7 (Cheap) Ways to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a High-End Spa

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Margaret Wright)

Bathroom renovations take time and come with a hefty price tag. The national average for a restroom remodel is $9,724, according to Home Advisor’s 2018 True Cost report. And in the upcoming year, homeowners plan on shelling out an average of $2,406 on upgrading their baths, according to the cost analysis.

You don’t need to break the bank to upgrade the look of your bathroom. If you don’t have the financial resources for a full-on renovation, you can still give your porcelain palace a new look. With these cosmetic tweaks, you can transform your washroom into a spa-like sanctuary.

(Image credit: Minette Hand)

Do a Deep Clean

Give your bathroom a deep clean to help determine what kind of updates you’d like to make. Scour the floors, clean the grout and re-caulk the tub and shower area, remove rust from metal fixtures, and wipe away grime and soap scum. With a spotless bathroom, you’ll be able to see clearly where you need updates. Does the metal light fixture still look dingy even after removing rust? Are the brushed bronze plumbing fixtures outdated?

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Update Lighting

Lighting can make or break a room. Get rid of harsh overheard fluorescent lighting, and instead opt for can lights; or if you have lofty ceilings, a small chandelier. For optimal lighting, install sconces on each side of your vanity at eye level. This height ensures that you’ll see yourself in the best possible light while primping.

(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Upgrade The Vanity

A dated vanity can be easily updated with a fresh coat of paint and some shiny new cabinet knobs and drawer pulls. This DIY approach can go a long way in giving your bathroom a brand-new look. Go with a high-gloss white for a dramatic and contemporary statement. If your cabinetry can’t be brought back to life with a facelift, it’s time to replace it. Prefab vanities come in standard sizes that easily can be popped into the existing footprint of your current cabinetry.

(Image credit: I Spy DIY)

Replace Metals

If your plumbing fixtures are looking antiquated, it’s time for a facelift. Go with nickel for a more traditional spa look. Or to warm up the space, try bronze with a sleek silhouette. In the shower, upgrade to a luxurious rainfall showerhead. Or if you have a tub, a fancy detachable head will add a luxe touch. While you’re at it, swap out the towel rod and toilet paper holder for new hardware with a finish that complements the faucet.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Paint Walls

Take a less-is-more approach when creating your bathroom’s palette. Spas conjure images of crisp, soothing neutrals and organic shades like blues and greens, so keep your color scheme clean and simple. Try a cool gray or warm white. If you are dead set on color, go with a light lavender, pale blue or minty green. Avoid energetic, bold colors. For more texture, install wainscoting or apply a textured wallpaper like grasscloth.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Add Finishing Touches

To achieve a tranquil, spa-like look, the bathroom should appear spare and sanitary. Keep things clean and minimal by accessorizing strategically.

Avoid letting things accumulate on surfaces by having enough storage (under the vanity and in the medicine cabinet) to tuck away all your grooming tools. If you are low on surface space, install open shelving with brackets and wood slabs. But be sure to cherry-pick what you display on shelving to avoid a cluttered bathroom.

Add to your soothing palette with warm materials like wood and cozy textures like linen. Incorporate natural elements like a cedar bath mat, woven storage baskets, or teak shower bench. Soften the space with a waffle weave shower curtain and organic cotton bath towels.

To echo that restful spa ambiance, use candles with an earthy fragrance like vetiver and incorporate a few low-maintenance plants like Dracaena, aloe or ferns that are known for air purifying.

Hello, luxe lavatory!