Bathrooms on a budget – 35 chic yet cheap bathroom ideas to transform your space

From interior design shows to celeb bathroom remodels seen on Instagram, the media is awash with inspirational spa-like spaces – including some incredible bathrooms on a budget.

Because the good news is that, no matter what you have to spend, most bathroom ideas are still achievable. Thanks to lookalike surfaces, and clever DIY hacks, you can still pay homage to the hottest interior design trends without needing to hire in a contractor.

8. Paint a bathroom floor for a quick and affordable update

Painting floorboards has also become a bit of a trend, so if you have floorboards in your bathroom, consider this as a cheap but chic bathroom update. You'll need to use wood paint, but if you can, use a paint designed for floors as it will be more durable and less slippery – if more limited in color choices.

9. Or paint bathroom walls an unexpected shade

There are few cheaper and easier ways to update a space than by giving it a new lick of paint. Pink room ideas are among our favorites at the moment, and softer shades are a space-enhancing choice for a small room. So if you are looking for an on trend bathroom update, we say go for a rosy hue. Something like Farrow & Ball's Sulking Room Pink, which despite the name is actually a really grown-up take on the color, would be our fave choice.

10. Paint your bathroom tiles

If you don't want the expense (and mess!) of taking down bathroom tiles and starting all over again, consider painting over your bathroom tiles. This is a relatively quick and cheap bathroom tile idea for bathrooms on budget.

Whether you want to paint your tiles one color, or create a gradient ombre finish, a pot of paint goes a long way to achieving a luxury bathroom design for less.

Most tile paint only needs one coat, but with its high VOC content, be sure to keep it out of reach of children and keep the room well-ventilated to extract the fumes from this solvent-based solution.

It's also worth noting that gleaming grouting goes a long way, so make you know how to clean tile grout correctly to ensure to remove any grubby gunk.

11. Create an ombré paint effect

Experimenting with on-trend paint ideas is an easy and affordable way of creating a new vibe in a tired looking space. Copy this idea and pick two or three shades of varying tones (we'd recommend blues for a bathroom) and create a stylish finish with the help of our guide to painting an ombré accent wall.

12. Experiment with bathroom wallpaper

Bathrooms and wallpaper? Surely that's not a good mix? Well, actually, it can work if you just follow a few extra steps when choosing and hanging your wallpaper. First, don't hang wallpaper anywhere that will be in constant contact with water – and if your bathroom isn't really well ventilated we would recommend sticking to wallpaper specifically designed for bathrooms. Otherwise, you can use any wallpaper you like, but make sure you use extra strong wallpaper adhesive; a layer of clear varnish can help protect it further.

13. Invest in stylish bathroom storage to make more space

Obviously, shelves are a good bathroom storage solution, but make them both practical and stylish by choosing open shelving that you could also make a bit of a feature of. Use them to store your essentials, your soaps, cotton wool, floss and whatnot (stick them in some pretty glass jars if you want), but also mix in some more decorative pieces like candles, house plants and cute folded towels.

Get some more tips of how to style shelves in our dedicated feature.

14. Update towels – and how you store them

Literally the cheapest way to update your bathroom is to get yourself a few new towels. Also think about mixing up the way you store them. You didn't spend money on new towels to fold them away in a cupboard, so get your fancy new towels out on show! Something like a gorgeously simple wooden ladder would be perfect.

15. Add simple bathroom accessories for a fresh feel

A quick, inexpensive (and often practical) way of updating your bathroom is with accessories. We are talking, soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, caddies, storage jars, all the fun stuff. Look out for cheap bathroom accessories when you next do your food shop; places like Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's all have really lovely and super affordable pieces.

16. Brighten and enlargen a bathroom with a mirror

It's interior design 101 that mirrors can add a ton of space and light to a room, which is obviously going to make your bathroom feel fresher. So, you know what we are going to say: buy a new bathroom mirror. Go as large as your space can handle to bounce as much light around as possible.

Have we persuaded you to invest? We've rounded up the best bathroom mirrors in our buying guide, so go and have a scroll through those.

17. Decorate with tile stickers

We only recently discovered the life-changing properties of tile stickers. They mostly come in at under a tenner a pack and you can use them pretty much anywhere. Look out for ones that are water-resistant (most of them are), and you can stick them over the existing tiles in your shower to recreate this look – no messy grout or expensive patterned tiles needed.

Oooooh look you can use them on the floor too! Check outDunelm's selection for similar tile stickers to the ones below.

18. Get rid of grime in between your wall tiles

Want to update your bathroom tile for free?* Well, almost. Then learn how to clean tile grout like a pro. All you need is a toothbrush, a good cream cleaner and a little bit of elbow grease. By getting rid of dirt and debris in between your grout, you'll instantly brighten up your bathroom walls.

Get the paste into all the nooks and crannies and then leave for about 30 minutes to let it work its magic. Once you’ve left it for a while, simply rinse off with clean water and wipe up any residue with a microfibre towel.

