Affordable bathroom renovation ideas
Smart ways to lower the cost of a new scheme without sacrificing its style or performance
Renovating your bathroom will make a huge difference to your home. Not only is it a space we use every day, it’s also a room that, according to Interactive Investor, is ‘more or less guaranteed to add value to a property’. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to create a beautiful bathroom. Read these clever tips and tricks for more affordable bathroom renovations.
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Fake a bespoke finish
Upgrade a standard inset tub by creating a feature bath panel. Clad a made-to-measure sturdy plywood sheet with tiles to suit your scheme.
Find a free design service
Take advantage of the free design service offered by many bathroom and DIY suppliers, such as Victoria Plum’s Design + Installation, to help keep bathroom renovations affordable. Bear in mind that you will need to provide measurements. Otherwise, virtual tools such as Roca’s 3R Bathroom Planner can help you visualise its products in your space.
Consider the long-term benefits
It’s worth investing in quality taps and shower fittings to ensure that you get great performance over many years. Look out for water and energy-saving features to minimise your utility bills.
Ensure it’s well fitted
When striving for affordable bathroom renovations, be mindful of cutting too many corners. Professional installation is always worth the expense. Find a reputable firm via personal recommendation or through bodies such as TrustMark.
Bag a bargain
Make your budget go further by buying discounted ex-display and end-of-range items. Factory outlets are worth a visit, or wait for the seasonal sales.
Follow the footprint
Work with your current layout to reduce installation costs. Save more money by retaining the existing wall covering and flooring while upgrading the fittings. The below example matched existing drill holes help keep installation costs in check.
Luxury look for less
Freestanding baths and affordable bathroom renovations may seem like poor bedfellows, but acrylic freestanding baths are good value and low maintenance. Choose robust fibreglass-reinforced acrylic for durability like the example below.
Is it made to last?
Buy well-known brands and check the warranty. Choose products with a warranty of at least five years when buying brassware, and ten years or more for sanitary ware.
Keep it simple
Cut the cost of installation by opting for sanitary ware and fittings that are straightforward to install. Avoid anything that calls for the construction of a false wall to conceal supporting frames or pipework.
Making significant last-minute changes to your scheme will be costly. So carefully plan and double-check your design before you order products and work gets underway. Ensure deliveries arrive before installation begins to avoid any delays.
Explore every avenue
Online marketplaces are a rich source of affordable new and second-hand designs. Check seller profiles, customer reviews and the returns policies. If possible, examine goods before buying. This bathroom by Pepper & Co has a second-hand workbench, vintage copper sink, wall-mounted basin tap and bath mixer from eBay. Millbrook cast-iron bath from The Cast Iron Bath Company. Victoria tiles from Topps Tiles.
Mimic pricey materials such as marble and concrete – and avoid the need for specialist installation – by choosing lookalike porcelain, ceramic or vinyl tiles. The below polar white marble-effect gloss porcelain tiles, and Detroit light grey concrete-effect matt porcelain tiles are a great option for this.
Centre of attention
Team inexpensive off-the-shelf sanitary ware, furniture and fittings with an investment buy that makes a bold design statement. It will give the entire scheme a more luxurious look.
Shop wisely to make your money go further, advises Tom Reynolds, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association:
- Check that the company you are buying from is part of a recognised body such as the Bathroom Manufacturers Association. Companies must sign up to a code of ethics that ensures they have quality systems in place to guarantee their products comply with British and European standards.
- Look out for baths, basins and loos that carry the UKCA mark. This is an assurance that products are both safe and fit for purpose, and have been tested for strength and durability.
- Taps and showers are controlled under Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations, which require products to be of an appropriate quality. To ensure conformity, look for the label of a recognised approval scheme such as NSF, WRAS or Kiwa Watertec.
- Ceramics can break in transit, but products from a quality manufacturer should be inspected for faults and packaged correctly. However, be sure to check for any marks and breakages on delivery.
- The Consumer Rights Act states that all goods must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. If you are not happy for any of these reasons, contact the retailer, not the manufacturer, within 30 days to request a refund or replacement. Your local Trading Standards can provide help and support.
- For more advice, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has guides you can download.