You can very easily pour a ton of money into a bathroom remodel, but there are more cost-effective options, well below $1,000, for the average home owner. We here at Kiplinger’s have put together some low- cost projects for you to update your bathroom on the cheap. Take a look and enjoy your new bathroom. By Amy Pollak
If your bathroom remains hot and noisy as you dry off, try a ventilation fan. Fans with a “sone” rating of 1 or less sound about like a quiet refrigerator. Check out Energy Star-rated models by NuTone at Home Depot ($129 to $199). Be sure to get one with adequate air flow for the size of your bathroom. If you are just replacing the fan, this is a project you can handle on your own.
For cabinetry, look at stock or semi-custom options available from the big-box stores (such as KraftMaid at Lowe’s and Pegasus at Home Depot) or a kitchen-and-bath retailer. To snag a deal, ask about damaged or undelivered orders. Check Craigslist.org, too. If your cabinet is in good shape, you might want to replace just the top. Home Depot carries the Pegasus line of granite vanity tops with built-in, undermounted sinks (from $175 for a 25-inch-wide single bowl to $889 for a 61-inch double bowl). Hiring a handyman to install should cost around $100 to $250.
An environmental way to update your bathroom is by conserving water. A WaterSense bathroom faucet (which exceeds federal standards) can cut water flow by 30%, to no more than 1.5 gallons per minute. Search for Eco Options products at Home-Depot.com or Water-Sense products at Lowes.com. To install a single faucet from a dual faucet should cost about $200 to $250.
Shower doors made by Sterling feature CleanCoat, a glass-surface treatment that sheds water droplets and makes cleaning easier. List price starts at $169 for a standard framed bypass door. If new shower doors are too pricey, try a new shower curtain. The spectrum of colors and designs is endless. Installing new shower doors can be a bit tricky, installation fess are about $150 to $350.
New fixtures are the jewelry of your bathroom, and they’re painless to update. Relatively inexpensive, too. Towel racks and rings are easy to install and can pull together bathroom accessories with ease. Another way to create a custom look to your storage vanity is to replace the knobs on your prefab cabinetry.
A surefire way to update your bathroom is with paint. A gallon of paint will cost you less than $30 and if you feel adventurous you can do it yourself. If you do, make sure to clean your walls first. Since the bathroom is so humid, a mildew or moisture resistant primer will help seal the paint. Use a gloss or a semi gloss paint to finish and skip showering in your bathroom for days to allow everything to dry moisture free. Don’t be afraid of color!