10 genius ways to renovate your bathroom on a small budget

The average mid-range bathroom renovation runs about $25,000 and homeowners can expect to recoup roughly 55% of their investment when it comes time to sell, according to the latest cost vs. value report.

If a full-scale bathroom makeover isn’t in the cards, there are several ways you can refresh your bathroom for much less– you just have to be creative. Here are seven ways to achieve the look you want, for less!

Go the DIY route

Experts suggest that homeowners can expect to spend about 50-60% of their total budget on labor alone. Save quite a bit of money by attempting to do the labor yourself. Opt for simple tile, not changing the layout, and refinishing instead of replacing to make your DIY journey easier.

Use subway tile

Intricate tile can add up quickly–especially if you’re tiling your entire shower. Keep costs down by using subway tile, which can typically be found for under .40 per tile. Save even more money by installing the tile yourself!

If old tile is in good shape, don’t replace; instead, repaint! Use a paint product specifically for tile and add a fresh coat of paint to revive old or yellowed tile.

If you have to go with custom tile, consider using it just as a border. Bead board has recently come back into play and with its classic look, we can’t see this going out of style any time soon. Transform your space for cheap, using bead board to cover most of your walls and then top off the look with custom tile.

Additionally, you can save money by installing luxury vinyl tile yourself,  as opposed to paying a contractor to lay tile.

Caulk and grout

Nothing makes a bathroom look more drab than unsightly caulk and grout. If your tile and tub are still in good condition consider redoing the grout and adding a fresh layer of caulk around your tub. You’ll be surprised at how quickly this elevates the look of your space.

Likewise, consider going over your dingy grout with a grout pen for an expensive way to bring your bathroom into style again.


Replace the frameless mirror over your vanity with a framed mirror. Shop around to find a less expensive, yet modern mirror that fits the bill, or if you’re willing to put in a little effort, consider framing your current mirror with inexpensive materials found at a local hardware store.


Move over granite, marble and quartz are the new countertop superstars, but if you’re on a tight budget, these must haves can quickly wreak havoc on your bottom line. Get the best of both worlds when you consider using remnants to up-fit your vanity.

This little known secret can easily transform your space for a fraction of the cost of a full slab of stone. Most counter top yards and suppliers offer this, so find suppliers in your area and get some cost estimates.

Choose a shower pan

Tiling a shower floor is often fairly complicated and will give even the most experienced DIYers a tough time, meaning you’ll likely need to outsource it to an expert. Save money by using a shower pan instead of a tile floor.

Paint, paint and more paint

If your vanity is in decent condition, save thousands by just applying a fresh coat of paint. Top off the look by purchasing new handles and knobs for the drawers.

Likewise, add a bright new hue to your walls and even consider repainting the baseboards to make them look new again.

Refinish your tub

Rather than purchasing a new tub and paying a plumber to install it, consider refinishing it. There are tons of DIY tutorials on this, or you can have a company come out and refinish your tub for a fraction of what you’d pay buying a new one and paying a plumber.

Look into vinyl plank flooring

Vinyl plank flooring has come a long way and is widely popular among homeowners today. Not only is vinyl plank flooring easy on the wallet, but it can also be installed right over ceramic tile, saving you money on demoing the floor. Most DIYers find that installing vinyl plank flooring is fairly easy, too.

Shop around

New light fixtures, faucets and towel hooks can quickly add up. Shop around for these items until you find something you like that doesn’t break the bank.