So your bathroom needs a facelift but you don’t have $10,000 or more to spend?

Don’t despair, there are many ways you can create a fresh new bathroom by modifying your existing room or adding a few touches that will transform it.

Builder Kahu Paki Paki of Ready to Renovate says the first thing to do is decide how much you want to spend, reduce that by 20 per cent and that’s the budget to work from.

“One of the big myths is that if people get the builder to buy the materials it’ll cost them a lot more, or a lot less. Both are incorrect. My trade discount is normally only around five per cent but what I need to do is add the administration costs of my time to go down and pick things up, giving the owner a line of credit for me to buy the items, and so on,” says Paki Paki.

“Choosing and purchasing all the fittings, including the taps, shower head, mirror and cabinets cuts a lot of cost out of what the builder would normally do,” he says.

“Another thing people can do themselves is painting. You can get a lot of good advice about how to do a really good job.”

However, painting is not limited to the walls. A range of good products especially designed for painting bathroom ceramic tiles are on the market and they can be used in the wall area of your shower recess. But don’t make the mistake of thinking any paint will do or you will find the paint peeling from your tiles when you next shower.

Check out the White Knight range of tile paints and primers specifically for this purpose. The process is as simple as cleaning the tiles, allowing them to dry and sealing areas around the tiles that you don’t wish to get paint on. Apply a primer to the tiles and grout, allow about four hours for drying and then apply two coats of the tile paint, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

If you are thinking of buying new tiles, they range in price dramatically, but maybe a few nice touches might make all the difference. Beaumont Tiles’ Vanessa Moran says you don’t have to spend thousands.

“If you’ve got a bathroom that the bones are good, you can clean the tiles, pull out your old mirror and put a nice big one in, put in a heat lamp that puts a lot of light into the room and you’ll be amazed what a difference it can make,” she says.

“Heavy duty grout cleaner can really bring up grout that has seen better days and even if the grout is falling out there are tools for removing and redoing it.”

If you are looking to retile completely, a reasonable budget is around $3000-$5000, says Moran, or she suggests selecting a statement tile and just doing one wall.

“That creates a designer edge. Even if you just use budget-level tiles and get a sculptural free-standing bath – that’s an affordable way to denote luxury.

“You can also achieve a luxury look on a budget these days because all the gorgeous marble and stone rooms people want to emulate can be mimicked. ‘Precious’ is our range of tiles you seriously have to look very closely at to realise it’s not real marble or stone.”

Bathroomware House manager Weeden Jorgensen says affordability comes down to longevity for many people, who would rather choose fittings that will last a lifetime than cheaper versions which need replacing much sooner.

“If you use good quality products upfront you reduce the warranty problems and the bathroom will look good longer,” he says.

When it’s more about a feeling of luxury at home at an affordable price, Reece bathroom marketing manager Belinda Geels says freestanding baths have come down in price recently due to advances in materials.

“The freestanding bath continues to be the key statement piece for any modern, luxurious bathroom space,” Geels says.

“With the wide variety of materials available on the market today, you can achieve this high-end look without breaking your budget. The stunning Kado baths are made from sanitary grade acrylic, which means it is possible to sculpt striking centerpieces at a reasonable cost.

“A well-designed and accessorised bathroom space is the key to achieving a truly high-end look.”


As seen in bmag issue 261