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How to ‘Make Change for Less’ in Your Bathroom Makeover

18 March 2020

Lucy Glade Wright

Lucy Glade-Wright
Designer and Director of Hunting for George

With a background in design and creative direction, Lucy worked for a number of high profile brands before starting her own brand, Hunting for George. Founded in 2010, Hunting for George is an online publication that is your go-to inspiration for all things Home, Design and Lifestyle. As the raconteur behind Hunting for George, Lucy is passionate about design and this self-proclaimed ‘homebody’ is driven to create unique and engaging stories to educate and inspire.

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I just finished renovating my bathroom and it’s probably one of the most satisfying renovations I’ve ever done! What’s equally satisfying, however, is the fact that I didn’t need to break my bank account in order to do it. Before the renovation, Suncorp challenged me to be smarter with my money and find ways to transform my bathroom on a budget. Safe to say, I accepted that challenge and I wanted to share some tips with you on how I saved money during my bathroom makeover. Hopefully this will give you a few ideas on how you can Make Change For Less at your place!

My bathroom was in serious need of a makeover and – let me be clear – while I am a bath person and I love nothing more than spending time in the bathroom, my bathroom was not conducive to relaxing. It was very old, daggy and uninviting, so I set about transforming it into a modern and fresh retreat. Oh – and I needed to do so on a budget, so here’s what I changed and how I saved money!

My top tips for saving money when renovating your bathroom

1. Don’t change your layout

First up, the biggest advice I can give you when it comes to saving money on your bathroom renovation is to not change your layout. As soon as you decide to move the position of a shower, toilet, sink or bathtub that, will immediately add cost to your renovation. Why? Well changing the layout will mean you need to arrange replumbing of services, new waterproofing, and re-tiling of surfaces, and that can all add up pretty quickly!

If you keep your layout the same, you can instantly save yourself a lot of extra costs and time! In my bathroom, I wasn’t a massive fan of the layout, but it wasn’t a total disaster. So I decided to keep everything where it was, but I did choose to upgrade the toilet and shower screen, both of which were beyond saving. This made a big impact without the cost of knocking down walls, retiling or new waterproofing.

2. Update your fixtures & fittings

Updating your fixtures and fittings is a great way to immediately transform the look and feel of your bathroom, without paying for structural changes. When changing your fixtures and fittings, you can easily move any that are fastened to a plaster wall. Simply patch over the hole and then insert a new fixture to your ideal position. This is a great option when adding towel rails, hooks or holders.

Hot Tip: To keep your costs down – don’t try to move any fixtures that are already positioned in wet areas like the bath, shower or sink, as changing their position is a lot harder and more expensive.

3. Don’t re-tile, re-paint!

Tiles are essential when it comes to your bathroom, and their colour, texture and pattern will have a big impact on the room’s overall aesthetic. If you want to change your tiles, but don’t want the hassle or cost of buying and laying new ones, then don’t! Instead of re-tiling, re-paint.

Save on both the cost of labour and also the cost of new tiles by repainting over your existing tiled surface. This is by far the cheapest way to get new tiles without actually getting new tiles. I opted to paint my floor and wall tiles. This cost a total of $305 for the necessary paint and equipment. If I had re-tiled the entire surface it would have cost me thousands! So that’s a pretty good saving if I do say so myself.

Hot Tip: If you decide to paint your tiles, not all paint is the same. Do your research and ensure that you use paint designed to cover tiled surfaces.

4. Modernise existing cabinets!

Instead of spending money on purchasing and installing a new bathroom vanity, try updating your existing one. Choose a colour that works with your overall theme and make sure you check the material of your cabinets before painting over them, as different materials require different treatment and coverage.

Hot Tip: Don’t forget your door handles! Throw out your old doorknobs and replace them with modern pulls to immediately modernise your cabinetry.

I hope you found these tips helpful! Next week, I’ll share my kitchen transformation with you and break down everything I did in order to save money in the process!

Watch the behind the scenes footage

Read more from our Make Change for Less series

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Image Credits:
Art Direction & Styling @lucygladewright
Photography @summer_slay for @huntingforgeorge

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