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Bathroom Remodeling on a Budget

Bathroom remodeling sounds fantastic until you start to think about the budget. It’s hard to have what you want and sometimes the thought of going too cheap and missing things leaves you reconsidering the whole process. Plus, many want to cut corners by taking into consideration what it would take to DIY the process instead.

But, there may be hesitation simply because of the confidence issue. There are questions that haunt you the last minute. What if I do it wrong? What if I accidently hit a pipe or wires or cause a flood? It may cost just as much, if not more, to DIY it all and then pay to have a contractor fix my mess. Will I know the best places to go to look for deals and how will I know If I am being taken?

All of these concerns are normal and we understand that this type of undertaking can be a hassle. But, we can help. You can count on our expertise. We are a family owned and operated business with licensed designers and that is a plus.

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You need more than just a contractor to do the handy work and get it done. You need a second opinion to help unearth and make clear the challenges you may face when you are ready to remodel. Your ideas may be great and we can help make them really work in the most efficient and cost effective way.  Here, we will begin helping you out by providing some tips and shedding some light on the process.


Tip One: We will start this the same exact way we do each and every advice post we do and that is with a certain perspective. The perspective we are referring to stems from two rules: functionality and purpose in that function. In other words, what are you going to use the space for and how.

On the Bathroom Remodeling Ideas page we explained that, it’s a matter of how many people are using the space, their stages in life which will determine tools and storage of those tools. For a quick example, more kids means more tools for their stages and more storage for them to be set apart from each other.


Tip Two: Let’s talk tile. Tile is the most confusing part of the process whether you are looking to replace existing tile or start from scratch. It doesn’t have to be that hard though. There are tricks to tiling the bath on a budget.

Again, looking at the most impactful places to put it and painting the rest. You can make an impact by tiling one strip in the middle of the wall and painting the rest. Then, tile only one side of the bathtub wall and paint the rest. As long as it is sealed, it will be fine.


Tip Three: The grout in old tiles can give the bathroom a pick- me -up by giving it a grout refresh. If the grout was an off white, which is what most grout came in long ago, refresh it with white. The idea with tile is to use as little as you can to still maintain the functionality and impact of design. It should also be in a place where the there is an actual function and not just for aesthetic appeal because you still have to clean it. Why make more work on yourself.

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Tip Four: Use color and save money on your countertop. Granite seems to always be the go-to trend that has stayed around forever for bathroom countertops. But, if you really observe the pricing with the color, you’ll find that the more neutral you go with this, the more you’ll pay.

That means black, tan, beige, champagne and so on. If you amp up the color you will save big and you can make a statement in the bathroom that is so bold and eye catching you won’t have to touch another thing.


Tip Five: This rings true for any remodel of any room that has cabinets and countertops. Paint! That’s right paint and stain are you best friends.

If you really want to save money but are tired of looking at the same old stuff then take those doors off and refinish it! If you do not think you can do it then call us, in fact, we want you to--we urge you to. Why? Because we don’t want you to spend more on the fixing up than the actual work itself.

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Tip Six: Take a look at your fixtures and ask yourself two questions: what look am I looking for and what does my bathroom remind me of, as in what era? If you answered 1970 to the second question, it is probably time for a change. So, what is that change? Go take yourself out to lunch and then shop for fixtures around town. Pretend that money is not an option.

Tell yourself you’ll have one of those and one of that and two of this. Take a few pics with your phone and start looking for the fixtures from a warehouse that has the same models or close to it as the Price Pfister models you just browsed for. It works, trust us when we tell you.


Tip Seven: If you really need to refurbish a tub or shower, then have us reline it professionally. This is done at a fraction of the cost. You can buy a used tub if you would rather have a different one and learn to shop at the habitat for humanity re-store.

According to Remodeling magazine's 2005 Cost vs. Value Report, a mid-range bathroom redo is approximately $10,499, higher or lower. This is subject to where you live. It is also based on how you define mid-range.

The price of remaking your bathroom is different in various areas. It will cost you less in the South and more in the West and Northeast. The report also estimates that such a job will recoup 102 percent of its cost at resale.

A classy bathroom remodel is expected to cost $26,052. This is a hefty jump in price and to recoup about 93 percent of that on resale.

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Learn what to consider when planning your remodel

Remodeling defines a mid-range remodel as putting in a toilet, tub with a tile surround, a combined solid-surface double sink and vanity, recessed medicine cabinet, a ceramic tile floor and vinyl wallpaper.

An upscale remodel includes expanding the room an additional 8 square feet into existing space. Also, a window, moving fixtures such as the toilet and replacing them with high-end makes.

A 4-X-6-foot tiled shower with a shower wall, a bidet, stone countertops in the vanity with two sinks, linen closet, tile floor, lighting, an exhaust fan and other amenities are added.

It's easy to spend $25,000 on a bathroom remodeling. If you don't have that sort of capital, a remodel is all about compromise. Think about what elements in your bathroom you most want to replace and what you can live with and without.


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Construction Zone

Unless you are DIYingyou’reremodeling, you will use a general contractor (GC) or contract out the work yourself. The latter requires some know-how, since you'll need to get permits, oversee the work, etc.

In choosing a general contractor, get bids and definitely ask for and check references. You can also check out online reviews on how other customers felt about our services.

To save money, you might consider doing the demolition yourself; you can even hold a demolition party to garner help from friends.


Man- or woman-power costs capital. The people who replace that grim ceiling, install chandeliers and ceiling lights, plumb the fixtures, or lay the tile will run up the budget. Keep this in mind when laying out your bathroom plan.

Moving lights or plumbing or putting in a window will cost more than sticking with the bathroom's original layout. This, however, doesn't mean you can't vary some areas, but pick and choose to avoid sticker shock.


One of the major costs in a remodel is moving fixtures. A good example is a toilet, tub, and sink. If you can keep the same floor plan that you have now, you will spend less on plumbing.

Then there's the price of the fixtures themselves. If you must have that beautiful glass vessel sink, then pick a standard white no-frills toilet (about $125). Or if you want the Kohler Purist Hatbox toilet ($2,991 and up). It is only normal to pick the lower-end sink and tub.

Tile Talk

Tile is another main expense. It is not only the tile itself but the labor involved in remodeling it. You can limit the tile to the floor and the tub surrounding with a drop-in shower stall.

If you are yearning after an iridescent glass tile mosaic, think using the fancy tiles as accents in a field of more pedestrian porcelain ones.

Decide if you want to use your money on a total-body shower wall or a completely tiled shower. Rather than a running tile up the wall, think about beadboard wainscoting for a period look. Additionally, you can use a fresh paint color if your design is more modern.

Countertop Culture

In a kitchen, solid surface or stone countertops can bust your budget due to the footage. In the bath, you can escape with granite or even marble, if you are smart about it.

A single-sink vanity won't take a lot of stone. If you want two, then pedestal sinks and a refinished side cabinet or bedside table with a remnant of granite or marble on the top will save you money.

It gives you storage, and have you in step with today's trend of furniture cabinetry versus built-in.

Plan carefully, set your budget and be creative.

If you are smart, will end up with a beautiful bathroom that hasn't broken your bank account.

Call us today

Our expert will guide you on how to work within your budget.


Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be glad you did it with us. We have licensed designers that will assist you with your choices and take the worry out of the game. There is nothing worse than imagining your budget go down the tubes with your dreams.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to really sit there and imagine what you want without limits. But, with us on your side you can rest assured that you can’t lose. Our expertise and years of experience can help you transform your bathroom renovation on a budget with ease.