diy bathroom makeover final

How to remodel a bathroom on a budget – DIY bathroom makeover

I’ve recently completed the third bathroom refit in our house and for the second time, we managed to achieve this for under £1000. Within this post, I’m going to show you how we achieved this, whilst showing you a few hints and tips to keep the price down without compromising on the overall finish. This DIY bathroom guide is perfect for those who have a few basic skills, are on a budget and have the time and patients to complete the job. It took me roughly 3 weeks from start to finish on a part-time basis.

Before and after images

DIY bathroom makeover starting pointdiy bathroom makeover final

We’ve completely replaced every part of this bathroom to give it a modern feel, from the flooring to the walls and all the fixtures and fittings. The worst part of this job is always having to remove all the old tiles. You never know how easily they are going to come off the wall. Half the time I end up damaging the plasterboard underneath, which is something that simply can’t be avoided with this job. So if you give this a try, don’t get disheartened if half the wall comes off with the tiles.

Fixtures and fittings

The best way to start this project is to make a list of all the fixtures and fittings you’ll need for your bathroom makeover. You’re going to need the big items such as a new bathtub, sink, toilet and all the tiles and your selected flooring. But don’t forget about the smaller items and the behind-the-scenes essentials. Things like pipework, a radiator, toilet roll holder, sink vanity unit, bath panel, faucets, shower units and light switches are all worth replacing. For inspiration consider looking at Corston light switches, sockets, and other architectural designs, which can help make your new bathroom look more appealing.

When it comes to finding fixtures and fittings for a bathroom on a budget, there are plenty of options available. From secondhand stores to clearance deals, there are ways to save money without sacrificing style or quality.

One way to save money on bathroom fixtures is to shop around. This can be very time-consuming but we find it’s best to find the right items at the right price. Check out different home improvement stores and online retailers to compare prices and find the best value.

Another great way to save money on bathroom fixtures is to look for clearance deals. Many retailers will offer deep discounts on last season’s styles or overstocked items. Keep an eye out for sales and clearances both in-store and online. try visiting a handful of stores and make a note of items you like. Once you’ve seen a good selection, head back to your favourite for the best deal.

If you’re willing to get a little creative, you can also make your own bathroom fixtures. DIY projects like building your own vanity unit or creating your own towel rack can save you a lot of money and give your bathroom a unique look. Here’s an example of my homemade vanity unit.

DIY vanity unit with bowl sink

it’s made with a chunky piece of ash wood, cut to size and sanded, mounted on top of a basic wooden frame, surrounded with painted spruce cladding. Easy construction at a low cost.

In addition to shopping around and getting creative, it’s also important to prioritise your needs versus your wants. Focus on the essential items first, like the toilet, sink, and shower, and then work your way down to the decorative items like curtains and artwork.

Finally, make use of a cashback site to get every penny back possible on your project. Even if you only get 5% cashback on your purchases, that’s £50 towards your next home DIY project.

Top tips for a DIY bathroom makeover

Tip one. Try and avoid changing the layout

If you want to rearrange the layout of your bathroom you’ll be facing a much more complicated job in terms of the pipework and you could need to hire a professional plumber to make this happen. Try and avoid this with only small changes. Toilets should stay where they are but can be changed for the one you prefer. Baths and showers should stay in the same location but you can change the size/shape to suit your desired finish. The same goes for the sink but you might have a little more flexibility here.

Think about your inlet water pipes as well as wastewater pipes. If you start making big changes it’s going to get complicated. Plastic pipes can now be used to extend hot and cold water inlets which makes it easier for the DIYer to complete the job with only basic tools.

Tip two. Always turn the water off

Ensure you always turn the water off at the stop cock before you start any work and ensure you have time to complete one section before you finish for the day. You can use stop ends to cap off water pipes if you need the water back on before you complete a job. Stop ends are cheap and will save you time and money.

Check for leaks after every job. It’s important to check any pipework carefully before you leave the job. When you’ve turned the water back on, go and check your job has been successful. Check for visible signs of water leaks and slow leaks with a piece of tissue. I tend to wrap a piece of tissue around the pipe near a joint and leave it for an hour or so. If the tissue is wet then I know there is a slow leak.

Tip three. Do your research

If you’re new to plumbing and tiling, don’t worry. So was I at one point but I did my research and gave it a go. I learned what I could from Youtube and family with experience and gave it a go. These jobs don’t have to be daunting but you will learn as you go along.

