From $100 to $1,000 Budgets, We’ve Got Ideas to Freshen Up Your Bathroom

A mother and son pull up tile in a bathroom.
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We get it — you’re sick of your bathroom. When you moved in, you promised yourself you’d do something about it. But the money, the time and the hassle all became obstacles that started to pile up.

The average total bathroom remodel runs between $5,000 and 10,000 for a half-bath, sometimes called a powder room; $14,000 and $20,000 for a guest bathroom and $30,000 and up for a master bathroom, according to Home Depot.

Those figures include everything from upgrading the faucet, toilet and vanity to installing new tile and a new bathtub.

But what if you could change part of your bathroom for a fraction of the cost of a full remodel? What if a quick Do-It-Yourself project might actually make you — surprise — fall in love with your bathroom again?It’s possible, we promise, even without a big bathroom remodel budget.

Bathroom Remodel Ideas on a Budget

Here are our best bathroom ideas — from budget DIY to bigger projects — at four cost-effective tiers.

How to Change Your Bathroom for $100

Want a quick burst of color or a pop of modernism? Invest in new towel racks. These low cost accessories for your hand towels and shower towels can make a big impact. Find options between $25 and $100 on Amazon or pricier options on Ferguson’s Build.com. Try trendy gold or matte black — and don’t worry if they don’t match with your plumbing fixtures. Mixed metals are in!

Some other ideas:

  • Dated bathrooms tend to have a dated sink faucet (and dated fixtures). We’ve been there. But a well-made faucet that actually works and matches your new towel racks can really up your quality of life. Try this fun Amazon option.
  • Fluorescent bathroom lights might make you dread looking in the mirror. But warm bulbs with a warm fixture that resemble natural light? That’s enough to make you smile in the morning while you’re brushing your teeth. Find a range of choices at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
  • If you want to see your reflection even more clearly, try a new mirror. Etsy has some handmade, eclectic offerings. Walking into your bathroom just got a lot more interesting.
  • What’s the first thing you look at in the morning? If it’s not your mirror, it just might be your shower curtain. Here’s an idea: switch it out for a new one. We like this fruity design from Urban Outfitters — at $39, it’s low cost. Or get them for a third of that price but all of the cute on the virtual clearance racks at Bed Bath & Beyond.

How to Change Your Bathroom for $500

A fresh coat of paint and a new paint color can work wonders on a dull space. If you want to paint your bathroom wall or your cabinet doors, go wild. Try painting just one part of a wall as a focal point. You can save money by changing your bathroom design with this small task.

Some other ideas:

  • Having trouble flushing that toilet? Getting a new one can be a relative ease. Home Depot has options as low as $100 and you shouldn’t have to shell out much more for install. You won’t miss your old plumbing fixtures.
  • Sick of cleaning the grime off of those shower doors? That’s where we come in — get a new shower door. A sleek model in a color that matches your new towel bars and plumbing fixtures can be a great idea. We love a modern sliding barn shower door. Bring some rustic farmhouse inspiration right into your own home.
  • There’s a reason they call it peel-and-stick wallpaper. Your bathroom walls will never look the same. Decorating a powder room with wallpaper is an easy way to get a beautiful bathroom on a budget. We like this fun tropical option from Chasing Paper.
  • Painting tile is no easy feat, but it can really transform the look of your bathroom flooring and bathroom walls without a full bathroom renovation. This helpful primer from This Old House will show you how to get the job done — and do a great job.
Plan to do some renovation on your own? Don't DIY and regret it. Take our advice on when to hire a pro.

How to Change Your Bathroom for $750

If your bathroom has old tile, then it probably has old, grungy grout. One way to get around that: re-grouting your tile. Consider choosing a new color of grout to add a pop to the space. True Value has a comprehensive guide on the topic.

Some other ideas:

  • Like a toilet, a tub is a plumbing fixture that is perhaps more inexpensive than one might imagine. You can purchase a new tub from a chain like Home Depot for as little as $255 (or less).  Taking out and putting in a new tub will cost more, but it will likely be worth it, especially if your home has an original tub.
  • We can’t say new hardware enough. This is a small touch that can really highlight your cabinet doors and vanity cabinet. Just like with towel bars, try a fun color like gold or antique brass. Find lots of options on Amazon. Although hardware may seem inexpensive in isolation, matching your hardware across the board is the best bet, so be prepared for the expense to add up.
  • This is a personal preference, but how about a sconce on either side of your mirror rather than an above-the-mirror light fixture? This will offer more natural light and additional light fixtures by your bathroom vanity. In a small bathroom, this can really up the ante, and in a powder room, this can take your space from a functional bathroom to resembling a high-end remodel.
  • So you’ve heard of solid hardwood floors. But what about solid hardwood ceilings? One DIYer did it — and we think their hard work really paid off. Perhaps now we’ll all consider alternate uses for wooden floors.

How to Change Your Bathroom for $1,000

Getting a new vanity can update your bathing facilities without shelling out full cost for a bathroom makeover. Vanities generally come in ranges of standard sizes, so make sure you measure before you buy a new piece.

Try combining an unexpected color with an interesting countertop. But remember, when calculating prices on websites, the base price is generally just for the cabinetry. An additional charge will be added on top for the countertops. Find some options from Ferguson’s Build.com that start around $560.

Some other ideas:

  • If you want to change your color scheme without investing in an entire design, changing out all of your plumbing fixtures is the way to go. First, you can experiment with a fun color. Second, you might actually reduce your water bill by getting more efficient fixtures. Big box stores offer many of the name plumbing brands — think Moen, Kohler and Delta. If you go with a more vibrant color, anything other than a standard like matte black, stick to the same brand across faucet and shower trim. Each brand has a slightly different shade, and the difference is generally noticeable.
  • For $1,000 you probably won’t get you to retile your entire bathroom, but why not add expensive tile on one wall for a little accent? We love these ideas from Tile Outlets of America. Try porcelain bricks, stone or intriguing ledgers that work their way up the wall.
  • You’ve probably stared at that old tile floor and hated it. But what if you could replace just the flooring for a fraction of the price of bathroom remodeling? It’s not impossible to do it yourself — just check out these videos. Wood laminate floors are a cost-effective idea that give you the look of hardwood flooring without the expense.
  • And for our last idea: if you can’t get a new vanity or you love your cabinetry, why not a new countertop? Perhaps there’s a marble piece you’ve been eyeing or a vibrant stone. Now is the time. To get the cheapest price, buying a slab of stone wholesale from a quarry or a supplier is the easiest option.

Writer Elizabeth Djinis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, often writing about selling goods online through social platforms. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine and the Tampa Bay Times.