9 Simple Hacks to Renovate Your Bathroom And Not Break the Bank

Bathroom renovations can be a game-changer for your home. A fresh, well-designed bathroom increases your property value and provides a serene space to start and end your day. However, many people shy away from bathroom projects due to the perceived high costs. But what if I told you you could transform your bathroom without draining your savings?

As an eco-conscious lifestyle blogger from Portland, I’ve learned a thing or two about budget-friendly home improvements. Over the years, I’ve discovered numerous clever hacks to renovate bathrooms on a shoestring. And I’m excited to share them with you today.

Whether working with limited funds or simply looking to update your existing space, these nine simple tips will help you achieve a beautiful bathroom makeover without breaking the bank. Get ready to be inspired, and let’s dive in!

Hack 1: Paint, Don’t Replace

Renovating your bathroom can sometimes mean replacing everything. A fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to refresh the space. But not just any paint will do—you’ll want to choose a type specifically formulated for bathrooms.

Look for water-resistant paints that can withstand the humidity in your bathroom. Neutral, light colors are a great option as they can make the space feel more open and airy. Plus, they’ll complement a variety of decor styles.

Painted bathroom vanity cabinet

Now, let’s talk numbers. Painting your bathroom is significantly cheaper than replacing fixtures and tiles. A gallon of high-quality bathroom paint typically costs $20 to $50, and that can cover up to 400 square feet. Compare that to the $300 to $1,000 spent on replacing a toilet, sink, and faucet or the $5 per square foot for new tiles. By simply painting, you can save a bundle without sacrificing style.

Hack 2: Update Fixtures

Small changes can make a big difference in your bathroom; updating fixtures is a prime example. Swapping out old faucets, drawer pulls, and light fixtures can instantly elevate the look of your space.

The great news is that you don’t have to splurge on high-end fixtures for a stylish result. Brands like Moen, Delta, and Kohler offer affordable options that range from $50 to $200 per fixture. For cabinet hardware, you can find sleek, modern pulls on sites like Wayfair or Overstock for just a few bucks each.

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LED lighting fixtures in bathroom

Now, should I do a DIY or hire a pro? You can handle the installation if you have basic plumbing and electrical skills. But it’s often worth hiring a professional to ensure the job is done right for more complex projects. They have the expertise and tools to complete the work efficiently, saving you money in the long run.

Hack 3: Refinish Instead of Replace

Refinishing is a game-changer when it comes to bathroom renovations on a budget. Instead of replacing your bathtub, sink, or countertops, you can give them a fresh look by refinishing the existing surfaces.

The process involves applying a new material layer over the old one, whether it’s epoxy paint, acrylic sealant, or polyurethane coating. This can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 for a bathtub, compared to $1,700 to $8,000 for a full replacement. Refinishing runs around $150 to $300 for sinks, while a new one can cost $150 to $. And for countertops, you’re looking at $1,000 to $3,000 in savings by refinishing instead of replacing.

Refinished bathtub

Refinishing takes some preparation, but it’s a great DIY project if you’re up for the challenge. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely for the best results. If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, they can ensure a long-lasting, high-quality finish.

Hack 4: Add Plants for a Fresh Look

Bringing a little nature into your bathroom can instantly elevate the space without costing a fortune. Plants add a touch of greenery and can also help purify the air and create a soothing, spa-like atmosphere.

Some of the best bathroom plants include peace lilies, spider plants, Boston ferns, dracaena, and snake plants. These varieties thrive in the humid, low-light conditions often found in bathrooms. Water them regularly and provide the right light, and your new botanical friends will flourish.

Potted plant on bathroom vanity

The best part? You can find many plants at your local nursery or home improvement store for under $20 each. And with proper care, they’ll beautify your bathroom for years.

Hack 5: Update the Lighting

Lighting can make a world of difference in your bathroom, transforming the mood and functionality of the space. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve a stylish, well-lit look.

Start by considering energy-efficient LED bulbs, which save you money on your electricity bills and last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. To create a layered lighting scheme, you can also explore options like recessed lighting, vanity lights, pendant fixtures, and wall sconces.

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Adjustable lighting fixture over bathroom vanity

Layering different types of lighting – ambient, task, and accent – is key to achieving a well-designed bathroom. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, task lighting helps with grooming and other activities, and accent lighting highlights specific features or architectural details.

