Crisp subway tiles, fluffy towels, an LED back-lit mirror — you dream of upgrading your bathroom every time you brush your teeth. And with our cheap bathroom remodel ideas, you can completely transform your grooming space without shelling out the median bathroom renovation cost of $32,000.
We’ve curated a list of the 11 best bathroom remodeling tips that cost under $200. For added insight to these upgrades’ resale value, we spoke with Victoria Wilkinson, the Listings Director for a top-selling brokerage in Saratoga Springs, NY, who just recently completed her own bathroom renovation.
1. Frame your dated built-in mirror
Counter-to-ceiling built-in mirrors instantly date your bathroom. For a quick fix, add a wooden frame around the mirror. This DIY project requires few tools and only takes four hours to complete. Paint the frame white to brighten the room, or opt for a dark gray shade for a more contemporary twist.
Estimated cost: $25-$50
2. Paint the walls a cheerful color
Non-neutral wall colors can be hit or miss. However, bathrooms are the perfect space to experiment with your wild side since they’re small and relatively easy to repaint. Purchase paint samples to test a few colors before you commit to a gallon — paint’s appearance varies depending on the natural and artificial lighting in a room.
We love these designer-approved colors for powder rooms and primary bathrooms:
- Stone Blue by Farrow & Ball: A lively, medium blue that suits both traditional and contemporary styled bathrooms
- Tranquility by Benjamin Moore: A sophisticated blue-green shade that’s bright enough to bounce light yet gray enough to not belong to the pastel category
- Cinder Rose by Farrow & Ball: A romantic rose shade that looks stunning with white subway tile
Estimated cost: $25-$100
3. Introduce metallics with new fixtures and decor
Gold and brass metallics bring warmth and elegance to the bathroom. If you don’t have the budget to swap out faucets and showerheads, you can add metallic flare with a gold wastebasket, soap dispenser, and toothbrush holder instead.
Wilkinson shares that she’s a fan of mixing metals. While this may seem like an avant-garde idea (and maybe even a little scary), it’s totally doable. Choose one dominant metal for your primary fixtures, such as the faucet and showerhead. Then use a second finish for your drawer pulls and decor items. Safe metal combinations include brushed brass with stainless steel and matte black with chrome.
Estimated cost: $50-$75
4. Add crown molding for a custom finish
Not only does crown molding elevate your bathroom’s design, but it also draws the eye to the ceiling, making the room look bigger. Choose a material that’s moisture-resistant, so it stands up to shower and bath steam.
Estimated cost: $4-$15 per linear foot, including materials and labor
5. Increase storage and style with over-the-toilet shelving
Every bathroom could benefit from added storage, especially smaller bathrooms with limited cabinet space. For a cheap bathroom remodel, add a pre-fab shelving unit or floating shelves above the toilet. Stage the shelves with neatly rolled towels, vintage signs, and potted succulents to complete the look.
Our top picks for over-the-toilet shelving include:
- 3-Shelf Bathroom Organizer for $65.95
- Soduku Floating Shelves for $24.99
- 2-Tier Metal Industrial Bathroom Shelves for $79.99
Estimated cost: $25-$100
6. Brighten the cabinets with a light paint shade
You won’t often find a lux hotel bathroom with dark cabinets, and there’s a reason for that. Dark colors recede and tend to make bathrooms look smaller than they truly are. If your cabinets are a dark shade (or golden oak), paint them white or light gray to add visual space to the room.
One of these tried-and-true paint shades flatter most bathroom styles:
- Baltic Gray by Benjamin Moore: A light, neutral gray shade that’s perfect for farmhouse and traditional style bathrooms
- High Reflective White by Sherwin-Williams: A true white with a touch of warmth that bounces light thanks to its LRV (light reflectance value) of almost 93
- White Dove by Benjamin Moore: A soft, neutral white that’s one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular shades
Estimated cost: $25-$100
7. Add a stunning peel-and-stick tile backsplash
Available at most big box home stores and easy to install, peel-and-stick backsplashes are a must for a cheap bathroom remodel. A tile backsplash also helps protect the wall behind your sink from moisture, water damage, and mold. For a classic finish, you can’t go wrong with white subway tiles. Otherwise, play with metallic or light blue tiles to add interest to the space.
Estimated cost: $30-$50
8. Install LEDs under the cabinet for moody lighting
Adjustable LED toe-kick lighting adds interest and dimension to your bathroom. You can purchase LED strip lights from Amazon and hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Most To place LED strip lights, all you need to do is peel off the sticker on the back and press the adhesive side to the bottom of the cabinet.
Estimated cost: $20-$50
9. Style the room with spa-inspired accessories
Your first step to a relaxing bathroom is decluttering: A messy bathroom can bring down even the best remodels. Once you’ve cleared up counter and shelf space, curate spa-like accessories such as fluffy towels, scented soy candles, and bamboo bathtub caddies. For next-level tranquility, add a small zen fountain. Nothing helps you settle into a hot bath like the sound of trickling water over pebbles.
Estimated cost: $20-$200
10. Recaulk the bathtub and freshen up the tile
If you don’t have the budget to replace bathroom features, refresh them. Rustoleum’s Tub & Tile Paint can give your tub the look and feel of porcelain for less than $25 (far less than the cost of ripping out tile and replacing the tub). You can also remove and replace moldy caulk for less than $10.
Follow these steps to recaulk bathtubs and showers like a pro:
- Clean and dry the area in and around your tub and be sure to remove any loose strips of caulk.
- Apply two strips of painter’s tape to create your guide for the new strip of caulk.
- Using a caulk gun, lay down your new bead of caulk at an even pace.
- Wipe away any excess caulk with a wet sponge or finger.
- Allow the caulk to dry and cure for at least 24 hours.
Estimated cost: $5-$25
11. Create a focal point with oversized artwork
Artwork is not often on the list of considerations when it comes to a bathroom remodel, but an oversized piece of art can make a huge impact. If you add art to your bathroom, remember that steam and humidity are pervasive, so choose a fairly inexpensive piece and protect it with a glass frame. Remember to ventilate the space with a fan and open windows each time you shower.
Estimated cost: $100-$200
Transform your bathroom one upgrade at a time
Bathroom renovations don’t have to cost a small fortune. With a bit of planning and elbow grease, you can completely transform your bathroom for a fraction of the cost of a professional remodel.
Header Image Source: (Collov Home Design / Unsplash)