The clever use of upgraded fittings can turn your bathroom into a real showpiece, without a massive budget.

Cost-effective bathroom upgrades
Most of us would love a bathroom that looks like it had been pulled straight out of a home décor magazine – but bathrooms are some of the most expensive rooms in a home to renovate. This means you don’t want to spend a fortune on installing big-ticket items that may go out of style, like baths, basins and toilets. Instead, focus on the smaller items like taps, towel rails and other fittings. A ‘soft upgrade’ can still have big impact.

Let’s imagine that your bathroom is a dated mess with old, out-of-style fixtures, algae-stained tap handles and a single towel rail warped from years of exposure to moisture. The first step in our upgrade journey is to tackle easy replacements, such as the toilet seat. A simple swap from an old, worn seat to a crisp white one can be done in mere minutes, instantly refreshing the look. Just unscrew the old one and attach the new one.

Cost-effective bathroom upgrades
Next on the list is the plastic shower caddy, faded and covered in soap residue. By replacing it with a stainless-steel option, we instantly elevate the aesthetic of the shower area. However, not everything requires replacement; some items can be restored. For example, keeping the towel rail brackets while replacing the bent rail with a new dowel rod can maintain the bathroom’s character, while updating its look. You’ll need to seal the dowel with something like Woodoc 50 Marine before you fit it, which will preserve it for years.
Cost-effective bathroom upgrades
When it comes to the basin, we’re not saying you need to change it, but you should look at changing the taps. Replacing traditional taps with a single mixer tap can modernise the space significantly. This doesn’t have to be a daunting task – with basic tools, the old taps can be replaced with new ones – just remember to switch off the water supply before you do so, or you’ll have a flood on your hands. For basins already equipped with a single mixer, an upgrade to a modern mixer model can be just as impactful.
Cost-effective bathroom upgrades
Replacing an outdated bath mixer with a contemporary model is even more impactful and can even serve as a focal point for the room. Similarly, upgrading the shower head and mixer to modern standards not only improves functionality but, also contributes to the overall aesthetic appeal.

If you don’t think it’s necessary to replace the taps, a good polish will revitalise them. Use a metal polishing paste, a soft cloth and those gym muscles – you’ll be amazed at the results.

Cost-effective bathroom upgrades
And let’s not overlook the importance of mirrors and lighting. A strategically placed mirror can make a small bathroom appear larger and more inviting, while the right lighting can add to the room’s ambiance and functionality. These days, it makes most sense to replace lights with LED bulbs as they last longer and are incredibly energy efficient. Remember that bathrooms mustn’t have exposed bulbs, so choose a sealed LED unit or a light fitting designed for bathrooms, with moisture proof rating of at least IP20.

Upgrading your bathroom doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing exercise. By focusing on manageable changes and making strategic upgrades, you can achieve that showroom quality without spending a fortune. This approach not only saves money but also allows for a more personalised touch that can be changed every few years, ensuring your bathroom is always in keeping with your tastes and needs.

Everything you need to renovate your bathroom and keep it looking great is available from Builders, both in-store and online at

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