Good Morning
Good Morning
LifestyleHome and Garden

Homework: Bathroom updates on a budget

Even when it's just you and a very

Even when it's just you and a very limited budget, you can still get a new look in your bathroom and not break the bank. Credit: iStock

Watching your favorite bath renovation shows where the remodeler approaches you in the home center and does all the design, labor and installation work makes a bath renovation seem so easy and doable. But when it's just you and a very limited budget, can you still get a new look in your bathroom and not break the bank? Yes, you can.


The fastest and easiest way to start a bathroom update is to find the sore thumb. This is that one thing that's making your bathroom cry out that it's still stuck in a previous decade. Maybe it's an old medicine cabinet or the forest green tile with the peach walls that's taking you back in time. Find the thing in the bathroom that's the obvious problem and tackle it first.

One easy problem to correct is the sliding shower enclosure doors. Removing these and updating with a shower curtain can move your bathroom forward quickly. Hang the curtain high or from the ceiling to give extra height and dimension to the room.

Another correctable update is lighting. Old fixtures can be quickly swapped out, and it's one of the easiest changes on the budget.

If you have a large jetted tub, try hanging a chandelier over it to dress it up and give it more presence.

If old wallpaper is dating the bathroom, remove it and give your bathroom an updated color with a coat of fresh paint.


One way to tackle a tile problem is to cover it with wainscoting or bead board paneling. Both are easy ways to remove miles of wild tile in a simple, clean step. The paneling can be installed using a molding cap at the top of the tile and bottom where it meets the floor.

Using a ceramic bit on a drill, the molding and bead board can be attached through the tile to the wall behind.

Prefer something more industrial? Inexpensive corrugated tin can be used in place of the wood paneling and it's also easy to size and install.


If the tile is in good shape but the fixtures are tired, try taking out that old sink in the bath cabinet and go for a sleek pedestal option.

If your toilet has seen better days, replace it with a new one that matches your new sink. Taking out and replacing a commode isn't as difficult as you might think.

If that's too much work, swap out all the hardware in the room, from towel bars to toilet handles to sink fixtures. A coordinated grouping will give you big impact.

If you go for a new, daring color, try some colored glass cabinet knobs to accentuate the new hue. Update large mirrors by adding trim around them. Refresh windows with new curtains or shutters.

Don't overlook storage. Employ storage towers for bathroom supplies and to make a statement.

Think like a home stager and do fast changes such as new towels, a stylish shower curtain and some new, updated and quirky accessories to help complete your new look.

More Lifestyle