When budget matters, do-it-yourself bathroom upgrades can be a simple, low-cost way to dramatically improve your bathroom’s appeal. Here are six projects that you can do on your own without hiring a contractor or buying expensive equipment.
1. Install a plug-in towel warmer
Cost: About $60 (basic) to $700 (high-end).
A fluffy warm towel after showering is delightful, and with today’s plug-in towel warmers, you don’t need electrical skills to install one yourself. These warmers plug into your existing outlet, so all you’ll need is a drill, stud finder and a level to attach these fixtures to your wall.
With a huge choice of designs, materials and features, prices for towel warmers vary widely. While you can pay hundreds for a high-end plug-in towel warmer, more basic models go for as little as $60. Those with temperature controls and timers tend to fall on the more expensive side.
2. Replace cabinet hardware
Cost: About $10 to a few hundred dollars.
The visual impact of just swapping out bathroom cabinet knobs, pulls and handles is nothing short of amazing. This entire job shouldn’t come to more than a few hundred dollars — and for some bathrooms, it may be less than $10.
Cabinet hardware comes in countless colors, textures and designs, and in a host of materials ranging from chrome and wood to plastic and ceramics.
Since this is a replacement project, no drilling is required; you’ll just need a screwdriver. To make sure your project goes smoothly though, be sure to choose handles that are the same size as the ones you’re replacing so that the existing holes in your vanity line up exactly with your new hardware.
3. Go green with a dual flush converter kit
Cost: About $25.
If you’ve been wanting to reduce water waste, a dual flush toilet may already be on your wishlist. But there’s no need to spend about $500 to $700 to have a whole new toilet installed when you can easily hook up a dual flush converter kit to your existing toilet for around $25.
Be aware that while many dual flush kits advertise they can be installed with no tools, the requirements can vary by toilet model. In some cases, you might need certain tools, such as pliers, a screwdriver and a crescent wrench. Either way, the job should take less than an hour, and you’ll know you’ve done something good for the planet.
4. Replace your showerhead
Cost: About $25 to $250.
Replacing your old showerhead yourself is one of the simplest ways to transform showering into a genuine spa experience — while saving hundreds of dollars on plumber costs. From rain showerheads to massaging, dual-head and even colorful LED light-up models, there’s a showerhead for every taste and budget.
Showerheads may cost as little as $25, though fancier ones are more expensive. To install your new purchase, simply remove the old showerhead, clean the area and screw on the new unit.
5. Install a bidet toilet seat
Cost: About $60 to $500.
A bidet toilet seat, a bathroom fixture that's popular abroad but less common in the U.S., is a toilet-paper alternative designed to spray your bottom with water. With features like warming, adjustable water pressure and even nightlights, it can make your bathroom more luxurious — and it doesn't require replacing your toilet. Starting at around $60, bidet toilet seats connect to your existing electrical outlets and plumbing. The job should take about a half-hour and requires simple household tools, such as a screwdriver and a wrench.
6. Add a coat of paint
Cost: $20 to $100 per gallon for paint; $10 to $20 per gallon for primer; $10 to $100 for other supplies, such as brushes, rollers, a tray, dropcloths, painter's tape and a ladder.
Painting bathroom walls can change the entire look of the room, but it does require some prep and patience. Before starting, you'll need to have dropcloths, a tray, painter’s tape, a ladder, brushes and rollers on hand. Expect the job to take a few days since you’ll have to wait for the primer to dry before applying paint.