Bathrooms on a budget – 35 chic yet cheap bathroom ideas to transform your space

Top tip: Baking soda and vinegar mixed makes for a great natural cream cleaner that will leave your grout sparkling. We actually have a whole feature on natural cleaning hacks, so make sure you go and check that out too.

But if the stains still remain, an affordable grout pen should do the trick once and for all.

19. Fill your bathroom with house plants

Bang on the biophillic trend, adding air purifying plants to your scheme is a budget bathroom idea that will bring the outdoors in and detox your space. From increasing productivity and boosting your mood, the health benefits of houseplants just keeps growing and growing.

From handmade macrame hangers to ceramic pots, DIY plant shelves and living walls, there are endless ways to style your plant babies.

Be sure to choose high-humidity bathroom plants that will thrive in this space. Some hardier varieties simply need a regular mist or spray of water to keep them hydrated, but set your alarms to ensure they don't die from dehydration.

Top tip: If your bathroom is windowless, we recommend opting for fake plants. You'll find a load of fake (and real) options in our round up of the best indoor plants.

20. Switch up your shower curtain

Throw away that yellowing, ever so slightly mouldy shower curtain. Go on, do it now. And get yourself a gorgeous shiny new one. H&M Home have a huge selection, each one as gorgeous as the next (we literally couldn't decide on a favourite). Plus, they start from as little as $10/£9.

21. Hang a gallery wall

Treating your bathroom decor and styling like you would that of your living room or bedroom is one of the quickest shortcuts you can take to giving it a bold new look. Hanging a gallery wall is one way to do this – and you needn't even spend to get this finish; simply repurpose pictures you're not using or want to swap out from other rooms.

Bathrooms on a budget: under $100/£100

So, you've got a bit more of a budget to spend on your bathroom, but still want to keep your spend under 100? Here are some ideas that will have more of an impact, but still won't break the bank...

22. Illuminate your bathroom with inexpensive lighting

As budget bathroom ideas go, lighting is one of the brightest ways to make your suite look expensive. From sophisticated wall lights to stunning ceiling chandeliers, statement pendants and modern lampshades, let you space shine with these fittings and fixtures.

As well as shining a light on the bathroom lighting ideas, be sure not to overlook bulb sizes and light color temperatures too. While cool light is generally considered better for tasks such as applying makeup, you'll want warm light for creating a calm and tranquil bathtime atmosphere.

But, as we know, water and electricity do not mix well. So ensure you put safety first by consider bathroom lighting zones and IP (Ingress Protection) ratings. Put simply, these ratings will determine how well the electrical enclosures are sealed away from moisture, dirt and debris which can be a health hazard.

23. Wow with window treatments

From cut-price curtains, to discount drapes, low-cost window films and bargain blinds, there are loads of bathroom window treatment ideas that can add privacy and style to your decor.

What's more, many of today's modern materials can block UV rays, offer customized levels of light and keep the room cool by blocking out the sun's heat. But rather than going straight to the leading manufacturer, it pays to shop around.

When working out how to measure up for curtains, making sure you get your measurements correct is absolutely essential. Fittings that fit flush to your window space and look bespoke will make the space appear more expensive.

Once you've chosen your material, another way to save with this budget bathroom decor is by fitting the window treatment yourself. Ensuring you know how to put up a curtain pole is just one step towards a successful project.

24. Upgrade your shower head

Changing your shower fitting is one of the more budget bathroom ideas when upgrading your bathing facilities.

Opulent finishes like brass can quickly turn your bathroom into an expensive-looking haven. Just be sure to keep abreast of the advice on how to clean brass to ensure this luxe look stays well-maintained.

And as technology and the demand for creative options grow, you're literally showered with options. Choose from a fixed or handheld shower head and even fixtures with jet or spray options for a sensual spa bathroom experience.

25. Swap time-consuming tiling for a sheet wall covering

We're sure you can agree that dodgy DIY tiling or cowboy builders cost a small fortune are a stress that absolutely NO ONE needs in their life when updating their bathroom.

So instead of running the risk of botched bathroom tile ideas, why not invest in a sheet wall covering that you can install yourself? These large decorative wall panes come in various material types including marble and natural stone for a luxurious look at a lower cost price.

26. Buy some new pieces of bathroom furniture

We aren't talking a new bath here, or even a new sink – something like a side table or a new statement stool will do. Look for pieces that aren't necessarily made for bathrooms that will add more interest to your space. We love these rustic wooden stools from Etsy, which could actually be pretty practical for chucking towels over or keeping things handy near the bath.

The gorgeous little cabinet in the bathroom below is definitely on our lust list and you can find something similar at Graham and Green.

27. DIY a stylish bath panel

The queen of amazing DIYs @thisenglishhometotally transformed her bathroom by making a new cane bath panel on a budget. You can find all the step by steps you need over on Victoria's Instagram, just check out the Bathroom highlight for everything you need to know to recreate this look.

