Easy & Cheap Bathroom Update Ideas: Small, Modern and Affordable

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. While all rooms serve their purpose and are very important in one’s home, it’s pretty hard to imagine living in a house without a bathroom.

Let’s talk about worst-case scenarios just to give you an idea of how important it is. If your house doesn’t have a bedroom, you sleep in the living room or virtually any house room. If your house doesn’t have a kitchen, you eat takeout in any room with a table and a chair. If your house doesn’t have a living room, the bedroom is more comfortable anyway.

luxurious bathroom

Now, imagine living a life in a house without a bathroom. Where are you going to take a bath? Where are you going to do the number 1 and the number 2? Imagine waking up in the middle of the night needing to do the number 2 and having no bathroom.

This is why most homeowners spend a lot of money on their bathrooms. They put a lot of thought into it, ensuring that it will be as comfortable as ever. Think about it. You spend a lot of time in it. You start and end your day in it.

If done by a good contractor, a good bathroom will serve you well for years. With the use and abuse it will take, the time will come when you’d need to renovate it. Also, time will come when you’ll get sick and tired of how it looks. One second you’re sitting on your throne. The next second, you’re angry about the bathroom’s outdated look.

Many of these homeowners think that it’s something that they simply have to live with. They’re under the impression that renovating it will require a lot of money. They think it will be the same amount they spent when they first constructed it. While you can spend a lot of money to update its looks, you don’t have to do it if you don’t have the budget for it.

There are many easy and cheap bathroom update ideas that you can implement right now. Most homeowners have money set aside ‘they can use to implement ‘ideas right now for an instant upgrade. By implementing these ideas, you can have a bathroom that looks and feels brand new.

This article has you covered. We’ll tell you how to update your bathroom on a budget and make it look better. These are easy and cheap bathroom update ideas that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

We’ll also list down small bathroom update ideas. A lot of homeowners have a small bathroom, probably including you. Having a small bathroom shouldn’t be too much of an issue once you’ve updated it with these ideas.

If you have it like that, the master bathroom is your favorite. You take pride in it. Only you and your partner use it. Once it becomes outdated, you’ll get sick and tired of it pretty fast. Don’t worry because we have you covered as well with updated ideas.

How to Update your Bathroom on a Budget and Make it Look Better

What do you want to happen? That’s the first thing that you have to consider. What do you want to see? What do you want to change? What are the improvements that you want to see?

Knowing the answers to these questions is very important since you’re working on a budget. The last thing you’d want to happen is to implement ideas only to find out in the end that they don’t work for you. Imagine the horror if you realize that you made things worse later on. You’d have to spend money again to correct the mistakes. This defeats the purpose of operating on a budget.

Cheap update ideas
Clean itRepaintImprove the storage situation
Use a theme and decorateNew shower curtainIntroduce shelves

You also have to consider doing it DIY versus hiring a contractor. Doing the latter will add to the cost, but don’t let that force you to do it DIY when hiring a contractor. Depending on your skill level, some projects are better off done by professionals. Hiring someone helps you save money because the projects will be done correctly. If not, they’ll be held accountable and make things right.

Fortunately for you, there are a lot of updated ideas. Some are perfect for doing a DIY project. Here are some very basic ones to get you started:

  1. Clean it!

When was the last time you cleaned it? I mean, clean it. We’re talking about deep cleaning, including the grout. A lot of homeowners are surprised when they see their newly-cleaned bathroom.

It’s important to keep it clean regularly. This means ensuring that the flooring and fixtures are dry, among others. Of course, schedule a regular general cleaning.

  1. Think of a theme.

A modern farmhouse look is gaining a lot of popularity, so that’s something to consider. Are you thinking of sticking to the classic? That’s never a bad move.

  1. Repaint the room.

There’s a good chance that the paint job has seen better days. You see chipped paint. Overall, the paint job looks outdated.

A good idea for a small bathroom is to embrace the dark mood. Use a dark shade like a deep blue to complement black and white floor tiles.

black floor tile

Repainting the room is a relatively easy DIY project. The bigger challenge is choosing the paint type and color. Consult a professional to be sure.

You may also get away with using wallpaper. Just make sure to use it only on walls that don’t get moist.

  1. Replace the shower curtain.

Don’t laugh. Replacing the shower curtain will go a long way. Do it today to see for yourself.

  1. Add more storage for your shower area.

Do you find yourself constantly going in and out of the shower for your essentials? There’s a simple solution. There are a lot of shower storage solutions that you buy at the nearest home improvement store or even online that you easily install yourself. The additional storage makes a lot of difference, while very simple and inexpensive. You’ll instantly improve your showering experience because everything is within reach!

