new bathroom

What is the cheapest way to remodel a bathroom?

It may not seem possible, but a cheap bathroom remodels attainably. Popular home remodelling culture makes it seem like bathroom remodels must cost five figures, and everything must be ripped away and replaced. But resisting that notion is the first step to deflating spiralling bathroom remodel costs and bringing everything back down to earth.

Bathroom remodelling, along with kitchen remodelling, takes its toll on homeowners in terms of misery, unmet timetables, and high costs. Given the staggeringly high cost of bathroom remodelling, it pays to think outside the box and search for smarter and more economical alternatives. After a low-cost and lean bathroom remodel, not only will you have a clean, bright, and functional bathroom, you will have considerably more money in your bank account than homeowners who went the more expensive, wasteful route.

Do you want to give your unattractive bathroom a facelift without spending a fortune? Or does your bathroom look too old? Are there any affordable ideas on how to make my bathroom look elegant and add value to your home?

Such questions are common with many homeowners. After all, everyone loves a bright and functional bathroom. However, popular home remodelling ideas are expensive in terms of cost and time. Furthermore, these ideas make many people dread taking up such projects.

Well, if you’re low on cash and looking for bathroom update ideas on a budget we got you covered. Fortunately, there are affordable ways you can make your bathroom look like something out of a home decor magazine.

We’ve compiled great bathroom remodel update ideas on a budget for you. Also, we have taken the time to break it into different categories for easy remodelling. Hence, read on as we will show you various inexpensive bathroom ideas for remodelling.

At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.

Cheap Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Newly Build Bathroom

Use Fewer Tiles

Tiles give our bathrooms that clean, sparkly look, but they are usually expensive. To cut costs, buy tiles for areas that need them. You can tile the floor, and paint the wall. Or tile a portion of the wall, and use paint for the rest.

If you’ve got a taste for elegant, artistic – and typically expensive – tiles, consider using them in combo with cheaper tiles. That way, you save lots of money while having the exquisite tiles feature prominently in your bathroom.

Tile gets expensive, especially when you hire a contractor to lay it all out for you. To save money, limit the amount of tile and focus on high-impact areas like the floor (instead of the floor and inside the shower stall walls). Alternatively, you could tile one horizontal strip along the wall and paint the rest.

If you’ve got your heart set on tile that’s artistic and expensive, use it as an accent alongside a cheaper tile. Not only will the artistic tiles be more noticeable, but you’ll save a ton of money by only using a few here and there.


A new layer of paint on your bathroom walls is the cheapest way to give them a modern look. Repainting your bathroom is not an easy task, and you’d need to give it lots of time. Your bathroom has so many items you shouldn’t ruin with paint. So you have to diligently and painstakingly paint areas surrounding the bathtub, shower, windows, toilet, mirror, and the bathroom floor.

While it’s essential to save some dollars in the process, it’s not advisable to get low-quality paints for the job. Due to the frequent change in bathroom temperature, mould is likely to grow in it quickly. Quality paint should prevent this from happening.

If you don’t have a lot to spend, then repainting will be the cheapest and, perhaps, the most effective way to give your bathroom a new look.

Here’s a word of warning, though. It’s going to take more time than you think. Why? Your bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but you’re going to have to paint slowly and gently around the window, the tub or shower, the sink, the mirror, the toilet, the switchplates, the wall corners, and the floor. This takes time and patience (and a good supply of painter’s tape), so make sure you keep this in mind when planning your renovation.

Another thing to consider is the moisture. Since mould and mildew develop easily in a bathroom, and humidity and temperature change often, it’s a good idea to invest in high-quality paint with a satin finish. You may also want to go over the ceiling with special bathroom paint that helps resist the growth of mould.

Spend Less on Counter Tops

For sure, kitchen counters cost more than bathroom counters. Consequently, there’s the temptation to spend so much on countertops for the bathroom. But you can save some dollars on bathroom counters. How?

Go for non-neutral colours that are far less expensive than neutral colours such as tan and brown. Also, you don’t have to buy perfect slabs. Slabs with imperfections are generally cheaper. And the good thing is your sink will most likely cover up the imperfections.

A popular trend is to splurge on granite countertops. Because the bathroom counter is so small, the investment is often fairly low compared to what you’d spend on kitchen counters, for example.

