My Thrifty Bathroom Reno Tips

>> 10.29.2009

I know, you’re probably over my bathroom talk, but I felt like I needed to elaborate on how I saved on the bathroom renovation for the people like Dolores who are just getting started on their projects (I don’t want you to have to spend a penny more than you need to!).

Check out my tips for getting a fresh, new look for less:

-Re-use when you can. A fresh coating of glossy black paint and new hardware instantly sharpened up the vanity (you should have seen the disgusted look my tiler gave me when I told him it was staying). I also kept the original ceramic floor tiles in the space, saving $300. The faux stone tile isn’t my favorite, but I knew that they were in good shape and I could always cover them up with a bathmat.

-Think about going with subway tile. White ceramic subway tile is one of the most affordable materials out there AND can be purchased off the shelf at Home Depot or Lowe’s. In addition, it’s a timeless look that will end up matching with any color scheme you use in the room. -Look outside of the bath isle! You never know what you’ll find to fit in with your bathroom. My mirror is just a regular old wall accessory, the shower curtain is meant for a window, and the towel hook I chose was really a coat hook. Who says you need to buy the matching bath sets? I use a fun thrifted coffee mug as my toothbrush holder (I get worried about toilet germs so it says in the vanity drawer until I need it).
-Go for the polish. Bushed nickel is really popular right now so finding it in the sale sections is much more difficult than a finding a polished nickel or chrome. That’s one of the reasons why I was able to find such an amazing deal on the $140 Restoration Hardware light fixture. Remember, thrifty is about getting a cheap price on a nice product, not a cheap price on a cheap product! -Take your time. This was not an instant-bathroom project. I collected ideas and bought materials over a four-month span. Last minute trips to the store scrambling to find items will have you paying full price and settling for what was available. I ended up going with a $150 shower fixture set that I know I could have done better on (by going through Ebay, Craigslist, or finding sales) if I didn’t have to run out and buy a replacement at the last minute.

For those of you who have finished bathroom remodels… what thrifty tips do you have?

For those of you who are sick of all my bathroom talk... I think this will be my last rant for a while. I’ll let you know what the next big project on my list is tomorrow!


Flavia @ Estilo Home October 29, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

I love your tip about looking outside of bathroom products - your "coat hook" looks so much nicer than typical towel hooks! The subway tile in your shower looks so chic, too.

Danielle and Clint October 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

You are not going to believe this...we have the same light fixture in our bathroom!!! We turned it the other way though, so it's point up.

micah @ the yellow front door October 29, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

We bought white subway tile at Lowe's for our kitchen backsplash. I think it was 21 or 22 cents per tile. Also, I have polished hardware in my bathroom and kitchen - love it!

Peck Avenue October 29, 2009 at 1:39 PM  

I used subway tile in my bathroom reno too and its such a cheap way to get a clean and classic look. I totally agree with you on not rushing it - something I learned from doing the exact opposite. I paid full price for a few items in the bathroom that just werent what I wanted becasue they were all I could find, and now Im regretting it. Renovate and learn I guess!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno October 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM  

I found that has an amazing selection of lighting, bath shelves, hardware, and other items that are high end quality but don't cost much more, if anything more than at big box stores. And you're right, you will always pay more for brushed, satin or bronze fixtures. Chrome rules!

Emily @ Waldobungie October 29, 2009 at 5:27 PM  

We use coat hooks for our towels in our bathrooms, too! Another idea we've used is taking large cylinder vases from Hobby Lobby (almost always on sale!) and using them to store extra toilet paper. It's a chic way to keep extra T.P. on hand and display it instead of wasting under-the-counter space!

P.S. The black paint really made the bathroom look amazing! I might have to keep that mind when we re-do our bathroom!

Sarah @ Dream In Domestic October 30, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

What great tips! Subway tiles are not only affordable but also can be used in modern or traditional spaces. They look so nice and come in many different colors, too. I like your idea to look in different places. I've seen some really gorgeous vanities that were once buffets and dressers!

alan September 14, 2010 at 5:30 AM  

I LOVE it! Wonderful job and great tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing about Affordable Bath Vanities

painting toronto September 12, 2011 at 6:38 AM  

These all the great tips, I read your blog this is informative post.You are right, I agree with you, White ceramic subway tile is one of the most affordable materials out there AND can be purchased off the shelf at Home Depot or Lowe’s. In addition, it’s a timeless look that will end up matching with any color scheme you use in the room.Thanks for nice post.
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