The bathroom is thought of as one of the most expensive rooms in a house to remodel, with most homeowners spending somewhere between $5,000 and $13,000 on average. You can save a ton of money by doing most of the work yourself. All it takes is a little imagination and a lot of hard work. Here are some ideas to help you keep a reasonable budget for your bathroom fixer-upper.
The two most expensive items to remodel in a bathroom are, hands down, the sink and tub. Between pricey countertops and lavishly priced tile, it can take no time at all to break the bank if you’re not careful. To combat this problem, focus on high-quality yet affordable countertops like low-level granite or cultured marble. Imperfections are your friend, especially when they’re in an area that’ll need to be removed to fit the sink anyway.
Avoid neutral colors like beige and tan, as they’re the most popular, and thus most costly, and choose more vibrant colors. You can also repurpose an old dresser to use as your base by cutting off the top and replacing it with your new countertop. Just remember to cut holes in the back to make room for the plumbing!
Rather than retiling your entire bathtub or shower setup, you can get a lot of mileage out of a little by adding a horizontal strip. Ceramic or standard white subway tiles are the most cost-effective on the market at between $5 and $12 a tile, or you might luck out and find some gently used or blemished ones online.
You’ll also save money by refinishing your tub rather than replacing it, as long as it’s made of porcelain, fiberglass, or cast iron. A DIY kit that usually runs around $150, along with a few easy tools you probably have in the shed, makes this fix a cinch, though a little time-consuming.
One of the easiest ways to improve the look and feel of your bathroom is to add a little paint. Semi-gloss paint works best in bathrooms thanks to its ability to repel moisture and help prevent mold, while a top layer of satin paint can make cleaning the walls a breeze. Whatever you do, make sure you repair any imperfections in the drywall before painting or you’ll find yourself redoing it in another year or two.
Replacing your bathroom floor entirely is a costly proposition, so you have two options here. You can either work on sprucing it up a bit with a thorough cleaning and learn how to effectively use rugs to enhance the appearance, or you can find affordable options to cover it that still look great. Plank and roll-over flooring are both great ways to add a new look without the high costs of a complete gut job. Roll-over flooring is easy to cut and place and usually runs between $2 and $6 per square foot, while plank flooring is easy to lay and runs roughly the same. With the average bathroom running roughly 40 square feet, that’ll cost you around $300 between the flooring and the supplies.
While some homeowners might scoff at the idea of purchasing used fixtures and toilets, a great DIYer knows you can create magic by freshening up someone else’s discarded goods. Rather than buy sink faucets and lighting new, go online to buy cheap goods that you can refinish to save money. You’ll end up with something incredibly unique and tailored to your personal style.
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