Renovation tips for a luxury bathroom on a budget

8 Jun, 2022

Bathrooms are spaces for us to enjoy and relieve the day’s stress. Nothing like a good soak at the end of a stressful week at work! The unofficial heart of the home, bathrooms are used everyday and are a non-negotiable part of every home. That is why bathrooms are a good investment for your resources when looking to renovate your home, functionally you need them, and you may as well have one that you love, seeing as you spend so much time there.

Over time, you might see areas that are starting to peel or moisture-filled musty corners that require your attention. Bathroom repairs and renovations are a constant process. Home improvement projects are exciting, challenging, and fulfilling, but there is a critical factor to consider in all home improvement efforts, drum roll please… your budget.

While it is easy to pick up design ideas and be inspired by design magazines, Pinterest or lifestyle blogs, reality is that the project will depend on the current functional status of your bathroom and your current financial account. The most expensive part of a renovation is the cost of labour. The cost of plumbing and tiling can quickly eat up the budget, but there is a way to achieve the opulence of your goal bathroom without paying a hefty price tag!

Buckle up as we unveil trade secrets that will help you transform your dream luxury bathroom space into existence, whilst respecting your budget!

Changing a layout of a bathroom will cost you

Consider that changing the layout of a bathroom, including moving the sink, shower, or tub, can significantly increase the cost of your renovation. Take a look around your bathroom, are there any urgent repairs that need doing? If you’re going for an aesthetic overhaul, what are the areas you specifically want to take up a notch? There will be times when changing the layout of a bathroom is necessary; for example, you own a very small bathroom and you are planning to remove a wall to increase space, instances where it is worth it to invest in moving utilities around. As the renovation moves forward, it is also wise to look at investing in functional improvements such as slip-proofing your floorings and good ventilation, things that don’t make an aesthetic difference per say but increase the durability and functionality of your renovation. If you’re doing the renovation to increase your space, take note of the location of your doors, the toilet and the tub, and the size of your cupboards to be installed, all of these features need to be carefully considered in the planning stage of your renovation. You will also have to consider how your new bathroom will complement your entire home. Consult bathroom designers or bathroom construction experts for more detailed explanation for the right materials and layout for your bathroom area, to optimise your space. 

renovated bathroom in heritage home in Ipswich

Planning: Carefully consider where your money is going 

A bathroom renovation or overhaul usually costs around $20,000-$30,000 in Australia—and that’s just a rough estimate! Be realistic: create a checklist of suppliers, the trades you’ll need, time frames, your budget, and only move things that you really need to move, otherwise look at luxury finishes that make the room look luxurious but do not have a price tag to make you gasp.

Without careful planning, you might waste significant resources on unnecessary excess materials or labour. Avoid these additional painstaking mishaps by coming up with an initial blueprint for your project, detailing materials, trades, a list of non-negotiable tasks as well as optional preferences. Consult friends and professionals such as a bathroom renovation plumber, to guide you on your renovation planning phase. Not only do you get to canvass the best materials for your savings, you can also ensure that your newly renovated bathroom can stand the test of time.

After investing time and resources into the planning stage, it’s now time to call your renovation company or if you’re trying to DIY, start your trips to suppliers such as your local Bunnings. Have a look at this article for 3 tips on how to keep your bathroom renovation costs low, for some ideas in the planning stage. 

luxury bathroom renovation in large in Ipswich

Be creative where you get your luxury fixtures 

Consider getting fixtures second hand from marketplace or gumtree. It could be items such as the slab for your sink, taps, shower head , door handles, or even your tub. You don’t always have to source from furniture warehouses or retail suppliers. Try your luck at your local garage sale and community pages! If you’re on the hunt for vintage-looking accents or a funky tub, you might score a grand treasure awaiting you at the flea market. Don’t be afraid to stray away from the conventional ways of sourcing products. Give items a second chance at life by finding the gems that will fit your renovation, be aware that this will take more time than choosing one from a catalog but it will also save money, leaving you with a more unique piece for your renovated space.

Change your shower head and bath 

Safety first! For shower fixtures installed for quite a time now, considering to change them might be a wise move. Although most brands of shower heads and tubs are designed to last for a long time, made of durable materials, they will eventually show signs of deterioration from repeated usage over the years. The top layer of a bathtub or shower basin will deteriorate, leading to mould  growth, sediment build up in fixtures may lead to reduced water pressure and leaks, these are the most common problems that occur when we talk about fixtures. Some shower heads and bath tubs can’t be salvaged just by cleaning. Watch out for these warning signs on your current fixtures—these should be included on your bathroom renovation evaluation. 


Not quite knowledgeable in shower head and bath installation or unsure about choosing the best shower fixtures for your new bathroom? Contacting your friendly local plumber is the answer. Specialised in bathroom renovations, some plumbers will be able to give you advice on your options as bathroom renos are their bread and butter. They will get the job done for you, adhering to building codes and your preferences. 

Tiles: Paint rather than remove and replace 

If your tiles are broken or very outdated, then it is worth replacing them, consider hiring a tiler for this work as the finished product will differ significantly from an amateur to that of a professional. You may save some money by trying to do it yourself, but the outcome will be different, therefore it is dependent on what finish you need. You might not see the difference you want to achieve. For example, if you are renovating an investment property that you will rent out, the finished product is not as important as if you were renovating to sell a high end property. If you don’t have the budget to hire a tiler and your tiles don’t need replacing but rather, they just need a freshen up, don’t be afraid to unleash your creative self, by painting your tiles instead of replacing them.

Tiles require maintenance measures even after they have been installed. That’s why it’s important to choose smarter for your tiles, to keep your maintenance budget afloat.


Utilise lighting to elevate your space

Never underestimate the impact that good lighting has on elevating a space. Who doesn’t love the warm glow of lighting that does you a favour in the mirror, or the soft hues of thoughtful lighting above the tub? There isn’t always a need to move lighting, you could change the lighting fixtures to create ambiance by trying down lights, pendant lighting, or a light behind your mirror, which goes a long way in adding a touch of opulence to your bathroom.

If you’re doing a complete overhaul of your bathroom space, it might be a good move to consider the natural lighting in your space and work off that. It helps you conserve energy while enjoying the glow of natural lighting which is hard to replicate. Incorporating windows or even a skylight will increase natural light and will have the added benefit of making your space appear larger. 

Simple, easy ways to add luxury to your bathroom without renovating 

  • Adding a bit of greenery to window planes
  • Spruce up your vanity with some paint and replace your old mirror
  • Use mirrors to create an optical illusion of a bigger space
  • Bold statement pieces for your decor or fixtures

  • Swap out old lightbulbs that have harsh lighting, for soft, gentle lighting 
bathroom renovation in Ipswich completed with luxury finishes
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