Cheap bathroom ideas: 23 budget-friendly ways to create a stylish space

Looking for cheap bathroom ideas? From quick and easy changes to bigger updates, we've got you covered...

Cheap bathroom ideas: Peg board storage in a white bathroom
(Image credit: Kreisdesign)

On the hunt for some cheap bathroom ideas? Whether you are a renter looking for some inexpensive ways to improve your hand me down bathroom or just plain broke and in need of a budget friendly update, we've got you covered with these tips and tricks. We have pulled together a list of budget bathroom ideas, some under £50, some under £100 and some under £500. 

Designing a bathroom a bathroom from scratch? Head over to our feature for an in depth guide. 

Cheap Bathroom ideas under £50

Yep, when we said cheap bathroom ideas, we meant cheap! All the ideas in this section come in at under 50 quid and most of them are super quick updates or little DIY jobs to anyone could do. That makes them fast as well as affordable. We approve.

1. Paint a bathroom ceiling anything but white

Painted ceilings are a massive trend at the moment and are a really great way to add interest to a space, especially a smaller space like a bathroom. If you are a keen DIYer and want to give this a go yourself, just check out our guide to painting a ceiling

If you're feeling brave and want to copy this gothic look, we recommend going for a combo of Farrow & Ball Down Pipe and Railings, and investing in good bathroom lighting.

Bathroom painted in blue black

(Image credit: Dulux)

2. Paint a bathroom floor for a cheap bathroom idea that doesn't look it

Painting floorboards has also become a bit of a trend, so if you have floorboards in your bathroom, consider this as a cheap but chic bathroom update. You'll need to use wood paint (see our guide for the best), but if you can, use a paint designed for floors as it will be more durable and less slippery – if more limited in colour choices.

This is definitely a weekend job you could do yourself, just check out our guide to how to paint floorboards; you'll find more inspiring ideas over there, too.

vintage bathroom with green checkered tiles

3. Or paint bathroom walls an unexpected shade

There are few cheaper and easier ways to update a space than by giving it a new lick of paint. We are loving pink at the moment, and softer shades are a space-enhancing choice for a small room. So if you are looking for an on trend bathroom update, we say go for a rosy hue. Something like Farrow & Ball's Sulking Room Pink, which despite the name is actually a really grown up take on the colour, would be our fave choice. 

For more pink room ideas to get you inspired, check out our feature. Find more bathroom paint ideas in our gallery, too, if pink's not your first choice.

Pale pink bathroom

(Image credit: Cult Furniture )

4. Create an ombré paint effect

Experimenting with on-trend paint ideas is an easy and affordable way of creating a new vibe in a tired looking space. Copy this idea and pick two or three shades of varying tones (we'd recommend blues for a bathroom) and create a stylish finish with the help of our guide to painting an ombré accent wall. For more inspiration, check out these bathroom paint ideas.

ombre finish blue toned bathroom with roller bath

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

5. Experiment with bathroom wallpaper

Bathrooms and wallpaper? Surely that's not a good mix? Well, actually, it can work if you just follow a few extra steps when choosing and hanging your wallpaper. First, don't hang wallpaper anywhere that will be in constant contact with water – and if your bathroom isn't really well ventilated we would recommend sticking to wallpaper specifically designed for bathrooms (B&Q have a great selection). Otherwise, you can use any wallpaper you like, but make sure you use extra strong wallpaper adhesive; a layer of clear varnish can help protect it further.  

Bathroom painted in Benjamin Moore Calypso Green

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

6. Invest in stylish bathroom storage to make more space

Obviously, shelves are a good bathroom storage solution, but make them both practical and stylish by choosing open shelving that you could also make a bit of a feature of. Use them to store your essentials, your soaps, cotton wool, floss and what not (stick them in some pretty glass jars if you want), but also mix in some more decorative pieces like candles, house plants and cute folded towels.

Get some more tips of how to style shelves in our dedicated feature. 