So how can you save here? First, look at the colour. Neutral colours like tan, brown, and light beige are more popular, which means they’re more expensive. To save money, consider and price out a wider swath of colours.

Another way to save on granite countertops is to buy a slab containing imperfections. The more visible the imperfection, the cheaper the price will be. Keep in mind that your sink basin will take up a lot of surface area, so if the imperfection is located where the sink or faucets will be then you won’t see it anyway!

Right now, one of the biggest trends in bathrooms is also one that budget DIYers can pull off with style. The trend is using old dressers as sink pedestals. You cut out the top of the dresser to accommodate a sink insert, cut into or remove interior drawers as necessary, and cut holes in the back for plumbing. These “dresser sinks” can sell for thousands of dollars in retail stores, but you can easily make your own with a budget dresser, some patience, and the right tools.

Upgrade Fixtures

Upgrading small fixtures that are often ignored will give your bathroom a new terrific look. The small details usually have a substantial overall impact. You can:

  • Replace the sink drains, handles, and faucet.
  • Buy a new towel rack and toilet paper holder.
  • Replace the electric bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
  • Re-caulk seals around your bathroom shower, tiles, and sink.

Instead Of Buying New, Redo

There are some things you don’t have to throw off and get a new one. Fixing or relining them could be cheaper and still give you the same result. For instance, you can get your shower relined by an expert instead of buying a new one. That way, you save some money.

However, it’s cheaper to replace some bathroom furniture than redoing them. The sink is an excellent example of such.

Replacing your old tub or shower is going to cost you a pretty penny. Instead, have it professionally relined, which is much cheaper.

However, don’t try this with sink and shower fixtures as it costs more to refinish them than to replace them. Refinishing these fixtures is more expensive because very few people decide to do it unless they have old, vintage pieces, and contractors who offer this service often charge a premium price.

However, let’s say you do have some vintage bathroom fixtures or an old tub you don’t want to get rid of. The good news? You can refinish them yourself if they’re made of porcelain, cast iron, or fibreglass. That said, it takes time and some investment. A basic DIY refinishing kit will run you between $100 and $150, but you’ll also need additional supplies such as a sander, a spray gun, face masks, paintbrushes, etc. You can see a good, basic tutorial for DIY refinishing at HGTV.

Buy Used Items And Fixtures

While there’s nothing comparable to buying new items, you can opt for used ones if you’re on a budget. That way, you save lots of funds and still purchase quality merchandise. Several stores have used bathroom fixtures like toilets, tubs, and showers on sale.

You can also save money on fixtures, even toilets and showers if you purchase them used. Scour sites like eBay and Craigslist or head over to the nearest Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which specifically sells home necessities such as doors, mirrors, sinks, toilets, and tubs.

Another great place to look for upcycled bathroom accessories is Etsy. What can you find there? Your imagination only limits you. For instance, one Etsy artist takes brightly coloured vintage Tupperware and turns them into cool hanging lamps. These could be fun and funky hanging in a bathroom! Another Etsy artist creates awesome, upcycled metal shelving that looks like a checkmark. These could be fun for stacking folded towels. You can easily find upcycled bathroom accessories on Etsy by searching with keywords like “bathroom” or “upcycled.”

Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

Go Green with Upgrades

When updating your bathroom, don’t forget to redesign with the environment in mind. Low-flow toilets, sinks, and showerheads will not only help you conserve water, but they’ll also save you money. Plus, water-saving showerheads and faucets often cost the same, if not less, than traditional ones. So you won’t have to spend money to save money here.

Buying used or repurposing materials is also good for the environment. In addition to searching sites like Etsy for upcycled upgrades, search for ideas and do them yourself. For example, it’s fairly easy to turn mason canning jars into soap dispensers. You can see detailed instructions on how to do it here.

Want another idea? Find three cool, vintage tin cans. Drill the tin cans side by side into a 2-foot piece of old plank. Then, drill the plank onto your bathroom wall (pictured below from laissez-faire). You now have a super cool way to store bathroom necessities like toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs and brushes, and Q-tips. You can even keep fresh flowers in one of the cans!