You’ll save hundreds of pounds completing this job yourself so take your time and research well before you start. If you are still unsure try and practice somewhere or hire a professional for that part of the job.

How to refit an entire bathroom from scratch

So here is the starting point for this project

DIY bathroom makeover starting point

Step 1. Remove all the tiles

This can be a messy and time-consuming task, so it’s important to use the right tools and protective gear. A hammer and chisel or a tile scraper can be used to remove the tiles, while a dust mask and safety goggles can help protect you from debris. Collect all the broken tiles in a large tub and recycle them at your local recycling centre.

removing tiles from wall

Step 2. Remove old fixtures and fittings

Turn the water off at the stop cock and remove the old bath, shower, sink and toilet. The same can be done with the radiator if you have one. The inlet pipes will likely be 15mm copper or plastic pipes which can simply be gapped off with stop ends. Check these for leaks when you turn the water back on.

removing fixtures from bathroom

I use plastic bags to cover the waste pipes to stop the smells from coming back up into the room.

Step 3. Fitting the new bath

Once everything has been removed it’s time to start putting everything back. Give the room a good tidy and fit your bath into place. Adjust the feet to the right height, fit the wall mountings and secure the bath to the floor. Use silicone sealant to seal around the wall. Connect the old waste pipes back up to the new bath. You can wait until the new tiling has been completed before fitting the new taps or shower fixture.

fitting the new bath

Step 4. Tile the walls and floor

Now it’s time to re-tile the walls and floor. (or your choice of flooring) I quickly skimmed the walls to smooth them over before starting this job. The only bit I didn’t tile was the bit where the new sink vanity unit would go.

tiling a wall over bath

And here is a progress pic of the floor tiling.

tiling a wall and floor bathroom

You don’t have to buy expensive tiles but you can get creative with your tiling patterns for a more contemporary look and feel.

Step 5. Fit your toilet

With the tiling near finish, you can now refit your toilet. I purchased a flexi pipe pan connector to help and the new toilet was a slightly different shape.

I also purchased a new 15mm – 1/2 inch flexi pipe to connect the water inlet. I find these pipes are much easier to fit, rather than trying to fit a hard pipe to the connection on the cistern.

fitting a new toilet

I used a soft towel to prevent the floor tiles from being scratched.

Step 6. Building the sink and vanity unit

This was a simple construction with a solid wood waney edge piece of ash and a 50x25mm timber frame. The frame was then covered in a basic cladding which I painted later on. All the pipework was complete once the sink and faucet had been fitted securely to the top piece of wood.

I need to make minor adjustments to the 32mm waste pipe and I fitted flexi pipes to connect the water inlet. Copper pipes can easily be cut to size with a 15mm automatic copper pipe cutter which costs about £10.

building a vanity sink unit waney edge wood

Step 7. Fitting the radiator

This job was quite straight forwards, I just had to ensure the boiler was off to complete the job. You don’t want hot water spraying everywhere when you are fitting the new radiator. To remove the old radiator, drain it from one of the valves first. You can then simply fit the new one and fill it with the bleed valve open at the top. Once full, close the bleed valve. Check Youtube for a simple explanation.

fitting a new radiator

Step 8. Fit the bath faucets and shower unit

Connection the pipes for the bath are very similar to the basin except they use a 22mm thread. (Not 15mm)

Again, flexi pipes can be used for this. Connecting one end to the 15mm pipe and the other end to the 22mm thread on the bottom of the tap.

fitting a shower and faucet unit to a bath

I find it much easier to fit these parts after all the tiling, grouting and sealing have been completed.

Step 9. The finishing touches

The final steps to this project will be the bath panel, painting walls and ceilings, replacing light switches and sealing any gaps. I’ve also fitted a shower curtain rail on this project but you could also fit a shower screen.

bathroom makeover finished


In conclusion, remodelling your bathroom for under £1000 is an achievable feat. By focusing on essential items and shopping around for fixtures and fittings, you can create a modern and stylish bathroom on a budget. Additionally, it’s important to avoid changing the layout of the bathroom as much as possible, turn off the water before starting any work, and check for leaks after completing each task. By following these tips and being patient, you can successfully complete a DIY bathroom makeover without compromising on the overall finish.

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