28. Put up some wallpaper for a cheap bathroom update

Just like paint, a single roll of wallpaper can make all the difference to a space. If you have a large bathroom that is well ventilated, you could get away with using any wallpaper, but we recommend looking out for those suited to high-moisture rooms that are labelled ‘extra washable’ or ‘highly wash-resistant’.

29. Upgrade your bathroom lighting

Bathroom lighting can make or break a room so switching it up could be all your space needs to make it feel brand new(ish). Get rid of any harsh overhead lighting you might have and replace it with softer shade or, if you have the budget, add some warm wall lights that could completely change the vibe of your room.

30. Paint your bath panel

Revamping a plain white tub with a bright bath panel is easy to do and a quick way to refresh a tired-looking scheme, injecting a bit of pattern and colour. Think you can't DIY this look for under $100? Think again. Just head over to our guide for how to DIY a bath panel for everything you need to know.

Bathrooms on a budget: under $500/£500

Still not blowing all your budget, but if you've got a touch more to spend on your space, here are some affordable ideas that still come in at under 500...

31. Choose bespoke bathroom pieces

Opting for unique or bespoke pieces can be a great way of adding character into a bathroom. If you're an experienced DIY-er, consider customising pieces you have already got; we love the idea of turning a cabinet into a washstand and it's much more straightforward than you might think. Simply cut out a hole where the basin should be – most come with a template.

If you are on the hunt for a vanity unit, we have load of inspiration over in our ideas gallery.

32. Or trawl online marketplaces for one off finds

Buying a whole new bathroom might not quite be in your budget, but you'd be surprised what cool pieces you can find second hand. We know, you are probably thinking, 'Err... I don't want anyone's second hand toilet, thanks'. But how about a reclaimed freestanding bathtub with ball and claw feet? Or a vintage Victorian sink? A hand-me-down bathroom doesn't sound so gross now does it? Keep an eye on sites like eBay and Etsy for these kind of unique pieces.

33. Buy an ex-display or sale suite

A great tip to help you control your budget is to buy ex-display bathroom hardware. More often than not, these items are do not carry any cosmetic defaults - they are simply surplus stock or end-of-range items from the store.

While in some cases you're still covered until the brand's guarantee or warranty, it's worth double checking with the store you purchased the goods from.

Make sure to keep hold of any receipts and documentation to manage your expectations on what can be refunded or exchanged as the terms may differ from 'normal' policy.

34. Replace your bathroom fittings

If your bathroom fittings – taps, showerheads and the like – are looking a bit worse for wear, maybe it's time to get them replaced. They aren't really something you notice until you change them up and realise you've put up with that gross showerhead for way too long. Black fixtures are bang on trend at the moment and there are loads of affordable options out there (check out this one from Victoria Plum ). Or, for an equally trendy but slightly warmer look, try bronze or copper fixtures.

35. Update your bathroom with wall paneling

Wall panelling is a more affordable alternative to wall tiles, especially if you can fit it yourself, which most experienced DIYers would be able to do. Just be aware when using paneling in bathrooms that although, MDF designs painted with an oil-based finish are water-resistant, they shouldn't be used where they will be soaked.

How can I modernize my bathroom cheaply?

1. Work with the bathroom you have got

The first rule of renovating any room on a budget is to salvage whatever you can from the current design. This could potentially save you £££s in replacing items that are serviceable but just need a little TLC. However, don't keep something if it will have a cost impact in another way. For example, it might be cheaper to replace a whole bathroom suite than try to find replacements to match one another.

The most important thing though is to try to maintain the existing plumbing layout if possible. Keep the waste and water inlets as they are and try to place sanitaryware accordingly to keep plumbing costs down. Acquainting yourself with the rudiments of bathroom plumbing can help you make the right choices for your budget, too.

2. Take on bathroom renovation work yourself

Take on DIY tasks that you feel confident with, but leave anything that involves the cutting or adjustment of expensive materials to a professional.

3. Choose sanitaryware on a budget

Other than shopping around online or waiting for sales, what can you to do maximise savings on sanitaryware?

When it comes to choosing bathroom sinks, a pedestal model or wash-stand, which has legs, is usually less expensive than a vanity unit or cabinet and makes a striking standalone piece. If you need more storage space than this type of sink can offer, add simple shelves to an alcove and supplement with smaller bathroom storage solutions such as baskets, caddies and hooks.

To make savings, you may be tempted to mix and match sanitaryware from different brands. This can work where styles are similar, but do check the colours very closely, as not all whites are the same. This also goes for adding a pristine new item into an existing, slightly aging suite.

If you are buying the fittings for your builder to install, before purchasing double check the practical matters, such as changing an old-fashioned high-level cistern over to one that is close coupled, or if the position of bathroom taps and/or waste is due to change. Moving taps and waste pipes will involve extra work and expense.