing the 1990s oak medicine cabinet with a white-framed version furthers the bathroom's lighter, bright aesthetic.

09 of 29

Personalized Small Bathroom Ideas

monogramed shower curtain small bathroom blue wallpaper
Jay Wilde

Inexpensive, store-bought accessories can help keep your small bathroom remodel budget in check. These homeowners personalized the space with a few DIY projects. Here, an embroidered monogram and ribbon were glued on to the shower curtain with permanent fabric glue to create a custom look.

10 of 29

Small Bathroom Design Details

built-in storage small bathroom blue wallpaper
Jay Wilde

Thoughtful touches give the room additional character. Inspired by the vertical lines of the beaded board, the built-in cabinet's existing doors were modified with reeded glass. Grosgrain ribbon glued to an inexpensive Roman shade window treatment lends custom style. Finally, new chrome accessories added sparkle to the space.

11 of 29

Budget Small Bathroom Ideas

Quick and affordable changes took this small bath from drab to fab. The total budget for the small bathroom remodel was less than $500. See how you can use the same tactics in your bathroom.

12 of 29

Before: Opportunity for Bathroom Remodel

black white before photo of LInda Roberts master bath
Courtesy of Linda Roberts

This bathroom badly needed a redo, and an unfortunate incident finally made it a necessity. A pet hamster's escape to inside the bathroom wall required a rescue that included tearing into the wall. The subsequent bathroom remodel was completed with a budget of around $1,500.

13 of 29

After: Eclectic Small Bathroom Design

after photo linda roberts bathroom with butcher table vanity
Gene Pollux

With a DIY mindset, the owners of this small bathroom created a personal sanctuary on a budget. This Asian butcher table, found at an antique shop, was repurposed for the vanity. The table maintains its authenticity with a simple above-counter sink. A new mirror adds a modern touch, while a pebble-tile "rug" on the floor adds texture and a spa-like accent.

14 of 29

Stylish Small Bathroom Storage

floating shelves above toilet
Gene Pollux

Inexpensive shelves from a home center transform the wall above the toilet to provide a storage spot for bathroom essentials. Throughout the small bathroom, a simple light-and-dark palette helps the space appear larger, and the same neutral scheme was applied to the vignette above the toilet. The dark tones on the shelves, picture frames, and art contrast with the white towels, photo mats, and bud vase.

15 of 29

Mix Modern and Antique Styles

Detail of bathroom vanity with vessel and chrome bath fixture
Gene Pollux

Mixing contemporary styles with antiques is the secret to this small bathroom's signature look. The antique vanity has clean lines and a weathered finish. The modern sink and faucet are sleek yet offer a nod to old-fashioned washstands and bowls. It's a beautiful combination of vintage and contemporary aesthetics.

16 of 29

Budget-Friendly Small Bathroom Ideas

pebble floor detail with smooth border
Gene Pollux

This eclectic bath got a one-of-a-kind floor with a pebble-tile "rug" created with mesh-back river rock tile squares. Using just a few pieces of the more expensive pebble tile adds a luxe touch to the bathroom without adding much to the remodeling costs. The pebble tiles are the same color as the border tile, which creates an uninterrupted visual plane along the floor and helps the small bath feel larger.

17 of 29

Compact Walk-In Shower

Shower room with half wall divide
Gene Pollux

Simple subway tiles give this walk-in shower's modern design a classic feel. A painting, coated with a polyurethane sealer to waterproof it, creates a focal point on the back wall. Although this shower is open, it is wide enough that overspray is not a problem.

18 of 29

Before: Basic and Boring

black and white before small powder room

It took two rounds of remodeling to take this 5x5-foot powder room from basic to fantastic. The thoughtful planning strategy allowed the homeowners to make updates gradually. This smart spending tactic helped keep the budget for this small bathroom remodel at just over $2,000.

19 of 29

After: Posh Powder Room Remodel

bathroom bead board wallpaper
Jay Wilde

With just a few affordable changes, this powder room got an elegant new look. A slender pedestal sink adds a graceful shape to the room without taking up much space. The easy-to-clean wainscoting behind the sink adds a pretty architectural element in this small bath. Installing the painted beaded board just past the midpoint of the wall draws the eye up and lends a sense of height and a layer of charm.

20 of 29

Small Bathroom, Big Style

close-up pedestal sink
Jay Wilde

The white pedestal sink has a classic and versatile look that will withstand time and trend. With no base cabinet, the simple pedestal on the sink visually opens up the room. The sink was outfitted with the timeless appeal of a brushed-nickel faucet, and its wide rim is a perfect spot for pretty soaps or a small vase of flowers.

