Remodeling A Bathroom on a Budget: Where Should You Focus Your Money?

Regarding remodeling, money is a huge factor in the process. And while bathroom remodels are usually more focused on function than style, there’s a lot to be said for finding pieces and designs that offer both. Those who can take the time to explore all the options for renovations will find a slew of bathroom vanities, fixtures, materials, and even completed design ideas online.  

Of course, most people have a budget to consider for remodeling projects. How is that budget calculated? Where should people spend the most or least money? These are questions homeowners ask themselves repeatedly during the process because they aren’t familiar with the trends and best practices.

Here’s what you need to know for those on a budget.

Related: How To Remodel A Bathroom On A Budget

bathroom remodel on a budget

Should I DIY My Bathroom Project?

Most people are unsure whether they should do the work in the bathroom. It might seem simple enough to install a vanity cabinet or upgrade hardware, but the fact is that this will always be better left to the professionals. From a simple upgrade of fixtures to a full bathroom renovation, there’s too much for a homeowner to handle independently.

The average bathroom remodel costs $10,000. However, some low-end projects have been done for under $2,000. Then, some people go all out and spend $30,000, $40,000, or more toward upgrading their bathroom to perfection. You can spend whatever you want on your project, but these are some averages to consider when considering which renovations to take on.

Make room in the budget for professional labor. Just do it. There’s no other option if you want a bathroom that functions and looks stylish as it should. Even those who succeed at DIY may spend multiple times longer on the project, which will cost more in the long run. When it comes to bathroom remodeling, just leave it to the pros.  

Related: How To Create A Bathroom Remodel Budget

hiring a bathroom remodel professional

What Upgrades are Most Important When Remodeling a Bathroom?

When budgeting and allocating money for your remodel, knowing which upgrades will be most useful or add the most value is helpful. The first thing people should spend good money on is quality plumbing, electrical work, etc. The bones of the space need to be solid, or the design won’t matter.

Other effective upgrades that get noticed are lighting fixtures, showerheads and sink faucets, and any eco-friendly or somehow green upgrade. Right now, eco-friendly bathrooms are trending, so those will be plentiful if you look online for inspiration.

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Once you ensure that the plumbing and the rest of the structural elements are solid, you can allocate funds for the rest of the remodel. Perhaps you’ll want to spend a little more on a nicer vanity that includes double sinks, so you’re willing to compromise and choose a simple painted wall and single surface tub surround instead of the tiled look you originally planned.

Ultimately, the most important upgrades are the ones that matter most to you.

Related: Spring Bathroom Remodeling Tips

72 Inch Double Sink Bathroom Vanity in Driftwood

72 Inch Double Sink Bathroom Vanity in Driftwood

How Can I Save Money When Remodeling?

There are several ways to save money on a bathroom remodel, whether replacing the vanity or redoing the entire space. You don’t have to spend more than you want on this project, but you’ll also have to remember that what you spend reflects what you’ll get for the money. With that said, here are some money-saving tips for your bathroom remodel.

Always hire the pros to do the work. DIY bathroom upgrades might seem simple enough, but when things aren’t done correctly, they can create a domino effect that leads to several other problems. This is actually a double benefit when it comes to saving money because you’re not creating additional problems while work is being done quickly and efficiently.

Related: How Long Should A Bathroom Remodel Take?

professional plumber

Another option is to ask your installer or bathroom remodeling team about discounts, scrap parts, etc. For example, you might be able to get a great paint color from the discount bin at your local home improvement store because it wasn’t properly mixed and matched for the customer who needed it. If you want cheap flooring, get leftovers from another project when you know a floor guy. And so on.

While quality counts, decor and style aren’t necessarily priorities to some people. It can be easy to save money by choosing reputable brands for toilets, sinks, showers, and tubs, but by going with more basic models that aren’t as ornate or stylish. Some brands make budget-friendly products that look great in any space and never give away how affordable they were.

Cut costs using like materials—instead of expensive marble, use porcelain to get a similar look at a fraction of the costs. Consider buying your own fixtures and furnishings, too. Some bathroom remodelers will offer to source all materials for you, but that could come at a much higher cost that you’re unaware of until it’s too late and the budget is blown. Finally, make sure that you consider the bathroom backsplash and other details—do you want basic materials or something more stylish?

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Mixed Stone Mosaic Tile

Mixed Stone Mosaic Tile

Spend Less, Get More with Your Next Bathroom Remodel

As you can see, finding ways to save money doesn’t take a lot. A bathroom remodeling project isn’t necessarily out of the question, even if you’re on a tight budget. It might take a bit more planning and compromise for those with less to spend, but it’s worth the effort because a new bathroom can change how the entire house feels. When it functions better, it can also change how the house functions, giving people more value and comfort in their homes.

Keep these things in mind as you’re planning your next remodel and you’ll love where every single dollar gets spent. Too often, people just assume they can’t afford to remodel without doing the math, but as you can see, it’s an option for anyone willing to invest the time to figure out how to make it work for them.

Related: Master Bathroom Remodeling Trends

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80 Inch Double Sink Bathroom Vanity in Dark Gray with Choice of No Top

80 Inch Double Sink Bathroom Vanity in Dark Gray with Choice of No Top

My name is Julia Ritzenthaler, Founder and President of Unique Vanities, started in 2005. I started this business as an extension of our residential remodeling business, which focused on the design and build of custom cabinetry and architectural trim. I also worked as a financial advisor for 10 years at Ameriprise Financial, helping clients make sound money decisions, including budgeting for home improvement expenses. This expertise led me to start Unique Vanities, which offers a handpicked selection of high quality bathroom vanities, sinks, mirrors and more. You can find me most days sitting in Starbucks, my second office, or in my car driving my daughter across Dallas to gymnastics training.