Easy & Cheap Bathroom Update Ideas: Small, Modern and Affordable

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. While all rooms serve their purpose and are very important in one’s home, it’s pretty hard to imagine living in a house without a bathroom.

Let’s talk about worst case scenarios just to give you an idea on how important it is. If your house doesn’t have a bedroom, you sleep in the living room or virtually any room of the house. If your house doesn’t have a kitchen, well, you eat takeout in any room with a table and a chair. If your house doesn’t have a living room, well, the bedroom is more comfortable anyway.

luxurious bathroom

Now, imagine living a life in a house without a bathroom. Where are you going to take a bath? Where are you going to do the number 1 and the number 2? Imagine waking up in the middle of the night needing to do the number 2 and you have no bathroom.

This is why most homeowners really spend a lot of money for their bathroom. They put a lot of thought into it, making sure that it will be as comfortable as ever. Think about it. You spend a lot of time in it. You basically start and end your day in it.

Fortunately if done by a good contractor, a good bathroom will serve you well for years. However with the use and abuse that it will be taking, time will come when you’d need to renovate it. Also, time will come when you’ll get sick and tired of how it looks. One second you’re sitting on your throne and the next second, you’re pissed off at the bathroom’s outdated look.

A lot of these homeowners are thinking that it’s something that they simply have to live with. They’re under the impression that renovating it will require a lot of money – the same amount that they spent when they first had it constructed. While you can spend a lot of money to update its looks, you actually don’t have to do it if you don’t have the budget for it.

There are lots of easy and cheap bathroom update ideas that you can implement right now. Most homeowners have money set aside that they can use to implement these ideas right now for an instant upgrade. By implementing these ideas, you can have a bathroom that will look and feel brand new.

This article has you covered. We’ll tell you how to update your bathroom on a budget and make it look better. These are easy and cheap bathroom update ideas that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

We’ll also list down small bathroom update ideas. A lot of homeowners, including probably you, have a small bathroom. Having a small bathroom shouldn’t be too much of an issue once you’ve updated it with these ideas.

Of course if you have it, the Master’s bathroom is your favorite. You take pride in it. Only you and your partner use it. Unfortunately once it becomes outdated, you’ll get sick and tired of it pretty fast. Don’t worry because we have you covered as well with update ideas.

How to Update your Bathroom on a Budget and Make it Look Better

What do you want to happen? That’s the first thing that you have to consider. What do you want to see? What do you want to change? What are the improvements that you want to see?

Knowing the answers to these questions is very important since you’re working on a budget. The last thing that you’d want to happen is to implement ideas only to find out in the end that they don’t work for you. Imagine the horror if you later on realize that you made things worse. You’d have to spend money again to correct the mistakes. This defeats the purpose of operating on a budget.

Cheap update ideas
Clean it Repaint Improve the storage situation
Use a theme and decorate New shower curtain Introduce shelves

You also have to consider doing it DIY versus hiring a contractor. Obviously, doing the latter will add to the cost, but don’t let that force you to do it DIY when you should hire a contractor. Depending on your skill level, there are some projects that are better off done by professionals. Hiring someone actually helps you save money because the projects will be done correctly and if not, they’ll be held accountable and will make things right.

Fortunately for you, there are a lot of update ideas, perfect to do as a DIY project. Here are some very basic ones to get you started:

  1. Clean it!

When was the last time you cleaned it? I mean, really cleaned it? We’re talking about deep cleaning including the grout. A lot of homeowners are surprised when they see their newly-cleaned bathroom.

It’s important to keep it clean regularly. This means ensuring that the flooring and fixtures are dry, among others. Of course, schedule a regular general cleaning.

  1. Think of a theme.

A modern farmhouse look is gaining a lot of popularity so that’s something to consider. Thinking of sticking to the classic? That’s never a bad move.

  1. Repaint the room.

There’s a good chance that the paint job has seen better days. You see chipped paint. Overall, the paint job looks outdated.

A good idea for a small bathroom is to embrace the dark mood. Use a dark shade like a deep blue to complement black and white floor tiles.

Repainting the room is a relatively easy DIY project. The bigger challenge is on choosing the paint type and color. Consult a professional to be sure.

You may also get away with using wallpaper. Just make sure to use it only on walls that don’t get moist.

  1. Replace the shower curtain.

Don’t laugh. Replacing the shower curtain will really go a long way. Do it today to see for yourself.

  1. Add more storage for your shower area.

Do you find yourself constantly going in and out of the shower for your essentials? There’s a simple solution. There are a lot of shower storage solutions that you buy at the nearest home improvement store or even online that you easily install yourself. The additional storage, while very simple and inexpensive, they really make a lot of difference. You’ll instantly improve your showering experience because everything is within reach!

Glass shelves work best for this purpose!

Besides, it will look good! It transforms a bare-looking shower into a better-looking and more importantly, a more-efficient one!

  1. Improve or replace the mirror.

Of course you have a mirror in there. Of course it’s now old, outdated and dirty. Cleaning it will instantly improve its appearance, but there are other things that you can do to improve its appearance.

