16 Cheap Bathroom Updates with Wow Factor

Updated: Nov. 06, 2023

You don’t have to spend a fortune to give your bathroom a facelift. These easy, inexpensive changes will make your space feel more luxurious in an instant.

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self-closing-toilet lid

Self-Closing Toilet Lid

Eliminate loud seat banging by installing a self-closing toilet lid. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this small change makes.

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glass tile mirror frame

Frame the Mirror

Add an impressive DIY frame to your large bathroom mirror. The shimmery glass tile shown here brings attention to an otherwise plain beveled glass mirror. All you need is an MDF back, wood trim, tile, mirror and grout. We’ll show you how to do it.

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shower storage shelf

Additional Shower Storage

Shower shelves make compact and handy storage nooks for soaps and shampoos. This inexpensive amenity will instantly make your showering experience better! Here are some other great bathroom add-ons.

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bathroom vanity makeover turqoise
Photo: Courtesy of Melina Gillies

Give Your Existing Vanity a Makeover

If your vanity has good bones, there’s not need to fork over the cash to buy a whole new one. Instead, give it a facelift with paint. This one went from a cookie-cutter oak cabinet to a charming, farmhouse-style focal point. Check out these other bathroom vanity makeovers.

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Create This Super-Simple Bath Cabinet
Family Handyman

Create This Super-Simple Bath Cabinet

In many bathrooms, a picture or a small shelf hangs above the toilet. But you can make better use of that space by building an attractive cabinet that offers about three times as much storage as a typical medicine cabinet. Learn how to build these cheap bathroom cabinets here. The simple joinery and store-bought doors make this a great project for the woodworking novice.
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install dimmer switch
Family Handyman

Install a Dimmer Switch

There’s more to changing a switch than connecting a few wires. You have to check grounding and box size for a safe, first-class job. It’s easy to install a dimmer switch, but make sure to upgrade the wiring if necessary to make it safer and meet Electrical Code requirements. We’ll show you how to assure a safe dimmer switch installation.

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curved shower rod

Make More Room with a Curved Curtain Rod

Besides giving the bathroom a sleek look with its gentle radius, a curved curtain rod gives you more elbow room in the shower. You can use your current shower curtain, or buy a new curtain and new rings in the same finish as the curtain rod to complete the new look.

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cabinet rollouts

Better Organization Options

If you opt to keep your existing vanity and other bathroom cabinetry, simply adding pullout shelves or drawer dividers will make staying organized much easier. Check out this updated 1950s bathroom.

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towel warmer

Towel Warmer for the Win

This inexpensive, easy-to-install accessory will make any bathroom feel like a spa. Warm up towels while you shower, so you have a nice fresh-out-of-the-dryer feeling every time.

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Glass Shelves for Bathroom Storage
Family Handyman

Glass Shelves for Bathroom Storage

Most bathrooms have one space you can count on for additional storage, and that’s over the toilet. Open glass shelves are a great place to display decorative bathroom bottles or knickknacks. And there are zillions of glass shelving systems on the market. Follow the directions that come with the system for the installation details, but learn how to anchor them to the wall here. Because you probably won’t have studs exactly where you need them. In this project, masking tape is used to avoid marking the walls.
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small pullout mirror

Install an Extra Pullout Mirror

This cheap upgrade makes a huge different in the bathroom—especially for those households with several people sharing a small space. You can easily mount a pullout mirror to a stud in any wall in a matter of minutes.

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accent tile in bathroom

Add Some Accent Tile

Adding a pop of colorful tile to the vanity wall or inside the shower creates a luxurious look without having to purchase a full room’s worth of tile. We’ll show you how to install small wall tiles here for one of those cheap bathroom ideas.

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bathroom light fixtures

Swap Out the Light Fixtures

Changing the lighting in the bathroom can make a big impact and is one of those bathroom update ideas that are easy. Here, we’ll walk you through replacing an old bathroom light fixture with two new ones.

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Hang a Glass Shower Shelf
Family Handyman

Hang a Glass Shower Shelf

Tired of the clutter of shampoo and conditioner bottles along the rim of your tub? This tempered safety glass shelf on a cable shelf bracket is an easy solution. And the cable shelf bracket requires only two screws for support. If studs aren't located in the right positions, use toggle bolts to anchor the shelf brackets. And the glass hangs on the cables. The cable shelf brackets (No. CSB5B) are available online from expodesigninc.com. Also, order a tempered glass shelf from a local glass company. We installed a 3/8-in.-thick, 12-in.-deep shelf. Want to add some more flair to your bathroom? Learn how to frame your mirror with glass tile here.
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new faucet

Replace a Faucet

Trading up for a new faucet or showerhead can give a bathroom a whole new luxurious feel and it’s one of those cheap bathroom ideas. It’s especially fun to update those fixtures that you use every day. Here’s how to do it.

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bathroom updates with wow

Install Modern Cabinetry

If you’re tired of that cookie-cutter oak cabinetry in your bathroom, replace it with modern kitchen cabinets. In this article, we’ll show you how to replace old vanity cabinetry with an updated ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinet from IKEA. Check out the before and after photos!