budget small bathroom remodel

Budget Small Bathroom Remodel Tips, Ideas, & Makeover Cost

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

The fact that your bathroom is a small room is sometimes something you must accept and live with. The next step is to consider the budget bathroom accessories and decor that can make a difference. Everyone loves a functional yet bright bathroom, and although popular remodeling ideas are costly in terms of cost and money, there are cost-effective ways that can come in handy.

So, are you looking for a cost-effective way to update your outdated bathroom? Or does your bathroom appear to be too old? Are you wondering if there are any simple ways to add elegance to your bathroom and boost the value of your house?

In truth, small bathroom remodeling ideas on a budget can significantly improve the space. Small bathrooms are the perfect area to experiment with decor, and you don't necessarily need to stretch a small budget to create a large impact.

Dive in to find small budget bathroom remodel ideas and tips that can elevate your DIY project to the next level.

Small Bathroom Remodel Tips

Whether you are working with a single shower bathroom or a small bathroom remodel project, there are some tips you can use to help you forget how tiny your bathroom is and on a budget.

1. Embrace Accessories

Although most people nowadays embrace a less is more life, small bathroom remodels ideas can benefit from overaccessorizing when working in tight quarters.

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This small bathroom shows a decorated space with no clutter. The open shelves support the pitchers and plants, and a towel ladder sits between the toiler and the wall.

2. Use Living Art

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Greenery has a way of opening up even the smallest of spaces, and it's not only because of its natural air-cleansing capabilities.

3. Prioritize Storage

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A small bathroom's lack of essential storage space is possibly its biggest drawback, and a crucial part of a small bathroom remodeling project is rethinking the storage space.

If you are working on a small bathroom remodel, consider using an improvised toilet paper holder and towel racks that don't take up a lot of space. Also, you can recycle old storage jars and use them as soap dispensers or toothbrush holders.

4. Elevate your Bathroom Tiles

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Even the smallest bathroom can look luxurious thanks to a beautiful tile installation. You can choose to add shower tiles to your bath's side in the same or contrasting style as with the rest of your bathroom.

The process will involve using a tile backing board that won't warp and will need more effort than when you use standard bath panels, but it will always be worth the effort.

5. Maximize the Hangers and Hooks

Most people mistake a cluttered space for a lack of space which is not true. For example, some of you can have all the space you need, but you might have used the space with storage baskets that take up a lot of room.

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One of the popular DIY bathroom remodeling tips is using hangers and hooks to store your things away since it looks good and is still one of the most budget-friendly ways.

Place hooks above your door or around your small bathroom at varying heights to quickly manage your bathroom accessories.

6. Add a Mirror

Your small bathroom remodel is incomplete without a mirror in the bathroom, and you need to get one immediately. This is because mirrors are the most affordable way to change your bathroom.

They achieve this by reflecting natural light off the walls of your bathroom and creating the impression of more space.

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A full wall of mirrors is an option because it will undoubtedly enlarge the space, especially if it is placed across from a window where it would reflect light.

However, if it isn't directly across from a window, consider what the mirror will be reflecting; ideally, it should reflect something lovely, like wallpaper, houseplants, or bathroom tiles.

7. Master the Art of Minimal Maximalism

This monochromatic powder room appears basic and clean at first glance. However, a closer look shows that this bathroom is a visual stunner with several design features common to maximalist interiors, such as the wallpaper print, contrasting tile and grout, a bowl sink, and brass fixtures.

Image Credit: mydomaine.com

The achromatic color scheme, however, allows those unique details to stand out without appearing overpowering to those who want things to be simple.

8. Be Economical with Your Space

More space exists around you than you may realize; most likely, you've misused the available space. So the first step is to remove anything unnecessary from the bathroom.

Image Credit: Future PLC /Lizzie Orme

Any furniture you only occasionally use, such as a shower curtain, current tiles, or technology, should be removed or replaced with a smaller version.

Opt for the best shower enclosures for small bathrooms. Also, a shower instead of a bathtub provides your bathroom a much-needed facelift, and the glass doors also let you view more of the bathroom each time you glance at it, giving the impression that it is larger.

9. Use the Same Color Scheme

Image Credit: Crown

It's a common rookie error to paint everything in various colors and tones. While it's not necessarily terrible, you often get this luxury when you have a large space to deal with.

However, you might want to cut back on your paint plans if you're trying to make a small bathroom stand out and can only think of a budget bathroom concept. On the other hand, the space doesn't need to be uninteresting.

You could choose a striking color for the accent or the wall tiles. Your vanities can be made to look rustic to create contrast, but the rest of your bathroom must stick to a neat color scheme.

