Bathroom renovations, even small ones, can be costly. How do you keep the cost down? Here are some tips for you.
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How to Save Money on the Cost of Bathroom Renovations

Tips to Save Money on Bathroom Renovation Cost

Here we will look at some of the things you can do to save money on the cost of bathroom renovations.

1. Work with the Layout You Have

When dealing with a cramped bathroom, the first thought might be to start knocking down walls and rearranging the entire layout. While this is one method you can pursue, it is often the most expensive. When you begin moving walls and changing a layout, plumbing fixtures will also have to be moved. The cost, as a result, starts to add up.

You should only consider changing the layout if it is absolutely necessary. For example, if you need a larger bathroom that can accommodate persons with mobility issues.

How do you make your bathroom layout work?

Finding out it could cost thousands more to move a wall can be devastating. Fortunately, there are ways to work around a cramped or poorly designed layout.

Instead of knocking down walls to enlarge a small bathroom, consider getting smaller fixtures. Low profile toilets and sinks can save you several inches of floor space and make your bathroom feel larger than it actually is. Consider replacing a bulky tub with a corner shower. Creative storage solutions that go up instead of out will help you utilize more of the space you have.

work with the layout you have 2. Avoid Custom Tiled Walls Around Showers and Tubs

When choosing your shower or tub, you will have two main options:

  • a prefabricated shower kit
  • custom tiling your walls and/or the base of the shower

Fully custom tiles can be beautiful and give you many options. But they constitute a significant drain on time and money. While a shower kit can be installed in an afternoon, custom tiles may take the better part of a workweek.

Fortunately, newer shower kits offer many more options and higher quality than old models. Elegant and modern shower/tub kits can save you time and money while still working with the aesthetic of your bathroom.

How can you get the tiles you want in your bathroom without adding much to the cost of renovation?

Even if you choose a shower kit, that does not mean you need to give up on tiles altogether. Choose a shower kit that includes the base but not the walls, then put up the tile walls yourself. Tiling can be a good DIY project and will cut down significantly on cost since labour is such a big part of this expense.

3. Measure Before You Buy

If you are working with a professional bathroom renovation team, this should not be a concern. However, if you are picking out and buying items on your own, you need to be mindful of what will work with your bathroom. It can be easy to assume things will fit, but measuring ahead of time will save you wasting money and time returning what does not work.

Consider Doorway Width. For example, unless you plan on widening your bathroom door frame, the dimensions here will be a deciding factor in much of what you choose. If you are going with a shower kit like suggested above, measure your door frame first before deciding on a one-piece or multi-piece unit. One-piece shower kits are ultra-convenient to install, but they are sometimes too large to fit through the doors of older homes in particular. Fortunately, the multi-piece units can be accommodated by just about any doorway.

Room Size: It is important to note that just because a piece can fit through a door does not mean it fits the room. The smaller your bathroom, the more important it is to pick items that work with the space. Space-saving sinks, toilets and showers can help to keep even the most cramped bathrooms from feeling claustrophobic.

4. Keep Things Simple Where You Can

As home renovations have become increasingly popular, the selection of items available has also exploded. From water-saving toilets to in-home saunas, there are plenty of upgrades and extras to consider. However, for something like a toilet, you may think the newest model with the most features is best, but that often adds on costs now and later.

New toilets offer such features as heated seats, lighting, and even music. Not only will this cost several hundred dollars more upfront, the installation and potential need for repairs will also be much higher. In contrast, you can get a good quality standard toilet for a few hundred and even install it yourself.

Choose simple but quality basics. While you should avoid extravagant extras, you also should still look for quality items. Check out customer ratings and choose basic items made of quality materials to avoid the cost of replacing or repairing cheaper items in the future.

5. What to Keep vs What to Replace

It should come as little surprise that the more of your original bathroom you keep, the less expensive your overall home renovation will be. Here is a list of items you should consider keeping when possible and when they should be replaced.


Along with avoiding load-bearing walls, you should also seek to save drywall behind walls. Moisture in a bathroom typically means at least some drywall will need to be replaced due to mould. Sometimes, however, homeowners will go overboard in what they choose to replace. If there is any sign of mould, yes, the drywall should be replaced. Failing to do so will cause much more costly issues later. However, in areas of the bathroom not as affected by moisture, you may be able to keep a significant portion of your drywall and the money you would have spent on replacing it.

When it must be replaced: Mould or water damage of any kind means the drywall should be replaced: While keeping undamaged drywall will save money, keeping compromised drywall will end up costing more down the line.

drywall Keep Existing Cabinetry

Cabinetry is another area that homeowners often spend a great deal on during bathroom renovations. For the most cost-effective bathroom renovation, you can add a simple coat of paint. Fresh paint will instantly change your bathroom’s look and let you customize your cabinets to match your new decor for the lowest price.

Refacing, the process of putting a new veneer or coating on your cabinets, is often a good option in between painting and replacement. While more expensive than simple paint, refacing is significantly cheaper and less labour-intensive than a full replacement.

When it Must be replaced: Cabinetry is unlikely to pose any health threat, so there is no strict rule about replacing it. However, cabinets that are worn to the point that they cannot be helped with a coat of paint may be good candidates for replacement.

Electrical Circuits

Does your electrical wiring need to be upgraded? Maybe. Typically, older wiring will need to be upgraded to meet current safety requirements. However, suppose your wiring is still getting the job done. In that case, the permit office in your town may be able to have it approved under current conditions. This will save you significant money and time.

When it Must be replaced: If your electrical wiring has any issues or poses a fire hazard, it must be replaced. An inspector will find these issues, and their findings should be adhered to. Electrical wiring is not an area where you want to do it yourself or cut corners when something needs to be replaced or upgraded.

Know When to DIY and When to Call a Professional

When choosing DIY projects for your bathroom remodel, you should select projects you are comfortable with. As a general rule, plumbing and electrical items should be left to experienced individuals. Both of these components can lead to much worse and much more expensive situations if not done properly.

Building and installing cabinetry is another area that is usually best for professionals. Unless you have the knowledge and tools already, trying to get all the equipment you need to build cabinetry or other items will usually make the job more expensive.

What You Can Do: Many home remodel items are much more beginner-friendly. Things that will not affect structural, plumbing or electrical components are good candidates for a DIY project.

  • Painting
  • Tiling
  • Prefabricated Shower/Tub installation (shower kits make installation easy enough for many homeowners, but make sure to follow instructions carefully and have a helper there for heavy items).
  • Toilets can also be surprisingly easy to install. Look for a simpler model and check out DIY videos for a project that will help keep you under budget.

Getting Started with a Bathroom Renovation Estimate

Any bathroom renovation project is going to cost money. How much you spend depends on many factors. If it is important to keep the cost down, then remember to focus on functionality over aesthetics. Having done that, do try to follow the tips provided in this article. At the very least, you can strike a balance between design and cost.

Ready to get started? The experienced team at Toronto’s Basement Finishing Company is here to help. They offer a full range of bathroom renovation, and whole house remodel services. Call them today at 1-647-370-9448 to schedule an appointment.