By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

If you’re like most of us today, we’re all looking for ways to save money, and yet you know your bathroom is in desperate need of updating and remodeling. That’s why I want to share with you a few of my top ways to save money on your renovation without sacrificing the quality or the look.

Yes, it is possible to have a highly functional bathroom

and have it look beautiful

and have it fit into a realistic budget.

In other words, you can have it all, and here’s how.


Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Bathroom Renovation


1. Keep plumbing where it is.

This is one of the easiest ways to save money and one of the most obvious. Relocating plumbing for toilet, sink, shower/tub can be labor intensive and significantly add to the overall cost and time.

If this works, then try to design around your current plumbing locations.

One caveat: never sacrifice a better space plan and layout in lieu of relocating plumbing. That’s why, as a designer, I always explore multiple space plan options during the design process. We might offer two or three designs, reusing existing plumbing locations and then explore other space plans where plumbing is relocated.


2. Stay within the footprint of the existing space (within the existing walls).

Design within the walls if the overall size of your current bathroom is adequate and if there are no better alternatives to expanding the size of your bathroom.

If you want to save money and time, it’s best to stay within your existing footprint.


3. Carefully monitor your finish and fixture selections.

This is one area people sometimes go on rogue and blow their own budget! When working with a client who is on a budget, it’s often me, the designer, that has to hold them back from overspending! The beautiful finishes and fixtures can be tempting, but if you want to stay on budget…

  • Select from stock finishes and fixtures.

You often get better pricing (i.e. tile). Try to stay away from special order and custom, if possible.

  • Select from overruns and cut pieces.

Look for granite slabs that are cut pieces, they might just suit your needs perfectly.


4. Know what you want and don’t want, what you will use and won’t use.

How often do you actually use your current tub? If your answer is not that often, consider utilizing that footprint to design a really nice walk-in shower.

This is a lifestyle question because some people do use their tub often. But if you are prone to taking more showers, why not make better use of the space with a large shower? At the same time, save money on not having the cost of a tub, providing more space and more room in your budget.


5. Paint vs tile.

Using paint in selected areas versus tile will significantly reduce your budget while still having a great impact. Also, using tile strategically can also save budget (less material, less labor, reduces costs).


6. Consider alternatives to tile.

The classic bead board is a great look, less expensive to buy and to install, but it is also a little harder to maintain if your bath is heavily used.

Other choices: vinyl wallcovering, paint, and faux finishes.


7. Replace the toilet lid and seat instead of purchasing a new toilet.

If your toilet is still in good condition, give it a fresh look with a new lid and seat. This will save the cost of a new toilet and the plumbing labor.


8. Select a more basic toilet.

Ask if you really need a seat warmer, music, and a night light on your toilet. Yes, there are amazing toilets that have these more exotic options. We have used them numerous times in luxury bathrooms at the cost of seven to ten thousand dollars each, but if you are interested in saving money on your bath remodel, I would suggest you look for good quality and more cost-effective options.


9. Bathtubs or soaking tubs.

The same is true for bathtubs/soaking tubs. There are some pretty amazing features you can get in a tub, but ask yourself where you want to save money. This is something to consider because if the tub is of great importance to you, then you might decide to spend money on a fabulous tub and cut your budget elsewhere. This is a lifestyle choice.


10. Knowledge is the most powerful tool to save money.

Understanding the cost of materials, labor, construction methods, construction process, and the design process, will help you save time and money.

One of the best tips I can offer is to spend money upfront by:

  • Hiring a professional interior designer or architect to help you design the best plan that will work within your budget.
  • Having a final plan before you start is not only money well spent, but it will help you avoid costly errors. It will also help you get the design you really want while also helping you stay within your budget.

As you can see, there are many ways to save money and have a great bath that suits your wants and needs. I hope that these top 10 ways to save money on your bath renovation will help you realize you don’t have to spend a great fortune to have a great bath.

If you want to know more about our interior design services, go to the website and schedule a complimentary 30- minute call, click here.

Also, if you are interested in learning more, download my free “Step-by-Step Guide to Designing Your Dream Bathroom”, click here.

I’d love to hear from you!

Comment in the comment section below.