It may not seem possible, but a cheap bathroom remodel is absolutely attainable. Popular home remodeling 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 spiraling bathroom remodel costs and bringing everything back down to earth.
Bathroom remodeling, along with kitchen remodeling, takes its toll on homeowners in terms of misery, unmet timetables, and high costs. Given the staggeringly high cost of bathroom remodeling, 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.
Use Lower-Cost Lookalike Materials
Retaining and refurbishing your existing materials is always the best option for saving money. But if you must swap out materials, inexpensive alternatives often can look amazingly like the real thing. For example, instead of real wood plank flooring, try luxury vinyl flooring. Today’s vinyl flooring looks far better than earlier iterations. Innovations such as luxury vinyl flooring and plank vinyl can even fool the eye from a distance. High-definition laminate countertops and quartz countertops now vie with granite for the look of authentic natural stone. Faux-stone ceramic and porcelain tile backsplashes can mimic the look of travertine and marble.
Paint Your Wooden Floor
If your bathroom happens to have a wooden floor, you can rip it out and replace it with a more moisture-hardy flooring, such as tile. Or you can save time, energy, and money by keeping your wooden floor and painting it with a protective enamel. Keep in mind, though, that solid hardwood should not be your first choice for bathroom flooring. But if you already do have wooden floors, this is one low-cost way to keep them around for as long as possible.
Refinish Your Tub Instead of Replacing It
Consider total replacement of your bathtub to be your last possible option, at least from a cost savings standpoint. Instead, try relining or refinishing. Bathtub and shower refinishing is a prime example of the dictum “Repair and retain rather than remove.” If the problem is mainly cosmetic, such as a yellowed surface and some cracks and nicks, you can refinish your shower or bathtub. Alternatively, bathtub and shower liners, never a permanent fix, are not as cheap as they seem. Requiring professional installation, liners will carry you through a few years. Bathtub refinishing, instead, is cheaper and often looks better.
Touch Up Your Tub Rather Than Refinishing It
One step down from refinishing the entire tub surface is a tub touch-up. When your bathtub has nicks, gouges, and peeling paint, but you are not keen on the idea of refinishing the entire surface, you can spot-fix the tub. Some touch-up products, such as Super Glue White Porcelain Repair, are as easy to apply as squeezing toothpaste out of a tube.
Refresh Cabinets With New Hardware
Buying and installing new bathroom cabinets can get expensive. A far easier and cheaper way to bring life to your existing cabinets is to strip out the old hardware and replace it with fun new hardware. To make the process even easier, before you buy the new hardware, make sure that its screw alignment matches up with the holes on your existing cabinets. This eliminates the need to drill new holes.