25 Cheap Alternatives to Pricey Bathroom Remodels
If you’ve searched online for bathroom remodeling advice, you probably ran into a lot of really expensive ideas.
Part of the problem is that many of those articles and blogs are written to promote online retailers, so they’re more focused on selling products than they are with offering practical advice.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to transform your bathroom.
With a few small, affordable tweaks, you can give it a new lease on life.
Lets jump right in to the Top 25 Bathroom Upgrade Alternatives…
1. Repurpose an Unused Nightstand
Have you ever checked local stores for bathroom cabinets and organizers?
If so, you probably suffered from a serious case of sticker shock.
You don’t have to splurge on pricey bathroom furniture to organize the room.
If you have a spare nightstand in the home, why not use that instead?
At the very most, you might have to repaint or refinish it to make it look good in the bathroom.
2. Add Nice Photos and Artwork to the Walls
For some reason, people often fail to hang artwork and photos in the bathroom.
No wonder so many people’s bathrooms look positively generic!
There’s usually only a small amount of wall space, but you can always use small photos and pieces of artwork to make up for it.
It’s amazing what a well-placed photo or piece of art can do to liven up the style of a bathroom.
3. Store Q-Tips and Other Accessories in Small Bowls
Nothing is worse than cleaning up spilled Q-tips or dealing with out-of-control cotton balls.
Get a grip on things by storing these items in small bowls.
You don’t have to buy a coordinating set if you don’t want to.
A small sugar bowl would actually do the trick nicely.
Whether you opt for a clear, glass bowl or for something with a colorful design, the sky’s the limit.
4. Keep Cleaning Supplies in Check
You’re more likely to keep the bathroom spic and span when you keep cleaning supplies nearby.
At the same time, you don’t want them to take up valuable space below the sink.
A great way to keep these items under control is by using an over-the-door organizer.
Just hang it on the inside of your bathroom’s cabinet doors and use it to organize your cleaning supplies.
5. Use Shelves
You know those shelf racks that are ostensibly designed to store hats, scarves and other outerwear?
They work perfectly well in the bathroom too.
Many models have hooks for hanging coats and jackets, but they can also be used to hang towels and robes.
On the shelf, you can store anything you’d like.
This will free up valuable space below the sink and make it much easier to keep the room tidy.
6. Organize Toiletries with Serving Pieces
At the local dollar store, you’ll find a variety of inexpensive plastic serving pieces.
From trays to small pitchers, they can also be used to organize toiletries in a cute and unique way.
They’re a lot more affordable than the matching sets that you’ll find in local stores.
When they inevitably break or start showing their age, swap them out for new pieces.
This is a fun, affordable way to keep your bathroom looking like new.
7. Replace the Flooring with Ceramic Tile
It’s easy to spend huge amounts of cash on new flooring for the bathroom.
Just because something is inexpensive doesn’t mean it doesn’t look nice, so why not try ceramic tile?
There are some truly lovely options out there today, and this flooring is considerably cheaper than many alternatives.
You can probably get a new floor in your bathroom for a lot less than you think.
8. Use Wall Decals
Peel-and-stick wall decals are all the rage these days, and they work perfectly well in bathrooms.
By shopping for them online, you can find unique designs that will transform your bathroom in no time.
As an added bonus, they can be moved, removed and replaced with ease, so you don’t have to commit to a long-term design like you would with paint or wallpaper.
9. Keep Fresh Flowers on the Counter
A fun and pleasant way to spice up the bathroom is by adding a bouquet of fresh flowers from time to time.
You may not be able to do this on a daily basis, but it’s a nice way to put a fresh, exciting spin on things.
Local grocery stores often have deals on older flowers, so be sure to check there.
Make sure to use a sturdy vase that won’t topple off the counter.
10. Keep Shower Supplies in a Fruit Basket
Okay, this tip may sound a little strange at first.
You know those multi-tiered, hanging fruit baskets that are usually made out of netting and other breathable materials?
You can hang one in your shower to keep supplies handy without using space around the tub.
In fact, this is a terrific idea if you have no space around the tub at all.
11. Install New Hardware
A quick and easy way to breathe new life into a bathroom is by investing in new hardware.
Knobs, toilet handles, hooks and hinges can all be replaced without a lot of work.
There are some really cute designs out there, especially for knobs.
Whether you have cabinets or drawers in your bathroom, new knobs will really brighten things up and give your bathroom a new lease on life.
12. Store Toilet Paper in a Tall Vase
It’s smart and thoughtful to keep spare toilet paper rolls handy.
You don’t want to just leave them stacked up next to the toilet, though, so try being a little creative.
If you have a tall vase that’s wide enough to accommodate a roll, use it to keep your toilet paper in check.
Even if you have to run out and buy one, you should be able to get a nice one for a reasonable price.