21 of 29

Small Bathroom Walls Ideas

close-up towel on circular hanger
Jay Wilde

The bold, oversize paisley-pattern wallpaper amps up the small bathroom's style and offers ornate contrast to the simple lines of the wainscoting below. The rich gray and light blue design adds visual interest while keeping the overall color scheme neutral. The cool tones nicely complement the brushed-nickel hardware.

22 of 29

Pretty Small Bathroom Accents

close-up pink flowers and clear soap container
Jay Wilde

Storage needs are often minimal in a small powder room. Incorporating a small cabinet provides a place to tuck away extra rolls of toilet paper and hand towels. Plus, there's place on top to display decorative accents.

23 of 29

Small Bathroom Flooring Idea

weave pattern flooring detail
Jay Wilde

Although this small bath remodel was done on a budget, its footprint didn't require much flooring material, which provided the homeowners an opportunity to splurge a bit. This woven mosaic tile is a perfect complement to the bathroom's style and will wear well. To stretch your remodel budget, surround decorative tile with more affordable plain tile around the perimeter of the room.

24 of 29

Before: Tight Quarters

black and white before bathroom 3/4 tile wall
Courtesy of Young House Love

This small bathroom left a lot to be desired in the style and size department. But a smart remodel transformed the tiny bath's style and function without adding a single inch. The total remodeling budget came in right around $2,000.

25 of 29

After: Simple Small Bathroom Remodel

narrow modern style green bathroom
Erik Johnson

Two avid DIYers transformed their 7x6-foot hall bathroom into a polished, serene space. They achieved their updated look with smart shopping and by doing most of the work themselves. To make the small room feel larger, they chose a calming color scheme of soft green, white, and brown.

26 of 29

Small Bathroom Paint Ideas

sink modern style green bathroom
Erik Johnson

The serene, soft green paint helps to visually expand the small bathroom. The white sink, towels, and robe provide crisp counterpoints to the green walls. A rich brown vanity, framed mirror, and accents add drama to the bathroom color scheme.

27 of 29

Repurposed Bathroom Vanity

vanity drawer modern style green bathroom
Erik Johnson

To help save on remodeling costs, an inexpensive nightstand was turned into a vanity. It's a sophisticated alternative to a stock vanity and offers the look of a higher-end model. The nightstand drawer is still functional and can be used to store small items. A large above-counter sink minimizes splashing, and the nightstand was treated with a lacquer finish to make it water-resistant.

28 of 29

Small Bathroom Storage Ideas

wicker basket storage in linen closet
Erik Johnson

Removing bulky linen closet doors helped open up the small bathroom and keep items accessible. Corralling like items, such as washcloths and cosmetics, in baskets prevents the open storage from looking cluttered. Open glass jars holding other bathroom essentials continue the streamlined look.

29 of 29

Inexpensive Bathroom Art

artwork above toilet
Erik Johnson

Art doesn't have to be expensive to offer a gallery-like look for your small bathroom. A trip to New York City inspired this subway sign art. These signs were made on a computer, printed, and affixed to slim boards with glue, then covered with a decoupage medium.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the average cost of a small bathroom remodel?

    The average cost for a bathroom remodel is anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 (depending on the scope of the project), but you can significantly diminish costs by keeping the bathroom’s original layout, load-bearing walls, and plumbing. You can also save by opting for a prefabricated shower or tub instead of custom tile and by refinishing bathroom cabinetry instead of replacing it. 

  • How long does it take to remodel a small bathroom?

    Again, the time commitment for a bathroom remodel depends largely upon the scope of the remodel, but you can expect to spend about one to seven weeks on the project. That may seem like a long window, but there are a lot of details and planning that factor into the schedule. Even if all the tile, fixtures, and cabinetry are readily available, it will still take time to demolish, prep, install, and finish every element. 

  • Which upgrades add the most value to a small bathroom?

    Beyond practical elements—like repairing any leaks or ventilation issues—the upgrades that will bring you the greatest return on your investment include updating the floors and countertops, upgrading the shower or tub, improving the lighting, and adding extra storage options like built-in cabinets or a double vanity. You can also add value to your small bathroom with inexpensive DIY projects like a fresh coat of paint, a new bathroom mirror, and upgraded cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, and towel hooks. 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles