Whether you’re remodeling your bathroom for your own comfort or you’re getting your home ready to sell, it’s never wise to overspend on a bathroom remodel. Here are a few ways you can easily cut costs and enjoy your new bathroom at the same time. 

Cover Instead of Replace the Floor

Flooring quickly goes in and out of style in homes, but it’s expensive to rip out and replace. Try covering up the existing flooring instead. 

“One of the hottest trends in bathroom design is to replace outdated tile with vinyl flooring that looks like hardwood,” says an article from the premier Houston property management group Green Residential. “Vinyl flooring is extremely cheap (typically just $2 to $3 per square foot), but the cost can add up if you pay someone to rip out your existing tile, dispose of it, and then install the new vinyl.” 

The article says that most home improvement stores sell this type of vinyl, but make sure it’s installed properly, or you’ll be replacing it sooner than expected. 

Don’t Move Your Plumbing 

“Plumbing is the most expensive area of a full bathroom remodel,” explains an article from Fixr.com. For a toilet or sink, it might run you $3,500 for that single item. That cost doesn’t include the permits you may need to update it. Unless the layout of your bathroom is simply unbearable, consider leaving the plumbing where it is. 

“But it's worth looking into as bathroom remodels provide some of the highest resale returns on investment,” the article continues. If the bathroom is in a cramped corner, your shower is too small, or your sink is difficult to access, moving the plumbing will likely pay off in the long run. 

Hire a Design-Only Designer 

When remodeling, many homeowners skip the interior designer because they want to save money. It’s true that a designer who works with the contractor the whole time can be very expensive. But if you’re only paying for the initial design, it’s much more affordable and saves you from making mistakes along the way. 

“Many designers offer ‘design-only’ services,” Tenille Wood, CEO of her own design company in Denver told NerdWallet. “This means they’ll design the space for you, but you can purchase all of the materials on your own and work directly with the general [contractor] or subcontractors.”

Check Out Used Goods 

One of the best trends of the day is to check out salvage yards, antique stores, flea markets, thrift stores, and other sellers of used goods to find an old dresser or cabinet that can be turned into a bathroom counter. It’s relatively inexpensive to install a stone or Formica countertop on top of these thrifted pieces, and you can potentially save thousands with this strategy. 

Do the Little Things 

You shouldn’t attempt to move plumbing or wire new light fixtures in your bathroom. If you don’t have experience with demolition, tiling, and other major updates, you don’t want to attempt these things either. You risk making a big mistake and spending even more to have it fixed. 

However, you can probably pull off little things like painting, grouting tile, or installing hardware on your new cabinetry. The little things can equate to hundreds in savings by the end of the project. 

Consider the Actual Resale Value 

It’s easy to get carried away with a bathroom remodel. The average cost is just under $18,000, according to a Remodeling Magazine report. The same report states that most homeowners only receive 66 percent of the cost in return when they sell the home. Upscale remodels costing twice the average or more have an even lower return rate at 58 percent. 

When doing your remodel, try not to let your desire for luxury overcome practicality. Disover.com suggests a few ways to see the biggest return on investment with a bathroom remodel. “New tile, an updated cabinet or fixtures, and brighter, more natural lighting will appeal to buyers,” the article says. “Usability and adding a touch of luxury are other factors to consider.” 

Installing heated floors, a double sink, storage, a beautiful shower, or a larger tub can also add value. “Increasing the size of your bathroom, or at least making the room look bigger, is a great way to add value,” the article continues. “Replacing a tub with a glass shower gives the appearance of more room. Installing brighter light fixtures or adding wall sconces around the mirror is another way to make the room feel larger.”

As you can see, there are many options for boosting the appeal of a bathroom remodel while maintaining your return on investment. Speak with your contractor about the best options for your renovation and enjoy your updates!