Traditional Shower HeadYou can also use vintage light fixtures, old pieces of barn wood for shelves, or an old mirror above the sink. Every time you use something old instead of something new, you’re probably saving money and reducing your consumption. Both very good things!

Don’t forget to give back too. Any items you take out of your bathroom can be donated to your local Goodwill or a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Cheap Bathroom Remodel Ideas

Install a Prefabricated Shower

The most expensive option for a new shower is to hire a pro to build a custom tile shower from scratch. While site-built tile showers and tubs can be gorgeous and unique, consider a prefabricated shower unit, which typically costs a lot less. If you absolutely must have that tiled shower, fusing a poly shower pan with the tile saves some hassle and some cost.

Install Your Toilet

Plumbers are worth their weight in gold. But if you have the strength to carry a toilet, avoid calling in a plumber to switch out the old toilet. Instead, install your toilet by yourself. Toilet installation involves very few waterline hookups. The hardest part of installing a toilet is physically moving the toilet into place. For that, buy an inexpensive hand truck or enlist the services of a friend.

Paint Portions of the Interior by Yourself

Even the least skilled do-it-yourselfer can accomplish interior painting. For whole-house painting, you may want to consider hiring a professional painter, due to the large scale. But consider how little painting you need to do in bathrooms. The majority of wall space is taken up with mirrors, showers, tile, cabinets, and bathtubs. In the end, you only have a few square feet to paint. In many cases, you can paint this by yourself in a day or two.

Resist the Urge to Move Major Plumbing

Save money by leaving the toilet and bathing facilities where they are. There’s no need to move the plumbing when their current locations satisfy your needs. Moving water supply and/or drainage immediately drives up the cost of any remodelling project.

Do Some Plumbing by Yourself

If you hate calling upon the services of a plumber for remodelling work, stop for a minute and ask yourself what you might be able to do on your own. With the advent of plastic PEX plumbing pipes and push-in fittings, even the least confident do-it-yourself plumber can tackle light plumbing tasks with relative ease. If your notion of plumbing work is still rooted in the days of soldering copper pipes with an open flame or working with galvanized pipes, give this idea some serious thought. You might find out that PEX and push-in fittings are perfect for your needs.

Install Your Bathroom Vanity and Top

Bathroom vanities and tops practically come assembled for you. Because bathrooms are small, it is possible for you to buy nearly or fully assembled bathroom vanity units and vanity tops and have them in place within a couple of hours. Vanity units come in stock sizes ranging from 24 inches to 60 inches wide. Coordinating counters can be purchased that even have sinks fused into them, eliminating sink installation and caulking woes.

Migrate Bathroom Materials

If you have two bathrooms and you remodel one of them, what should you do with all of those materials? Some homeowners have found that it is cost-effective to migrate materials from one bathroom to the other bathroom. Even materials as trivial as shower curtains, pipes, and picture frames can be moved to the next bathroom.

Design the Bathroom by Yourself

While bathroom designers are great, they also can break your bathroom remodel budget. Consider designing your bathroom by yourself. Whole-house remodels, additions, and large kitchens can benefit from the expertise of a qualified designer. But bathrooms in most houses aren’t so complicated. Spending some time studying bathroom layouts and learning the basic bathroom design guidelines (such as recommendations from the National Kitchen and Bath Association) can give you plenty of ideas to get started.

Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.

Install Wainscot on the Lower Half of Walls

If a bathroom material still works, fix it up and reuse it. This is the guiding principle of any surface-level renovation (with the caveat that you never want to cover anything because it needs to be replaced). For example, there is no better way to cover up the lower portion of walls than with easy-to-install wainscot. Wainscot is a prefabricated board that extends as high as 48 inches and eliminates the need to patch wall dings and minor holes; wainscot covers it up.

I’ve recently thought about redoing my bathroom. My house was built in 1900, and I have one very small bathroom. Thanks to an unfortunate paint colour choice, the walls look as if they were hosed down with Pepto Bismal. In other words, it needs some work and repainting is number one on my list.

After that, I’d love to upcycle some old wood or metal to create shelving above the toilet and next to the sink. The plumbing towel racks are also definitely going in.

What about you? Do you have any money-saving ideas to redesign or redecorate a bathroom?

Scroll to Top