By Room
By Room

3 Bathroom Remodeling Upgrades on a Budget

26% of homeowners plan to renovate their bathrooms this year, according to a nationwide survey.


The average American spends 30 minutes a day in the bathroom – and one in four spend more than an hour. It’s most often the first room we visit in the morning and the last room we visit before bed. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unhappy with their current bathroom situation. So it should come as no surprise that 26 percent of homeowners plan to renovate their bathrooms this year, according to a nationwide survey conducted by LG Electronics USA.

The bad news: An average bathroom remodel costs around $10,500 while an upscale remodel is going to run you a hefty $26,000, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report.

The good news: “Refreshing your bathroom’s design does not have to involve large-scale demolition or elaborate installations,” says Keri Sanders, an assistant editor at HGTV.com.

Cost Effective Bathroom Updates for Even the Tightest Budget

Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way when it comes to transforming the look and feel of your room. And with the average cost of paint somewhere between $15-25 per gallon, paint is an incredibly affordable option.

“When painting the walls of your bathroom, use bold, deep colors,” suggests Kathy Wilson, editor of thebudgetdecorator.com. “Carry color onto the ceiling to keep it from looking broken up.”

Another great way to add even more drama to your bathroom is to consider tiling “halfway up the wall,” says Lori Johnston, HGTV contributing writer. This can “provide a hint of dramatic flair in any bathroom.”

Just remember to take time to fully consider your paint choice. California designer Cindy Garten recommends painting a sample board and revisiting the color to “Make sure you like the color throughout the day. It will help you decide what color is best because of the different light throughout the day. Try it with the window open and closed…It ends up saving a lot of work and money.”

bathroom fresh coat of paint

New Hardware

“Sometimes, the simplest update can make a world of difference,” says Sanders. Instead of splurging for a new sink, toilet, and/or tub, “save money on your remodel by refreshing your bathroom’s existing features instead.”

Drawer pulls, faucets, and other hardware can give your room the facelift it so desperately needs. Hardware can be picked up at your local hardware store for relatively cheap.

bathroom new hardware sink

New Window Treatments

“Don’t put bathroom window treatments at the bottom of your wish list,” says Georgie Rudge of Townhouse Interiors, “as they can add a much-needed decorative blast to a functional space.”

The right bathroom window treatments need to pull triple duty. They need to not only add aesthetic appeal to a room, but also increase natural light and protecting privacy.

“Unlike other rooms, bathroom window treatments need to let in natural light while keeping prying eyes out,” says David Rasmussen of Rasmussen Construction in San Francisco. And, as  interior designer John Saladino puts it, “No space without natural light is worthy of human occupation.”

So how do you manage all of the above with a single window treatment?

Our Recommendation: Honeycomb Shades

“They can roll down from the top to let in sun, while providing privacy at the bottom,” says Elizabeth Aaron, president of Elizabeth Aaron Interior Design. And, because honeycomb shades are made of durable polyester, they not only handle humidity well, but can also be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. These window treatments are also incredibly energy efficient. That’s what we call a win-win.

“If you’d like to combine privacy and energy efficiency, honeycomb shades are a good choice,” writes HouseLogic blogger Alyson McNutt English.

And remember, “It’s OK to splurge on one or two items in your bathroom as long as you look for ways to save in other areas,” says Sanders. “Updating your bathroom’s design doesn’t have to break the bank.”

Be bold, be creative, but most of all, be true to yourself.