small bathroom
We’re surrounded by images of dream bathrooms with $50k+ budgets, but you don’t have to spend even a fraction of that to get a modern, well-decorated and designed bathroom, especially in small bathrooms. Here’s how to get a beautiful small bathroom on a budget.

Ideas for Remodeling Small Bathrooms on a Budget

Remodeling even small bathrooms can get expensive very quickly, especially if you need to hire contractors to do some of the work. Here are some tips to get a remodeled look for as inexpensively as possible.

Use remnants for remodeling projects

Know the size of remnant that you need for your bathroom and be prepared to make several trips to the fabricator until you find a piece you love.

One of the positive thing about small bathrooms is that you can use tile and stone remnants, which are discounted from previous projects, to completely cover your bathroom, instead of buying at retail prices. A new vanity countertop can make a big difference, and you can probably do it yourself or with a partner. Visit a stone fabricator to see their selection and prices, which will vary from day to day.

Paint or stain cabinets and drawers

If you rent, convincing your landlord to let you paint the cabinets might seem like it would be a tough sell at first, but you would be amazed at what a new coat of paint or stain can do for a bathroom. Even repainting in a fresh coat that’s the same as the original color can make your bathroom look a million times better.

Change out the hardware

Changing drawer handles, cabinet pulls, faucets and shower heads for more modern versions can help bring your bathroom into 2012 inexpensively. Renters can even change out the hardware while they live there and put the old ones back in when they move out.

Clean the grout

If your bathroom is older, you might not realize how dingy the grout on your tiles has gotten over the years. Scrubbing with a specialized grout cleaner can remove years’ worth of grime with an hour or two’s effort.

Ideas for Redecorating Small Bathrooms on a Budget

Whether you’re renting or own your home, redecorating may be all your budget can afford right now. Here are some small bathroom ideas on a budget to give you the maximum impact on your bathroom for the money.

Paint the walls

The orange bath rugs complement the blue and violet of the shower curtain and walls.

In a small bathroom, you should be able to paint the walls on less than a gallon of paint. Use a glossy or semi-glossy finish to help prevent water from lingering on the walls.

Hang artwork

Original pieces of art and anything valuable should not be hung in damp environments, but art prints can make a bathroom really shine. Resale shops often have piles of artwork for sale for only a few dollars: you can find a frame you like or spray paint it or stain one that’s the right shape, then add in an art print.

Towels and bath rugs

Attractive bath towels and rugs can add a feeling of style to a room, plus they can really feel luxurious even when they’re not very expensive. Color coordinate them to instantly make your bathroom feel well thought-out.

Shower curtains

Shower curtains are a cheap way to immediately bring in a new color or style into your bathroom. If you pick out a fabric curtains, be sure to use it with a plastic shower liner so the fabric won’t get mildew.

Sink skirts

If you have a wall-mounted sink, covering any ugly, exposed pipes with a cute sink skirt can instantly make your bathroom look more put together.


Plants can instantly brighten up any small space.

Many tropical plants will flourish in the indirect light and humid environment that exists naturally in bathrooms. Chinese Evergreens, African Violets and Cast Iron plants are only a few of dozens of plants that will thrive in most bathrooms. House Plant Guru has a more complete list of plants that work well in bathrooms, according to the light and temperature levels in your bathroom.

Change the accessories

New soap dishes, toothbrush holders, counter organizers and other bathroom accessories can bring in a fresh burst of color and style. If you really need to stay low budget, resale shops abound with bathroom accessories that people have donated when they’ve changed their decorating style, but nothing is actually wrong with these accessories.

Add tile stickers

Older bathrooms may have strange tile colors or patterns, and remodeling may be expensive or impossible. This is where tile stickers can come in handy. If it’s only a small area of tiles you need to cover (such as a bright pink tile border row), covering those tiles with a design and color more to your choosing might be a good option. If it’s all the tiles that you hate, you can find a complementary tile sticker and place a selection of them on the offensive tiles. That way, the eye will be drawn to the stickers and not the other tiles.