10. Opt for Floating Vanities

Invest in bathroom vanity with plenty of storage if you want room for all your cleaning supplies, toiletries, and beauty products. One of the perfect bathroom remodel solutions is to invest in floating bathroom vanity, which will effortlessly add a modern touch to your bathroom decor.

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They also add character to your bathroom and create more space you can use in it, where you can store extra toiletries and towels under the vanity cabinet for later use.

11. Modify the Lighting of your Bathroom

In the past, inexpensive small bathroom light fixture ideas were hard to find, but this has changed dramatically. Changing your light fixtures and hardware is a simple way to add personality to a modest bathroom.

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While wall sconce styles are unlimited, on-trend options include brass and matte black taps, cool fluted pendants for a touch of vintage industrial style, and pleated fabric options to get a cottagecore look.

Alternatively, you can add under-mount or under-shelf lighting to make your space unique.

12. Embrace Smart Sinks

Image Credit: mydomaine.com

Corner sinks on the wall or in a pedestal can increase floor space while adding elegance and utility.

Without spending significant money on bathroom remodeling, vessel sinks on a smaller cabinet can make a great impression.

13. Go for Toilets with Flat Tank Tops

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Toilets with flat tank tops usually provide extra storage space where you can place organizers directly on top of it or use the wall space above it to hang a cabinet or add shelving. Even though you won't like flat tank tops, you can shop for the best toilets for small bathrooms.

14. Repurpose Old Furniture

If you are looking for a small budget bathroom remodel tip, this will save you coins. Instead of purchasing a new bathroom vanity, you can achieve the same style by using an old piece of furniture in your house. This could be a table, an old dresser, a TV stand, a console table, or a desk.

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This will showcase your style and offer more storage space in your master bathroom for extra toilet paper and other toiletries. This is a simple DIY project that helps to save money and to upcycle a secondhand piece of furniture.

Small Bathroom Remodel Considerations

1. Cabinetry

Storage is crucial to maintain clear and clean counter space in the bathroom. Invest in high-quality cabinetry that won't warp in the moist, humid atmosphere of the bathroom.

Since these cabinets and drawers will be used frequently, high-quality materials and craftsmanship will help them last as long as possible.

2. Paint Vs. Tile

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Depending on the bathroom remodel budget, you can choose between an affordable tile on your walls or applying a fresh coat of paint for a clean look. Choose to target shower walls or a vanity backsplash to save on remodeling costs.

If you lack room to budget for adding tiles, invest in high-quality paint to prevent moisture, mold, and mildew from growing.

3. Lighting

Choose color-corrected "daylight" fluorescent, LED, or halogen lighting for a pure white light when making the lighting decisions for your bathroom remodeling project. Since applying makeup and grooming products is best done in more natural lighting, this softer lighting will simplify your grooming.

To dress up your bathroom and eliminate any ugly shadows, layer your lighting with a task, ambient, accent, and decorative lighting.

4. Flooring

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Since the bathroom is a wet room, when choosing to floor for your bathroom remodel, you should consider a slip-resistant material to prevent falling when getting out of the shower. Small tile and wide grout lines are ideal in your entire bathroom to avoid slipping since they create friction.

Many beautiful yet affordable flooring options can fit with any bathroom design style. If your area is cold, you should install electric heated flooring under your tiles or the best bathroom heater, making your bathroom warm and relaxing all year round.

5. Countertop

Granite is a countertop material that requires little upkeep in bathrooms. This material may be a little pricey, but it's a simple way to make a statement and can spruce up any bathroom.

In addition to being a low-maintenance material, bathroom counters often have less square footage than kitchen counters, making the investment less expensive. 

Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas

A small bathroom makeover means it should be functional before anything else, and you need to ensure you can use the space in an efficient possible before you worry about how it looks.

Although remodeling a small bathroom on a budget can still be a big project, we have listed some small budget bathroom remodel ideas to show you don't need a lot of money or space to make an impact.

1. From Basic & Boring to a Posh Small Bathroom

With an outdated bathroom, your whole house can feel boring, while there is a budget small bathroom remodel ideas you can incorporate in your space to elevate its look and feel.

Before:

With a few budget-friendly changes, this tiny powder room got a new elegant look. A slender pedestal sink was incorporated, adding to the lovely shape of the room without taking up a lot of space.

There was also easy-to-clean wainscoting behind the sink that added an architectural element to the small bathroom.

After:

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Lastly, the painted bearded board above the wall's midpoint helps draw the eyes up and gives a sense of height and a layer of charm.

2. From Outdated Timewrap to Classic Small Bathroom

Nothing calls for a bathroom remodel as a bathroom stuck in a time warp, and this small bathroom needed a few touches to unlock its full potential.

Before:

With this remodel, the classic details were preserved and enhanced while they updated the functionality of a space.

