Budget bathroom ideas – easy ways to make your washroom feel like new

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  • Have fun with these affordable but creative ideas that'll ring the changes without turning into a full room redo

    Our budget bathroom ideas are the place to start if your en suite, downstairs loo or main family bathroom has an image problem.

    Money no object? See more of our bathroom ideas

    Some of our suggestions are oldies but goodies – others are based around innovative new products. But all of them are simple tweaks and tricks that won’t break the bank.

    1. Change your grout


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Dirty old grout getting you down? Then update it. Instead of a plain white grout, pick a colour that contrasts with your wall tiles – so if you have a white metro tile, try a black or a grey grout. Not only does it seriously up the style stakes, it’s also much easier to keep looking clean. Happy days!

    2. Hang an on-trend mirror


    Image credit: James French

    If space in your bathroom is tight (or even if it’s not!) a mirror will make a room seem larger and boost natural light. Ideally place it opposite the window. Go for a black frame or Crittall-style window effect for a contemporary look, and accentuate with monochrome accessories.

    3. Paper the walls


    Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies

    Far cheaper than tiling, wallpapering can add stunning pops of colour and take familiar coloured tiles to a whole new level, as seen here. Our biggest tip is not to paper walls that are directly behind the bath or basin, as any splashes might cause damage. You’ll also need to seal the paper with decorator’s varnish once you’ve hung it.

    Love this look? Bathroom wallpaper ideas that will elevate your space to stylish new heights

    4. Jazz up a plain window with film


    Image credit: The Window Film Company

    The perfect solution to ensure privacy in your bathroom without having to forgo natural light, window film is cheaper and easier to install than shutters. Plus it allows you to have way more fun with pattern. Simply cut to size and apply to the glass in seconds.

    Buy now: Chevron white print on frost, £66 per sq m, The Window Film Company

    5. Switch old taps for shiny new ones


    Image credit: David Parmiter

    For a super-glamorous bathroom refresh, update hardware such as taps, shower heads and light fittings from tired chrome to beautiful brass or gold. Or give your existing ones a good going-over using a limescale remover.

    The same rules apply: How to change a tap and give your kitchen a fresh new look

    6. Treat yourself to colourful towels


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Towels function just as cushions and throws do in a living room. So if you’re looking for a quick way to add colour or pattern, they’re your go-to. If you decide to mix and match pattern, stick to the same colour palette for cohesion.

    7. Create a tropical oasis


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Adding a cluster of house plants to a bathroom is an easy way to freshen up a scheme. Many will thrive in the humid atmosphere and they’ll help clean toxins from the air, too. Try low-maintenance plants such as aloe vera or ferns.

    You could also add a few faux plants for variety. Or for full tropical jungle oasis, pull together as much green as you can muster – botanical leaf-print tiles, textured green glass accessories and emerald green tiles will all take a bathroom from drab to fab.

    8. Upcycle a vanity unit


    Image credit: Dave Burton

    Create a focal piece that will impress the neighbours by upcycling an old table or cabinet into a cool washstand. It’s surprisingly easy and you’ll be producing something truly unique that expresses your style. Use it to hide away bathroom clutter.

    Here’s how! How to upcycle a vanity unit – to create a super-stylish piece of furniture

    9. Tile a pretty splashback


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Statement tiles behind a basin will provide an eye-catching splashback that won’t break the bank or take very long to create. If your bathroom is fairly plain, choose a patterned option to add extra interest. We’re fans of this mix-and-match patchwork approach.

    10. Lay a vinyl floor


    Image credit: Jeremy Lawrence

    More inspiration: Bathroom flooring ideas to inspire you

    If you’re blessed with a plain white bathroom, but you’re getting a bit bored, you could consider jazzing up with a new floor. Vinyl is super affordable (you can easily find designs for less than £10 per m) and simple to fit yourself. You can even lay it over existing tiles, provided the grout lines aren’t too deep.

    See? There are no excuses for not getting that bathroom beautiful and ready for guests this winter.

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