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A bathroom remodel to most people means clearing out the interior of the area until it is just an empty box with a couple of drainpipes sticking out of the floor. Then the space is fitted with new fixtures and faucets that may or may not work as well as the ones replaced. In other words a bathroom renovation has a lot to do with style and getting rid of old, familiar items.
As well, when remodeling a bathroom space has a lot to do with it but if you can get along with the same amount of space then there is a lot of benefits that can be had:
In other words there are a lot more benefits to remodeling that just saving money — but then, that's enough.
Cleaning: A dingy, yellowing fiberglass shower/tub can make anyone want a complete remodel. Some people scrub it with an abrasive cleanser only to find that the next time they shower the surface absorbs the color of the shampoo and leaves a tell-tale stain. The truth is that even a tub stained with hard water rust stains can be cleaned with a good dish soap and a mild, nylon cleaning pad. This is the same with toilets and sinks. Before ripping them out try a different cleaner. Search the web for ideas from other homeowners. There are lots of them out there.
Bathtub-style: If your shower is a bathtub with a shower attachment on the wall, and you don't mind the color, a new shower enclosure really spruces up the area. These come in a variety of styles with built-in shelves for condiments. Don't break the bank on this. You should be able to get a decent one for under $200.
Fixtures: Check the local hardware stores for up-to-date fixtures. You can really spruce up your clean tub and give it a new look and purpose with a new shower taps and showerhead. There are many different styles and uses to choose so take some time shopping.
Water Saver Showerhead: To save more money buy a water miser showerhead. This can save you over 50% of the water and hot water costs for the same duration of shower.
Shower Curtain: This is what most people notice the first time they walk into your bathroom. Shower curtains and shower curtain hangers set the mood of the whole bathroom and should be coordinated with towels and toilet cover. If your bathroom area is small you should go with a lighter color. Also, if there is a window in the bathroom you can match the shower curtain with the window curtains.
If the toilet matches the bathtub or shower then you are half-way home especially if the toilet tank hardware is fine. Fortunately, compared with other fixtures, toilets are not really expensive but good, low-flush toilets are not cheap. Rather than get rid of a decent toilet to save water try a toilet tank water saver. This is a mechanism that fits in the toilet tank and only lets enough water in the tank to do the job. And it's adjustable.
If the present sink is chipped or cracked, and is a drop-in style, then a replacement can be had for under $100. A full acrylic model that is yellowed or cracked can be had for about $150. If the sink is okay but looks bland then look at new fixtures at the same time you buy the new ones for the showers. In addition you can buy a towel rack and toilet paper roll hanger in the same mode.
The best thing about a built-in vanity is that it's built-in and solid. Changing the look can be as cheap as a different paint tone or changing out the doors. Or the latter, take the measurements and go to several cabinet places. They usually have an odds-and-sots section where odd-shaped bathroom cabinets sets and doors can be found. Check the measurements and you may come home with a cheap pair of beautiful doors. Get new hardware to match the racks and water fixtures.
Linoleum: In a small or medium-sized bathroom changing out a floor can be as easy as rolling out a section of beautifully-designed linoleum over the present floor and gluing it down. If the present flooring is linoleum you can get a neutralizing agent to scrub the floor and then apply the mastic. The new linoleum will go down easily. Then install molding to hold down the edges.
Tile: This also cheap and can go over other flooring. For small spaces it can be a do-it-yourself job but a handyman can do it quickly and cheaply. Big tile can also be used on the walls from the floor to the ceiling for a grand, European look.
Usually the lighting is overhead and/or framing the mirror. This might take a couple of hundred bucks for an electrician but installing sconces on each side of the mirror will really give the bathroom a makeover. In addition, spend a few dollars on a quality, quiet fan.
Bathroom paint design is the cheapest remodeling technique going and usually one gallon of finish will do the job. Cleaning is very important and so is a good bathroom primer.