How to renovate your bathroom on a budget

How to renovate your bathroom on a budget

When it’s time to give your bathroom a facelift, keeping it cost effective and on schedule is often of utmost importance.

One of the biggest costs in bathroom renovations is the labour costs. Where possible, by working with existing plumbing points and simply updating your fixtures and fittings, you will successfully update the space, and functional outcome of the area. It is important to note, that if your current layout is not efficient, then moving plumbing for a better outcome makes sense. Remember you use the bathroom several times a day, and it is important that the space meets you and your family needs, a renovation is the perfect time to do this.


Updating your vanity can dramatically alter the feel and functionality of your bathroom.

The new vanity styles are ergonomically designed with a focus often on drawers which give efficient use of space and accessibility for the user.

The available space will often determine the size of your vanity.
The age old question of single or double basin will be determined by the overall size of the vanity and the number of persons using the vanity. A double basin would be beneficial if more than one person is likely to use the space at the same time every day, but a vanity size of 1200mm or smaller is not likely to have a well functioning double basin set up.

The colour or finish on a vanity can vary significantly in terms of the visual effect on the space and the effect on the budget.

Keeping to a neutral colour, like white will allow you to use colour and texture in your tiles and accessories.

If you prefer a timber look, then a natural timber veneer vanity is stunning, and well worth the added expense for a beautiful product. Consider purchasing a good quality laminate or wrap timber look finish as a cost-effective alternative. New technologies and manufacturing techniques mean that the new type of laminates and vinyl wraps have come a long way in quality and faux effect.

Wall hung vanities offer a contemporary look and are a must in a smaller bathroom, as they create the visual of space. Installing a mirror cabinet will also provide valuable storage.

If you want maximum storage space within the vanity, then a Freestanding vanity will achieve this effect, but may create a more bulky visual look.

Benchtops & Basins

There are several options to consider when selecting a vanity top. Whichever option you choose should be a consideration between your personal choice – what you like, along with a consideration of functionality.

Natural stone and marble will give a luxurious opulent look and feel to your bathroom, but you might like to consider an engineered quartz stone top as an alternative.

Solid surface product is also a great alternative that will give you a beautiful modern matte surface and attractive basin choice.

If cleaning is your hot button, consider an integrated molded basin and vanity top- all in one for a seamless look. Your options include, solid surface or polymarble, which is a durable cost effective alternative to consider.


Natural Marble Top Above Counter Basins         Quartz Stone Top Undermount Basin             Solid Surface Top                                       Polymarble Top



With so many beautiful shapes and styles available in freestanding baths, who wouldn’t want one – Right?

Well sometimes a freestanding bath is not the best option for a bathroom.

If you are confined on space, a shower over bath may be the only way to accommodate both a bath and shower in the one space. In this instance an inset hob bath is your best option. Install a frameless over bath screen, as opposed to a shower curtain, and you have a smart usable outcome for your space.

Forget how nanna’s pink bath looked in her bathroom. Today’s inset baths are stylish, flat edged, deep baths that come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be installed as an island set up giving a very lux look to your hob area.

Freestanding baths come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are best installed off the wall, where possible, allowing the bath an opportunity to ‘pop’ in the room.

However, if you are restricted on space then installing a back-to-wall freestanding bath, allows for the bath to be installed flush against the wall with no gap, saving space and avoiding cleaning between the wall and the bath.
As a rule of thumb if you have 1700mm space for your bath, then it best suits a 1500mm freestanding bath, so you need to consider if the down size in bath length is best for your needs.

Freestanding baths look amazing and can add valuable re-sale dollars to the bathroom renovation.

     Arya Solid Surface Freestanding Bath 

Toilet Suites

Introducing a stylish wall faced toilet instantly brings your bathroom into the 20th century.

The beauty of these suites is they conceal pipe works within the ceramic pan, giving your space a streamlined look that is easy to keep clean and dust free. You can even conceal the water inlet on many of the new models for no added cost.

Most back-to-wall suites are universal S-trap (waste pipe through the floor) or P-trap (waste pipe through the wall), which allow for installation regardless of where the waste is located. If your set up is for an S-trap waste, then you should measure the distance from the back of the wall to the center of the waste pipe. This measurement is often referred to as the set out or rough-in and is a variable measurement on all installations. When selecting your toilet suite you will need to ensure that the pan has the capability to accommodate your measurement.  This should not be a problem, as most back-to-wall toilet suites have a variable pan adaptor which gives the installer flexibility with regards to this set out measurement.

If you are limited on space, then an in-wall, wall faced toilet suite it a great option. Although not designed for the budget conscious customer, it can make the difference between the toilet fitting in a tight space or no toilet, so it can be a must for some situations. Visually it is quite unobtrusive in the bathroom space, as the cistern is concealed within a standard wall cavity. Your access point, should there be any issues with the internal cistern, is via the buttons. This is sometimes feared in the plumbing industry, but by choosing a quality product, such as the Geberit systems, you will be assured of Swiss manufactured, quality product with exceptional credentials backed up by 15 year warranty.

Tapware, Showerheads and Rails   

Now we are up to the fun part – choosing your tapware!

There are so many options available in the market place, and colour is very much on trend.

It can seem very daunting selecting the style when you have never had to think about this before.

A simple way to look at this is to think about tapware as being fundamentally three styles, and then filtering down from there.


Round – round body                        Square – square body                              Combination – where there are elements of roundness and square profile within the mixer

Within these broader group types you will find variations, so by selection a group type, or better still eliminating what you don’t like, your choices start to become more refined.

Colour or finishes are very strong as a trend at the moment, and this is not showing any signs of fading away. Matte black, has been a strong trend for some time now, but if you prefer something a little softer consider a Gunmetal Grey finish.

Equally strong are the brushed effects such as Brushed Nickel and the metallic tones such as naked brass or brushed brass finishes.

If you can’t decide on a finish over chrome, some tapware ranges have a stylish combination of Chrome with matte black for instance.

Once you have selected the profile of your tapware, the shower rails and styling tend to follow on easily from there. One gives direction to the other.

The same holds true for your accessories. Most good quality tapware companies will offer a complete story making the decision making process seamless.

Remember if you keep coming back to a certain style or look, then that can be a good indicator that that is what you will like for long time to come.

Shower Recess

A cost-effective update of your shower recess can be achieved by using a shower base.
Try to stay with a standard shower size as this allows for an ‘off the shelf’ product to be used, thereby avoiding custom-made costs.

If you prefer a walk-in seamless shower recess, then consider a Tile tray which is a molded shower base that is designed to be tiled over giving your bathroom a stylish look.
Align your waste configuration with the existing waste point to minimize costs.
If space permits, a single panel of glass will give your shower area a modern feel. Alternatively, for a little extra in cost, consider a fully frameless screen, for a streamlined, easy to clean alternative to a framed shower screen.



Quick Tips

– measure your space carefully, including constraints such as windows and doors. Take your measurements into our showrooms and our consultants will assist with configuring your space for the best outcome

– Consider leaving your fixtures and fittings in existing locations to save on costs, but only if the functionality of the space is not compromised

–   consider who will be using the space and how many people it needs to accommodate, so that you give emphasis where it is most required

– make a mood board or use Instagram, Houz or Pintrest to collect ideas on what you like. It will give you some inspiration and a visual reference for your likes and dislikes

– think about what works in your space and what does not work in your current space so that you get a better outcome

– create a Wishlist of what you would love the ultimate bathroom to have in it,and consider what the deal breaker items are with in this list. This will allow your consultant to focus on the must haves, if the space is not big enough for everything