By carefully selecting the right lighting fixtures and incorporating various lighting types, you can create a beautiful and highly functional bathroom while staying on budget.

Hack 6: DIY Decor

One of the best ways to save money on your bathroom renovation is to get creative with DIY decor projects. Making your accents and accessories can add a personal touch to the space while keeping costs down.

Some easy and affordable DIY ideas include:

  • Melted crayon art: Glue crayons onto a canvas or wooden board and melt them with a hairdryer for a vibrant, abstract piece of wall art.
  • Mason jar soap dispensers: Add a pump top to transform plain mason jars into stylish soap dispensers.
  • Towel ring shelves: Attach a towel ring to one end of a wooden plank and a shelf bracket to the other for a functional and decorative storage solution.
  • Customized shower curtains: Add your touch to plain curtains with embroidery, appliqué, or tie-dye patterns.
DIY decor on bathroom shelf

Sites like Pinterest, Etsy, and YouTube offer tons of inspiration and tutorials for these projects. With creativity and basic crafting supplies, you can create unique, budget-friendly decor that reflects your style.

Hack 7: Shop Secondhand

Scouring secondhand shops and online marketplaces is an excellent way to find unique, high-quality pieces for your bathroom renovation – often at a fraction of the retail price.

When shopping secondhand, watch for items made from durable materials like marble or solid wood. These can add a luxurious touch to your space while saving you money. It would help if you also looked for functional pieces like storage cabinets, mirrors, and lighting fixtures, as they are more affordable than brand-new options.

Secondhand vintage mirror in bathroom

Once you’ve found your secondhand treasures, get creative with refurbishing them. A fresh coat of paint, new hardware, or a quick reupholstering can breathe new life into these pre-loved items. Just be sure to clean them thoroughly before incorporating them into your bathroom.

Check out local thrift stores, antique shops, and online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay to uncover hidden gems for your budget-friendly renovation.

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Hack 8: Use Adhesive Tiles

Tiling can be costly and time-consuming for a bathroom renovation, but adhesive tiles offer a simple and affordable solution. These peel-and-stick tiles can be easily applied to floors and walls without needing professional installation.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to apply adhesive tiles:

Clean the surface thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.

Measure the area and cut the tiles to size, if necessary.

Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the back of each tile.

Firmly press the tile into place, ensuring no air bubbles.

Grout the tiles once the adhesive has dried completely.

Adhesive tile backsplash in bathroom

Adhesive tiles are generally less expensive, faster to install, and require lower maintenance than traditional tiling. They also come in various materials, colors, and patterns to suit your style preferences.

Remember that adhesive tiles may not be suitable for high-moisture areas like showers, as the adhesive may not hold up as well over time. But for other bathroom surfaces, they can be a fantastic budget-friendly option.

Hack 9: Optimize Storage Creatively

Finally, let’s discuss how to maximize storage in your bathroom without breaking the bank. Getting creative with storage solutions can enhance your space’s functionality and aesthetic.

Some ideas to consider include:

  • Floating shelves: Install shelves above the toilet or on empty walls to hold towels, plants, and other essentials.
  • Over-the-toilet storage: Utilize the space above the bathroom with wall-mounted cabinets or shelves.
  • Under-sink organizers: Keep cleaning supplies and other items neatly tucked away in customizable under-sink storage.
  • Corner shelves: Add empty corners to add storage with floating shelves or corner units.
  • Pegboards: Mount a pegboard on the wall to hang baskets, hooks, and other organizational tools.
Creative bathroom storage shelving

You can also look for multi-functional storage pieces, like wall-mounted cabinets, that provide storage and counter space. Shower caddies, baskets, and built-in drawers are other great options to maximize your bathroom’s organization and aesthetics.


Here are nine simple hacks to transform your bathroom without draining your savings. From refreshing with a coat of paint to getting creative with DIY decor, these budget-friendly tips can help you achieve the bathroom of your dreams.

Remember, the key to a successful bathroom renovation on a budget is to focus on small, impactful changes. Feel free to get a little crafty and think outside the box. You can create a beautiful, functional bathroom that you’ll love for years with creativity and resourcefulness.

These hacks have inspired you to tackle your bathroom renovation project. If you have any other budget-friendly tips to share, I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below, and let’s continue the conversation.

Happy renovating!

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