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How To: Keep a Bathroom Remodel Affordable

Cost is often the biggest deterrent for homeowners when considering a bathroom remodel, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you want to upgrade your outdated tub to a large and spacious shower or you want to completely overhaul your space, our professional designers and contractors have expert tips for keeping a bathroom remodel affordable.

Focus on Materials

Side by side of a bathtub and a stainless steel, removable shower head

Materials can vary greatly in cost, so it’s important to focus on reputable brands that don’t break the bank. You want to choose materials that are reliable, strong, and resistant to wear and tear. It is also important to be wary of deals that seem too good to be true or of brands that have yet to establish themselves on the market. We advise our clients to steer clear of these types of brands and products, as they often do not have the right fittings, will cost extra for a plumber to install, and may not even meet local code. We recommend our clients choose brands like Kohler, Delta, TOTO, Grohe, Hansgrohe, and American Standard because they have strong histories of providing quality products for great prices. Visit our website for a list of the quality brands that we work with.

Consider Chrome Fixtures

Sink with a chrome, single handle faucet

The majority of fixture brands charge a 30-50 percent premium for special finishes like brushed nickel and champagne bronze. These specialty finishes are not only more expensive, they will also limit your selection for other bathroom elements, such as towel bars, shower doors, and lights, which may come is a smaller range of finishes. Special finishes also may not be the same brand to brand, which can make matching fixtures even more difficult. Choosing chrome fixtures is one of the best ways to keep your bathroom renovations on a budget while still opting for style.

Keep the Same Layout

Side by side of a bathroom with an all white vanity, and one with raised sinks, and dark brown cabinetry

When our clients ask us how they can keep bathroom remodeling costs down, one of our biggest pieces of advice is to keep the layout of the space the same. Moving plumbing and electrical is expensive and can lead to unexpected costs. Moving a toilet across a room (even just a few feet) can lead to thousands of dollars of framing and plumbing costs that can extend into other parts of the home if the plumbing is old or has become problematic. If you relocate your electrical, you will need to bring all of the existing electric wiring in the bathroom up to current code, which can often require a new breaker or new electrical panel, depending on the age of the home.

Choose Tile Carefully

Geometric patterned bathroom tile

Above all, do your research. Quality tile can be found at many price points, from $3 to $300 per square foot. This adds up fast! Look for quality tile with color body (the body of the tile matches the face of the tile). This will allow for polished edges and less expensive trim pieces. Also be careful of the tile pattern you select for installation. Why? Some patterns, like herringbone and basketweave, are very labor intensive and result in a lot of tile waste that drives up the cost of install.

Use Accent Tile Strategically

Side by side shots of multi colored tile accents against solid walls

Accent tile is often much more expensive per foot than a standard wall tile. Make the most of your budget by using accents where they will provide the most visual impact. Our bathroom design professionals can help you select your main tile and accent tiles for the best look and cost savings.

Opt for Durable Flooring

Grey walled bathroom with light wood flooring

Select a flooring material that is durable, low-maintenance, and above all, water-resistant. Skip the expensive porcelain and ceramic tiles in favor of cost-effective options like luxury vinyl tile (LVT) for an affordable bathroom remodel. Thanks to advanced printing methods, luxury vinyl tile mimics the natural look of more expensive tile and wood.

Reuse What You Already Have

Side by side of a bathroom with a carpeted floor and one with a grey tile flooring

When it comes to bathroom remodels, it is sometimes hard to break that “everything must go” mentality. But one great way to keep your bathroom remodel affordable is to refurbish a few existing bathroom pieces. Oftentimes homeowners already have a good quality vanity that just needs a refresh. A little stain or paint and a new stylish counter top can really enhance the design of the space with minimal cost. In fact, the larger the vanity, tub, or furniture piece you reuse, the greater the savings you’ll see on the bottom line.

Bathroom remodels can improve the look and feel of your space and add value to your home. So don’t let the fear of unexpected costs or high-priced fixtures scare you from making your house into a dream home. We hope our tips for budgeting for a bathroom remodel have eased your mind and inspired you to start the process today. If you’re ready to update your bathroom, or you have questions about the remodeling process, contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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