The cost of remodeling a bathroom can add up to thousands of dollars after you factor for a new vanity, toilet, bathtub, flooring, and plumbing fixtures. Refreshing your bathroom, however, is a project you can complete over the course of a weekend, for less than $500—and it could pay for itself in only a year’s time.
Invest in a High-efficiency Toilet
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the six-gallon-flush toilets of yesteryear cost homeowners more than $100 per year in added utility costs in comparison to today’s high-efficiency toilets that use only 1.6 gallons per flush.
With proper planning, a few wrenches, a new wax ring, and a new supply line, you can install a new toilet for less than $200. Not only will your new commode use less water than your current model, but it will also pay for itself in less than two years time.
Install a New Showerhead
Showerheads are another source of wasted water and increased utility bills. The average American household sends forty gallons of water down the drain every day while showering. To put that in perspective, think about how much space you would need to store 14,600 one-gallon containers in your home—those containers represent one year worth of showers.
You can reduce the amount of water you waste each year by swapping your existing showerhead with a high-efficiency model that meets the EPA’s WaterSense standards, and it won’t cost you more than $40.
Put a Coat of Fresh Paint on Your Vanity
If a full remodel isn’t in your budget, you can brighten your bathroom by putting a fresh coat of paint on a tired-looking vanity. This project may take a little longer than replacing your showerhead, but you can give your bathroom a new look for the cost of a can of paint, a few sheets of sandpaper, and a new 2” paintbrush.
Replace the Accents
Since you have a few hours to kill while you wait on that fresh coat of paint to dry, now is a perfect time to take a trip to your local Bed, Bath & Beyond to find a new shower curtain, new bathmats, and matching towels. Bed, Bath & Beyond sends out 20%-off coupons at least once a month, so be sure to check the mailbox before you go shopping.
Now that you have transformed that drab vanity to make it bold and a bright, spend a few extra bucks on some brushed nickel hardware to replace those dated, brass drawer handles from the early eighties.
Voila! You just breathed new life into your bathroom without touching a sledgehammer!