For example, you can frame the mirror to add turn a plain-looking mirror into an artistic one. Frame it with glass tiles and then finish the whole look with a wood trim. You can also use something like oyster shells to frame it.

Replace the mirror if needed! It’s relatively inexpensive to replace. While you’re at it, you can also add a small pull-out mirror. Installing one only takes a few minutes.

  1. Add a cabinet in the bathroom.

A lot of homeowners have bare walls in the bathroom. On the other hand, a lot of people have something simple up on the wall like a mirror or a painting. Some even have a small shelf.

Those who have a small shelf up have the right idea. This shelf will add storage space and will make the area more functional without increasing the square footage. It can also make the area more organized, so you don’t have to have things lying around.

With these benefits, doesn’t it make sense to make it bigger? Therefore, it’s recommended that you put up a cabinet. It doesn’t have to be a big one. Just make sure that it’s beautiful to look at.

The beautiful cabinet will instantly add appeal to the room. Open it, store your personal effects in it, and you’ll see why it’s a good idea to have it installed. You just have to pay for the cabinet and a handyman to have it installed if you choose to hire one, although it can be a DIY project for an experienced DIYer.

  1. Place glass shelves.

What if adding a cabinet is not an option? It could be because of lack of space or it would look weird. If you have limited space to work with or you want that all glass everything look, placing glass shelves is the way to go.

All you need for the space is that unused space above the toilet. You can add one or more and you use it for decorative purposes. You also add more functionality by using it for storage. It can also be used for something as simple as placing your watch before showering.

  1. Improve the vanity.

You probably fell in love with the vanity the first time you had installed. When was the last time you appreciated how it looks? When was the last time you thanked it for its efficiency? It’s been a long time ago.

There’s a good chance that it needs an upgrade. You don’t have to replace it in most cases. Sometimes, all it needs is a fresh paint job. It will be like brand new.

You can also take this chance to add more storage space. Add a couple of some pullout drawers and shelves. How about some dividers for the drawers for better organization?

Having furniture like an organized vanity can really help a lot. With it, you have a more organized bathroom which will lead to a cleaner, better-looking and more enjoyable bathroom.

  1. Install a new vanity or other cabinets.

What if the vanity is beyond saving? You should have a new one installed if you have the budget for it. Take this chance to modernize the storage that you have in the bathroom. There are a lot of modern designs for you to look at. You can buy ready to assemble ones.

  1. Improve the lighting.

Photographers know what they’re talking about when they say that lighting matters. Natural lighting is out of the question in most cases so it’s up to you to improve the artificial lighting.

Installing a dimmer switch is a good start. It will help set the mood. But generally speaking, it has to be well-lighted.

It’s important that you hire a professional for this task. Working with electricity requires professional expertise.

  1. Get a towel warmer.

Ah, very few things can match the comfort that a warm and toasty towel gives. It’s one of those things that make a trip to the spa worth it. Fortunately, you can have the same experience at home. No, we’re not talking about using a towel fresh out of the dryer.

A towel warmer is a generally inexpensive upgrade. You can get one for a little over $50 and you can even install it yourself.

In addition to providing you with warm towels, it also serves as a hanger. This means that you won’t have towels lying around. It can also help you save on energy because you won’t get the towels dirty because you’ll have a place where you’d want to store them.

Your guests will also love you for it! They’d probably find a way to keep using the towels.

  1. Use accent tiles.

You don’t have to re-tile the whole room for a new look. In a lot of cases, you just need to change how it looks and using accent tiles should do the trick.

This works best if you have plain white tiles. Add accent tiles in strategic areas and it will look and feel like you had the whole room re-tiled.

This will help you save a lot of money. You just have to buy a few tiles. They don’t have to be expensive ones. You just have to make sure that they provide a nice contrast in color, texture and appearance.

There’s something about accent tiles that give off a luxury appeal. No one’s going to know that they’re affordable tiles.

Experienced DIYers may even install them on their own. When in doubt, hire a contractor. Get in touch with shower room tile contractors in your area.

  1. Replace the faucets and the showerhead.

This is often overlooked by homeowners. There’s a good chance that your faucets have lost their shine and luster, and it affects the overall appeal. The same goes for the showerhead.

They’re pretty inexpensive and anyone is able to install them. Replace them for an easy and cheap bathroom update idea.

Small Bathroom Update Ideas

blue tiled bathroom

Take note of these small bathroom update ideas:

Easy, small bathroom ideas
Make better use of floor space Put the sink in the corner
Go vertical Use space outside the bathroom
Include mirrors Use clever door positioning
  1. Reclaim floor space.

Floor space is a luxury in a small room. You reclaim a few square footage here and there and it will surely start adding up. For example, use a pedestal sink. You still get the full functionality of a sink but with a smaller footprint.

  1. Take advantage of vertical space.

Think of condominiums. Hundreds of families get to live in a relatively small space because of their verticality. The same principle applies here.

Instead of placing cabinets and other storage furniture on the floor, you should install storage solutions on the walls. A nice-looking cabinet will add to the appeal. More importantly, it can serve as storage.