13. Make Bath Time Better with a Wire Rack
Have you ever seen those over-the-tub wire racks and wondered why anyone would use them?
The answer is simple: They allow you to stay organized while enjoying a relaxing soak.
Line shampoos, conditioners, soaps, salts and oils along your rack to make them easy to reach.
You can even use your rack to balance a nice glass of wine.
14. Burn a Few Scented Candles
When you’re in the bathroom getting ready for the day, light a small candle to make it smell terrific.
By using high-quality candles, the scent should linger for the rest of the day.
Use the same scent every day to help the bathroom smell consistently excellent.
You don’t have to spend a lot to get nice candles, and you can get away with using really small ones.
15. Refinish the Bathtub
Has your bathtub seen better days?
Replacing it entirely is a very costly proposition.
Even if you stick with low-end models, you’re looking at a pretty major investment.
A great alternative is to have the tub refinished instead.
There are companies that will come out and perform the work quickly and for a very affordable price.
You may even be able to go a shade lighter or darker or switch to an entirely different color.
16. Replace Towel Bars with Hooks
Like many people, you may have been surprised by how expensive towel bars can be.
They seem simple enough, but retailers charge an arm and a leg.
They’re trick to install too.
Instead of dealing with the hassle and expense, try installing a few hooks on the wall.
You can use them to hang towels and bath mats.
The best part is you don’t have to fold things neatly before hanging them.
17. Invest in Drawer Organizers
You probably use drawer organizers for the utensils in your kitchen.
Why not use them for your cosmetics too?
Rifling through a drawer to find a particular tube of lipstick or bottle of foundation is frustrating.
It’s unsightly too.
You can buy really cheap drawer organizers at dollar stores to quickly and affordably take control of your cosmetics.
Once you’ve switched, you’ll never go back to the old way.
18. Repaint the Bathroom
Although painting a room can be expensive, that’s usually because most rooms in the house have a lot of wall space to cover.
That’s not true with bathrooms, which are usually fairly compact.
You can probably get away with a single gallon of paint, and you may not need to repaint the ceiling.
Choose a nice, calming color to imbue your bathroom with an elegant and sophisticated ambiance.
19. Install a Retractable Mirror
Are you bummed out by the exorbitant cost of wall mirrors, or does your bathroom not have a decent place to hang one?
In either case, a retractable mirror may be the answer.
Although they are smaller than wall mirrors, retractable models cost a lot less.
They’re also convenient for compact spaces and make it easy to get a really close look at your face while applying makeup.
20. Make a Sink Skirt
If your sink doesn’t have a cabinet or cupboard beneath it, you’re probably in dire need of storage space.
Having a cabinet or cupboard installed is frighteningly expensive, so why not make a sink skirt instead?
Hit the local craft store to find nice material and cut it to the appropriate length.
You don’t have to be a whiz with a needle and thread to make it look presentable.
21. Buy a New Bathroom Rug
Dingy looking floors can really detract from the visual appeal of a bathroom, but replacing them isn’t always an option.
An affordable alternative is to buy a stylish new bathroom rug instead.
Even if you have to save up, wait until you can afford a really nice one.
Choose a design that works well with the other parts of the room.
You’ll love how it spruces things right up.
22. Use a Woven Basket to Store Spare Toilet Paper
Have you ever noticed that toilet paper organizers are ridiculously overpriced?
There’s no law that says you have to use an actual toilet paper holder to store spare rolls.
A woven basket can accommodate several rolls, and you can find cheap ones in local stores.
By selecting one with a handle, you’ll even be able to tote spare rolls from the downstairs to the upstairs when necessary.
23. Hang Faux Wood Blinds
Blinds don’t just enhance privacy in a bathroom; they can make it more visually appealing too.
Wood blinds are lovely, but real wood doesn’t stand up well to steam, water and heat.
Fortunately, there are faux wood blinds out there that look just as nice.
They also cost a lot less, so you can save a lot of money by using them instead.
This is a much more cost-effective option than buying new curtains or other types of blinds.
24. Use Wallpaper Samples as Drawer Liners
Do the insides of your bathroom drawers look positively atrocious?
Using special paper to line them is a smart move, but it can really add up too.
A more affordable alternative is to scoop up wallpaper samples and use them instead.
The local wallpaper store shouldn’t mind as long as you don’t deplete their stock.
Spritz them with perfume to make your drawers smell good too.
25. Add a Tubular Skylight
You don’t have to do any research at all to know that installing a traditional skylight would be insanely expensive.
If you’d like to add more natural light to the bathroom without going broke, you should consider a tubular skylight instead.
This type of skylight has a small, circular design and is made out of highly reflective material.
A tube is pulled through the attic, and the actual skylight is mounted on the ceiling.
One or more of these tips is sure to inspire you, and most of them are cheap enough to make happen right away.
What are you waiting for?
Get cracking on a few of these tips to cheaply and quickly transform your bathroom.