If you’re considering updating your bathroom, you have probably watched some of the home improvement television shows that show examples of shining new bathrooms created in just a few days. The problem is that while you love the look of those decorator inspired examples, it seems they worked with a limitless budget, and you don’t have that luxury.
While you won’t be able to include imported tiles and top of the line fixtures, it is possible to update your bathroom space without breaking the bank. These budget friendly ideas are great options if you feel like you can’t live with your outdated bathroom any longer, but aren’t yet ready to do the “big” remodel. Also, if you’re planning to sell your home soon and need to do some updating, these tips will help you do that without blowing all of your potential profit.
1. Tile Choices
Yes, that tumbled slate is fabulous, but it’s also $9.00 (or more) per square foot. You can find tile that looks great for a fraction of the cost, or you may consider vinyl. Vinyl floor offerings today are NOT the same as 20 years ago. Choices today include high quality vinyl that can mimic the look of other flooring options. Also, it’s easy to install, so you can definitely do it yourself.
2. Paint/Wall Choices
It’s so easy, after watching those home improvement shows, to think that your bathroom is substandard if every wall is not covered in imported Italian something or other. When you’re redoing a bathroom on a budget, however, you’ll have to make some different choices. Good old fashioned painted walls are still acceptable. Just be sure you choose a paint that was intended for use in a bathroom. Choose something with at least a semi-gloss finish and a mold inhibitor.
Another option is to install bead board on the lower half of the wall. This look is perfect when you wish to create a cottage or beach feel in your bathroom. You can purchase faux bead board (made of compressed fiberboard) for less than traditional bead board, and the look is identical.
When working with a budget, you must become familiar with compromise. You won’t be able to purchase the bowl sink right off the decorator’s showroom floor, but you can still get the look you want with a little creativity. For example, one homeowner found an old sideboard at a garage sale for $20. Then she purchased two high quality ceramic bowls and had holes cut in them to accommodate the plumbing. She painted the sideboard and had holes cut into to the top to accommodate the 2 bowl sinks. She created a custom, designer look double sink for less than $100.
4. Other Tips
If you know you’re going to be updating the bathroom within the next year, start keeping your eyes out for sales. When you see some tile you like on clearance, or a fabulous fixture at a garage scale, scoop it up.
To save even more on paint, shop the “Oops” section at your local hardware or home improvement store. When customers return paint, many stores sell it for a fraction of the cost. You may even find inspiration if you’ve been having trouble choosing a color.
Check your local classified newspaper for plumbing and bathroom fixtures. Many people sell their old stuff when they update their home.
Anytime you are working with a limited budget, creativity is key. By thinking outside the box, you can create a bathroom that is the envy of all of your guests, and you’ll still have enough money left to entertain them!