Glass shelves work best for this purpose!

Besides, it will look good! It transforms a bare-looking shower into a better-looking and more efficient one, more importantly!

  1. Improve or replace the mirror.

Of course, you have a mirror in there. Of course, it’s now old and outdated. Cleaning it will instantly improve its appearance, but there are other things that you can do to improve its appearance.

For example, you can frame the mirror to turn a plain-looking mirror into an artistic one. Frame it with glass tiles and then finish the whole look with wood trim. You can also use something like oyster shells to frame it.

Replace the mirror if needed! It’s relatively inexpensive to replace. While you’re at it, you can also add a small pull-out mirror. Installing one only takes a few minutes.

  1. Add a cabinet in the bathroom.

A lot of homeowners have bare walls in the bathroom. On the other hand, many people have something simple up on the wall like a mirror or a painting. Some even have a small shelf.

Those who have a small shelf up have the right idea. This shelf will add storage space and make the area more functional without increasing the square footage. It can also make the area more organized, so you don’t have things lying around.

With these benefits, doesn’t it make sense to make it bigger? Therefore, it’s recommended that you put up a cabinet. It doesn’t have to be a big one. Just make sure that it’s beautiful to look at.

The beautiful cabinet will instantly add appeal to the room. Open it and store your personal effects in it. You’ll see why it’s a good idea to have it installed. You just have to pay for the cabinet and a handyman to have it installed if you choose to hire one, although it can be a DIY project for an experienced DIYer.

  1. Place glass shelves.

What if adding a cabinet is not an option? It could be because of a lack of space, or it would look weird. If you have limited space to work with or want all-glass everything to look at, placing glass shelves is the way to go.

All you need for the space is that unused space above the toilet. You can add one or more and use them for decorative purposes. You also add more functionality by using it for storage. It can also be used for something as simple as placing your watch before showering.

  1. Improve the vanity.

You probably fell in love with the vanity the first time you had installed it. When was the last time you appreciated how it looked? When was the last time you thanked it for its efficiency? It was a long time ago.

There’s a good chance that it needs an upgrade. You don’t have to replace it in most cases. Sometimes, all it needs is a fresh paint job. It will be brand new.

You can also take this chance to add more storage space. Add a couple of pullout drawers and shelves. How about some dividers for the drawers for better organization?

Having furniture like an organized vanity can help a lot. With it, you have a more organized bathroom. It leads to a cleaner, better-looking bathroom.

  1. Install a new vanity or other cabinets.

What if the vanity is beyond saving? You should have a new one installed if you have the budget for it. Take this chance to modernize the storage that you have in the bathroom. There are a lot of modern designs for you to look at. You can buy ready-to-assemble ones.

  1. Improve the lighting.

Photographers know what they’re talking about when they say that lighting matters. Natural lighting is out of the question in most cases, so it’s up to you to improve artificial lighting.

Installing a dimmer switch is a good start. It will help set the mood. But generally speaking, it has to be well-lighted.

You must hire a professional for this task. Working with electricity requires professional expertise.

  1. Get a towel warmer.

Ah, very few things can match the comfort that a warm and toasty towel gives. It’s one of those things that make a trip to the spa worth it. Fortunately, you can have the same experience at home. No, we’re not talking about using a towel fresh out of the dryer.

A towel warmer is a generally inexpensive upgrade. You can get one for a little over $50, and you can even install it yourself.

In addition to providing you with warm towels, it also serves as a hanger. This means that you won’t have towels lying around. It can also help you save on energy. You won’t get the towels dirty because you’ll have a place where you’d want to store them.

Your guests will also love you for it! They’d probably find a way to keep using the towels.

  1. Use accent tiles.

You don’t have to re-tile the whole room for a new look. You just need to change how it looks in many cases, and using accent tiles should do the trick.


This works best if you have plain white tiles. Add accent tiles in strategic areas, and it will look and feel like you had the whole room re-tiled.

This will help you save a lot of money. You just have to buy a few tiles. They don’t have to be expensive ones, and you can even pick them up used. You just have to ensure that they provide a nice contrast in color and texture.

There’s something about accent tiles that give off a luxury appeal. No one’s going to know that they’re affordable tiles.

Experienced DIYers may even install them on their own. When in doubt, hire a contractor. Get in touch with shower room tile contractors in your area.

  1. Replace the faucets and the showerhead.

Homeowners often overlook this. There’s a good chance that your faucets have lost their shine and luster, and it affects the overall appeal. The same goes for the showerhead.

They’re pretty inexpensive, and anyone can install them. Replace them for an easy and cheap bathroom update idea.

