Bathroom Renovation on a Budget

Bathroom remodeling projects can add significant value to your home. But be wary: renovation costs are often out of budget.

Build a clear wishlist, noting must-have items first and nice-to-haves second.

Use existing fixtures and tile, select off-the-shelf pieces over custom designs, and do some DIY work are all ways to reduce costs and cut expenses.


Homeowners looking to renovate their bathrooms often opt to alter its layout during renovation, which may prove costly if alterations require moving plumbing and sewer pipes or altering load-bearing walls.

Small bathrooms can appear larger with a long wall-to-wall vanity that accommodates double sinks, adding modern or rustic style through wooden cabinetry and natural tile designs that complement its design.

This modern bathroom layout uses partition walls and a space-saving pocket door to create a toilet alcove that offers generous private space. Not only does this bathroom create the impression that it is larger, it also maximizes available space by employing narrow countertops with double basins on either end; additionally WC and shower areas are separated by glass panels in order to save floor space.


Plumbers and electricians will likely be required to ensure the new layout of a bathroom renovation is compatible with its current utilities, which could mean moving a toilet, sink or tub/shower; should this occur, permits may also need to be obtained and plumbing or electrical services rediverted accordingly.

Erica of Sweeten renovated her NYC bathroom without moving the toilet or sink – making this project more of a simple makeover than an extensive remodel. Rehanging drywall, painting and installing flooring may all be required, but no major layout changes or fixture replacements were necessary for Erica’s makeover project.

For a comprehensive bathroom renovation, it may be necessary to alter its footprint by moving walls around and changing door locations. Such projects typically involve dropping walls, rerouting electrical and plumbing lines, as well as taking apart and reconstructing rooms to their core.


Electrical work during a bathroom remodel should only be handled by professionals with extensive knowledge in their field, and homeowners should verify that their contractor carries all required licenses and insurance to carry out this specialized task.

Electrical upgrades are an integral component of any NYC bathroom remodeling. Upgrades might include new light fixtures, recessed lights or even fans. Installing GFCI outlets could prevent fires caused by electricity and water being combined in the bathroom environment.

Many homeowners are surprised to discover their existing bathroom wiring doesn’t meet current code requirements for new construction, but updating it to be compliant can make your bathroom safer and more appealing to potential buyers. This usually involves installing either a 15-amp receptacle for plug-in appliances or 20 amp circuit with GFCI outlet for bath-related usage.


Sweeten is here to assist homeowners in their search for reliable general contractors who understand their scope of work and budget needs. We connect homeowners with contractors who specialize in the upgrades they’re considering at no additional cost and can offer expert guidance based on these specific upgrades.

Bathroom floor upgrades should balance performance, durability, and appearance for maximum success. Some popular options for upgrading include porcelain and ceramic tile flooring; concrete (with both traditional poured flooring as well as dyed, textured, or stained variants available); vinyl; or even synthetic turf tiles (which offer increased slip resistance and water drainage).

Solid hardwood is an elegant choice that requires meticulous installation in order to avoid creating any moisture-retaining gaps that allow moisture in. Untreated wood may become susceptible to mold and rot if left neglected; vinyl flooring provides an affordable alternative that still looks and feels great underfoot.


Lighting can make or break a bathroom, yet is often neglected. Consider upgrading your light fixtures by installing new sconces by the mirror and overhead lights that illuminate dark corners. When purchasing bulbs with high CRI ratings, these bulbs provide better color reproduction as well as creating an atmosphere more conducive to relaxation and naturalism.

Utilize the DIY cluster bulb trend (think exposed bulbs in three, five or seven exposures) to add retro chic touches to your bathroom. They work great over the mirror to highlight your preferred art style and soften the hard lines of tiled walls, mirrors and furniture.

If your budget doesn’t allow for an extensive renovation project, re-spraying with non-toxic polyurethane spray is a quick and simple way to add new life into an old bath suite.

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