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Budget Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom makeovers are one of the most essential home improvement projects you will ever carry out in your home. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank before having a bathroom of your choice. In this article, we will provide some brilliant ideas that can guide you on achieving the bathroom of your dreams without spending too much.

Budget-Friendly Ensuite Bathroom Ideas



Painting is a moneysaving bathroom renovation idea. It is the easiest way of remodelling your bathroom, but it doesn’t just stop at the ceiling and walls, which are the two most common painted parts of the bathroom. You can also extend the painting to tiles instead of retiling and any aging wood panelling.

If you intend to paint the tiles yourself, begin by cleaning them with a tile-cleaning product. Allow to dry and then sand lightly for the paint to bond. Proceed to remove dust and then prime. You can go for either gloss paint or satin when painting the tiles.

The typical cost of painting a bathroom is around $100, and this covers the price of a litre of floor paint, a litre of high-adhesive tiles boding material, a laminate primer, sandpaper, and a brush.


Wallpaper is becoming a popular choice for most bathroom renovations. You can use it to hide blemished walls, and if you go for metallic ones, they can help reflect light into the bathroom.

Wallpapers are also preferred because they can be changed annually if you want to. If you choose an expensive wallpaper, you can decide not to use it everywhere in the room but instead limit it to places above the dado rail and the feature walls.

The estimated cost of installing wallpaper, on an average bathroom, is around $90. This covers the price of a ten-metre roll of wallpaper, a paste and a brush, both used in installing the wallpaper.



Concrete is a perfect choice for budget bathrooms when it comes to floors. You can go for concrete flooring with a new finish. It doesn’t matter if you remove vinyl or old tiles to expose or make a new concrete slab; you don’t need to polish the slab.

The only disadvantage of this bathroom flooring idea is that you need to reseal the concrete slab after some years. It costs just $45 to do this flooring, and this cost includes a litre of polyurethane used to cover the slab.


Look beneath your old vinyl, tile, or laminate flooring to see what’s underneath. If you’re lucky, you might find original floorboards. If that is the case, make the most of it.

A sanded floor adds warmth to any bathroom décor for a natural finish that highlights the grain, sand, and stains of the flooring before applying a clear or coloured varnish. Before you begin sanding, hammer each nail below the surface of the board or flush.

It costs about $165 for the floor bed, including the gloves, safety glasses, hammer, palm sender, ear muffs, varnish, and stain.


Tiles are a perfect idea for the bathroom floor since they are non-porous. You can go for glazed or unglazed tiles, and it is best to install large and dark tiles to reduce grout during cleaning. It costs about $715 to install tiles on a 6m2 bathroom floor.



It is essential to have furniture for vanity. This is not just a budget-friendly alternative but will also add to the beauty of your bathroom. Many options are available for vanity, including a chest of drawers, remodelled console, or a vintage shop counter. You can also transform your existing basin, tell your carpenter to cut out a hole in the vanity, and then get a plumber to finish up the rest of the work.

It will cost you around $900 to $1400 to install a vanity unit for your ensuite bathroom, and this includes the cost of furniture and the workmanship for both the carpenter and the plumber. It will cost you less if you go for a second-hand vanity unit.


A screen with no frames appears to be futuristic and elegant. You might be able to fit one in next to your existing bath. Install a new shower rail, rose, and faucets after that.

A good shower for your bathroom makeover will cost you around $2170, including the cost of the shower rail, mix, screen, rose, and workmanship.


Choosing a freestanding bath is one of the ways you can give yourself a stylish bathroom makeover. If you have selected everything for your bathroom refurbishment under budget, it is good to consider a variety of baths with different sizes and styles that won’t cost you so much.

You can get a good bath for about $2400, and this estimate includes the cost of the tub, freestanding bath set, and the workmanship fee for the plumber who will do the installation.



Installing beautiful bathroom lighting is a great way to bring out the beauty of your bathroom. So, during the renovation, you need to get a good light that will bring out the beauty of the bath area.

