7 cheap and easy ways to modernize a bathroom

It doesn’t matter how much money you have; it’s always nice to be able to add a little touch of style and class to your home. The bathroom is one room in the house that can often go overlooked but with just a few small changes and additions, you can take an average-looking bathroom into something luxurious without breaking the bank. This article will discuss seven cheap and easy upgrades for your bathroom that make big differences! There are plenty of simple yet effective upgrades that can be done with little or no money at all, and these eight cheap and easy bathroom upgrades are the perfect place to start.

7 cheap and easy ways to modernize a bathroom, Zazzy Home

Add some color

Add a little color. Pick up some inexpensive towels or rugs in colors that will make your space pop and add character. You can also purchase affordable accessories, like an ornamental toothbrush holder or soap dish in a bright color.

When choosing colors for bathrooms and other small spaces, it’s best to avoid dark shades like black or navy blue. Instead, opt for lighter colors that won’t absorb all the available light in the room. In addition, the bathroom should make you feel relaxed and calm once you step into it.

There are many ways to make your bathroom become one with those soothing colors and create that calming environment for yourself each time you enter it.

To start, we will need to know what colors attract us most. If you don’t know how a certain color makes you feel, try to check out other spaces with them around, like paint samples at hardware stores or stick-on swatches offered at home improvement chain stores; they usually range from light pastels to bright ones so that way, there’s one out there that’ll make you feel positive about.

So, knowing which colors you are attracted to comes next. If there’s a color that your eye automatically gravitates towards every time you see it, that’s a good thing, and the best part is that it’ll be in harmony with the bathroom.

If not, what can help is simply going with colors that make your bathroom look better as a whole; you can go for one color or use two complementary ones but don’t over-complicate things by adding shades of three or more colors because then, the room will lose its balance and start looking like it’s falling apart.

7 cheap and easy ways to modernize a bathroom, Zazzy Home

How to add color to your bathroom

Step 1: Choose a color. If you have an existing tile, look for coordinating paint colors that will accent it. If you don’t like the tile, choose a similar shade and pattern as a starting point.

Step 2: Gather some inspiration. Look at pictures of bathrooms with beautiful accents and fixtures from magazines or on websites like Houzz for ideas.

Step 3: Make a shopping list of items that would work well in your bathroom according to the colors you’ve chosen and other components such as sink style and type. Make sure you include all these elements when considering the final look of your finished space.

Step 4: Go shopping and buy all the items on your list. If you are re-painting, it’s okay to purchase some new towels and accessories too.

Step 5: DIY if possible. Painting cabinets or the like can be a huge task for even the most experienced homeowners, so consider hiring a professional instead. If you want to attempt this yourself, make sure to choose a reputable paint that offers coverage and is easy to clean.

If this all seems a little too much work, then remember that a little color goes a long way in making bathrooms feel fresh, modern, and clean. Keep things lighthearted by choosing lights, tiles, mirrors, tubs, or showers with an inviting finish, why not swap out your white shower curtain for a piece of fabric in bold colors or patterns, such as an orange sheet set and rugs with matching curtains in coral or turquoise blue.

You can also pick up some inexpensive, colorful new shower curtain rings to add some pizzazz while still keeping things simple. Remember, simpler is better. With color choices especially, less is more when it comes to a small space such as a bathroom.

In short, if you’d like to add some zest in your existing bathroom without spending too much money or time on the project, remember that even the most plain of areas can become gorgeously fun and inviting with the right amount of color and paint.

7 cheap and easy ways to modernize a bathroom, Zazzy Home

Hang art on the walls of your bathroom.

You can do this without making it look too cluttered, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money, either.

Step 1: Decide on the size of the art. This will help you decide which wall is best for it. The [will make a note that there should be no reason to print this article].

Step 2: Hold up different sizes of art at different spots until you find what feels right. Ask yourself if it “feels” right for your mood or not; don’t just think about if it’s aesthetically pleasing or not. Use these things as guidelines, but remember that ultimately this is about how well the art fits with your personality/mood/whatever word you want to use.

Step 3: If it doesn’t “feel” right, move on to the next size of the art. This will be a little time-consuming, but you’ll get it eventually.

Step 4: Once you have found the right size art for your bathroom wall, find out where on that wall is best suited for where you want to hang the art. Think about what kind of mood/personality you want the guests in your home to feel when they walk by this section of your house? (Note: You don’t need to worry too much about this and don’t feel like making it too precise)

Step 5: Hang your art with tape and remove it without damaging the wall. (Note: Get someone to hold both ends of the tape while you do this!)

