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Remodeling your bathroom is one project that is likely to add significant value to your home. Refreshing this essential space also makes a big difference in your family’s quality oflife, putting a brighter perspective on their daily routine. Even if your budget won’t quite cover a total bathroom makeover, which averages around $10,000, you can make a number of budget-friendly upgrades that will enhance your home for $3,000 or less.

1. Water-Sense Fixtures
Replacing one or more of your dated bathroom fixtures with sleek new WaterSense fixtures delivers a return on your investment every day. WaterSense is an EPA program that certifies that a toilet, shower head, or faucet uses at least 20 percent less water than a standard fixture. Going with WaterSense-labeled fixtures not only makes your household more environmentally friendly, but it also chips away at your water bill. In fact, the average-sized family can save over $300 per year with WaterSense fixtures, according to EPA. At that rate, they will pay for themselves over a couple of years.

Typical savings for specific WaterSense fixtures include:

  • Toilet: 13,000 gallons savings per year
  • Shower head: 2,900 gallons savings per year
  • Bathroom faucet: 700 gallons savings per year

Another bathroom product soon to be on the market is a WaterSense diverter for shower and tub use. If you have a combination of the two in your bathroom, the new diverter will be designed to stop the leakage that is typical of standard diverters, so you can save even more water.

2. Thrifty Tricks with Tile
Tile can be expensive, especially if you have your heart set on something decorative and unique. However, if you use your favorite tile judiciously, you can afford a little luxury. For example, rather than tiling your entire tub surround with that luminous sea-green glass tile, opt for an inexpensive alternative for most of the area and use your favorite as an accent border. You still get that luminous look at a more affordable cost.

If you are artistic, consider incorporating a tile mosaic into your bathroom remodel. It will provide one of those wonderful touches that enrich and personalize your home. You can use hand painted tiles as accents in your backsplash too. You can also choose to use a limited amount of tile to create an accent wall in a prominent place, such as behind the sink.

3. Countertops

Yes, that fabulous granite countertop you’ve been dreaming about is a bit beyond your means, but you can make it more economical with some clever strategies. First, be flexible in your color choice. As with many fashion items, trending colors and patterns in granite are typically more costly than less popular alternatives. Purchasing a piece with a flaw is another great way to save. With some strategic planning, you can find a an imperfect but affordable slab that falls right about where the sink will go, effectively eliminating the flaw.

If you are not a fan of granite, consider some unconventional ideas for your vanity top that are not only inexpensive but also look great. Be creative with materials, like cement tiles, wood slab with marine-grade sealant or even painted glass. If your bathroom already has a pedestal sink that you like, consider adding shelving above it for that essential counter space.

4. Wall Coverings
Fresh paint and pretty wallpaper put a whole new face on your too-familiar bathroom, and because the amount of wall space to cover is typically less than any other room in your house, the job is certainly do-able. The key to making your hard work last is to use paint and wallpaper designed for moist areas. Semi-gloss, mold-resistant paint well suited to a steamy environment, and moisture resistant wallpaper can create a completely different look in your bath.

Get creative and add some wainscoting below to balance out bold wallpaper patterns or add an earth-friendly vibe with textured wallpaper in tan tones. Unless you are prepared to buy new towels and mats, though, choose new colors that coordinate with what you’ve already got, or better yet, switch color schemes between bathrooms so you get a fresh look without having to replace perfectly good towels.

5. Faucets and Hardware Upgrades
Small renovations can make a big visual impact in the bathroom. Consider replacing:

  • Faucets
  • Towel racks
  • Light fixtures
  • Shower curtain and hardware
  • Drawer pulls

Most of these upgrades are DIY-friendly, with the possible exception of replacing your faucets, and any combination of these are likely to get compliments.

Some of the hottest styles in bathroom faucets are single-lever, single-hole units, but unless you are replacing the same type of faucet, you face the extra expenses of replacing the countertop because the existing holes won’t fit. Instead, choose the same type of faucet but choose a different profile and/or color if you wish.

Redecorating with new light fixtures is a great makeover option on a budget. You can create an inviting atmosphere with light-diffusing fixtures near the soaking tub and enhance the lighting above the sink where you need it with a stylish pendant fixture. You don’t have to spend a lot to make a big change with lighting.

A new shower curtain and hardware deliver a big bang for your buck, infusing your bathroom with color and a touch of style. Even trading out your drawer and cabinet pulls proves that the dazzle is in the details.

USA Bath Can Help
At USA Bath, our experienced pros can help you with remodeling projects large or small in the Sacramento, Cal., and Reno, Nev., regions. Let us assist you in making the changes you envision within your budget and your time frame. Get in touch with us today for further information.