24 Low-Cost Bathroom Updates That Won’t Drain Your Savings


Refresh your bathroom in a weekend with these affordable makeover ideas. With our simple decor updates and minor renovations, you can bring added style and function to your bathroom without a total overhaul.

Kim Cornelison

Breathe new life into a powder room with bold floral wallpaper. This is a great way to create an upscale look at an affordable price tag. Opt for a temporary peel-and-stick wallpaper to save even more on your bathroom update. Finish the glamorous look with gold fixtures, hardware, and accessories.

Replacing the vanity instantly changes the look of a bathroom. Shop for vanity combos with an installed countertop and sink for a budget-friendly bath refresh. These off-the-shelf solutions can save you big bucks. Repainting your existing vanity in a bold shade is another low-cost solution.

Werner Straube

A statement wall in a small bathroom is easy to create with a dynamic chevron tile installation. For even more impact, add playful patterned tile to the floor. For a more budget-friendly option, use inexpensive 3×6-inch subway tiles. You can run them in a traditional running bond pattern or create your herringbone pattern.

John Bessler

There’s no need to lift a hammer to get a new look. Refresh any bath in a day by updating soft surfaces. New window treatments, rugs, towels, and shower curtains will brighten a neutral bath. If you’re feeling crafty, back a storage unit with colorful adhesive paper and wrap storage bins with wide ribbons for an added dose of color.

Kathryn Kunz Finney

Skip the tile and use paint to create an elegant wall treatment for a budget-friendly bathroom update. To create a two-tone look, measure and mark the desired height of your paint line with a pencil. Apply painter’s tape to your measurement using a level to make sure it’s straight, then paint the lower portion in your desired color.

Brie Williams

Add some glam to your powder room with affordable new features, such as a dramatic round mirror and bold patterned wallpaper. There’s no faster way to update a small space than with a DIY weekend wallpaper project. Finish the look with a gilded mirror, which adds a bit of sparkle to the utilitarian space.

Snag a flea market console or occasional table for a few dollars and convert it into a primitive-style vanity. A table also offers a comfortable surface height to support a vessel-style sink. Retrofit the top to install a drain and faucet or use a wall-mount tap. Moisture-proof and protect the wood top with several coats of clear polyurethane.

John Granen

Paint or refinish cabinet doors for a quick and easy bathroom update. This green vanity pairs with yellow accessories in an otherwise neutral bathroom for a playful focal point. Other inexpensive ways to update a bathroom include installing a new toilet seat or adding a few accessories such as towel bars and a toilet paper holder. Switch out your shower controls and other hardware to create a unified suite look in just a few hours.

When your existing vanity cabinet offers good storage, nice lines, and sturdy construction, renew the look with a fresh coat of paint or stain. For a previously stained cabinet, sand off the old finish and apply updated stain color. You should also sand the gloss off a previously painted cabinet, smooth out any damage with filler, and then apply a coat of primer. Finally, finish with a top coat of color.

Edmund Barr

If you have a vanity you love, but its surface is looking a little tired, consider replacing the countertop. For affordable options, consider preformed laminate, or check out costs for a remnant granite slab for a luxury bathroom update for less. If you replace the countertop, it’s an ideal time to update the faucet.

Brie Williams

Add architectural interest to a basic bath with beadboard. Installing panels is quicker and more affordable than installing individual boards. The panels are virtually indistinguishable from authentic beadboard and are sold in lightweight 4×8-foot sheets for about $20 each. Alternatively, adding shiplap to the bathroom walls will create a farmhouse feel. Ceramic tiles are another way to add interest.

Search for flea market gems to add a dose of personality to your bath. Architectural salvage yards and internet auction sites are great suppliers of vintage tubs, sinks, countertops, flooring, benches, and unique accents. In this small bathroom, vintage red light fixtures contrast with white walls for a pop of color.

Jason Donnelly

Pick out white components for your must-have features and save thousands in bathroom remodeling dollars. White sinks, tubs, and toilets cost less than those in colors because manufacturers make and sell more of them. In this powder room, a white pedestal sink and toilet blend in with white do-it-yourself wainscoting to visually expand the small space.

Anthony Masterson

Low-cost white field tiles are an affordable choice to finish a shower surround and the lower portion of bathroom walls. Spice up the look with a band of accent tiles, such as these sleek black liner tiles that visually link the shower and vanity area. Use a little elbow grease and clean the grout for a like-new look and inexpensive bathroom update.

Anthony Masterson

Taking a bath and maintaining the tub is more convenient with a handheld sprayer. It makes rinsing hair and cleaning the tub much more manageable. Swap out your showerhead for an updated model—you’ll have a budget-friendly bathroom update in minutes.

John Bessler

A medicine cabinet can fit neatly between wall studs above the bathroom sink, adding storage and style right where you need it. Add a mirror to the back of the cabinet to brighten the interior and make belongings easier to spot. Use vintage glassware to corral items like cotton swabs and makeup brushes.

Jay Wilde

Add pullout shelves to deep cabinets to keep bathroom necessities in order and viewable. Equipping cabinet interiors with these sliding surfaces helps you avoid digging around in the dark or buying more of things you already have on hand. Utilize baskets and bins to collect cleaning supplies or spare linens within sliding shelves.

John Bessler

Turn an existing piece of furniture into a vanity. Save on expensive cabinetry by cutting a hole in the top of a dresser or chest for a drop-in sink and faucet. Use open shelves for baskets and bins below.

Richard Leo Johnson

Smartly patterned fabric curtain panels stand in as shower curtains to give this bathroom a designer touch that’s easy and budget-friendly. Pair fabric panels with a clear plastic shower liner to block splatters. If your bathtub has seen better days, consider having the tub surface professionally refinished.

Werner Straube

Pamper yourself and give your shower a luxury spa feel by switching out the old showerhead for a large rain-style showerhead. Many affordable models are readily available at home centers and thread easily onto existing plumbing. Give your existing showerhead a thorough cleaning for a quick bathroom update that costs next to nothing.

Emily Followill

Glass mosaic tiles look sharp but can be pricey. Save money while adding an expensive custom-designed appearance by incorporating a thin band among field tiles on a floor. Continue the colors in the floor tile up onto accessories for a cohesive bathroom color scheme.

Beth Singer

Get a luxe look for less by incorporating a thin band of more expensive glass tiles at the top and bottom of a tiled tub and shower enclosure. Include the colors from the glass tiles in the soft furnishings of the bathroom to complete the look.

Adam Albright

Add stylish bathroom storage using flea market finds. If your space is too small for a freestanding piece of furniture, consider adding floating shelves with a storage bin for each family member. Repurpose an old vanity by removing the doors, repainting it, and adding shelves to fit your needs. Complete with decorative baskets to organize bathroom essentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the average cost of a bathroom remodel?

    The average cost of a full bathroom remodel is around $10,000. The range is between $6,100 and $16,600, depending on the type of fixtures, tile and details included in the project.

  • What is the easiest way to update a bathroom without remodeling?

    The simplest way to update a bathroom is with paint. Adding color will quickly transform a space. Another easy way is to replace textiles, including towels, bath rugs, or the shower curtain.

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