Editors Note: This is a guest post written by Heena & Charlie Chhagan from Grout Pro.
So you want to renovate your bathroom, but throwing $20,000+ on the bathroom of your dreams is a far stretch from what you can afford to spend… right?
Here’s the good news: You don’t need thousands of dollars to transform your bathroom into a tranquil, elegant space. There are plenty of ways to renovate and redesign on a budget if you choose to restore where you can rather than replace!
An average bathroom renovation costs around $10,500 while an upscale remodel is going to cost a hefty $25,000+. BUT if you get creative, you can do a bathroom renovation for $3,000 to $6,000, or even less, depending on how much you want to change.
Remember, renovating your bathroom is ADDING VALUE to your property! In other words, you’ll recoup a significant portion of costs when you sell your home, as much as 100%.
If your budget is on the low end (i.e. $1,000 or less), you’ll want to stick to cosmetic changes, such as new fixtures or a new sink, and new paint. If you have more to spend, you can focus on larger changes, such as adding tiles, a bigger shower, or a window. Again, it all depends on your budget.
So what can you do to save money on your bathroom renovation?
If you don’t have a lot to spend, then repainting will be the cheapest and, perhaps, the most effective way to give your bathroom a new look. Remember to take your time and be patient.
A new coat of paint transforms a room. If your bathroom walls are covered in wallpaper, remove the old paper with a steamer (you can rent one for the weekend.) If you are painting over paint, remove all flaked, sticky, dirty areas by cleaning and lightly sanding over them. Ensure that the walls are free of mildew and damp before painting––if you do have recurring mildew, check the source and add mildew inhibitor to your paint.
Neutral colours are best for longevity of bathroom style, particularly when selling the house. Stick to creams, beiges, whites and other low-key colours and use accessories to add splashes of colour to the bathroom.
Tiles can be expensive, especially when you hire someone to lay it all out for you. To save money, limit the amount of tiles and focus on high-impact areas like the floor (instead of the floor and walls). Alternatively, you could tile one horizontal strip along the wall and paint the rest. You’ll save a ton of money by only using a few here and there.
If you have broken or chipped tiles, see if these can be restored or replaced. It may take a bit of time hunting down a matching tile from your local tile shop, but it will be worth it in the end. If you can’t find a matching tile then it is time to get creative – see if you can add a different tile ‘here and there’ to create a feature.
Grout and Silicone
Another often overlooked, yet important detail, is Grout and Silicone within your bathroom. When these two get grimy and mouldy, they look unsightly and is very unhygienic.
By simply cleaning the grout and replacing the silicone around the tub, shower and sink, you can add a real shine to the overall appearance to the bathroom… you might be surprised at what a difference this can make!
It may pay to get a professional for this task as silicone application is a skill and needs to be applied correctly – it can really make or break the overall look of the bathroom if applied correctly. It is also possible to recolour the grout so you may want to add a splash of colour to accommodate your theme.
In most cases the grout may need to be replaced especially on your shower floor, which is the area where your grout and silicone takes a hammering with dirty water and soap scum. Epoxy grout is the best application for the shower floor as it is stain resistant and does not allow water to penetrate which can cause leaking and moisture damage.
Bench Tops and Vanities
A popular trend is to luxuriate on granite bench tops. But because the bathroom benches are so small, the investment is often fairly low compared to what you’d spend on kitchen counters, for example.
A way to save on granite countertops is to buy a slab containing imperfections. The more visible the imperfection, the cheaper the price will be. Keep in mind that your sink basin will take up a lot of surface area, so if the imperfection is located where the sink or faucets will be then you won’t see it anyway!
Right now, the trend is using old dressers as sink pedestals. Simply cut out the top of the dresser to accommodate a sink ! These “dresser sinks” can sell for thousands of dollars in retail stores, but you can easily make your own with a budget dresser, some patience, and the right tools.
Address the little details. You can update light fixtures, sink faucets, towel racks, and drawer pulls for a reasonably small investment. These items may seem insignificant, but updating them can make a big difference in your bathroom’s look.
Keep in mind that you don’t always have to buy towel racks at a home improvement store… again get creative!
New shower curtains, bathmats or towels will add a blast of colour to your bathroom and immediately raise your spirits. This could backfire if your bathroom is really past its prime, as it will highlight how scruffy the rest of the room is. But on the plus side, every time you walk in, you will see at least one thing you love.
Add houseplants. Plants love bathrooms, and they are good for body and soul too. Spider plants, ferns, aspidistra, and philodendron will all thrive in the warmth and humidity and are almost impossible to kill off.
Replace your countertop accessories. This doesn't require shopping. Look through your cabinets for a pretty bowl for soap, a cup , ceramic mug, vase or mason jar for toothbrushes, and a small tray or plate to corral your cosmetics.
Rethink the artwork in your bathroom. Swap in pieces from other rooms, or print some favourite photos from the computer, find some favourite postcards, rip an image out of a book or magazine and put them in inexpensive frames.
Heena & Charlie Chhagan
Grout Pro & Garage Carpet Pro
See their work on www.thepros.co.nz