Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeLifestyleHome & Garden

How to renovate your bathroom cheaply

BY Cassie Pryce

12th Aug 2019 Home & Garden

How to renovate your bathroom cheaply

Give your bathroom a mini makeover with these simple and affordable changes that don’t require a full re-fit

Cover up

If you’re stuck with unsightly wall or floor tiles but don’t have the budget to remove and replace them, why not consider using self-adhesive tile vinyls to cover the original design? 

These stick-on sheets are available in a wide range of on-trend designs, both patterned and plain, and come in almost any colour to suit your new space. Choose the correct size to stick directly onto your existing tiles or opt for a vinyl that can be cut down, to cover more awkward shapes and sizes. 

Tile paint is another alternative for disguising dated surfaces. Be sure to buy a specialist tile paint and check whether a coat of primer is needed as a base before starting.

Lime Lace.jpg

Kitchen Wall Portugal PVC wallpaper, £115 per roll, Lime Lace


Quick fix

While replacing a bathroom suite can be a costly task, in terms of both product and labour costs, changing the fixtures and fittings is a great way to achieve a new look without the hassle. 

Basin taps, showers and bath taps can all be removed and replaced fairly easily, either by a professional or a confident DIYer, and can be purchased at very reasonable prices from numerous online stores. 

Switch out limescale-ridded chrome taps for trendy matt black designs if you want to achieve a cool and contemporary look or go for a classic brass finish to suit a more refined and traditional suite. 

Onyx matt black basin mixer, £115, Frontline Bathrooms


Roll up, roll up

Window dressings are a key design feature in any room, with bathrooms being no exception. Mouldy or poorly-fitting blinds will instantly make the room feel drab and unloved, and they could be affecting how much natural light is able to filter into the room. 

When choosing bathroom blinds, opt for a material that is damp-proof and wipeable, to help prevent the build-up of mould or rot. Window films are a practical choice for bathrooms, as they remove the need for any bulky blinds and offer privacy without blocking out light.


Make it personal


Bespoke etch effect window film AOPN 7, from £45 per square metre, Purlfrost

If your bathroom is feeling sterile or bland, injecting some homely touches could be all it needs to bring it to life. Hanging artwork is a great way to add colour and a little personality, and to help tie the space in with the rest of the décor around your home. Avoid canvases that will be susceptible to mould and instead go for framed prints or photographs.

Get creative with the theme of your bathroom and think about an overarching scheme—nautical, perhaps, for a relaxing coastal look, or keep the colours neutral with subtle metallic accents for a more luxurious, spa-inspired feel.


Soft touch

John Lewis & Partners.jpg

Croft collection Blakeney bathroom stool in light silver, £89; Blakeney three-tier bathroom shower basket in light silver, £100, all John Lewis & Partners

Used daily, it’s no wonder our bathroom towels soon lose their fresh and fluffy appeal. A simple change of towels can give your space a lift and it really doesn’t have to break the bank—high street retailers offer hand towels from as little as around £5, or bundles for under £20. 

When shopping for towels, consider the thickness and material: heavy towels can absorb more water, but equally take longer to dry out, and Egyptian or Pima cotton are generally softer options, ideal for people with sensitive skin.


Time to reflect

Bathroom Takeaway.jpg

Aquariss Glow 800mm x 600mm illuminated LED mirror with demister pad, £174.97, Bathroom Takeaway

Bathroom mirrors serve both a practical and decorative purpose and it’s important to choose the right design to suit your space. Go for a large mirror whenever possible in a bathroom, as it will help to open up the room and bounce light into dark corners.

Frameless mirrors are well-suited to modern spaces or choose something a little more ornate to complete a classic bathroom look. Small magnifying make-up mirrors are a bonus feature, but don’t rely on these as the sole mirror within the room.  



Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter


Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit