8 Budget-Friendly Small Bathroom Remodel and Update Ideas

Home Improvement

Updating a small bathroom can be a lot of work. But these budget-friendly small bathroom remodels prove you don’t have to spend a fortune or have a lot of space to make significant changes. See how these petite baths were completely transformed while keeping costs and style in mind.

Before: Bare Bones and Limited Space

This space’s layout and vintage fixtures didn’t scare off the homeowner from a small bathroom remodel. Instead, she was inspired to work with what was already there. With a limited budget, she kept the layout of the existing plumbing and the pink bathtub, too.

After: Small Changes, Big Impact

Marty Baldwin

The original pink cast-iron bathtub was the anchor in designing this small bathroom remodel. Beige grout was used for the floor and wall tiles to better match the rosy bathtub. A wood vanity (with lots of storage!) was installed and given a custom look with the inexpensive addition of arched metal legs and IKEA hardware.

Before: Outdated Wallpaper and Color Palette

Keyanna Bowen

This original small bathroom was covered in outdated wallpaper and a dull shade of yellow. The homeowner only used paint and limewash to completely change the walls of this spaceā€”no tile installation necessary. Installing tile can rack up a big bill when renovating, so finding ways to avoid it can save you thousands on your small bathroom remodel.

After: Bright and Airy Bathroom

Keyanna Bowen

The wall tiles were given new life with a few coats of white paint, and the old wallpaper was replaced with limewash. The salvaged vanity was painted black and a new faucet and hardware were added for a money-saving update. A fresh countertop was installed with a marble remnant, and a smaller mirror and sconces were hung to fit the size of the space better.

Before: Old-Fashioned Bathroom

Filled with dated fixtures and surfaces, this space badly needs an upgrade. The budget small bathroom remodel replaced the old pipes, flooring, tub, and vanity to make it more functional for a young family. The overall layout and an octagon-shaped window were the only elements left unchanged.

After: Modern Black-and-White Bath

Julie Soefer

Boldly patterned cement tiles set the tone for this small bathroom design. The tile’s high-contrast color scheme is repeated on matte black fixtures and stretches of white subway tile with black grout lines. An inexpensive IKEA vanity replaces the old one while keeping costs low. Wood drawer fronts add texture and dimension to the contemporary space.

Before: Old, Impractical Bathtub

Courtesy of homeowner

The original 1948 pink tub instantly dated this bathroom. And for a family that preferred showers over baths, the 5×8-foot space didn’t keep up with their morning routine. This small bathroom remodel adds a more practical shower and updated style.

After: Stylish Small Bathroom Makeover

Adam Albright

A subway-tiled walk-in shower replaces the decades-old tub to give this remodeled bathroom a fresh look. To stay within budget, the homeowners kept the original vanity and updated it with paint and new hardware. Instead of replacing the old floor tiles, they covered it with inexpensive peel-and-stick tiles for a quick, low-cost update.

Before: Stuck in a Timewarp

Filled with charms and challenges, this small bathroom in a 1920s bungalow needed a few spruce-ups to unlock its full potential. A leaky water-guzzling toilet, a stained pedestal sink, and dated fixtures topped the must-fix list. This small bathroom remodel was completed on a $1,500 budget (excluding labor) and some DIY sweat equity.

After: Classic Small Bathroom Ideas

Jay Wilde

This small bathroom remodel preserves and enhances classic details while updating the functionality of the space. The blue floor tiles inspired the addition of sophisticated navy-and-gray damask-print wallpaper, which the homeowners hung themselves. New beaded-board wainscoting painted bright white restored some of the room’s architectural detail and proved more cost-effective than taking the wallpaper to the floor.

After: Small Bathroom Sink Ideas

Jay Wilde

A pedestal sink fits the home’s style but lacks storage, so a glass shelf and a new medicine cabinet stand in as handy storage. During a bathroom remodel, make sure the new recessed medicine cabinet will fit the existing hole before applying wallpaper in case the opening needs to be modified. Replacing the 1990s oak medicine cabinet with a white-framed version furthers the bathroom’s lighter, bright aesthetic.

After: Personalized Small Bathroom Updates

Jay Wilde

Inexpensive, store-bought accessories can help keep your small bathroom remodel budget in check. These homeowners personalized the space with a few DIY projects. Here, an embroidered monogram and ribbon were added to the shower curtain with permanent fabric glue to create a custom look.

After: Small Bathroom Design Details

Jay Wilde

Thoughtful touches give the room additional character. Inspired by the vertical lines of the beaded board, the built-in cabinet’s existing doors were modified with reeded glass. Grosgrain ribbon glued to an inexpensive Roman shade window treatment lends custom style. Finally, new chrome accessories add sparkle to the space.

Before: Opportunities for Bathroom Remodel

Courtesy of Linda Roberts

This bathroom badly needed a redo, and an unfortunate incident finally made it necessary. A pet hamster’s escape to inside the bathroom wall required a rescue that included tearing into the wall. The subsequent small bathroom remodel was completed with a budget of around $1,500.

After: Eclectic Small Bathroom Design

Gene Pollux

With a DIY mindset, this small bathroom remodel created a personal sanctuary on a budget. This Asian butcher table, found at an antique shop, was repurposed for the vanity. The table maintains its authenticity with a simple above-counter sink. A new mirror adds a modern touch, while a pebble-tile “rug” on the floor adds texture and a spa-like accent.

