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Bathroom remodeling for the cash-strapped

How you treat your bathroom can, to a certain extent, be representative of your personality. Guests in your home can draw quite a few conclusions from using the restroom, and if the space isn't in the best shape, what they think might not be very good. Who wants to deal with that kind of awkwardness? It's embarrassing. And even if your bathroom is in fine shape but could stand to be better, perhaps now is the perfect time to get started on that task!

As with all home improvement projects and tasks, the expenses can add up quickly and become insurmountable if you aren't careful. However, you don't have to fall into a money pit just to spruce up this vital area of your home. Read on to learn some of the best ways to retool and improve your bathroom while sticking to a reasonable budget. 

Throwing on a fresh coat
Repainting your bathroom is perhaps the least expensive way to liven it up, even if you're simply giving it a once-over with the same color. Even when you consider the cost of high-quality satin-finish paint – which the Money Crashers blog recommends, due to its resistance to bathroom humidity and heat fluctuations that can significantly contribute to mold growth – it'll still involve less money than almost any other significant change you can make to your bathroom. 

Bathroom remodeling for the cash-strappedPainting is a simple, cheap way to start your budget bathroom remodel.

Updating fixtures and making other small changes
You might be surprised by the difference a lot of small changes can make to the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom. Features such as the medicine cabinet and mirror, vanity, drawers, towel racks, light fixtures and faucets will not cost you that much to update, but they can refresh the overall atmosphere of the space. 

HGTV points out that changes as minor as the knobs and handles on a vanity's doors and drawers – or an entirely new vanity – might be all you need. 

Pre-owned items and other discounts 
People buy used or pre-owned cars, electronics, books and clothes all the time? So why not do the same with bathroom furniture and fixture items that could otherwise be extremely costly? This might be exactly what you need to provide the space with a unique vintage vibe.

According to Money Crashers, it's not hard at all to find used toilets, tubs, sinks, lamps, mirrors and much more on sites like Craigslist or eBay. If you have an interest in more quirky additions to your bathroom that make use of recycled materials, go to the craft stores on Etsy, many of which boast the sort of items that will make the room look anything but generic. Also, HGTV cited an example of one crafty remodeler who brought a completely new aesthetic dimension to their bathroom by simply adding a remnant counter and used mirror.

Finally, if you want to make additions to your bathroom that could save you a considerable amount of money on energy bills and be environmentally beneficial, consider purchasing appliances such as water-efficient toilets and electric tankless water heaters.

Tile and grout adjustments
An interesting tile pattern is bound to catch the eyes of a lot of people. However, many of the most distinctive accent tile varieties can cost you a pretty penny. But don't fret, as there are methods by which you can have it both ways. 

For one, consider alternating two or three rows of accent tiles with several cheaper designs. As long as the more affordable tile matches the color of the luxury brand and doesn't jaggedly clash with its design, the floor will look great and you'll have saved some money. Alternatively, Money Crashers recommended tiling just one horizontal portion of the wall and painting around the rest with a matching color.

Regardless of what tile decision you end up making, it's not expensive at all to attend to the grout and caulk surrounding the squares and encircling your tub area. It's also quite beneficial, as unclean grout can be one of the ugliest things in a bathroom. 

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