The bathroom is one of the most used room in any house, and with our practical tips and tricks you will be able to turn yours into a basic but functional space without breaking the bank.
Bathrooms are one of the most popular rooms to renovate in Australia. A basic bathroom renovation can cost up to $30,000 in Australia, but they do have a significant effect on how comfortable a home is to live in and can also make a big difference to potential buyers’ interest in a property. Follow our tips to find out how to keep your renovation costs in check, or read our mid-range bathroom renovation or high-end bathroom renovation estimates if you have a more generous budget.
A basic bathroom makeover generally means retaining the existing bathroom layout since moving your bath or shower, vanity and toilet will usually entail replumbing and rewiring, which can be expensive.
A budget of up to $30,000 is sensible, but you may be able to spend less if you only replace the critical items, such as the shower or vanity, while keeping other items that are still functional. However, bear in mind, that unless you have professional skills yourself, you are likely to spend a good chunk of your budget on tradies. If you choose them carefully, it will be money well spent – it would be foolish to compromise on the quality of your waterproofing, carpentry, electrical work or plumbing.
If you own an older property, you may have water damaged timber or floorboards. Old pipework is another common problem. If your home has old, galvanised pipes, chances are you will need to replace them, as they are often rusty inside. It pays to have a contingency budget of at least 15-20% to cover unforeseen problems like these. Some very old plastic pipes and fittings may be due for replacement too to avoid leaks. Copper piping is usually fine and new pipes can be joined to it. Be aware that old waste pipes may also need replacing.
Even simply replacing one shower with another often requires work to alter the pipes and ensure the new one fits properly. Wall linings may also need to be replaced. If you want to swap a standing vanity for a new wall hung model, the pipework needs to be reset to fit into the designated space within the drawer of the vanity.
There’s a huge choice of bathroom fixtures whatever your budget. Spend some time on Pinterest or Houzz to find styles you like and then try to find – or create – similar options in your price bracket.
If in doubt, choose simple, understated fixtures and fittings in white and chrome. They won’t date quickly and, chose carefully, may look higher end than they are.
Shop around for deals on bathroom products for the most cost-effective option. Consider Gumtree and eBay, as well as the usually retailers, as people often sell off fixtures and fittings that they’ve simply got bored with. You might also pick up a bargain if someone has over ordered – on tiles, for example.
When shopping for toilets, make sure you opt for a model that can easily be retrofitted, look for a flexible wait and multiple water inlets and be sure to check its water efficiency rating. Wall-hung toilets work well in smaller bathrooms, as they help create a feeling of spaciousness and also complement the contemporary style that is so popular in Australia.
Vanities are often the focal point in a bathroom, so it pays to invest some time and money and find one you really like. Keeping your vanity smaller, around the 600-millimetre mark, will help you save money. You can choose between floor standing and wall-hung models. You can also give your bathroom an individual look by repurposing an old dresser. Similarly, shop around for timber or stone offcuts (sometimes available from kitchen manufacturers) that will give you a luxe look for less.
Whichever style you prefer, make sure you use any space beneath the sink for shelving and storage.
A flat wall mirror is a much more affordable option than a mirror cabinet, but will still complement your vanity. Don’t feel obliged to use a mirror designed for the bathroom, any generously sized mirror should work as long as it’s securely fixed – and could add a unique decorative touch.
Recessed halogen or LED down lights are the standard budget option. A set of two or four, depending on the size of your bathroom, should do the job. However, if you have a large bathroom you may need extra lighting, including task lighting, to illuminate the whole area.
Australia’s generally sunny climate means we’re often able to rely on natural ventilation, via windows to prevent mould and damp. However, if there’s no window in your bathroom you’ll need to include an extractor fan.
If you love the look of tiles, but don’t have the budget to tile the whole room, consider tiling a limited area, such as a splashback. If you’re painting the walls, be sure to choose an appropriate paint, such as Taubmans Endure, which is anti-bacterial, stain and scrub resistant and resists mould and mildew.
Ceramic tiles are the most popular option for bathroom flooring. They come in a huge range of styles and colours and are durable and moisture-resistant. They are easy to clean and require hardly any maintenance. It is however important that they are properly installed and grouted.
Vinyl and linoleum are affordable alternatives for your bathroom floor. Luxury vinyl floor tiles are now available in a huge variety of colours and patterns; some are even designed to mimic wood. Whatever your preference, always ensure your floor is non-slip and waterproof.
If you would like to discuss home renovation options for your next renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.
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