Home Improvement

Economical Elegance: A Comprehensive Guide to Affordable Bathroom Upgrades

Affordable Bathroom Upgrades
Affordable bathroom upgrades. Credit: Freepik.

The bathroom definitely makes one of the most important parts of any household. Sure, we usually don’t pay too much attention to it and instead spend our time musing about other areas like living rooms or even kitchens. But, the functionality of this exact room has a tremendous impact on the quality of our lives.

It’s really no wonder then that kitchens and bathrooms are widely considered as two rooms that sell the most households and, as such, feature the greatest ROI.

So, if you feel like your house is long overdue for a well-deserved facelift or you are playing with the thought of putting it on the market, the bathroom does seem like a good place to start the renovation. In this article, we will present you with a couple of suggestions that will help you perform affordable bathroom upgrades without having to spend a small fortune.

Plan Out Your Budget

Yes, engaging in any kind of major renovation without considering how much money you have at your disposal, what expenses you can expect further down the road, and what are the areas where your resources will be best spent are a recipe for disaster.

So, do your homework and put all these factors to the paper while paying special attention to the often overlooked entries like materials (tiles, paint, spare items, etc.), the costs of hired labor, and unexpected expenses. As a rule of thumb, you should create a contingency fund (10% to 20%) of your total budget to cover the things that may go downhill.

Set Clear and Attainable Goals

In ideal circumstances, your bathroom renovation should be guided by some general idea about what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to improve energy efficiency and make your home more earth-friendly? Are you trying to appeal to new buyers? Or are you simply trying to make the room prettier and more functional?

Answering these questions will go a long way in helping you sort out your priorities and get the biggest bang for your buck. Coupled with the functional budget you have made in previous steps, this asset can help you make small wonders without wasting a dime.

Make a List of Your DIY Contributions

Plumbing works can’t and shouldn’t be performed without professional help and we’ll talk more about that in a bit. But, bathrooms are not made entirely of pipes and drains. There are a lot of elements and chores you can well handle working out your DIY muscles.

We are talking about things like painting, fixing cabinets, and similar simple tasks. Hey, if you are feeling creative you can even try to repurpose old household items and turn them into bathroom shelves and cabinets. So, make a list of things you find fitting, roll up your sleeves, and start practicing until you brush your skills to perfection.

Get In Touch With Reliable Professionals

The choice of people you will choose for the next project can as well make or break its success. But, if you find the professionals you can trust, you won’t only check this box – whenever the time comes to fix the blocked drains or handle other common problems you will have someone on speed dial who knows your bathrooms’ layout and can do that with the least delay possible.

Furthermore, including pro plumbers in the early stages of the project can help you with planning, give you access to affordable contractors, and so on. So, give this issue all due attention and start your renovation on the right foot.

Affordable Bathroom Upgrades Plumber
Expert plumber for your affordable bathroom upgrades. Credit: Freepik.

Think About Water Efficiency

You need to do this not only because it’s the right thing to do but because sustainability has become one of the easiest selling points in today’s real estate market. To put it simply, saving water will have a very positive effect on your water bills, so you will, at least in the long run, be able to recoup some of the investments you’ve put into the project.

Therefore, while your sleeves are still rolled up, think about installing items like low-flow faucets, low-flow showerheads, and low-flow toilets. If you want to extend your efforts to energy efficiency you can add a tankless water heater to this list as well.

Do More With Less

Yeah, we know – it’s easier said than done. But, since you are working on a budget, you need to think out of the box. Let’s say you are trying to upgrade the look of your bathroom or hide some deficiencies that require major overhauls.

Leveraging painting and layered lighting will prove to be much more economical and create a very striking look while costing less in comparison. Need more room or more storage options? Use multipurpose fixtures and make better use of leverage vertical space. A couple of indoor plants will create a spa feeling even if you don’t expand the window space.

Use Wallpapers and Contact Papers

Both of them are very affordable and they allow you to give your bathroom a new look, protect its surfaces, and even demonstrate a little bit of creativity if you are ready to play with the colors and patterns. Contact papers have the added benefit of making your bathroom much safer since they usually feature non-slippery surfaces.

Achieving the same effect with retiling is far more expensive. Throw into the mix a couple of mirrors and effective lights and you will create an environment that is functional and looks completely different in no more than a couple of hours and very little money spent.

Add a Couple of Small Visual Touches

You know how they say – the devil is in the details. Well, you can leverage this fact to your advantage. What kind of details are we talking about here? You know – the things you usually don’t process but your brain still does. Something in the way of new door handles, pieces of art, stylistic faucets, towel racks, and other items you can find in pretty much any bathroom.

Neither one of them will put too much pressure on your budget, but, if used effectively they can dramatically elevate the look of the entire room. So, decide on the style you are pursuing and see what details will help you reach the finish line.


We hope these couple of examples show you that your bathroom can get a new look and be improved in terms of functionality even if you don’t burn piles of money along the way.

The most important thing is to find the people you can trust to pull off affordable bathroom upgrades, using your money effectively, driven by clear goals and ideas. As long as you follow these basic principles, you will find near countless opportunities to use your DIY skills, imagination, and design chops.

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Danuta Smoluk is a teacher with over three decades of experience teaching both children and adults. She specializes in teaching the Polish language to English-speakers. She has a master's degree in primary and early childhood education from WSP Słupsk (currently Pomeranian University in Słupsk) and had her degree validated by University of Toronto. Aside from education, she also has an interest in real estate and home improvement. She has planned and supervised many house renovations. She loves interior design, cooking, and gardening.

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