Easy ways to update your bathroom on any budget
Does your bathroom need a pick-me-up? Whether you want to build a spalike experience with a complete remodel or just want to make quick changes in an afternoon, new products and technology make it easy.
The 2017 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study said the average spend on a major master bathroom remodel exceeding 100 feet was $21,000, while smaller bathrooms averaged $12,500.
Regardless of whether you have that kind of scratch to throw around, here are five ways to refresh your bathroom, from low-cost to luxe.
Swap out fixtures. On the super frugal side, replace vanity hardware, light fixtures or install new towel bars and/or toilet paper holder, said Sarah Barnard, principal of Sarah Barnard Design, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based interior designer.
Add plants like orchids or ferns if you have a window. Simple touches can draw attention away from ugly spots.
Shower heads. With as little as $100, upgrade to a better shower head, said Lynn Schrage, marketing manager of the Kohler store in Chicago. Even renters can install a better shower head and replace it when they move.
Medicine cabinet. Have wiggle room in your budget?
Lighted mirrored medicine cabinets can improve a bathroom and save space, Schrage said. Many lighted medicine cabinets can use existing electrical supplies too. Kohler’s Verdera medicine cabinets and Wade Logan both have LED lighting that mimic natural daylight.
Bathing area. Updating the bathing/showering space can spruce up the bathroom without making the rest of the room feel tired, Schrage said. Tom Graham, president of Revive Designer Bathrooms in Lincolnwood, said if you’re not gutting the space, just replacing the shower door can make a big impact. Today’s doors have more glass and less hardware for a clean look, he said, and many have water repellents added to the glass to eliminate the need to squeegee after the shower, such as the Aqua Swing from DreamLine.
Toilet. Graham said he gets a lot of requests for “comfort height” commodes, which are closer to chair height, about 2 to 4 inches higher than the standard toilet.
Sleeker looks like having the water tank built into the wall, and the seat mounted to the wall are popular, he said. The wallmounted toilets can be placed at any height, and allow for easier cleaning of the floor underneath, he said.
Graham, Schrage and Barnard all said that there’s more interest in bidet seats, combining the toilet with seats that have warming functions and sprays.
Bidet seats can be added just by swapping out old toilet seats without changing the existing toilets. Several brands are available, with prices starting around $250.
Today’s shower doors have much less hardware and offer a sleek look to the bathing area. The Aqua Swing hinged tub door by DreamLine works well for smaller bathrooms. $264.99, allmodern.com
Converge is a two-in-one shower head and hand shower combination from Kohler. The perimeter of the shower head detaches to function as a convenient hand shower and stays securely in place with magnetic docking when not in use. $125, kohler.com
Kohler’s steam generator control kit allows you to enjoy the benefits of steam in your shower at the push of a button. The steam head has a built-in reservoir for adding your favorite aromatherapy scents. $715.85, kohler.com.
Kohler’s lighted medicine cabinets deliver optimally bright, even, and shadowless bathroom lighting that is close to natural light. Pivoting side panels let you direct light exactly where you need it. $1,385, kohler.com
Wall-mounted toilets keep the commode off the floor for easier cleaning underneath and a sleek look in the bathroom. The water tank is stored in the wall, which may mean saving up to 9 inches of floor space within your bathroom. $713.99, lowes.com
Bidet seats are becoming popular, and several manufacturers are making them to fit on your existing toilet. Toto’s Washlet heated bidet toilet seat has adjustable front and rear warm water washing with five temperature and pressure settings and a heated seat with three temperature settings. $265.48, lowes.com