After:

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The blue flooring helped to inspire the addition of sophisticated navy-and-gray damask-print wallpaper, while the board wainscoting painted bright white worked to restore the room's architectural detail.

3. Tight Quarters to a Simple Remodel

This small bathroom looks like one from an old house, and it doesn't leave much to be desired in the size and style department. However, this remodel transformed the small bath's function and style without adding an inch to the tiny bathroom.

Before:

This new bathroom was turned into a polished and serene space by incorporating elements that make the small from look larger.

After:

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Lastly, the color scheme of the bathroom walls is a calming color of white, brown, and soft green.

4. Old Fashioned to Modern Bathroom

This old bathroom looked outdated and needed an upgrade of almost everything, from the dated light fixtures to the surfaces.

Before:

The bathroom remodel project replaced the pipes, old flooring, and bathroom vanity cabinet to make it extra functional. However, not all elements were changed, like the octagon-shaped window.

After:

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There is also an inexpensive IKEA vanity which helped to keep the remodeling costs low, and some wood drawer fonts were great for adding dimension and texture to the space.

5. Dark and Cramped to Bright and Open

Although this small bathroom had plenty of natural light, it still looked dark and enclosed.

The remodel lightened up the bathroom with a light fixture, white paint color, and a subway style for the walls.

They also changed the tile floors to marble geometrics and installed a vanity cabinet under the modern sink to add extra storage for hand towels and other toiletries.

Image Credit: spruce.com

6. Simple and Stoic to Updated and Inviting

Although the bathroom remodel is not outdated, it could use some changes to make it more inviting.

Before:

The bathroom remodel was done with a fresh coat of paint and some cozy details like adding green plants, a white countertop, and brass fittings.

After:

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Also, the sink faucet was updated to a modern one, and the vanity cabinet doors added gold handles.

7. Black Tile Floors to Marble Elegance

These black tile floors are not too outdated, but one could be able to remodel their bathroom into a better design under a budget.

The bathroom remodel allowed the owner to go all out and work on their home on a budget which included adding a modern vanity and a new marble tile.

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The remodeling included fixing some plumbing fixtures, changing the shower head, and installing new ones.

8. Outdated Impractical Bathtub to a Stylish Bathroom

The pink tub was the most outdated element of this bathroom, and for anyone who prefers showers to baths, this is not a great solution. So instead, the bathroom remodel removed the tub and added a practical shower and some style to this tiny bathroom, giving it a fresh look.

Before:

The original bathroom vanity remained but was updated with new hardware and paint to save money.

After:

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Also, instead of changing the old floor tile, it was covered with affordable peel-and-stick tiles to cut costs.

9. Simple to Chic & Current

This bathroom remodel took it from a regular bathroom and gave it the look and feel of an expensive hotel. They removed all the beige and opted for the classic black and white, which gave a cleaner and brighter look.

Before:

The bathroom remodel also removed the tub and the shower curtain and instead installed large glass shower doors to feel 10 times bigger. Getting rid of the shower curtain opened up the room, and although it looks bigger, it has the same floor plan and footprint.

After:

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Lastly, the extension of the subway tile to the ceiling helps to draw the eyes up, and the black hardware makes a nice contrast to all the white in the room.

10. Mute and Plain to Fresh and Welcoming

This remodel moved from mute and plain to fresh and very inviting at a budget-friendly rate. The space completely changed and was attractive to look at.

Before:

From painting the vanity to adding vertical shiplap to the walls, they also added a textured wallpaper and a circular mirror that grabs all the focus.

After:

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Lastly, the remodel installed a new toilet to match all the materials in the bathroom, and the walls don't look too plain. The new toilet is also flat at the top so that it can act as storage.

Small Bathroom Remodel Cost

The cost of a budget small bathroom remodel will depend on several factors, and it's also subjective to the products you choose. Sometimes, a budget small bathroom remodel project can cost more than medium or large bathrooms if you opt for high-end products.

Luckily, having a small bathroom doesn't mean sacrificing the design or style since small bathroom renovations usually cost around $2,000 to $10,000.

Notably, your bathroom remodel cost might be more if you can't do any of the renovations yourself, which means you will have to bring someone in.

The best advice to apply if you are on a budget is to opt for one focal item to maximize your budget on where you can choose the bath, tiles, or brassware. These areas can improve your bathroom and make your affordable products feel more expensive.

Conclusion

Bathrooms are a haven of comfort and cleanliness and could eventually appear to be a nightmare with outdated light fixtures, furniture, and bad lighting. These issues prompt you to think about remodeling.

Most of these budget small bathroom remodel tips and ideas can be done instead of hiring the services of a professional. Now, it's time to make your bathroom look like a posh hotel while on a budget to allow you to save money.

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Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.