How to Save Money Renovating a Bathroom

how to save money renovating a bathroom

If you need to save money renovating a bathroom, these tips will ensure you stay under budget.

There are so many factors which can impact your bathroom renovation.  It needs to be a timely and well thought out process.

The success of your bathroom renovation remaining under budget will come down to

  • Planning
  • Organising a minimum 3 quotes from trades
  • Realistic budget expectations
  • Choosing the right trades and materials
  • Timing

The biggest concern when it comes to any kind of renovating project is keeping within the budget.

Here are some tips on how to save money renovating a bathroom.

How to save money renovating a bathroom

Keep the existing layout of the bathroom the same

If the existing layout works for the space, stick with it. By keeping the same layout of the bathroom, you will avoid costs from new core holes or cutting up the concrete slab to update the drainage.

The installation of drainage can be an expensive part of the bathroom renovation. Keep in mind, if the pipework needs to be replaced, you may need to reconsider this and factor it into your budget.

Demo the bathroom yourself

All plumbing and electrical services will need to be isolated and demolished by licensed trades. But once they are isolated, you are able to save money by removing wall and floor surfaces, vanities and fixtures. This part of the reno can be labour intensive and if you have the capacity to demo and remove all debris from site ready for the rough in and install, this can be an area where you can save dollars.

Hire a professional bathroom renovator to project manage the installation (or learn from someone with reno experience!)

If you have little experience project managing a bathroom reno, hire someone who does. Poor project management can blow out the bathroom reno budget because mistakes are made with the incorrect coordination of trades and material installation onsite. Paying for unnecessary labour costs due to lack of experience can be avoided by hiring the right bathroom professional to coordinate the project for you.

Alternatively, if you are still keen to project manage yourself, purchase a how-to course from an experienced renovator, like Katrina, who will tell you how to renovate on a budget.

Opt for middle of the range taps and fixtures

Choose middle of the range, well-known branded fixtures and taps. Usually these are easy to install.

Any fixtures that are from unknown brands are usually difficult to install which means a plumber takes twice as long to install the fixture.

Brands to look at ones available at major plumbing retailers like Reece Plumbing and Tradelink. Even Bunnings have a great selection to choose from. Just steer away from the real cheap and nasty tapware and fixtures as you may be replacing them sooner than expected.

Avoid custom made vanities

Install a stock standard vanity which is available from most bathroom supply stores. Alternatively you can upcycle a buffet or chest of drawers into a vanity if you are after a particular style or size.

upcycled vanity basin

Be savvy with tiles  

Consider if you really need to tile all the way to the ceiling? Tiling 3/4 of the wall can save money on tiling costs.

Research left over tiles for splashbacks on Gumtree to really drive your savings further.

DIY painting and bathroom accessories

Painting is a job you can do yourself, so don’t outsource this unless you don’t have the time.

Installing the bathroom accessories like hand towel rails, toilet roll holder and robe hooks can also be DIY.

For other bathroom renovation tips check out

This post was written in 2015 and it has been updated with new information and tips.