You can choose from various chandeliers, industrial lights, and grass-woven or wire bathroom lighting. It will cost you around $450 to buy and install lighting in an average bathroom.


Another budget-friendly idea for your bathroom makeovers is to line your mirrors with LEDs. This is a perfect way to add mood-enhancing lighting to your bathroom décor.

Having these LED lights on the sides of the mirror means you won’t have shadows on your face when you want to examine yourself closely. LEDs have a long lifespan and are safer because they don’t heat up. They are also sustainable.

It will cost you about $600 to get four strips and four downlights and then pay the electrician’s fees to install them.

Tips To Save Money During Ensuite Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom renovation can be an expensive affair. On average, ensuite renovation costs range from $10,000 to $20,000 or more for a high-end makeover.

However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot get a decent makeover if you don’t have this much. There are intelligent ways to refurbish your bathroom for a lesser amount and still achieve a fantastic remodelling result.

This section will share some tips to help you plan and achieve budget-friendly bathroom overhaul.

Have a plan

During any bathroom renovating project, the greatest mistake you can make is to alter your plans halfway into the project. Stopping the work halfway can have severe implications, from delaying the project to paying more to change what was already done.

Although there are some in-progress alterations that cannot be avoided (e.g. breaking a wall and discovering that there is a leakage there), you can do a lot to prevent most of these things. It is always cheaper to plan before you start any work.

So, before you start the bathroom renovation project or hire anyone to assist you, think through the whole project to understand what you want to achieve. List your objectives one after the other and then classify the wants into NEEDs (must-haves) and WANTs (nice-to-haves).

That is why the first step in any bathroom reno is planning. Before you buy anything or hire anyone, think about what you want from your new bathroom. What is it about the room that doesn’t work for you now, and how can you fix it? List everything you want your remodelled bath to have, and then sort that list into must-haves and nice-to-haves.

Finally, before you start, compare the prices of services and materials and decide where to go for each need. If you are overwhelmed, you can hire the services of bathroom renovators to assist you with planning and remodelling.

Keep the footprint unchanged

One of the easiest ways to save money during a bathroom renovation is to avoid bathroom remodel at all. While many people use bathroom renovation and remodelling interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing.

When you remodel a bathroom, you are making significant modifications to the footprint of the space (the structure, the size, and the shape). It can include altering electrical wiring, the room foundation, walls, plumbing lines, or location of fixtures such as sink and toilet.

On the other hand, renovation means improving the look of the bathroom. It includes improving the tile, lighting, flooring, wall colour, etc., while maintaining the existing layout.

Changing the footprint will mean remodelling the bathroom, which will add to the project’s cost both in terms of labour and material cost. Therefore, you should go for bathroom renovation instead of remodelling to save money. During the renovation, you can improve the bathroom features and accessories.

Do the work yourself

Statistics show that 50% of the bathroom renovation budget is for labour costs. This means that if you can do some tasks yourself, you will save a whole lot of money. However, DIY is only an option if you have the necessary skills. Some jobs require an expert, and if you are not skilled to do them, you could cause a flood or damage that would cost more than hiring a plumber in the first place.

However, there are some tasks that you can handle with little or no training. They include painting, pulling out old cabinetry, wallboard and flooring, installing new plumbing features, replacing taps and showerheads, etc. You can carry out more tasks with more DIY experience, such as building a vanity unit.

Reuse existing features

The best way to save is to reuse materials that are still good instead of buying new ones.

  • You can salvage an old, rust-stained tub by engaging a professional to clean it. You can refinish the surface damage to cast iron, fiberglass or porcelain at the cost of around $80.
  • You can also make a tiled shower enclosure look new by extensively cleaning or regrouting. You can also patch dented or cracked spots. A repair kit costs about $20.
  • By replacing the tap, you can change the look of the sink. If the porcelain is broken, you can repair it by buying a repair kit for about $15.
  • Instead of expending over $100 on a toilet, you can replace the toilet seat and lid for just $30.
  • You can also save money by refurbishing existing cabinetry instead of buying new ones.
  • Refurbish tiled floors by cleaning them thoroughly and replacing the grout. You can refinish them at an average of $5 per square foot for wooden floors.
  • The cost-effective way to change the look on your wall is to repaint them to a different colour.