After: Stylish Small Bathroom Storage

Gene Pollux

Inexpensive shelves from a home center transform the wall above the toilet to provide a storage spot for bathroom essentials. A simple light-and-dark palette throughout the small bathroom helps the space appear larger, and the same neutral scheme appears in the vignette above the toilet. The dark tones on the shelves, picture frames, and art contrast with the white towels, photo mats, and bud vases.

After: Mix Modern and Antique Styles

Gene Pollux

Mixing contemporary styles with antiques is the secret to this small bathroom remodel’s signature look. The antique vanity has clean lines and a weathered finish. The modern sink and faucet are sleek yet offer a nod to old-fashioned washstands and bowls. It’s a beautiful combination of vintage and contemporary aesthetics.

After: Pebble-Tile “Rug”

Gene Pollux

This eclectic bath has a one-of-a-kind floor with a pebble-tile “rug” created with mesh-back river rock tile squares. Using just a few pieces of the more expensive pebble tile adds a luxe touch to the bathroom without adding much cost to the small bathroom remodel. The pebble tiles are the same color as the border tile, which creates an uninterrupted visual plane along the floor and helps the small bath feel larger.

After: Compact Walk-In Shower

Gene Pollux

Simple subway tiles give this walk-in shower’s modern design a classic feel. A painting coated with a polyurethane sealer to waterproof it creates a focal point on the back wall. Although this shower is open, it is wide enough that overspray is not a problem.

Before: Basic and Boring

It took two rounds of remodeling to take this 5×5-foot powder room from basic to fantastic. The thoughtful planning strategy allowed the homeowners to make updates gradually. This clever spending tactic helped keep the budget for this small bathroom remodel at just over $2,000.

After: Posh Powder Room Remodel

Jay Wilde

With just a few affordable changes, this powder room got an elegant new look. A slim pedestal sink adds a graceful shape to the room without taking up much space. The easy-to-clean wainscoting behind the sink adds a pretty architectural element in this small bath. Installing the painted beaded board just past the midpoint of the wall draws the eye up and lends a sense of height and a layer of charm.

After: Utilize the Space You Have

Jay Wilde

The white pedestal sink has a classic, versatile look that will withstand time and trends. With no base cabinet, the simple design visually opens up the room. The sink includes the timeless appeal of a brushed-nickel faucet, and its wide rim is a perfect spot for pretty soaps or a small vase of flowers.

After: Hang Wallpaper

Jay Wilde

The bold, oversized paisley-pattern wallpaper amps up the small bathroom’s style and offers ornate contrast to the simple lines of the wainscoting below. The rich gray and light blue design adds visual interest while keeping the overall color scheme neutral. The cool tones nicely complement the brushed-nickel hardware.

After: Style Small Accents

Jay Wilde

Storage needs are often minimal in a small powder room. Incorporating a small cabinet provides a place to tuck away extra rolls of toilet paper and hand towels. Plus, there’s a place on top to display decorative accents.

After: Small Bathroom Flooring Ideas

Jay Wilde

Although this small bathroom remodel was done on a budget, its footprint didn’t require much flooring material, which allowed the homeowners to splurge a bit. This woven mosaic tile perfectly complements the bathroom’s style and will wear well. To stretch your remodeling budget, surround decorative tiles with more affordable plain tiles around the room’s perimeter.

Before: Tight Quarters

Courtesy of Young House Love

This tiny bathroom left a lot to be desired in the style and size department. But a smart remodel transformed the style and function without adding a single inch. The total remodeling budget came in right around $2,000.

After: Simple Small Bathroom Remodel

Eric Johnson

Two avid DIYers transformed their 7×6-foot hall bathroom into a polished, serene space. They achieved their updated look with smart shopping and doing most of the work themselves. They chose a calming color scheme of soft green, white, and brown to make the small room feel larger.

After: Choose Paint Colors Thoughtfully

Eric Johnson

The serene, soft green paint helps to expand the small bathroom visually. The white sink, towels, and robe provide crisp counterpoints to the green walls. A rich brown vanity, framed mirror, and accents add drama to the bathroom color scheme.

After: Repurpose a Bathroom Vanity

Erik Johnson

To help save costs on this small bathroom remodel, an inexpensive nightstand was turned into a vanity. It’s a sophisticated alternative to a stock vanity and offers the look of a higher-end model. The nightstand drawer is still functional and stores small items. A large above-counter sink minimizes splashing, and the nightstand was treated with a lacquer finish to make it water-resistant.

After: Remove Closet Doors

Eric Johnson

Removing bulky linen closet doors helps open up the small bathroom and keep items accessible. Corralling similar items, such as washcloths and cosmetics, in baskets prevents the open storage from looking cluttered. Open glass jars holding other bathroom essentials continue the streamlined look.

After: Inexpensive Bathroom Art

Eric Johnson

Art doesn’t have to be expensive to offer a gallery-like look for your small bathroom. A trip to New York City inspired this subway sign art. These signs were made on a computer, printed, and affixed to slim boards with glue, then covered with a decoupage medium.