How to build a bathroom when you’re on a budget

Five years on and my bathroom renovation is still going strong - and we revamped the room on the tightest of budgets. Here are some tips on how to save money when you're decorating the smallest room in the house...

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When I moved into my fixer-upper home, the bathroom was the very first room that we decorated. We needed to finish it before we could live in the house, as it was completely unusable in its original state. So, with almost no budget available, we gave it a makeover and, I’m pleased to say, it’s still looking good after five years.

Sure, we’ll probably have to do some regrouting of the tiles and I’d like to repaint the walls, but it still looks nice, the plumbing is functioning well and I’m happy with the space we’ve created. That said, there are still many more ways that you can save money on building a bathroom (I made a few mistakes, oops!) and I’m sharing a few tips today. Heres goes…

Buy your sanitaryware individually

Sometimes you can save money by buying a bathroom suite bundle. We did this when we renovated our bathroom – I bought a package in the January sales for just £300, which included the bathtub, sink, toilet and taps etc. BUT, this was only a good deal because all the items just happened to be the right sizes and had the right functions for our needs.

But what if you need a specific size of bath to fit into the space available? Or maybe you need a toilet with a stronger flush to move the waste water successfully? A bathroom vanity unit with handy built-in storage? Or a tub that incorporates a shower section to make the most of a small room? That’s when it makes sense to buy sanitaryware individually and make up a suite yourself.

Although suppliers like to bundle bathroom items together, it won’t be a money-saving option if you need a specific product for your room. Instead, do your research online to find the sanitary items that are right, rather than the cheapest. Did you know that you can even compare toilets and read reviews online via a toilet review blog? Researching products online will help you to find the best options for the room AND the lowest prices.

Plus, it’s much easier to make savings on your bathroom if you can compare products online rather than traipsing around showrooms. AND you won’t need to buy all your bathroom items from just one supplier – you can shop around for the best deal on each item. If you can get a loo from one shop at 50% less than the exact same one at the store where you’re buying your compact bathtub, why not buy them separately and make some savings?

Keep the tiling simple

There are a couple of ways to save money when tiling your bathroom. Firstly, do you really need to tile the whole room? You’ll definitely need to cover all the areas where water will be splashing, so you’ll need tiles around the sink, bath and shower. But bathroom paint is a lot cheaper than tiles so, if you can paint more and tile less, you could save money.

For example, you don’t need to cover the whole wall behind the sink and probably don’t need to tile around the toilet etc. So, if you can tile a smaller space, you’ll need to buy fewer tiles and therefore save money. Plus, it’ll be quicker to fit the tiles, therefore it’ll cost you less in labour if you’re hiring someone to do the tiling.

The second way to save money on tiles is to choose a basic white tile at the lowest prices you can find. Interesting coloured, textured or patterned tiles tend to cost much more than simple white tiles, so you can slash your budget by avoiding anything too quirky. Plus, white tiles can help to make your bathroom feel more spacious.

If you want to add a bit of personality to the bathroom, you can do it by adding a handful of interesting tiles – perhaps as a border, or to highlight a specific area – which will cost a lot less than using those tiles over the whole wall.

You could jazz up classic white tiles with coloured grouting, which is now available in a whole range of shades. Or, you could paint the un-tiled parts of the bathroom walls with vibrant or dark colours of your choice. See, white tiles aren’t quite so dull, after all!

One thing to NOT scrimp on is bathroom paint. Normal emulsion won’t last as well in a humid, damp environment and will need repainting more often than washable, mildew-proof bathroom paint. So pay a little extra to get the correct type of paint, as it’ll save you time and money in the long term.

I hope these ideas will help you to save money when you’re nest decorating your bathroom. Let me know your own hacks for saving money when renovating a bathroom in the comments below – I’d love to hear how you designed the room on a budget and cut costs.

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This article is sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

One Response

  1. Hi,
    Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome info. Your story is very interesting to me. I personally like all your points. I love to share on social media keep it up

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