Designing Your Bathroom on a Budget: Is It Time for a Bathtub Makeover?

If you’ve planned your bathroom remodel on paper, maybe a few things stand out to you. For one, you could definitely, successfully DIY some of these tasks. That way, you could save a bundle on what you spend overall, even if you have to invest some time. But what should you DIY, and what should be replaced altogether?

Tips for a Cheaper Bathroom Makeover

The number one tip for saving on a bathroom remodel, unsurprisingly, involves tile. The less tile you require, the less you’ll spend, as installation doesn’t come cheap. Instead, leave those walls untiled, and give them a fresh coat of paint yourself.

You can also save by staying up to date on the latest in materials. You may think that a pricey tile floor is the only way to go, but cost-effective vinyl flooring is more durable and attractive than ever. Not to mention, it’s much easier to replace.

Keep more of your cash by not changing the basic layout of your bathroom. If you had your heart set on moving the sink and toilet to an opposite wall, this means that structures critical to your plumbing will have to be completely reconfigured. That’s hardly a DIY task.

Moreover, if you’ve been discussing all of this with a contractor, they may have set you up with a design team. The design team probably doesn’t work for free, and they often upsell by convincing you to take on those more comprehensive plans that involve taking down walls, moving major plumbing, and more.

What to Do About the Tub

 Things get a little more complicated when we’re dealing with the tub. If you have a bathtub, it’s probably the largest single item visible in your bathroom. Therefore, you can spend and spend on floors, tiling, and cupboards, but if that bathtub is rusty or flat-out ugly, your efforts won’t have the impact you’d hoped.

Some people have had success with painting their tubs, or using refinishing kits to restore the surface. These typically save you some money, but require patience, skill, and possibly some tools that you’d have to rent or purchase.

For example, the average refinishing kit requires you to remove all caulk and fixtures yourself. Then you have to rigorously sand and very carefully paint multiple coats of a noxious mixture on to the surface. This is much more difficult than the care you took painting the walls.

A professional can just reline stalls and tubs for you, if that’s an option. Just don’t let them rope you into having the fixtures refinished as well; buying new might be cheaper.

If you’ve pinched pennies everywhere else, perhaps there’s enough left in your budget to buy a Helixbath acrylic bathtub. Its minimalist design is a match for various décor styles, and because it isn’t too heavy, installation isn’t as complicated.

Inevitably, you’ll need to consult a pro for a full remodel. But you don’t have to pay the entire quoted price if you knock some jobs off of the company’s list. Keep tile to a minimum, paint walls yourself, go for budget flooring options, and assign yourself the role of head designer. Spend the most on essential things, like fixture replacement, and you’ll be able to enjoy your new bathroom without lamenting the financial damage.

Image courtesy of artur84 at

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