7 Ways to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are one of the priciest rooms to renovate. The average bathroom remodel costs between $7,000 and $15,000, with labor being a big chunk of that. But there are ways to save money without compromising quality.

The 7 Ways to save money on a bathroom remodel include keeping your old plumbing as is, keeping the shower design simple, reusing your existing fixtures, installing new lighting yourself, and keeping your existing sink and toilet.

Let’s have a detailed look at these seven ways to keep the cost down while making your bathroom into the dream room you’ve always wanted.

7 Ways to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel

7 Ways to save money on a bathroom remodel

1. Don’t move the plumbing

If you’re on a budget, the cheapest option is to leave the plumbing alone. Moving plumbing pipes is time-consuming and expensive, and often involves digging up walls, floors, and other inconvenient places.

That’s because most homes are plumbed with a complex network of pipes that transport water to various locations around your house. Even though it might seem like a good idea to move a shower or sink when you’re doing a remodel, you’ll save money if you leave all the pipes in place.

If you’re willing to stick with the original layout of your bathroom and simply replace things like flooring, light fixtures, and faucets, you’ll have enough money left over to upgrade certain features.

For example, replacing an old tub with an attractive new model can be surprisingly affordable. If you’re interested in installing something more luxurious, such as a jacuzzi or whirlpool tub, it might even be possible if you don’t blow your budget with plumbing.

2. Keep the shower simple

Keep the shower simple

A shower is a small space and one that doesn’t have to be fancy. The simpler the layout, the less money it will cost. A basic shower enclosure with sliding doors is much cheaper than adding a swing door, for example.

You might be tempted to add a fancy rainfall shower head or Jacuzzi jets for an exotic feeling, but these add-ons are expensive and encourage you to spend more time in the shower, which will run up your water bill.

If you’re used to taking short showers and have an old model, you may not know how much more water it takes when using one of these fancier showers (a typical rainfall shower head uses twice as much water as a standard one).

Plus, the more features you add to your shower, the more complicated it will be to clean. Who wants to spend precious leisure time scrubbing? For the most part, the simpler your bathroom is, the less hassle and expense will come with upkeep.

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3. Reuse your existing fixtures

One of the simplest ways to save money on remodeling a bathroom is to reuse as many of your current fixtures as possible. If all you need is a new vanity and mirror, then that’s all you should install. If the cabinets are in decent shape, but the hardware isn’t, replace just the knobs and pulls.

If your flooring is in good condition, but the countertops are dated, replace the countertops only. Replacing everything at once quickly adds up — and it’s much easier on your budget to do it one piece at a time than all at once.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a way to bring some new life into an older tub or shower otherwise in good shape, refinishing is an easy and inexpensive option. Almost anyone with basic DIY skills can refinish their tub and improve its look without having to replace it.

If there are items from your old vanity that can be used in the new vanity or elsewhere in the bathroom (like a mirror), see if they can be part of your plans.

4. Install new lighting yourself

Install new lighting yourself

Installing your own lighting is another way to save on a bathroom remodel.  A trip to the local home improvement store can get you everything you need, and they often have staff on hand who can give tips or advice if you’re doing it for the first time.

You’ll have to know how to shut off the main power supply and where the circuit breaker is in your home. Once the power is off, you can remove the old light fixture and carefully disconnect each wire in accordance with the directions that came with your new fixture. Then follow those same instructions in reverse to attach the wires of your new light fixture and properly mount it.

If you’re not confident in your electrical skills, it’s best not to tackle this on your own. But if you feel comfortable with simple electrical projects, there’s nothing stopping you from saving big bucks on a bathroom remodel by installing a new light fixture yourself.

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5. Keep your existing sink

If your sink is in good condition, there’s no need to replace it with a new one. Instead, give your existing sink an update by painting its walls or installing new accessories like towel racks, cup holders, or soap dishes that match your new decor scheme.

Likewise, with faucets. If they work well, keep them! All they may need is a thorough cleaning and fresh caulking around the edges to look brand-new again. If you decide to add new ones because you want to change their style, be sure not to mess up during installation (or hire someone who knows what he or she’s doing).

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6. Keep the toilet too

If you’re doing a complete overhaul of a bathroom, it might be tempting to replace everything, including the toilet. But toilets have become more efficient and powerful over time, so if yours is just a few years old (or even older), keeping it might be best.

It’s one less thing to install and will help keep your plumbing costs down. If the new flooring and walls will make it look out of place, you can get a seat that matches the other colors in the bathroom, such as a wooden model.

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7. Don’t let your plans outstrip your budget

Also, remember that there are plenty of features you can add later, rather than doing them now: things like heated floors, recessed lighting, and custom tile work are expensive but not necessary for every bathroom. So, plan out your renovations carefully before beginning any work.

The Bottom Line

As the saying goes, “Time is money.” If you’re looking to save time, cutting corners with a cheaper product or service is not the way to go. Still, there are ways to do a bathroom remodel on a budget. Use these tips to get the bathroom you’re wishing for at an affordable price.

Also Read: How Long Does a Bathroom Remodel Take?