28 Ways to Refresh Your Bath on a Budget
Reviving a tired washroom needn't require a total overhaul. Learn how to add style and character at an affordable price
Reviving a tired washroom needn't require a total overhaul. In the following gallery, see how updated fixtures, painted floors, smart storage solutions, and creative wall, window, and mirror treatments can add character and style at an affordable price.
Give your bath a designer touch with matching accessories. Here, the medicine cabinet's silvery frame is echoed by the decorative metal outlet covers.
Similar to shown: Kohler 20-inch Recessed Medicine Cabinet, about $178, and Betsy Fields Design Brushed Satin Pewter standard wall plates, about $7 each; lowes.com
An alternative to a stone slab, a tiled counter resists water but costs a lot less and is easy for DIYers to install. This terra-cotta top has white-painted wood edging to go with the vanity below. A bead of clear caulk keeps water away from the wood.
Similar to shown: Merola Tile Augusta 4-inch tile, about $8 per square foot; homedepot.com
Rather than replace an old cast-iron claw-foot tub and sink, save a bundle by reglazing them instead.
A pair of fixtures can cost upward of $2,000, compared with about $800 for having both reglazed by a professional. Find a pro at napcoltd.com.
Give worn wood floors new life by brushing boards with glossy porch paint tinted to match your bath's color scheme.
To get the look shown here, add Benjamin Moore's Sunbeam tint to its white Latex Floor & Patio Enamel, about $49 per gallon; benjaminmoore.com
Make your own graphic wall covering out of pages from a vintage book. Brush the page backs with wallpaper paste and adhere to the wall. Then seal the surface with a clear top coat.
Zinsser SureGrip Kitchen and Bath Wallcovering Adhesive, about $23 per gallon, and Minwax Satin Polycrylic Protective Finish, about $16 per quart; sears.com
When space doesn't allow for a traditional hinged door, install a sliding one. This salvaged schoolhouse door glides on a wall-mount track patterned after barn-door hardware. Glass in the door's top panel ushers light from the hallway into the windowless bath.
Expect to pay about $300 for a similar door at columbusarchitecturalsalvage.com.
Craft a rustic and rustproof surround for your drop-in bathtub out of corrugated, galvanized-steel roof paneling.
A 12-by-12-foot sheet, enough for one side of a tub (as shown), is about $18 at homedepot.com.
Refresh a vintage tiled floor, such as this unglazed Art Deco–era yellow-and-black porcelain mosaic, with an eco- and homeowner-friendly acid etcher that removes ground-in dirt from the surface and grout lines.
Green Envy Muriatic Acid Replacement, about $7 per gallon; grainger.com
Create a striking monochromatic effect by painting walls to match your floors, as was done in this sunny space.
Similar to shown: Mildew-resistant Bath Paint Semi-Gloss Finish in Lemon Twist, about $43 per gallon; sherwin-williams.com
Thriftier than most wall tile and less maintenance than wood, beadboard paneling made from cellular PVC stands up to sloshing and never needs to be painted. Eight-inch-wide panels come in white or blue.
About $15 for a 3 foot-high piece; vintagewoodworks.com
Dress up a plain mirror that's adhered to the wall by overlaying a wood frame. Here, three mirrors were created from one by fastening a 1×8 to the wall at the top and gluing vertical 1×6 stiles and a 1×4 bottom rail to the mirror with clear adhesive caulk. A 1×2 ledge crowns the assembly.
Expect to pay about $45 total for poplar at lumberyards.
Edge an existing mirror with mix-and-match glass tiles of the same size and thickness. This multicolor frame also ties in to a tiled wall border.
Similar to shown: Glass squares starting at about $1.20 each; cooltiles.com
Turn the ceiling into a focal point by installing a medallion and handsome hanging fixture, such as this bronze-toned light with crystal teardrops. If installed over a tub, as seen here, be sure there's at least 8 feet of clearance from the tub rim to the bottom of the pendant to comply with electrical code.
Install louvered interior shutters to provide privacy and direct streams of sunlight for subtle illumination. Vinyl ones are mold- and warp-resistant, and require little upkeep.
Similar to shown: Allen + Roth Colonial White Faux Wood Shutters starting at about $36 per pair; lowes.com
Make an all-white bath with lofty ceilings like this one feel cozy by painting a soothing color under a chair rail.
Similar to shown: C2 Paint's LoVo Interior Latex Semi-Gloss in Raindrop, about $57 per gallon; c2paint.com
Dress up unadorned bathroom windows with fabric Roman shades in an eye-catching pattern, such as this yellow floral.
Semicustom window shades in dozens of lively prints, about $99 to $155 each; konainteriors.com
Cap wainscot wall paneling with a ledge on which to prop decorative accents. Here, a windowsill does double duty as a landing spot for toiletries and a mirror.
Similar to shown: ½-inch-thick plate-rail trim with a 2½-inch projection, about $1.75 per linear foot; at lumberyards
Vinyl composition tile offers a durable and inexpensive alternative to a two-toned ceramic-tile floor. To get the look of these small squares, use a vinyl tile cutter to slice 12-inch tiles into 4-inch ones.
Make a wood holder by cutting a 2×4 into five 12-inch sections and nailing each to a mounting strip cut from the same board. Brush on a wood stain and fasten the assemblies to the wall, leaving space in between for rolled hand towels.
Douglas fir board, about $4 for 10 feet, and Minwax stain in Golden Pecan, about $4.60 per half pint; lowes.com