Bathroom magic: how to save money on bathroom accessories

Ginger Dean

October 13, 2014

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Bathroom RemodelingFinance and Legal

Creating a realistic budget for your bathroom renovation wasn't easy, but you've finally determined exactly how much capital is required to install that beautiful marble vanity or amazing travertine flooring. Unfortunately, when the job is done and the workmen are gone, you're left with a beautiful, empty bathroom and no money for accessories. From the ideal shower curtain to amazing light fixtures; accessories are what make an elegant, modern bathroom feel like home. Even if you haven't renovated, adding fresh accessories can fool your friends and family members into thinking you spent a small fortune overhauling the space.

Shower surrounds

You've blown your budget on beautiful flooring, a vanity, and custom cabinets. Unfortunately there isn't much left to spend on tiling your tub surround. Your last option is a molded plastic model, but you're afraid this outdated look will clash with your fabulously updated bathroom. Luckily, plastic shower surrounds have come a long way, and many are easily installed by homeowners in as little as two to three days. Surrounds are available in a variety of styles, sizes, colors and price points. So shop around for the best deal. Once your unit is delivered, don't worry about hiring a professional, as many come with very simple, detailed instructions.


Installing new drawer pulls, towel bars and hand towel racks is a relatively inexpensive way to update your bathroom. Start your search for these necessities at yard sales and resale shops. Look for a complete set that features a beautiful shape, but don't worry if the color or finish leaves something to be desired. A quick coat of spray paint is all that's required to transform any metal drawer pull or towel rack from drab to amazing. Wooden models are another option, and once again it only takes a few dollars and less than one hour to customize an unpainted pull or bar.

Bathroom fixtures

For the most part, refinishing is much more cost-effective than replacing a cabinet, a mirror, or even an acrylic tub. However, there is one exception to this rule: bathroom fixtures and lighting. The price of brushed nickel or antiqued bronze faucets and light fixtures is outrageous, which is why many manufacturers offer antiquing kits. Unfortunately, when you factor in the kit's cost and time it takes to master this art, it's often less expensive to purchase the items new. This often leaves you no other option than to either save up and purchase the pricier pieces or accept a less expensive model. Remember that everything goes with chrome, so if you're really struggling, wait for a sale or clearance.

Towels, curtains, and other necessities

Waiting for a white sale is the best option when it comes to saving money on the little necessities that finish your bathroom's overall look. However, if you cannot wait, there's one simple decorating rule that can save your budget while providing your bathroom with timeless sophistication: less is more. Keep your bathroom simple by decorating it with white hand towels, a white bathmat, white shower curtain, and a few small potted plants. Like chrome,white goes with everything and gives your bathroom a crisp, clean feeling.

Saving on water

If you're having trouble staying ahead of your ever-increasing water bills, cut down your consumption with faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads. Aerators are small mesh circles that fit over your existing faucet and allow you to use less water without sacrificing pressure. Many manufacturers now offer cost-effective low-flow shower heads, which can reduce your yearly water bills by hundreds of dollars. With a little ingenuity and bargain hunting; it's possible to accessorize your bathroom without breaking the bank. If you still aren't nabbing any amazing deals at your neighborhood hardware or home improvement store, look no further than your laptop. Several discount bathroom accessory and fixture websites are available, and aside from saving money, you can also choose from a much larger selection without leaving the comfort of your home.

With these tips in hand, you'll have a stylish bathroom on budget in no time. Don't worry about tackling everything at once. use what budget you have for the pieces that will make the biggest impact, and add in the rest over time.


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