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tips for saving money on bathroom renovations

SMALL bathroom ideas before and after #renovations

Last year we finally took the plunge to renovate our master bathroom. It was the original bathroom from when our house was built in 1971. To decribe it in one word, I think I’d go with gross.

And, I’m not going to lie, this wasn’t a cheap renovation, but we did take steps to limit our costs where we could.

5 tips to save money on a small bathroom renovation

1. Reuse anything that you can – For us it was the oak cabinet over the toilet. The cabinet was in perfect condition and works great in the space, it just needed a little spray paint. If you have anything salvageable, consider a fresh coat of paint or stripping old paint to give it new life.

money saving tips for bathroom rennovations

2. Break convention – if you notice from the top photo we don’t have a glass door on our shower stall. It’s deep enough that water doesn’t splash out, so we let the natural light come in as we step seamlessly in and out. Not having a glass door saved us $1,500.

3. Alternative edging – see the metal trim that divides the marble from the dry wall? That was like $8 a foot vs. an upwards of $20 -$30 if we’d gone with marble edging.

4. Minimal porcelain – the sink top we chose has only a thin porcelain top as opposed to other vanities which have huge porcelain tops. This saved us around $150.

5. Leftover paint – a small bathroom needs very little paint, but it still needs some. When I was looking for a color I wanted I fell in love with my friend’s kitchen. She had so much leftover paint that she gave it us to use. Seriously, ask friends and family for paint. Chances are they have some in their basement – enough that there is still some reserved for touch up paint for your home and theirs. Savings = at least $20.

Design Ideas for small bathroomsDesign Ideas for Small Bathrooms

Even though this is a small bathroom, there are some things that I really love about it, that are worth pointing out.

1. The shaving ledge – sometimes it’s hard to shave your legs in a small shower stall. See the third shelf there in the shower? that’s a ledge to set my foot when I shave my legs. It also serves as a shelf for my razor. I love it!

2. His and hers shelves – about 6″ above the sink are two triangular shelves on either side of the sink. One is for my husbands toiletries and the other is for mine. It keeps deodorant, lotion and Q-tips close at hand but out of the way from getting splashed or knocked over.

3. A hook in the shower – though you cannot see it, there is a chrome towel hook on the inside wall of the shower near the entrance. It is far enough from the shower head that it stays totally dry, and is convenient for drying off before getting out.

What’s your favorite bathroom feature?

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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11 Responses to tips for saving money on bathroom renovations

  1. Meg Lund August 25, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    I didn’t know that getting minimal porcelain would save you money. Additionally, it surprised me that it saved you around 150 dollars! That is a lot of money to save that you can put to buying a nicer countertop or better flooring. I will definitely make sure that I look into how much porcelain my sink and toilet and tub are made of and try to make it as minimal as possible. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Audrey Blakeney September 4, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    This bathroom remodel is quite spectacular. It feels like a whole new space, but you didn’t move around many walls at all. I also quite like the idea of having a shaving ledge in the shower, especially if it’s smaller. That could certainly help save space without compromising functionality. Of the tips above, which would you say is the most helpful?

    • Eve September 5, 2015 at 8:36 am #

      Leaving off the glass door is the most helpful tip. It saved us the most money and makes the space seem so much bigger.

  3. Correy Smith September 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Eve, what beautiful design that you did for your bathroom renovation, and the modifications that you did sounds great. When you mentioned about alternative edging and reusing some stuff it does remind me of the things that I would need to do. Since part of my project would be to remodel my bathroom and keep it under the budget the my wife wants me to follow.

  4. jamesrod214 November 11, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    I think it’s a great idea to break convention. I think that if we all did our bathroom renovations be the same, there wouldn’t be any unique ones. I feel like it’s good to be yourself and to try new things.

  5. Phillius Thomas November 16, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

    I like the idea of having a low shelf to put your legs on to shave them. That sounds like it would be a lot safer than trying to bend over and balance on one foot. Next time I remodel my bathroom, I need to get one of these in the shower.

  6. Instant Granite November 27, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    Renovating a bathroom can be expensive. That’s why you will have to decide on things that you buy. Just be wise on everything you buy and choose what’s the best for your bathroom. Keeping your bathroom neat and clean is a great thing.
    Instant Granite recently posted…More Rental Property TipsMy Profile

  7. Veronica Marks December 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    I didn’t realize that edging could make such a difference in the overall cost of a project like this. Thanks for pointing that out because I would have probably not ever considered it. We are trying to redo our bathroom with a very small budget, so this is the perfect thing for me to read!

  8. You Plumbing January 19, 2016 at 2:52 am #

    These are great tips! I didn’t realize that bathroom renovation can be done on a budget. Thanks for inspiring!

  9. Cindy Hoffman February 3, 2016 at 4:52 am #

    hi there Eve, I was looking for some of the bathroom tips. We are a few weeks away from doing a complete remodeling of our home and was looking around for ideas. I know the bathroom and kitchen could sometimes become steep on budgeting and was looking for some of these. Thanks a lot for sharing.


  10. Kate March 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

    What a beautiful bathroom renovation. I love how much counter space you now have and the shower looks bigger too. I would love to have an open shower, but I think that somehow my husband and boys would still find a way to make a mess! I totally love the edging idea and the wall tiles! Great job!

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