You’re tired of looking at your old bathroom. It looks dingy and dated. But spending $5,000 to $20,000 on a bathroom remodel is out of the question.
You don’t have to completely remodel your bathroom to still make impactful changes. Sometimes it’s the small touches that make the biggest difference.
We have eight bathroom upgrades that are sure to make a big impression without making a big dent in your wallet.
1. Texture the Walls
Instead of just repainting the walls, give them a luxury makeover by adding some texture. You can apply beadboard, textured wallpaper, or a hand-created finish.
Beadboard is easy to install. All you need to do is measure the walls in your bathroom that you want to cover. Then buy the appropriate amount of wainscoting.
Be sure to cut holes for the electrical. Then place an adhesive on the back. Put the wainscoting on the walls.
To secure it in place, use brad nails. Two-inch nails will provide the most strength and prevent shifting.
Gone are the days of unrolling wallpaper, trying to match it up straight, and applying that awful paste. These days, you can buy textured wallpaper that comes with an adhesive already applied.
All you need to do is unroll, peel off the backing, and press into place on the wall.
2. Remove the Doors
Do you have those dated shower doors? You know the ones; they have shiny gold or silver-colored metal framing. Then there are the large glass or plastic panels.
Take them all out. They’re dating your shower and creating a closed-in space.
Replace them with a modern-looking shower curtain rod and curtain. This will open up the space and drastically reduce your cleaning time.
3. Create Built-In Shelves
Couldn’t we all use a little more storage space? You don’t have to spend a fortune on new furniture. Instead, you can easily create built-in shelving.
Not only is this project affordable, but it’ll transform the look of your bathroom. All you need is a space on the wall where you can create a depth of 14 inches.
You’ll use drywall to create the inside walls of the cubby. Then you use 1 x2 boards to create your shelving. Paint everything to match the color of the walls in your bathroom.
Finish the look of your shelving by adding some molding. You can frame the shelves by putting it around the outside. Then dress up each shelf by putting it across the front.
Creating this built-in storage solution will eliminate the clutter around the bathroom. This will not only make the bathroom more attractive looking but also improve your bathroom safety.
4. Dress Up the Tub
Bathroom tubs tend to look pretty standard and not fancy. But yours doesn’t have to. You can enclose it or dress up the front to give it a custom look.
One option is to use tile or stone on the front of the tub. This will create a built-in look.
Another option is to create an enclosure that has crown molding details. Just be sure you use treated wood or seal it well with paint.
To figure out what will make the biggest impression in your bathroom, think about the style and detailing that is already present. Build an encloser that will match the rest of the bathroom.
5. Stencil the Floor
Ripping out your current flooring and replacing it can get expensive. Especially if you choose a type of flooring that is more luxurious.
So instead, give your bathroom a unique look by adding a stenciled pattern. Look for a bold pattern and use a strong color. This will help the floor become the focal point of the room.
You can use one stencil to create a repeating pattern across the entire floor. Or you could create a “rug” look by stenciling the center and creating a border around it.
6. Change the Mirror
Do you have a plain mirror on the wall? One of those square or oval ones that have small plastic clips holding it in place.
Dress up your frameless mirror with something that will enhance the decor of the bathroom. Since everyone should spend time standing in front of the mirror while they wash their hands, this is one spot where you are sure to make an impression.
You could wrap a rope around the outside for a natural or nautical effect. Or you could use wood for a more rustic feel.
Molding around the outside will dress up the mirror and make it look more elegant. Or if you prefer a cleaner and modern look, try gluing subway tiles around the outside.
7. Self-Closing Toilet
This one won’t make an immediate impression like other upgrades on this list. However, all it takes is one use for someone to understand.
Installing a self-closing toilet lid will eliminate that banging sound when someone lowers the seat or toilet lid. It adds a sense of luxury as both quietly and smoothly glide downward and into place.
8. Switch out the Switch
A boring bathroom has a switch that lets you turn the lights on and off. A dimmer switch lets you turn on the light, but bring it down a few levels.
This is perfect for creating a calming mood for your own mini spa. It’s also perfect for having a dim light on when you have company. That way, they can easily and safely find their way.
Try These Bathroom Upgrades
So which one of these affordable bathroom upgrades will work for your home? Maybe you’re tired of your flooring and are ready to give it a paint makeover. Or perhaps those ugly shower doors are ready to be torn out.
Whatever you choose, plan your project before you start. This will prevent unexpected expenses from popping up and increasing the cost of your upgrade.
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Editors Note: If you’re reading this article because you are looking to spruce up your kids college apartment, or your own college apartment, then consider reading Todays Creative Life’s Article On College Apartment Bathroom Essentials. It has a pretty solid bathroom check list that’s suitable for college students here.