Small Bathroom Update Ideas

blue tiled bathroom

Take note of these small bathroom update ideas:

Easy, small bathroom ideas
Make better use of floor spacePut the sink in the corner
Go verticalUse space outside the bathroom
Include mirrorsUse clever door positioning
  1. Reclaim floor space.

Floor space is a luxury in a small room. You reclaim a few square footage here and there, and it will surely start adding up. For example, use a pedestal sink. You still get the full functionality of a sink but with a smaller footprint.

  1. Take advantage of vertical space.

Think of condominiums. Hundreds of families get to live in a relatively small space because of their verticality. The same principle applies here.

Instead of placing cabinets and other storage furniture on the floor, you should install storage solutions on the walls. A nice-looking cabinet will add to the appeal. More importantly, it can serve as storage.

A good place to store it is above the toilet. Why? It’s to save on floor space. You’re using floor space that’s been taken already, maximizing its use.

Shelves also work here. Glass shelves look pretty, and they’re functional too. You can place towels there. You also place things that you use while on the sink like shaving cream, lotion, and the like.

Speaking of shelves, don’t forget about the shower room! Corner shelves are an efficient way of using otherwise unused space. You can place your shampoo and soap here.

Of course, don’t forget a towel rack!

  1. Place the sink in the corner.

In most cases, the corners of any room are left unused. They become dead space which shouldn’t be a problem for bigger rooms. But if you’re utilizing a small space, maximizing the corners can do wonders.

This is why it’s recommended that you place the sink in the corner. Some designs should fit against a corner perfectly. This way, at least one corner won’t be a dead space.

  1. The space outside is fair game.

You can place a small cabinet by the door outside. It’s a good storage space for towels and extra bottles of shampoo and toothpaste tubes. You may also install additional storage above the door outside.

  1. Experiment with patterns.

This time, you can fool your eyes willingly by experimenting with patterns. Do you know how people wear vertical stripes to make them thinner? Do the opposite and use horizontal stripes to make the space look bigger. The wider, the better.

You can also experiment with big squares and patterns.

  1. Turn one wall into a mirror.

This will help you in two ways. It creates the appearance of a bigger room. If you place it directly across the vanity, you also use it while doing your rituals. It also allows two people to use the vanity at once.

  1. Think of the small space when dealing with doors.

For starters, you should place the towel rack on the door itself. This way, you don’t have to install a separate rack that will take up space. You should also use a vanity that doesn’t have doors. Some vanities have open shelves. This helps because opening doors can be tricky in a small space. With that being said, use a shower curtain or a sliding door for the shower for the same reason.

Easy & Cheap Bathroom Update Ideas

modern and bright bathroom

Most of the readers of this article are operating on a budget. In this case, here are some tips and ideas for you:

  1. Save on tiles.

Tiles get pretty expensive, especially if you’re going to tile everything. There are a lot of affordable options. Yes, even with the design that you have in mind.

You also don’t have to tile the walls. A little paint works in most cases. The wallpaper will work on some walls as well.

Accent tiles are your friend if you’re looking to save on tiles. If you have your eyes set on an expensive tile design, use that as an accent with cheaper tiles.

  1. Just paint the bathroom.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on renovation. In many cases, simply repainting the room will give it an entirely new look.

This tip will also help with your mobile home bathroom.

  1. Find things that you can clean or replace.

When was the last time you cleaned the grout? How about the caulk? Dirty grout and caulk can lead to an ugly overall look. The simple act of cleaning them can do wonders.

You can also clean the faucets and other fixtures. Replace them if necessary.

  1. Look for used replacements.

You don’t have to spend on brand new replacements, especially if you’re operating on a budget. Buying used can save you hundreds of dollars.

  1. Go green.

This is more of a long-term solution. You’re looking for cheap updates, which means that money is a concern. If you have to update, go green. This way, you save on energy. It will save you money.

Master Bathroom Update Ideas

white bathroom

Ah, your pride and joy. It’s a pride and joy that you don’t want people to use. It’s reserved for you and your significant other. But this doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t want to make it look good.

Here are some primary bathroom update ideas:

  1. Make a statement wall.

This is a relatively inexpensive update that can make a statement. It’s proof that you don’t have to replace or remodel all the walls. You just have to remodel one wall and make it stand out.

  1. Add a standalone tub.

If your master bathroom doesn’t have a tub, it’s time to install one. Keep it simple but elegant with a standalone tub.

For this, you need the expertise of a plumber.

  1. In with the new and the old.

The saying out with the old and the new only works if you have the budget. For most homeowners, it’s logical to keep things that still look amazing and complement them with new things.