Peter Grech transformed his bathroom into a stylish sanctuary, and won our 2018 Real Homes award for best bathroom

(Image credit: katie lee)

7. Update towels – and how you store them 

Literally the cheapest way to update your bathroom is to get yourself a few new towels. Also think about mixing up the way your store them. You didn't spend money on new towels to fold them away in a cupboard, so get your fancy new towels out on show! Something like this gorgeously simple wooden ladder from Dunelm would be perfect. 

a wooden ladder leant against the wall with towels hanging over

(Image credit: Dunelm)

8. Add simple bathroom accessories for a fresh feel

A quick, inexpensive (and often practical) way of updating your bathroom is with accessories. We are talking, soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, caddies, storage jars, all the fun stuff. Look out for cheap bathroom accessories when you next do your food shop; places like Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's all have really lovely and super affordable pieces. 

Floor standing tap in a bathroom with towels for guide to how to wash towels

(Image credit: Sheridan)

9. Brighten and enlargen a bathroom with a mirror

It's interior design 101 that mirrors can add a ton of space and light to a room, which is obviously going to make your bathroom feel fresher. So, you know what we are going to say: buy a new bathroom mirror. Go as large as your space can handle to bounce as much light around as possible. 

Have we persuaded you to invest? We've rounded up the best bathroom mirrors in our buying guide, so go and have a scroll through those.

Bathroom with large mirror and dark blue door

(Image credit: Fritz Fryer)

10. Decorate with tile stickers

We only recently discovered the life-changing properties of tile stickers. They mostly come in at under a tenner a pack and you can use them pretty much anywhere. Look out for ones that are water-resistant (most of them are), and you can stick them over the existing tiles in your shower to recreate this look – no messy grout or expensive patterned tiles needed. 

Tiles in shower

(Image credit: Drummonds)

Oooooh look you can use them on the floor too! Check out  Dunelm's selection for similar tile stickers to the ones below. 

(Image credit: Simon Whitmore)

11. Or just freshen up your existing tiles 

You'd be surprised how much of a difference giving your current tiles a good clean can make. When your grout gets grimy (yum), it can bring down the whole look of your bathroom, so get yourself some rubber gloves, a toothbrush and a good cream cleaner, and start scrubbing. Get the paste into all the nooks and crannies and then leave for about 30 minutes to let it work its magic. Once you’ve left it for a while, simply rinse off with clean water and wipe up any residue with a microfibre towel.

Top tip: Baking soda and vinegar mixed makes for a great natural cream cleaner that will leave your grout sparkling. We actually have a whole feature on natural cleaning hacks, so make sure you go and check that out too. 

If even after a deep clean your grout still looks a bit dull, you are going to want to pick up a grout pen to brighten it instead. It takes minutes to apply but makes a dramatic difference. 

A family bathroom with white metro wall tiles, monochrome patterned floor tiles and a bath-shower with painted deep blue panel

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

12. Fill your bathroom with house plants

Another easy, affordable and non-space-stealing way to up the style factor in your bathroom is to display house plants. The bathroom below might be taking it a tad too far (although, personally, we don't think you can ever have enough house plants), but just adding a couple to your shelves or hanging up a few in baskets could be all your bathroom needs to feel like a new space. 

Top tip: If your bathroom is windowless, we recommend opting for fake plants. You'll find a load of fake (and real) options in our round up of the best indoor plants

Bathroom filled with houseplants

(Image credit: Nest)

13. Switch up your shower curtain

Throw away that yellowing, ever so slightly mouldy shower curtain. Go on, do it now. And get yourself a gorgeous shiny new one. H&M Home have a huge selection, each one as gorgeous as the next (we literally couldn't decide on a favourite). Plus, they start from as little as £8.99. 

We love the simplicity of this blue and white striped shower curtain; it would fit in any style bathroom for sure. 

Shower curtain by H&M Home

(Image credit: H&M)

Treating your bathroom decor and styling like you would that of your living room or bedroom is one of the quickest shortcuts you can take to giving it a bold new look. Hanging a gallery wall is one way to do this – and you needn't even spend to get this finish; simply repurpose pictures you're not using or want to swap out from other rooms. Use our guide to creating a gallery wall to find out how to get the perfect look.

Freestanding bath in dark painted bathroom with gallery wall

(Image credit: Waters Baths of Ashbourne)

Cheap bathroom ideas under £100

So, you've got a bit more of a budget to spend on your bathroom, but still want to keep your spend under £100? Here are some ideas that will have more of an impact, but still won't break the bank...