A good place to store it is above the toilet. Why? It’s to save on floor space. You’re basically using floor space that’s been taken already, maximizing its use.

Shelves also work here. Glass shelves look pretty and they’re functional too. You can place towels there. You also place things that you use while on the sink like shaving cream, lotion, and the likes.

Speaking of shelves, don’t forget about the shower room! Corner shelves are an efficient way of using an otherwise unused space. You can place your shampoo, conditioner, soap and the likes here.

Of course, don’t forget a towel rack!

  1. Place the sink in the corner.

In most cases, the corners of any room are left unused. They become dead space which shouldn’t be a problem for bigger rooms. But if you’re utilizing a small space, maximizing the corners can do wonders.

This is why it’s recommended that you place the sink in the corner. There are designs that should fit against a corner perfectly. This way, at least one corner won’t be a dead space.

  1. The space outside is fair game.

You can place a small cabinet by the door outside. It’s a good storage space for towels and extra bottles of shampoo and tubes of toothpaste. You may also install additional storage above the door outside.

  1. Experiment with patterns.

You can fool your eyes, this time willingly, by experimenting with patterns. You know how people wear vertical stripes to make them thinner? Do the opposite and use horizontal stripes (the wider the better) to make the space look bigger.

You can also experiment with big squares and patterns.

  1. Turn one wall into a mirror.

This will help you in two ways. It creates the appearance of a bigger room. In addition if you place it directly across the vanity, you also use it while doing your personal rituals. It also allows two people to use the vanity at once.

  1. Think of the small space when dealing with doors.

For starters, you should place the towel rack on the door itself. This way, you don’t have to install a separate rack that will take up space. You should also use a vanity that doesn’t have doors. There are vanities that have open shelves. This helps because opening doors can be tricky in a small space. With that being said, use a shower curtain or a sliding door for the shower for the same reason.

Easy & Cheap Bathroom Update Ideas

modern and bright bathroom

Most of the readers of this article are operating on a budget. In this case, here are some tips and ideas for you:

  1. Save on tiles.

Tiles get pretty expensive especially if you’re going to tile everything. There are a lot of affordable options. Yes, even with the design that you have in mind.

You also don’t have to tile the walls. Paint works in most cases. Wallpaper will work on some walls as well.

Accent tiles are your friend if you’re looking to save on tiles. If you really have your eyes set on an expensive tile design, use that as an accent with cheaper tiles.

  1. Just paint the bathroom.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on renovation. In a lot of cases, simply repainting the room will give it an entirely new look.

This tip will also help for your mobile home bathroom.

  1. Find things that you can clean or replace.

When was the last time you cleaned the grout? How about the caulk? Dirty grout and caulk can lead to an ugly overall look. The simple act of cleaning them can really do wonders.

You can also clean the faucets, showerhead and other fixtures. Replace them if necessary.

  1. Look for used replacements.

You don’t have to spend on brand new replacements especially if you’re operating on a budget. Buying used can save you hundreds of dollars.

  1. Go green.

This is more of a long-term solution. You’re looking for cheap updates which means that money is a concern. If you have to update, go green. This way, you save on energy which in turn will save you money.

Master Bathroom Update Ideas

white bathroom

Ah, your pride and joy. It’s a pride and joy that you don’t want people to use. It’s reserved for you and your significant other. But this doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t want to make it look good.

Here are some master bathroom update ideas:

  1. Make a statement wall.

This is a relatively inexpensive update that can really make a, well, statement. It’s proof that you don’t have to replace or remodel all the walls. You just have to remodel one wall and make it stand out.

  1. Add a standalone tub.

If your master bathroom doesn’t have a tub, well, it’s time to install one. Keep it simple but elegant with a standalone tub.

For this, you need the expertise of a plumber.

  1. In with the new and the old.

The saying out with the old, in with the new, only works if you have the budget for it. For most homeowners, it’s a logical idea to keep things that still look amazing and complement them with new things.

It can also be taken in such a way that you’ll complement older designs with a modern touch. A customized steel vanity will look great in a traditional design. Another example is to use modern marble accent tiles to go with the traditional look.

  1. Use accent tiles under and behind the tub.

This works great with a standalone tub. Place accent tiles underneath and behind it. It will be amazing to look at.

  1. Go reclaimed.

It’s a good way to go green. As a bonus, reclaimed materials like tiles look amazing.

  1. Invest in a mirror.

A Venetian mirror will stand out in a positive way. It looks luxurious and elegant – perfect for your master bathroom.

  1. Paint a mural by your tub.

Imagine a cherry blossoms mural as wall decor. Imagine soaking in the tub, feeling as if you’re amidst the cherry blossoms.

  1. Contrast the walls with the floor.

If you have plain walls, make sure that you have patterned flooring.

  1. Invest in rugs.

It’s a good way to regularly update the room. You can easily replace them if you get sick and tired of them, although beautiful rugs will remain beautiful for a long time.

  1. Add a chandelier.

Yes, it’s not just for living rooms.

  1. Keep it Zen.

The master bathroom has to be relaxing. Maintaining a Zen atmosphere will surely help.

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