Doing a bathroom makeover when there’s not a lot of money to slosh about can be frustrating but there’s a lot you can achieve without breaking the bank. The key is to spend time on preparation and imagination and keep the money for the places where it will create maximum effect.
Bathroom Makeovers: Moving on or Staying Put?
To some extent how you approach a bathroom makeover will depend on how long you are staying in the property. If you are doing up a house in order to sell it then your choices will be different to those you would make if you are going to live in the house for the foreseeable future.
Muted, neutral colours, bland furnishings and quick fixes are the design cues to follow for a quick sale. But if you are staying then you can afford to do a more individual design and you will want a finish that you can be proud of for years to come.
Put Time Into Preparation
Either way, if you want a quality look to your bathroom makeover and you don’t want to spend money, be prepared to spend time on it instead. Good preparation is essential, no matter how tedious it is, rubbing down walls and woodwork and taking care over undercoats and primers.
A fault in paintwork, such as a run or a brush hair, can rarely be painted over successfully. Instead, what you get is a fault that’s got more coats of paint on it, which tends to exaggerate it rather than cover it up.
Keep Plumbing Changes to a Minimum with a Small Budget
The key to keeping plumbing costs down is to leave all the bathroom suite fittings where they are. Moving them around is time-consuming and expensive so unless you can really add value, perhaps by creating the space to put in a shower unit, leave everything where it is.
If you can keep the existing suite then all the better. If it can be cleaned up clean and isn’t undamaged, then you might be able to give it a lift just by replacing the taps and cabinet door handles for something more contemporary. If you decide to go down this route it would be a very worthwhile investment to buy a plumber’s spanner which will reach the hard-to-get-at nuts that secure the bath taps.
Cheap Bathroom Suites
If the suite really has had its day then replacement is the only option. There are cheap white bathroom suites at DIY stores for a couple of hundred pounds these days but the poor quality may annoy you after you’ve had it for a while. It might be worth upping the budget for a better quality suite and making a cut somewhere else if you are staying in the property. Check also that the bathroom suite prices include taps and other fittings as some cheap ones do not.
Don’t forget to use the Internet to your advantage too. Many plumbing suppliers use Internet auction sites to dispose of old stock or customer returns and if you can wait for the right moment you can get a quality bathroom suite at a cheap rate.
Hints and Tips for Budget Bathroom Makeovers
Here are some other hints and tips for budget bathroom makeovers:
Shower Curtains: Replace a dowdy or mouldy shower curtain with a new one for an instant lift. Better still, replace it with a contemporary glass screen.
Tile Paint: If you can’t afford to replace tired tiles, use tile paint to cover them over. But make sure the tiles are scrupulously clean first and re-grout the gaps after the paint has hardened for a better overall look.
Bathroom Cabinets: As these are often at eye level they get noticed straightaway so if they look tired, replace them. If replacement is out of the question, sand down, repaint and replace the handles instead.
Urban Chic Shower Rail: For a cheap shower rail, use broom handles cut to length with copper plumbing T-junctions and corners to join them together. When it’s all together, varnish or paint the wood and lacquer the copper parts.
Tiled Splashbacks: If your budget won’t stretch to tiling a whole bathroom, even to half-height, just put a number of tiles above and around the basin to act as a splashback. A well chosen design can make this a very cheap design accent.
Choose Accessories Wisely: A little time and money spent picking out new co-ordinated accessories for the bathroom can create a whole new atmosphere.
Bathroom Greenhouses: Consider a few well-chosen houseplants. The damp atmosphere is perfect for many varieties but do keep them in good condition and dust the leaves if necessary
Bathroom Makeovers Need More Imagination than Money
These are just a few ideas to stimulate the grey matter but it is clear that bathroom makeovers can be achieved on a budget with a little imagination, creativity and time.