Whether you're updating a few components or stripping it all down for a complete overhaul, you can use creative alternatives and make some sacrifices here and there to cut down on costs when remodeling your bathroom. Here are some foolproof ways to renovate on a budget and save energy in the future:
- Refresh caulk and grout. The simplest and cheapest way to give your bathroom a fresh look is to clean or update the caulk that seals your tub and sink and the grout that lines your tiling. If either is cracking or wearing away, it is important to redo them to prevent damage and further spreading of mold.
- Minimize the amount of tile. While tiling adds appeal to your bathroom, your wallet can take a serious hit if you do too much with it. Try to limit tile to high-impact areas such as the floor and sink backsplash, and search for inexpensive ceramic tiling in the clearance section of your local home improvement store. If you're looking to repaint the room, you'll want to use the correct type of paint with properties that limit the amount of mildew that sneaks into the cracks in your walls.
- Use refurbished materials. With a budget, the goal should be to redo, not necessarily buy new. You can avoid having to purchase new cabinetry or infrastructure by hanging simple shelving and finding components made from recycled materials online at sites like eBay and Craiglist or at the nearest Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
- Switch out that exhaust fan. Investing in a new exhaust unit or thoroughly cleaning you current setup can limit the accumulation of mold and mildew in your bathroom, which will prolong the lifespan of your appliances, grout and paint or wallpaper.
- Install low-flow faucets and showerheads. You can find bathroom fixtures that provide the same level of performance and use much less water. Look for products with the WaterSense label; these are tested by the EPA and proven to be more efficient than standard installations, using a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute and reducing your sink's or tub's water flow by nearly 30%.
- Consolidate light fixtures. Think about utilizing one larger wall fixture that requires a single bulb rather than multiple fixtures that sap more energy. Using one higher wattage LED bulb as opposed to two or three scattered lower wattage CFL bulbs could better light the room, lower your energy bill and save you hassle.
- Keep it simple. Before checking out from your local home goods store with a cart full of wall accents and accessories, reconsider what you actually need. Bathrooms are small spaces, and they don't need to be filled with clutter.