Renovating a Bathroom on a Budget

Renovating a Bathroom on a Budget

Along with kitchen renovations, updating your bathroom is quickly becoming one of the most expensive home projects, mostly brought on by reality TV shows that give the impression that the only way to renovate is to rip everything out and restart.

We are here to tell you that this doesn’t need to be the case! In this article, we hope to show you how to keep a bathroom renovation under $10,000 without compromising on a quality result.

First of all, it’s all about planning. Before the bathroom renovation takes place, make a plan and set a budget. With a renovation budget to stick to, variations that arise along the way can always be compared against a projected cost. Then, weigh your options to balance an efficient use of available time and money.

For a full bathroom renovation, a rough guide would be to spend 40% of your budget on fixtures, 35% on tiling, 20% on plumbing and the last 5% on electricals. Always allow for a 10% buffer for any unexpected costs that may come up along the way.

Let’s break it down…

For a $10,000 budget, you would want to allocate your resources like this

  • Fixtures – $ 3600 with a $ 400 buffer
  • Tiling – $ 3150 with a $ 350 buffer
  • Plumbing – $ 1800 with a $ 200 buffer
  • Electrical – $ 450 with a $ 50 buffer

Shall we have a look at how this will work in practice?

1. Fixtures

Accounting for nearly half of your renovation budget, the fixtures and fittings you choose can make or break the look and feel of your bathroom. Keeping a bathroom renovation under $10,000 means the careful allocation of spending across all items.

Ample storage space is a must for every bathroom, so choosing the right vanity and shelving for all your bathroom essentials is vital. If you’re looking for a less orthodox and cheaper option, you can consider re-purposing old furniture, like a chest of drawers or a vintage shop counter. Just get a carpenter to cut a hole to fit your washbasin, and you have a readymade unique feature for your new bathroom.

When choosing a toilet, consider the WELS (water efficiency) rating as well as how easy it will be to keep clean. Wall face toilets eliminate the need to reach around and clean behind your toilet, and rimless toilets provide a more hygienic flushing experience.

Shop around for the rest of your fixtures. You are sure to find several exciting options in flea markets, thrift stores and the like.

2. Tiling

With prices ranging anywhere from between $30 to $200 per square meter, your choice of tiles will go a long way to influence your bathroom renovation cost. Depending on whether you opt for a basic or opulent look you can make clever choices with a combination of tiles at varying price points.

Just make sure you professionally waterproof the areas around your toilet, vanity, shower and bathtub to protect the integrity of your floors and walls.

If your tiles are still in good condition, you could stick re-grouting instead of completely replacing them. Opting for a bit of facelift rather than a complete overhaul will save you lots of money, and in some cases, that fresh white grout is all that’s needed for a brand-new look!

3. Plumbing

Whilst saving money on your bathroom renovation may be your top priority, plumbing is not an area you want to be cutting corners. Skimping on professional installation can lead to problems down the line, and that is not something you want to be dealing with. Some products are only covered by warranty if they’re professionally fitted too, so make sure you do your research. Save costs by working with a plumber that charges per task, rather than by the hour.

4. Electricals

Often overlooked in a bathroom renovation, the electrical elements need to be considered upfront and included in your budget planning. Always plan your electrical layout before doing any tiling as it’s much easier to run the necessary wires and cables.

Effective lighting will allow you to carry out daily activities like shaving, applying make-up and brushing your teeth. As most of these activities center around your vanity, having wall sconces or an LED Mirror will help illuminate this area.

Consider the big picture too in terms of running costs in the long term. Heated towel rails when fitted with a timed eco wall switch are an energy-efficient way of ensuring your towel is toasty warm and dry all year round and may represent a compromise vs under-floor heating, for example.

There are so many options available to complete your bathroom renovation under $10,000 and on time. Do you have any other tips on how to create a beautiful bathroom on a budget? Share them in the comments below.


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