Remodeling Tips

5 Easy and Inexpensive Bathroom Upgrades to Stay Under Budget

It’s important to get your bathroom upgrades and priorities in order before getting too deep into the planning process so that you know you’ll be able to stay within budget and at the same time, get a great result.

A key consideration is whether you plan to do all the work yourself, or whether you plan to hire a contractor. While hiring a contractor will certainly save you time and effort, do-it-yourself projects are often very affordable and give you a sense of satisfaction when they’re completed.

Whether you’re looking to totally overhaul your fixtures or just want a new, fresh color scheme, consider the following bathroom upgrades when planning a renovation.

The Importance of a Budget

Before planning any room renovation, consider the importance of a budget. Having a budget will enable you to plan a project that gives you the result you want, without completely breaking the bank.

It’s important to first consider what your priorities are in upgrading your bathroom. Are new appliances most important, or would you rather spend your time and money on new fixtures or a new color scheme?

Consider what bathroom upgrades you’d like to see changed first, and also consider what changes you could live without.

Also, always be sure to leave extra room in a budget for the inevitable surprise costs that will come up. This will give you peace of mind as the project moves forward.

DIY or Hire a Contractor?

The second big decision you need to make is whether you’re going to do-it-yourself or hire a contractor or utilize both strategies.

Consider doing bathroom upgrades yourself if you’re confident in your knowledge or have a great deal of time and resources to spend learning how to install fixtures and accessories like heated floors or in-shower speakers.

If you don’t have the time or experience–and more importantly, if you don’t have the extra money to spend in the event you make a mistake and need to start over–it may be worth hiring a contractor for some or all of your remodeling project.

When hiring a contractor, there are a few key points to keep in mind. First of all, do extensive research on reliable contractors in your area. Read online reviews and look over the contractor’s website to get a feel for their work ethic and philosophy, and to figure out what their strengths are and what sort of experience they have. Either call or meet up with a few contractors you’re considering and choose one that you’re comfortable with and trust to do a great job on your project.

Simple Bathroom Upgrades to Consider

Once you’ve determined whether you’re going to DIY or hire a contractor, it’s time to put your upgrade plan into action. Consider a few of the following suggestions for affordable bathroom upgrades:

  • Painting
  • Upgraded Cabinets
  • New Lighting
  • Mirrors
  • Accessories

1. Painting:

Choosing to add a new coat of paint to your bathroom is an easy decision. The hard part is deciding what color or colors you’ll use.

This is an easy DIY project if you have the time and energy to paint the bathroom yourself. Pastel colors are popular, as are cool colors like blues and greens.

Monochrome is also a recent trend, with many people deciding on shades of white, black, and grey for their bathrooms. Going with a monochrome style is relatively limiting, but it can provide coordination you would have more difficulty finding with other color schemes.

2. Cabinets/counter space:

Determine what bathroom upgrades are most important. Adding new or replacing existing cabinets and countertops in your bathroom is likely high on your list. This is such an important part of any bathroom.

An affordable option is to repaint and refinish existing cabinets instead of replacing them entirely. An entirely new vanity with a new sink will cost more money; but if that’s one of your high-priority items, it will be worth it.

Refinishing existing fixtures, appliances, and cabinets, however, will be most budget-friendly. If your cabinets have any sort of water damage, however, it’s likely the best choice to replace them entirely.

3. Lighting:

A problem in most bathrooms is poor lighting–it’s either not enough, or it’s poorly placed. This is why new light fixtures are usually a high priority for homeowners upgrading a bathroom.

You may decide to add entirely new fixtures or move lighting to a new place to make it more user-friendly. Track lighting is a great option, and if the room is large enough, ceiling fans with light fixtures included also add a nice upgraded touch.

However, if any serious electrical work is involved, it’s best to involve professionals and not try to attempt to do jobs like that on your own.

4. Mirrors:

New mirrors can transform any bathroom, as well, and in a very affordable manner. Consider installing one in a unique shape or with a decorative frame to enhance the entire vanity area.

5. Other accessories:

Other accessories can be added to a bathroom to add a bit of luxury for an affordable price. For example, heated floors are a popular addition. These can be installed by professionals underneath tile flooring to make your bathroom one of the most comfortable rooms in the house.

Similarly, in-shower speakers are a high-tech addition that many people greatly appreciate, and mood lighting can also be added throughout, as well.

And simple house plants added throughout the room can provide a natural element to the area.


Bathroom upgrades can be an affordable, transformative option. Considering whether to do each part of the upgrade yourself or hire a contractor is one of the largest choices you’ll have to make.

After that, consider your priorities and choose which sections of the room you’d most like to upgrade while keeping your budget in mind. Doing so will ensure a satisfying result when you’ve completed your bathroom renovation project!

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