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While in an ideal world, it would be possible to wait to renovate or update a bathroom until sufficient funds would be available for the desired materials and design, sometimes this isn’t what happens. Sometimes pipes spring a leak, forcing repairs, and sometimes a bathroom is so worn out and tired looking that a small update is needed just to keep living with it until those funds are available. Learning the ins and outs of cheap bathroom design ideas will help make the most of the project.
Painting, Reglazing, and Refinishing
Sometimes, just reworking the surfaces that are already there can put a new lease on an old style. Look into bathtub refinishing or reglazing for chipped or stained cast iron tubs. Tired looking china and cast iron sinks can also be reglazed, and old vanities can be sanded and restrained.
Add a fresh coat of paint, and look into grout reviving products, like This Old Grout to freshen up the walls and tile. If one section of the bathroom tile is in good shape, but another needs to be replaced, try to find something complimentary to the remaining tile, and just refreshen the grout in the same color used on the new tiles.
If vanity is in good shape, try replacing the counter, sink, and faucet for an updated look.
Look for Odd Lots and Close-Outs
While many classic looks, like subway tile, are often fairly inexpensive in plain white, looking through odd lots and closeout materials can bring options for color and decoration at a low cost. Look for sheets of mosaic to add pop and color, or high-quality faucets and fixtures that will last for years to come.
Ask at tile and plumbing showrooms to see an odd lot and returned materials. Many times showrooms will mark these items well below retail price to move them out the door. Just be sure that in the case of bathroom tile, to purchase more than what’s immediately needed. Jobs can run short, and tiles can chip or fall out years down the road, so keep some extra on hand, just in case.
If considering plumbing closeouts or returns, be sure there are no mechanical defects, and if purchasing multiple items for the room, be sure that it’s possible to get matching pieces in the same color or finish as the closeout item, without incurring extra expense.
Bathroom Accessories Seal the Deal
Finish off the bathroom design with low-cost accessories, colorful towels, throw rugs and shower curtains. Hang matted prints on the walls and add personal touches like shower caddies, plants, and flowers.
If the goal is just to freshen up the room to get more mileage out of the current design, then take into account the condition of everything present and replace anything in bad shape. Be sure to use items that can be incorporated into a future renovation to avoid replacing them twice.
If undergoing a renovation due to a repair, try to find what caused the problem in the first place, and take steps to ensure that it does not happen again. If a plastic disc valve gave way in the shower, use ceramic disc valves next time to ensure their long life. If water leaked behind the tub, rotting the subfloor, be sure to check the caulk periodically and replace it as needed.
Whatever the reason for the renovation, take the time to study the room and work to the needs of the space, and the design will follow.