The average bathroom renovation costs just over $11,000 according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. I don’t know about you, but that’s a huge amount of money to save! Don’t worry, though. There is a way to still update your bathroom and give it a fresh new look all for under $100.
This is what DIY-ers like to call “Step 1” or a “Holdover” in the renovation process. While you save for your big bathroom gut job, you can still add some finishing touches and make your bathroom a little bit more bright and enjoyable until you can transform it the way you really want.
Ready for a bigger renovation? Get our renovation budget template here.
Here are ten ideas on how to do just that:
Paint with High Quality Paint
A new coat of paint is typically the first step to refreshing any space. Splurge on high quality paint that will allow you to do the job in half the time. Purchasing paint with built in primer might run you $40-$50 per gallon. However, you’ll likely have some left over at the end of the job.
When painting a bathroom, experts recommend buying semi-gloss paint. Since bathrooms have a ton of moisture, semi-gloss is a natural choice because it repels moisture and is easy to clean (speaking of a clean house, make sure to get our house cleaning checklist) (speaking of a clean house, make sure to get our house cleaning checklist).
Also, if you have an older bathroom vanity, consider painting that as well. Some DIY-ers will even paint their tile floors and use a stencil to create a high end, custom tile look with paint. Really, for under $100 worth of paint, you can transform your entire bathroom and make it look brand new.
Research from NASA and other sources shows that having plants in your home can boost your health, your mood, your energy, and your productivity. So, bring in some greenery. If you have space, a pot with a small fiddle leaf fig might do the trick. However, if you have a black thumb like me, a few faux succulents from Amazon can give you the same effect without having to worry about your plants dying.
If you have children, get them involved with the process. They can paint their own flower pots or help you choose succulents.
Buy a New Shower Curtain
There are so many different options when it comes to shower curtains, but replacing yours can make a big difference in your bathroom’s appearance. Your shower curtain is large visually and take up up a lot of space. Your eye will naturally travel over to it because it will be one of the biggest parts of your bathroom.
You can get a beautiful, high quality shower curtain for under $50. Splurge on one that has extra length. Many hotels buy long shower curtains and hang them higher than one typically would at home. This gives the appearance of higher ceilings and can add a more luxurious feel to your space.
If you get tired of your bathroom’s design, a shower curtain is also an easy item to trade out. Much like switching out throw pillows on your couch with the seasons, changing out your shower curtain can give you the feel of getting a small update without the heavy cost.
Install a New Faucet and Cabinet Hardware
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a new faucet. In fact, you can buy one on Amazon or on Facebook marketplace from someone else who is renovating their bathroom. A new faucet can transform the look of a builder grade vanity to one that looks more high end.
The same is true for cabinet hardware. You can find unique cabinet hardware at places like Home Depot. However, craft stores like Michael’s also carry them. They’re often on sale at high end stores like Anthropologie as well. If you only need one or two cabinet knobs, you can splurge on glass ones or ones that look more unique. Again, this will elevate and update the look of your bathroom in a very simple, inexpensive way.
Paint Your Grout
Over time, it’s easy to stain grout, especially if it’s white. Eventually, no amount of bleach or scrubbing will be able to improve the appearance. Luckily, you don’t have to put down new floors to solve this. And, there’s no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on new tile or new grout. You can just… paint your grout!
Yes, there are numerous products available on the market that will help you accomplish this goal. Search for grout paint, and you will find a few options, but keep in mind this isn’t a long term solution. However, if you want to improve the way your floors look while you save for a larger renovation, this is the way to go.
Add Wall Art
Wall art is always a great way to complete a room. So often, we patch holes, paint, and buy new accessories, but wait forever to actually hang art on the wall. Try to avoid putting expensive art in your bathroom because it will be repeatedly exposed to moisture. However, you can buy great discount art at places like Amazon, Target, Home Goods, Marshalls, Michael’s and more.
You can also put your own canvas images in there, like a cute picture of your kids in a bubble bath as babies or a pretty picture of the beach from a recent vacation. All in all, you can add framed art or canvas art to your bathroom for under $100 and still have it look great.
Buy a New Bath Mat
This is probably one of the most affordable upgrades on this list. It doesn’t take long for a bath mat to get dingy, no matter how many times you wash it. So, buy a new one (or two), and focus on getting one that’s large and plush. A clean, white bathmat goes a long way in making a bathroom feel refreshed. Spend a little more here, and you’ll be surprised at how much it updates the space.
Install Hooks & Shelves
Hotel bathrooms usually have large hooks where you can hang plush, white hotel bathrobes. Recreate this look by adding classic hooks to your bathroom. This is an easy way to get that hotel feel without having to leave your own home. Also, when it comes to shelves, you have many options.
Install a few floating shelves, but be sure to avoid clutter. Floating shelves should be used for something small, like a candle or plants. You should strive to make them more decorative versus a place to put your toothbrush. Keeping your space free from extra clutter will help it to feel more spacious.
Replace Your Shower Head
Replacing your shower head is a simple upgrade that can yield big results. For example, you can replace your standard shower head with a rain shower head or a hand held shower head. These changes will instantly upgrade your space and switching them out should take less than one hour.
Re-Caulk Where Needed
Caulking is a very simple and inexpensive way to update a room. Because caulk can easily peel away over time or become discolored, adding new, crisp white caulk can transform your space in just an afternoon. You can purchase a caulk gun to make the process faster and easier. Be sure to caulk along your bathtub, the bottom of your toilet, and where your flooring meets the wall.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to update your bathroom. While it would be nice to spend thousands of dollars on a gorgeous, custom bathroom remodel, it’s not always necessary. You could make many of the updates on this list for less than $100. In fact, you could complete a couple of them for less than $100 total.
Remember, even small upgrades can improve your space and help tide you over until you’re ready to spend on a larger bathroom remodel. Plus, having a fresh, updated space will help you to love your home more and embrace what you already have.