Between upgraded fixtures, new tiles, and a replacement bathtub or freestanding shower, the average homeowner can expect to pay anywhere from at least $1,000 to upwards of $15,000 to renovate a small bathroom. Whether your budget is modest or healthy, it is important to know the areas of your bathroom that deserve more attention.

Learning where to splurge and where to be frugal can help you get the most out of your remodeling budget. Here are a few areas in your bathroom where you should spend more, as well as a few you can save money on.


Your bathroom flooring will constantly be exposed to water, so you might assume that splurging on high-end natural stone products is the best option. Although durable, many types of natural stone, including marble, granite, and limestone, are prone to scratches, and the increased moisture means higher maintenance costs.

There are several affordable flooring options, making saving on this aspect of the remodel a smart choice. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are timeless, water-resistant, and inexpensive. If your budget is tight and you want to mimic the look of wood or add a pop of color to the room, vinyl sheet or plank flooring will withstand a lot of abuse and requires little maintenance.


Deciding whether to save or splurge on cabinets is dependent upon the current state of your vanity and other storage and the amount of storage you need. If you have a large family and need a lot of storage and your current vanity doesn’t suffice, consider splurging on a larger piece.

If you want a custom look on a smaller budget, repurpose an antique or vintage dresser or side table. Refinishing a vanity that is not damaged and meets your needs is a great way to save money.


Splurging on quality fixtures, including hardware, faucets, and showerheads is a smart choice because they will be used and exposed to germs daily. The finish on lesser quality fixtures will begin to fade and suffer from small dings and dents, creating the ideal place for germs to accumulate. Lower quality fixtures also wear out faster and will need to be replaced sooner. This is an unnecessary expense on parts and labor.


Touchless flushing, heated seats, and air dryers are just a few of the upgrades available on modern toilets. Toilets have come a long way, but because they still serve the same basic function, this is an area you can save your money on. The average lifespan of a toilet is at least 50 years. If your current toilet is in good shape, consider replacing the toilet seat and giving it a thorough cleaning.

Low-cost replacement toilets without all the bells and whistles will suffice. If you live with an elderly parent who has trouble standing, purchasing a taller toilet and installing safety bars is an inexpensive way to protect them from falling.

Tub and Shower

Replacing your current bathtub, shower, or both with higher-quality materials will provide a great return on investment. If you’re planning to sell your home, a new freestanding shower or tub and shower combination that features glass doors is very attractive to potential buyers. Upgrading your dingy wall surround with a higher-quality model will help prevent the damage caused by mold and mildew.

If you are older or live with a family member dealing with limited mobility, upgrading to a walk-in tub or a low threshold shower isn’t only a smart investment, it is the safest option. When purchasing a walk-in tub or low threshold shower, also splurge on quality safety options, including safety bars and nonslip floor mats.


Gathering several bids for your remodel is important because it helps determine the overall cost of your remodel while locating a contractor or installer that fits your budget and timeline. However, before you choose the lowest bid, remember that splurging on quality labor is always a smart investment. Hiring a qualified, experienced contractor, subcontractor, or installer will ensure the job is done correctly the first time.

Unexpected Costs

Burst pipes, broken marble slabs, and cracked toilets are a few of the many unavoidable issues that arise during a bathroom remodel. Splurging on a healthy contingency budget will help you avoid breaking your budget. Set aside at least 5 to 10 percent of your overall remodeling budget to cover any disasters, unexpected delays, or last-minute upgrades.

If you do not spend your discretionary budget during the remodel, put it toward quality bathroom accessories, or save it for your next home remodeling project.

Determining when to splurge and when to be thrifty is an important aspect of creating a bathroom remodeling budget. If you have any questions about replacing your current bathtub or shower or upgrading to a walk-in tub, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Four Seasons Home Products.