Bathroom upgrades & renovations on a budget – what you can do for under $5K

If you don’t need a full bathroom renovation however, and just want to refresh and revitalise your bathroom, here are some simple ways to upgrade for under $5K.

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The average cost to fully renovate a bathroom is between $15k-$20K. This price varies depending on the size, the location (if it’s upstairs or downstairs), and the quality of fixtures and fittings you choose.

A full renovation includes the proper removal of all existing fixtures and fittings, pre-preparation which includes waterproofing for new plumbing and tiling, and finally the installation of your new fixtures and tiles. A large portion of the overall budget goes into the work done behind the scenes such as plumbing and preparation. This is essential work to ensure the job is completed to industry standards so that your bathroom is waterproof and drains water directly away from the home, and that all moving parts function properly.

If you don’t need a full bathroom renovation however, and just want to refresh and revitalise your bathroom, here are some simple ways to upgrade for under $5K. Meegan Spaeth, Ken Hall’s Bathroom Designer & Creator, shares ideas she recommends to our clients:

What can you renovate for a budget of up to $3K?

  1. Repaint the ceiling – moisture can make the ceiling paint flake and look dull, you’ll be surprised at the difference a newly painted ceiling makes.
  2. Small styling touches – adding new accessories such as a toothbrush holder, towel rings, new towels, and a plant will add some life and zest to the space.
  3. Replacing an old toilet - a good quality brand new toilet can be installed for around $400-$500 and will give the bathroom an instant lift.
  4. Upgrade the vanity – premade vanities are a great way to upgrade a tired looking bathroom. They are cheaper than custom made vanities, come in many variations of colour and design, and have stone benchtops. You can get one for under a $1000.
  5. Upgrade the fixtures and fittings – for around $1500, you can replace the shower head, toilet roll holder, towel rings and tapware. Instant refresh!
  6. Replace the mirror - shop for a new mirror and go for something interesting to make it a centrepiece if the bathroom space allows.

Find out more

What can you renovate for a budget of up to $5K?

  1. Replace the shower screen – a semi-frameless shower screen is around $1000 plus fitting and a fully frameless shower screen is around $2000 plus fitting. Both look modern and streamlined, so the choice between them is not only about budget, but whether the bathroom design needs the fully frameless minimalist look.
  2. New vanity and fixtures and fittings – as mentioned above, premade vanities are now available in many designs which are cheaper than installing a custom made design. You can pick up a new one for about $1000 with a stone top. For an additional $1500, you can install new fixtures and fittings including a shower head, toilet role holder, towel rings and tapware. For a total investment of $2500, your bathroom can look brand new again.
  3. New toilet – why not add a new toilet as well. There are various types of toilets such wall hung (the cistern is concealed in the wall), back to wall (flush with the wall), or close coupled (free-standing). The most cost effective is the close coupled toilet followed by a back to wall. Hung toilets need plumbing and building work with new walls which will increase the price significantly. You can buy a new close coupled or back to wall toilet for $400 up to $1000 depending on the brand.
  4. Feature lighting over the vanity – bring creative lighting into the space and add a feature light over the vanity. Some electrical work may be needed but the right lighting can make a wonderful difference to any room.

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What’s not included in a bathroom renovation under $5K?

  • Most plumbing – as soon as you start changing the plumbing, it becomes a more significant bathroom renovation rather than a cosmetic renovation.
  • Tiling – tiling is a specialist job that needs waterproof and screeding and professional laying for good long term results.

What about painting tiles? We’re often asked about painting tiles in the bathroom. In our opinion this is a short term solution and doesn’t last as the paint peels. We don’t offer this as a service but it’s a fairly simple DIY job. We wouldn’t recommend painting floor tiles as they will peel fairly quickly due to foot traffic. We’d suggest only painting the wall tiles if you’re happy to repaint them again in the medium term.

With many other ways to give your bathroom an upgrade for under $3K or under $5K, you’ll get better long term results with some of our ideas above.

Find out more about how you can renovate your bathroom on a budget

Let us help you do a simple and cost effective bathroom upgrade for under $5K. Call Ken Hall Bathrooms and find out what’s possible. No job is too small, we’ll find a way to make your old bathroom look new and refreshed again.

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