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How To Makeover a Bathroom on a Budget

how to makeover a bathroom on a budget

Are you thinking about a Bathroom Makeover but have a tight budget? If so, I put together this great guide for How To Makeover a Bathroom on a Budget.

Have you ever heard of or seen the following in a bathroom?

  • Bathrooms with built-in fireplaces.
  • Chandeliers and upholstered furniture apart from the sink, vanity and tub/shower stall.
  • Heavy drapes or other bathroom design ideas that literally blur the lines between bedrooms and bathrooms

Not everyone has the luxury of spending on such expensive and elaborate bathroom makeover ideas yet, you can still find a wide range of bathroom fixtures and materials that can take your bathroom to a whole new level without costing a lot of money. All it takes is a lot of planning and the help of a professional.

So how do you go about planning your dream bathroom?

Start with a Makeover Plan

Planning your bathroom makeover should always begin with these considerations:

  • Where is the bathroom located?
  • Is it to be used as a powder room near your living room where you entertain guests?
  • Is it a child’s bathroom, guest bathroom, or the master bath?
  • Would it be used by an elderly person or someone having limited physical capabilities?

These questions can help guide you in selecting the right materials, fixtures, colors, lighting elements and other design elements for the bathroom makeover project.

For example, you would not want to install water-sensitive elements (like upholstered bathroom furniture) in a bathroom used by your young kids, nor would your teenager complain too much if the cabinet material used is plastic laminate instead of expensive marble.

On the other hand, aesthetics would be more important in a master bathroom, and in some cases (depending on your personality), it might even overtake the functionality of the bathroom.

So, regardless of whether you are upgrading through a renovation, or are building a bathroom in a new construction, start by making all these basic choices:

  • How much space does your bathroom have?
  • What fixtures and materials are most useful for the intended purpose of the room?
  • What is your budget?

These questions will decide the success of the bathroom makeover.

Rules of Thumb

Most modern bathroom layouts are characterized by the following features:

  • A bathroom should ideally never have more than one access door (except for Jack & Jills)
  • There should generally be an entrance alcove off a hallway for added privacy
  • Bathrooms should have either square or rectangular layout with length no more than twice the width
  • There should be a clear central area where you can dry off
  • Fixtures like tubs, toilets, etc should generally be located towards the edges in the alcoves with the most private areas farthest from the bathroom’s door.
  • The windows should allow ample natural light
  • For larger spaces, there may be custom cabinets combining shelves, drawers, hanging spaces and even walk-in closet with pull-out features containing ironing boards, or other supplies.

Consider all your storage needs in the early stages of planning so you can decide whether to create an additional room or alcove adjacent to the bathroom for use as a walk-in dressing room.

Also, when thinking about the bathroom’s layout or design, make sure you think ahead and make it safe and convenient with easier accessibility for the elderly.

Find Design Ideas

Find photos of bathrooms you like and collect information about things like toilets, fixtures, cabinets, shower-heads, tiles and other major materials you may like to include in the bathroom.

Visit local bathroom showrooms and create a workbook to organize your ideas in a single place.

We have loads of bathroom ideas here as well:

Get Help and Hire a Pro

One of the earliest decisions you should make is hiring a designer or a renovation contractor. This is especially required if you are having a big bathroom makeover project (along with a big budget).

If your bathroom makeover is simply a cosmetic upgrade or a small remodel, then you could do without an architect or a designer.

In the case of an older house, then remodeling could involve a lot more than simply hacking the walls. You would want to ensure that the house is able to take the extra structural load and changes without causing the ceiling or walls to cave in.

Even if you hire a pro, be prepared to be actively involved in the renovation rather than simply saying yes or no to their suggestions.

Who to hire?

You can choose from the following of professionals:

  • Architect: These are highly trained, charge by the hour or the percentage of the total project, will generally oversee all the work.
  • General contractor: Talk to several before hiring one, make sure you ask for liability of insurance and also check for references. Also, verify how they handle the change orders.
  • Designer: It is best to hire an interior designer for major cosmetic upgrades since they specialize in colors, furnishings, etc.

Above all, make sure to check their portfolios!

Set a Budget

A bathroom makeover (or the remodeling of any room, for that matter) is like a guessing game; you never know what to expect until you are in the thick of things. You could, for example, run into some plumbing issues that if left ignored could lead to severe water damage.

So be prepared to keep aside some contingency funds as well as extended remodeling schedules in the event these unexpected things occur.

Remember: problems can be solved, so don’t get too overwhelmed by these things.

Next Steps

Once you have collected ideas and visited showrooms, it is time to decide how you will implement your bathroom makeover project from start to finish.

Sit down with your designer or contractor and discuss the various aspects of the project,  like the bathroom layout, space planning, storage, cleanliness, and maintenance.

Assuming you have set aside an initial budget, get the professional to advise you on practical matters so you can be realistic and yet achieve your dream bathroom.

Make sure that your budget takes into consideration everything that may arise in the project including the adjoining hallways, bedrooms, door installation, and repainting considerations to integrate with your new bathroom.

When your bathroom makeover is complete, send me your photos and leave a comment below!

Read Next: How Often Should A Bathroom Be Renovated?


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