15. Buy some new pieces of bathroom furniture

We aren't talking a new bath here, or even a new sink – something like a side table or a new statement stool will do. Look for pieces that aren't necessarily made for bathrooms that will add more interest to your space. We love this rustic wooden stool from Maisons du Monde, which could actually be pretty practical for chucking towels over or keeping things handy near the bath. The gorgeous little cabinet in the bathroom below is definitely on our lust list and you can find something similar at Graham and Green

simple folklore trend items in a white bathroom

(Image credit: Barker & Stonehouse)

16. Switch up your bathroom window treatment 

How much does a blind cost? It's deffo under £100 quid, right? So give your space an update with this cheap bathroom idea – switch up your window treatment. Choose a roller blind in a on trend pattern, or for a softer look go for a more traditional Roman blind; you could even just add a pretty window film for some extra privacy. 

If you are after more bathroom window treatment ideas, head over to our gallery. 

Moroccan print black out blind in a small bathroom

(Image credit: Hillarys)

17. Put up some wallpaper for a cheap bathroom update

Just like paint, a single roll of wallpaper can make all the difference to a space. If you have a large bathroom that is well ventilated, you could get away with using any wallpaper, but we recommend looking out for those suited to high-moisture rooms that are labelled ‘extra washable’ or ‘highly wash-resistant’.

Bathroom with yellow freestanding bath and yellow wallpaper

(Image credit: Little Greene)

18. Upgrade your bathroom lighting

Lighting can make or break a room so switching it up could be all your bathroom needs to make it feel brand new(ish). Get rid of any harsh overhead lighting you might have and replace it with softer shade or, if you have the budget, add some warm wall lights that could completely change the vibe of your room. 

For a full guide on how to choose bathroom lighting check out our in depth feature. 

Orginial BTC light in a bathroom

(Image credit: Orginial BTC)

19. DIY a bath panel 

Revamping a plain white tub with a bright bath panel is easy to do and a quick way to refresh a tired-looking scheme, injecting a bit of pattern and colour. Think you can't DIY this look for under £100? Think again. Just head over to our guide for how to DIY a bath panel for everything you need to know. 

colourful geometric panelling in a white bathroom

(Image credit: Genie)

Cheap bathroom ideas under £500

Still not blowing all your budget, but if you've got a touch more to spend on your space, here are some cheap bathroom ideas that still come in at under £500...

20. Choose bespoke bathroom pieces

Opting for unique or bespoke pieces can be a great way of adding character into a bathroom. If you're an experienced DIY-er, consider customising pieces you have already got; we love the idea of turning a cabinet into a washstand and it's much more straightforward than you might think. Simply cut out a hole where the basin should be – most come with a template.

If you are on the hunt for a vanity unit, we have load of inspiration over in our ideas gallery. 

Wooden vanity with marble top from Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

21. Or trawl online marketplaces for one off finds

Buying a whole new bathroom might not quite be in your budget, but you'd be surprised what cool pieces you can find second hand. We know, you are probably thinking, 'Err... I don't want anyone's second hand toilet, thanks'. But how about a reclaimed freestanding bathtub with ball and claw feet? Or a vintage Victorian sink? A hand-me-down bathroom doesn't sound so gross now does it? Keep an eye on sites like eBay and Etsy for these kind of unique pieces.  

arts_and_crafts_style_cloakroom_with_panelling_sink

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

22. Replace your bathroom fittings

If your bathroom fittings – taps, showerheads and the like – are looking a bit worse for wear, maybe it's time to get them replaced. They aren't really something you notice until you change them up and realise you've put up with that gross showerhead for way too long. Black fixtures are bang on trend at the moment and there are loads of affordable options out there (check out this one from Victoria Plum ). Or, for an equally trendy but slightly warmer look, try bronze or copper fixtures. 

white scheme bathroom with black accents photographed by Chris Snook

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

23. Update your bathroom with wall panelling 

Panelling is a more affordable alternative to wall tiles, especially if you can fit it yourself, which most experienced DIYers would be able to do. Just be aware when using panelling in bathrooms that although, MDF designs painted with an oil-based finish are water-resistant, they shouldn't be used where they will be soaked. 

Check out more wall panelling ideas in our feature. 

Blue painted bathroom

(Image credit: Graham & Green)

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