It can also be taken in such a way that you’ll complement older designs with a modern touch. A customized steel vanity will look great in a traditional design. Another example is to use modern marble accent tiles to go with the traditional look.

  1. Use accent tiles under and behind the tub.

This works great with a standalone tub. Place accent tiles underneath and behind it. It will be amazing to look at.

  1. Go reclaimed.

It’s a good way to go green. As a bonus, reclaimed materials like tiles look amazing.

  1. Invest in a mirror.

A Venetian mirror will stand out positively. It looks luxurious and elegant – perfect for your master bathroom.

  1. Paint a mural by your tub.

Imagine a cherry blossoms mural as wall decor. Imagine soaking in the tub, feeling as if you’re amidst the cherry blossoms.

  1. Contrast the walls with the floor.

If you have plain walls, make sure that you have patterned flooring.

  1. Invest in rugs.

It’s a good way to update the room regularly. You can easily replace them if you get sick and tired of them, although beautiful rugs will remain beautiful for a long time.

  1. Add a chandelier.

Yes, it’s not just for living rooms.

  1. Keep it Zen.

The master bathroom has to be relaxing. Maintaining a Zen atmosphere will surely help.


What is the average cost of a small bathroom?

Remodeling a small bathroom costs an average of $6,500. Depending on the intricacy you’re planning to introduce, the remodel could cost anywhere from $1500 to $15,000.

How can I decorate my bathroom on a budget?

To remodel within a budget, it’s essential to highlight the problem areas first. If the paint on your bathroom walls is cracking, get that fixed first. Then, allocate a majority portion of the budget to make it more functional. Additionally, keep looking for cheaper alternatives. If marble tiling is out of your budget, you can opt for a wallpaper pattern that resembles marble.

What color makes a small bathroom look bigger?

Light or pastel colors visually expand your bathroom. Colors like white, cream, or yellow give the appearance of more available space as they capture more light. You can even go for muted or pastel versions of standard colors.

What should you not do when remodeling a bathroom?

It’s important not to prioritize the aesthetic over functionality. Going in without a plan or an estimated budget can cost great money and time. Look for cheaper substitutes instead of going for traditionally expensive options.

Do remodeled bathrooms increase home value?

Remodeling Magazine says you may get 60% of your remodeling cost back when you resale your house. So it’s worth it to remodel your bathroom.

How can I update my bathroom for cheap?

You can change the look of your bathroom with a few simple hacks. Frame your mirror and upgrade it instantly. Hang some decent wallpaper and change the color scheme for cheap. Use small subway tiles to change up a corner and a splash of color. A great new mirror can instantly upgrade your bathroom. If it’s backlit, that’s even better! Why not change up the color of your cabinets and get those guests intrigued.

How much does it cost to modernize a bathroom?

If you’re looking for basic renovations, you should be in the range of $10000. Maybe you’re looking for better brands that would cost you between $10000-and $20,000. If you’re looking to incorporate only the best furnishings and fixtures, your final cost could come down to $35000.

How much does it cost to remodel an en suite bathroom?

This depends on the size. If a small bathroom needs remodeling, you could be in for a splurge of $5000 and upwards. For a master ensuite bathroom, you will be looking for $10000 to $30000.

Can I redo the bathroom myself?

It is a challenge worth working on, but only for those who are equipped with the right skill. You’ll also need plenty of time along with skill. Suppose you’re only working on minor upgrades like replacing mirrors and adding wallpaper. In that case, this job can be done on your own. But consider hiring a contractor for tile work and plumbing fixtures.

How do you update a small bathroom on a budget?

  1. Before diving into the specifics, set an estimated budget.

  2. Prioritize any repair or restoration work you’ve been putting off.

    Before revamping your bathroom, it’s crucial to fix any functional problems.

  3. Replace the fixtures.

    Upgrading your shower head and faucets with modern and sleeker designs is a visual treat.

  4. Get appropriate lighting.

    Let go of the harsh fluorescent tube lights and incorporate softer, more aesthetically pleasing lighting.

  5. De-clutter to make more space.

    Remove any junk from the cabinets or drawers in the bathroom. Only place essentials in the bathroom and make sure not to overcrowd the area with bottles and toilet rolls.

  6. Pay close attention to the color palette.

    Make sure all the bathroom elements are well balanced and in harmony with each other. For example, the paint on your walls must be coherent with the cabinet doors and the tiles on the shelf.

  7. Replace the outdated tiling.

    Introduce cleaner and more muted colors to your bathroom with an upgraded tiling style. Or you can choose to get a deep clean on your current tiles.

  8. Make sure to introduce new shower curtains and towels in your setting.