You don’t have to be a millionaire or live in a mansion with high ceilings and marble floors to enjoy the benefits of design.

Design can work for any budget, in any home. It just takes some creativity, which you’re about to get plenty of!

So if your bathroom is looking shabby or outdated, take heart: You can give it new life without breaking the bank. And when you do so, you’ll discover that not only will your family love using it more—you’ll love being in there too! So let’s get started…

1. It’s been a while since you’ve updated your fixtures

One of the easiest ways to makeover your bathroom is by updating the faucets and fixtures. And as luck would have it, this can be done on any budget—from spending $20 on some new knobs at the home center to putting in an entire new shower system for $3,000.

2. The shower curtain rod has seen better days

One of the fastest ways to update your bathroom is simply by changing out the shower curtain rod for a new one. It may seem like an insignificant detail, but it’s something that most people never think about until after they’ve lived with the same rod for years and years.

3. Water-resistant drywall is the only choice in your bathroom

Just like with shower curtain rods, it’s easy to overlook that section of wall behind your tub or shower until it’s too late. And that means moisture damage that will require replacing the drywall at a cost of $2 per square foot—and that’s just for labor. It’s that much more expensive if you have non-water resistant drywall, so be sure to pay attention throughout all your renovations.

4. The toilet isn’t exactly low-flow

If your home was built prior to 1994, chances are good that the toilets in your bathroom don’t meet today’s water saving standards. Although they’re not exactly expensive to replace (roughly $150 and up), you can reduce your water bill by about $1,000 a year in most cases if you make the switch.

5. Your shower is less than refreshing

If your shower is more of a drip than a spray, it could be time for a new showerhead. It’s one of those items that’s easy enough to put off, yet comes back to bug you every time you use the shower.

6. Your bathtub is feeling neglected

If your tub is looking old or dull, it might be time for a total bathroom rehab and alternative options—including replacing the entire tub and tile surround. But if you’re looking for something relatively inexpensive, consider trying some new bathtub refinishing products.

7. The medicine cabinet is the only storage you have

You probably don’t give it much thought, but your bathroom countertops are more than just a flat surface to set things on—they also serve as storage space. So be sure to give your existing cabinets a good look. If they are in need of replacement, you may be surprised at how much storage space they can provide when you have them refaced or redone.

8. The mirror is more than 40 years old

Just like the medicine cabinet, if your mirror is older than 40 years, it’s likely that it’s in need of replacement. While replacing the mirror is relatively inexpensive (approximately $150), it can make a big difference when you update to something modern and frameless.

9. The bathtub isn’t exactly inviting

There are few things worse than taking a shower or bath that isn’t comfortable, but there are some easy ways to change that. Replacing the bathtub spout with a diverter and new shower head can add both comfort and style to your tub, while adding a slip-resistant surface such as Delta’s Laminates in Krystal will add much-needed safety when wet.

10. The sink just doesn’t fit

If you’re looking for a quick, affordable way to update your bathroom, consider replacing the sink with something new. It doesn’t have to be anything grand or expensive—simply updating the color of the countertop and choosing a new sink will make all the difference in how your bathroom looks and feels.

11. The caulk line is exposed

It may seem like a minor detail, but the caulk line on your bathtub is one of the culprits for dirty or moldy grout. Whether you have it redone at a cost of about $500 to $1,000 or decide to move on from tile altogether and choose something new, be sure that it’s caulked cleanly before making any decisions.

12. The flooring is a mess

While some tiles may appear to be fine, there’s also a good chance that the grout between them needs replacement or repair. Unfortunately, it can add up to quite an expense—almost $40 on average per square foot of tile—when you choose to have it redone by a professional. Instead, think about choosing replacement tiles that can work with the ones you already have.

13. The tile doesn’t stand the test of time

Whether it’s your flooring or your walls, if you don’t like the look of the tiles in your bathroom now, chances are good they won’t change much over time. Rather than living with something you don’t like, think about choosing new tiles that will both look good and stand the test of time.

14. You want to make a big splash

While tile may be one of the more expensive renovation options for your bathroom, it’s highly versatile and can be used in many different ways—think; backsplash behind your vanity, backsplash behind your tub, and of course, on your bathroom floor and walls. If you want something flashy and eye-catching but don’t want to go all out with expensive tile or stone, consider using decals such as AquaFresco instead of traditional tile materials for a unique yet budget-friendly look.

15. You need some fresh paint

This is one of the cheapest ways to get a new look for your bathroom. It doesn’t take much time or effort, and it can provide big returns on investment. Simply painting over existing tiles with an updated color scheme (think; grays instead of greens, browns instead of blues) can make all the difference in how your bathroom looks and feels.

16. The caulking is an eyesore

Caulking—especially around the tub and shower—is a prime target for mold, mildew, and grime. If it’s been a while since you’ve had yours replaced or redone, now is the perfect time to do so! Replacing or repairing old caulk can be done in a matter of minutes, and it will make a big difference when it comes to the appearance of your bathroom.

17. The light switch is out of date

Do you feel like your light fixture has seen better days? If so, consider replacing or updating it. Just like paint, this is one of the cheaper ways to change your bathroom’s look, and it doesn’t take much time or effort to do so.

18. When it comes down to it, you just want out

If you’re feeling unhappy with the way your bathroom looks now, chances are good that this will only increase over time. If you don’t like the color of the walls or the tile, replacing them is a great way to get your bathroom looking just how you want it. However, if it’s really time for a new coat of paint, think about removing all the tiles from the floor and/or walls. While this may be expensive depending on what you have done, it will also give your room a more open and spacious feeling than walls full of tiles.


If you haven’t updated your bathroom in years, it may be time to give the old one a makeover. Home remodeling projects like this can seem daunting and expensive but as we discussed here, there are many affordable ways to update your bathroom without breaking the bank. Whether you want fresh paint or new tile; whether you need some caulk work or just want an entirely new flooring material—your options for updating how your bathroom looks and feels is only limited by what you choose! Start thinking about which of these 18 signs apply to your current situation and then get ready for that “new look” feeling!