Use cheaper materials

There are many ways to substitute cheaper materials for expensive ones and achieve the same result for your bathroom makeovers. To reduce your cost during the bathroom renovation project, substitute one or two costly items with cheaper alternatives.


There are several popular options for bathroom flooring. Laminate and vinyl flooring cost about a dollar for each square foot. Wood, ceramic and stone tiles are other alternatives. Of them all, laminate and vinyl are the cheapest, followed by wood and ceramic. Stone tile is the costliest option. So, you can choose between wood and ceramic tiles rather than going for stone tile and still get a beautiful result.


It is cheaper to use paint than tiling or panelling for the wall. To reduce your cost, avoid tiles as much as possible. You should use tiles only in areas that get wet quickly, such as the shower enclosure or the tub. The rest of the walls can be coated with paint. You can also choose wood panels, which may be more expensive than painting but is cheaper than tiling.

Shower enclosures

If your existing shower walls are damaged beyond repair, the cheapest way to replace them is using acrylic or large panels of fiberglass. This should cost you around $100 to install each. However, if you are a fan of tiled walls, it is cheaper to go for porcelain or ceramic tiles instead of expensive stone or glass.

You can also save on labour by going for giant tiles since they are easier to install and require less grouting. For those who fancy designer bathroom tiles, look for a cheaper alternative that looks like the designer tile you wanted, or better still, you can use a designer tile as an accent and then fill the rest of the wall with cheaper tiles.

It is cheaper to install a shower curtain than glass doors for the front of the shower enclosure or tub. Curtains are also easier to clean. You can also change them easily by simply removing the curtain and installing a new one.

If you want to replace your shower hardware such as showerhead, sprout, or shower handle, the best way is to buy them as a set. This should cost you between $100 to $200. However, if the shower and bath handles are still fine, it is cheaper to keep the handles and replace only the showerhead which costs about $50.


Toilets all do the same thing irrespective of style or elegance. Generally, toilets with elongated bowls are more expensive than regular ones. Again, one-piece toilets cost more than two-piece toilets; however, the latter is harder to install and takes up more space, but they are easier and cheaper to disassemble during a repair.

Avoid the wall-hung model where the tank is recessed into the wall. While this design saves space, it is harder to install, and the implication is higher repair costs. You should consider investing in water-saving toilets. They are not overly expensive like other toilets, but they will save you some money in water bills for as long as you use them.


The cheapest option for toilet storage is open shelving. Simply create mounting shelves with a plank of wood and some wall brackets. If you prefer keeping your bath supplies in a closed compartment, go for stock cabinets which are cheaper than custom cabinetry.

You can blend the two types of cabinets into one by going for semi-custom, ready to assemble cabinets, which gives you the flexibility to choose the size and features that fit into your space.

However, you should take note that the more features, the higher the cost. You can use laminate cabinets for the cabinet materials, which are easy to clean. But, they may not save you money in the long run since they warp over time.

Another way to save money is to go for cabinets made from maple, pine, or alder instead of more expensive cherry, walnut, or mahogany.

Second-hand materials

Another strategy to save on materials for your bathroom renovation is to go for second-hand materials instead of new ones. Although shopping for second-hand materials for bathroom renovation is not easy, you can start early to ensure that you have enough time to source all things you need for the bathroom remodel.

Start early and list all you need and the possible places you can get them. Some of the places you can shop for your second-hand materials include eBay, Nextdoor, FreeCycle, reuse centres, antique stores, yard sales, flea markets, and you can also source some from your home.

Plan Your Ideal Ensuite Bathroom With Expert Help

Planning and executing a bathroom remodelling can be very strenuous. There is a lot to do, some of which you may not have the skills to execute. Generally, there are so many aspects of the job that require the services of a trained professional. If you are planning to remodel or renovate your bathroom, you should consult one of these specialists to guide you on achieving a seamless transformation that will meet your taste.

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