House & Home

Our Guide to the Super Cheap Bathroom Remodel

Posted February 7, 2013 12:55 p.m. EST

Whether you are trying to raise your home's value or get your asking price when selling, or if you just want to make yourself happy, the super cheap bathroom remodel is an easy project that pays off.

There are six elements of a super cheap bathroom remodel: lighting, paint, wall accents, the mirror, the shower curtain, and the linens. Even if your tile is heinous, the super cheap bathroom remodel will turn your bathroom into a much more aesthetically pleasing place. Hellish pink tile? No problem. 1950's avocado green bathtub? No, really, this will help.

First, you're going to paint. The key is to paint the bathroom a neutral shade, which both puts you and potential buyers at ease. Never underestimate the power of white paint, especially if you have gnarly colored tile, like pink or avocado green tile. If you have a nice neutral shade of tile, consider yourself lucky. You can get more creative with the paint color (keep it neutral, though) if you have neutral-colored tile. If you have garish tile, your best bet is to go white or off-white. Don't try to paint the bathroom a contrasting or matching shade if you have bold tiles. Trust me, no matter how good of painter you are, it will look scary. Do everyone a favor and prep the walls well before painting.

Next is the biggest ticket item: a new light fixture. This is where you want to spend money, although you can still stay within a budget. Pick out a new light fixture, and install it once the paint is dry. Go for something with a lot of wattage; light is your friend. Replace both the ceiling fixture and the wall fixture. Get something clean and classic; you won't have any regrets.

You will now be replacing the wall accents, things like towel racks and light switch covers. Especially if you have garish tile, stick with either white or chrome wall accents. Do not, under any circumstances, install gold-tone or brass wall accents. If your sink faucets are goldtone, paint them or replace them. It is easier and cheaper than you think to install new faucets, and makes a huge difference in the aesthetic of the bathroom. A chrome single-handle lever faucet is the best bet.

Next, frame the bathroom mirror with trim. There are tons of tutorials on how to do it, including one from a homeowner/DIY blogger and remodeler somewhere near Minneapolis who used pre-cut trim and liquid nails to frame out his bathroom mirror. So easy; so cheap; big payoff.

We're getting to the fun part: replace the shower curtain and the linens. The shower curtain takes up major real estate in the bathroom. It can make or break the look of your bathroom. Buy a curtain in a substantial natural material, as well a liner. Linen and cotton duck are sure bets that will add a look of casual sophistication to even a pink or avocado green-tiled bathroom. Solid colors, like white, cream, or beige, work best. White walls and a white shower curtain in a natural material are the best option if you have "distinctive" colored tile.

Buy linens in the same shade as the shower curtain. Since your shower curtain will be white, beige, or cream, your bath mat and towels shall also be those shades. You can add a matching toothbrush holder, tissue box, and soap dispenser. They can be cheap-o's as long as they match and are classic and clean-looking.

This simple and super cheap bathroom remodel will make your bathroom more spa-like, meaning more serene and sophisticated. Have fun with your super cheap bathroom remodeling project, and please share tips in the comments.

Chaya Kurtz writes for

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