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Bathroom For 2k: Budget Bathroom Ideas

Everybody wants a beautiful bathroom, and it’s obvious why. As well as being a comfy and stylish place for you, it’s also likely to be visited by guests. And don’t forget that the bathroom, along with the kitchen, is one of the most important factors in the saleability of a home.

The good news is that an attractive bathroom doesn’t necessarily have to cost a fortune. We think that by following these ideas, you can create a beautiful bathroom on a budget of less than £2,000. Let’s dive in.

Work out where the money goes

Let’s assume you’ve already got a bathroom that you’re looking to breathe new life into. Working out which costs take the biggest bites out of your budget will help you decide on where you can save. Top of the list are plumbing, electrics, furniture and tiling.

If you can live with the basic layout and structure of your current bathroom, you can minimise the amount of plumbing and electrical work you need to do. Basins, baths and showers aren’t completely immovable – you can buy flexible extension pipes that you can fit yourself, and you might be able to rotate your bath by 90° or 180° by keeping the taps as the pivot point and extending the drainage tube. But anything more complicated will need expert help, so factor that into your budget.

Tiling can be expensive too, so if you can live without it, or keep what’s already there, you can save significant amounts. We’ve got some alternative tiling ideas below.

As for your actual bath, basin and shower, if you absolutely need to replace them, it’s clearly going to take great gulps out of your £2K. But like all things, these items come at a range of price points, and if you look for ex-display models and seconds, you can make big savings.

What can you keep?

Chances are there will be some elements, perhaps the tiling or the furniture, that you can keep, maybe with a little modification (see below). Design your new bathroom around those things and rip everything else out. Don’t forget, you usually have to buy the taps separately from your bath and basin. If your old taps and mixers work fine, just give them a polish, replace the washers and they’ll be as good as new.

How much can you do yourself?

You’re probably not a plumber or an electrician, but you might be something of a tiler – you just don’t know it yet. There are plenty of videos and articles online teaching you how to do basic DIY jobs. Perhaps the finished job won’t have those professional touches and could be a little rough around the edges, but you could save hundreds of pounds.

Just make sure everything’s safe. Sticking with tiling, it’s essential that everything is watertight – you don’t want water dripping onto light fittings in the ceiling below or dampening your floorboards. Test everything you do.

Reclaim and repurpose

That old dressing table your aunt is throwing out … it could be upcycled. Think outside the box and you’ll be able to come up with brand new bathroom uses for everyday furniture.

Don’t forget about reclamation yards, too. When homes are gutted or demolished, reclaimers often save furniture in good condition and sell it. Don’t expect to get bargains on period sanitaryware, though. Original Victorian porcelain appliances are highly valued.

Paint the floors and walls

It’s received wisdom that the bathroom should have tiled walls and floors, but that’s really only influenced by tradition. There are plenty of flexible waterproof paints out there that mean you can just paint every surface and still have a waterproof bathroom. It’s a good idea to make sure to use specialist floor paint and seal it as necessary –  it’ll be less slippery and much safer.


Tiles can look very tired when the grout has gone yellow or black after years of age and dampness. But you might not need to replace the tiles. Anti-mould cleaning solutions can bring the grout’s whiteness back, or better still, scrape out the old grout and re-do it with new, mould-resistant grout.

Tile stickers

If you’ve got boring one-colour tiles, you can bring them to life with waterproof tile stickers. After you’ve changed the grout, give the tiles a good clean and stick the stickers on for a new lease of life at a fraction of the price. You can use them to cover up the odd chip and crack, too.

Shop around

There’s always somewhere cheaper. When you find an appliance you want, try and find it elsewhere online. You might find a bath that’s the same price as elsewhere with free delivery or taps thrown in.

Have wet and dry areas

One way of economising is to treat the parts of the bathroom away from showers, basins and baths as if they were in dry rooms. There’s no need for tiling or specialist paints if it’s just aesthetic – and that saves money.

Laminate the floors

You don’t have to tile the floors – you can use laminate flooring. It can come in wood, stone or tile effect, and looks fantastic. Just make sure you look specifically for waterproof laminates – not all of them are.

How much should a small bathroom remodel cost?

It’s hard to put an exact figure on how much a small bathroom costs to fully remodel. If you’re in need of a complete overhaul with all-new fixtures and fittings and a lot of plumbing work – and you’re not thinking with your economical head on – you could easily be looking at £3000+. That said, it’s more than possible to do a remodel on a shoestring using the above tips and tricks. It’s all about cutting down costs wherever you can and deciding on the areas you’re happy to compromise on to get your bathroom done within your budget.

Before you set out on any renovation project, price everything up first, and then add 10% for the unexpected. Once you know exactly what you can keep, what you can modify and what you need to replace, you’ll find that a new bathroom could be yours for hundreds rather than thousands of pounds. Armed with plenty of bathroom ideas and a willingness to ignore tradition, anything is possible!

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