When many people think of bathroom remodeling, they usually imaging tearing everything down to the studs and starting fresh.

However, I’m a firm believer in cheap ways to remodel a bathroom. Not only does this save you a bunch of money but you can often get by with just a few inexpensive updates that can radically transform the way your bathroom looks and feels.

As your trusty companion, I’ll show you how to spruce up your bathroom and make it look gorgeous on a budget without starting from scratch.

Best of all, you can do all 10 of these projects in a day or in a weekend which really speeds up your remodel!

1. Frame your mirror

You can make an old builder grade mirror seem like brand new by adding a touch of luxury with a pretty frame.

To do this, just measure your existing mirror, and then head down to your local home improvement store. Go to the aisle that contains crown molding and door frames and find some trim that you think looks nice. Then, buy enough of this molding to fit around your existing mirror frame. 

Framing your mirror is easy to do. Just hold up a piece of your new trim so it covers the width of the mirror and make a small mark on each side so you know where to cut. At these marks, cut a 45-degree angle. Now each end will start the corner of the frame. Do this again for the bottom piece and tack (or glue) both pieces in place over the mirror edge.

For the two side pieces, just hold the molding up in place and make two marks where you need to cut for it to fit into the gap between the upper and lower trim. Once cut, tack (or glue) these into place and voila, you have an instantly updated mirror!

The final step is to cover it with some paint or stain to match your existing bathroom decor.

2. Add elegance to your shower

You can add a touch of luxury to your existing bath by swapping out your old shower head with a rain shower head.

This may seem intimidating to do but it’s really not.

All you have to do is unscrew the old shower head and screw the new rain shower head on in its place. Some products also come with an optional extension arm. This allows you to add height or length to the head so you can get the best look and feel while bathing.

Rain shower heads are a low-cost addition that can really give your bathroom a touch of elegance and class. To find out how inexpensive they really can be and what features to look for, check out my rain shower head reviews page.

3. Update your toilet

A lot of people overlook the toilet when they remodel a bathroom, or they take it out and completely replace it.

If you’re looking for ways for how to remodel your bathroom for cheap, buying a new toilet could be the thing that blows your budget. Instead, just replace the toilet seat and lid.

This minor change can instantly make your toilet look upgraded and new without spending much money at all!

While you’re at it you may also want to change out your bathroom trash can with a more modern, automatic one. These days, you can get small touchless trash cans that open their lid automatically at the wave of a hand. If this sounds interesting to you, take a look at my list of the best rated touchless trash cans.

4. Banish your sad vanity

Chances are your vanity already has a lot of scuffs and nicks, or it’s just plain ugly.

This centerpiece can really bring down your bathroom’s look, and it’s actually something you can fix quite easily.

Take a trip to an antique store and find an antique dresser that has a nice charm to it. You can then put this in place of your old vanity. To make it work, just cut out a space in the back panel for the plumbing to come through and seal any drawers that you don’t want to open.

You can also cut out a hole in the top to set your old sink in for a one of a kind piece that’ll become the talk of your new bathroom remodel. No one will ever know that you didn’t break your budget to get it, and no one else will have one like it!

5. Add expensive countertops for cheap

If you like my last tip, you’ll love this one! Regardless if you replace your current vanity or not, this advice still applies.

Marble and granite are both beautiful and durable countertop options but if you’ve ever installed one in a kitchen then you know how expensive they can be.

However, there’s an easy way for you to get the luxury of marble or granite without paying a ton of money for it. Just go to your local building supply store and ask if you can have a look through their natural stone remnant pieces. They often have a lot of extra pieces left over from other job sites, and you’ll only pay a fraction of the cost for it.

The only catch here is that your color choices will be limited to what’s available.

6. Use tile alternatives

I’ve seen a lot of bathroom remodeling projects go over budget due to the cost of tile.

When you pick up a good looking piece of tile and see that it only costs 50 cents, you probably think it’s a great deal. However, once you start a tiling project you’ll quickly discover that you need a lot of those small pieces to fill an entire wall or floor.

To get a stylish bathroom inexpensively, it’s best to think of using tile alternatives.

Things like reclaimed wood panels, beadboard wainscoting or plywood wrapped in batten are easy to find, cheap and give your bathroom a warm feeling.

Try one of those options instead to instantly refresh your entire bathroom’s interior without spending a ton of cash.

7. Create the illusion of a larger space

A lot of bathrooms are small and cramped, especially in older homes. But you can give the illusion that the room is bigger than it is by having open shelves.

Open shelving is a nice place to display pretty soaps and bottles, as well as wicker baskets to hold personal items and towels.

8. Brighten up your lighting

Construction-grade lighting is usually dim and basic. When it comes to cheap ways to redo a bathroom, updating your lighting is an inexpensive trick.

Nowadays, there are so many discount light fixtures that look expensive and can easily install in place of your old lighting setup.

I’ve never met anyone who can spot a cheap light fixture, and if you add a few bright light bulbs or even small lamps, you can flood the bathroom with more light.

9. Add a pop of paint

A colorful pop of paint can instantly freshen up your bathroom.

You can add a fresh paint to the upper walls and tie it to the floor with a colorful coordinating rug.

To save the most money on this project, look for paint in the clearance aisles of your local home improvement store. Often they have a rack of deeply discounted paint because people didn’t like the color of it once it was mixed it.

I’ve repainted two bathrooms for less than $30 using this tip!

10. Swap out your light switches

When it comes to a budget bathroom remodel, a little can go a long way when it comes to the smaller details.

You’ll be surprised at how something as simple as your light switches can step up the look of your bathroom to something that’s modern and elegant.

When it comes to cheap ways to renovate a bathroom, you can swap out your old flip light switches with inexpensive motion sensor light switches or dimmer switches. These modern switches not only look better but also offer added conveniences.

As you can see, these 10 ways for how to upgrade a bathroom for cheap are all easy and relatively inexpensive options that you can do on your own in one or two days. You’ll get a completely new look and feel in your bathroom, and it’s very easy on your wallet.

Who doesn’t like that idea?

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Your pal,
Trusty Joe