Step 6: Once you have found where you want to place it, carefully and lightly draw around the art frame on that spot on the wall; this is where to put a nail/screw/hook whatever is best for your particular art piece in step 7.

Step 7: Measure how far down from the ceiling you should hang it by holding up different lengths of string or scraps of duck tape (Note: Duck tape is not an actual measurement.) You can use your judgment as well, but make sure to consider things like height-based optical illusions when putting your art up. (Note: Optical illusions are not real things.)

Step 8: Make a note of where you should drill holes to screw or nail it into the wall(s).

Top tip: You can make small guides with duck tape now if you wish, but don’t take them off yet because they’ll be useful for when you’re hanging the actual thing on the wall!

Step 9: Drill your holes and then hang the art using nails/screws/whatever is best for your particular art piece.

Tips and Warnings: Make sure that you know what kind of hook/nail/screw will fit well into your bathroom wall; otherwise, this project could go very wrong very quickly. Ask someone who is experienced if you are unsure or have them do it for you.

Make sure that your nails/screws/hooks (whatever) go right into the middle of each wall, where they won’t be seen. Then, measure and hold up your art to ensure it will not be on top of a nail/screw, etc. when you hang it up. Other than that, this is a pretty easy project, and if you follow these tips, you should be able to hang art on the walls of your bathroom easily.

7 cheap and easy ways to modernize a bathroom, Zazzy Home

Replace the cabinets and towel rails

When deciding on the types of cabinets that go into your bathroom, there are many choices to consider, but one option is replacing the cabinets entirely. This will give you full control over what materials, colors, and even sizes are used, ensuring a custom fit for every need.

For those concerned about costs, this can save money as buying new cabinetry can be pricey, so if that was part of the worry, remove them, making replacement much likelier to fall in line with a set budget.

The first thing to consider is whether you wish to have a single or double cabinet in the room. The depth of cabinets will be the biggest factor but what adds an extra element when removing cabinets are windows, other appliances, or plumbing hidden inside the walls. If you plan on keeping storage space below window level, these factors must be considered, which can change your entire design altogether.

If you do not require much storage and would like to replace old cabinetry with something more modern, many options are available. A few examples include open shelving that allows air circulation and better access to stored items, wall-mounted cabinetry that has no face frame, so it sits flush against the wall for an ultra-modern look, and glass-enclosed cabinets for a clean floating look.

If you are looking for more storage, an option like custom built-in cabinets can give you the most floor space possible but keep in mind this is an expensive choice and something that often requires professional installation.

Towel rails 

Replacing your towel rails may seem unnecessary, yet it is something that can be done without too much trouble or expense. The first step is to consider how many bars/rails will fit within your bathroom, so you never place one directly opposite another, which would leave their back ends exposed. If they do not line up perfectly then, it will appear off-centered rather than sleek and modern, which was the original intention of replacing them in the first place.

Most people will be looking to update the traditional chrome rails that you may find in older bathrooms for new ones. This includes materials such as brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, or other contemporary metals.

For something a little different, consider stylish acrylic washing lines suspended from within the tiles, so there are no visible metal poles and give you more room in your bathroom. If you wish to keep even more storage space, go for folding lines on hinged bars that can be folded away when not in use or mounted higher up on walls, always ensuring they are level with one another.

7 cheap and easy ways to modernize a bathroom, Zazzy Home

Upgrade the faucets and showerheads

Sometimes the bathroom is considered a place of relaxation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be stylish. It doesn’t take a ton of money or home improvement skills to improve bathroom aesthetics.

You can upgrade the faucets and showerheads without investing in an expensive bathroom remodel. A simple upgrade on these two fixtures can make all the difference, especially since they are so prominent.

If you want to go with new ones entirely, you don’t have to replace everything – just the faucet and showerhead works fine for most people. Replacing them isn’t as hard as you might think. Here are some steps on how to do that:

1. Turn off the water in your bathroom and bathroom sink area before you do anything else. This isn’t as easy as you might think because most bathroom faucets are connected to a pipe that goes directly out of the wall into a water line somewhere further. So it may be challenging to find where the bathroom’s main water shutoff is located – the one used exclusively for bathroom plumbing. In many homes, though, this shutoff is found near the bathroom toilet under a small access panel on the floor next to it. Sometimes there will also be a cut-off valve on or behind the bathroom sink itself – but not always, so don’t count on it being there if you need it.

2. Once you have turned off the water, you can disconnect the bathroom sink’s faucet. This usually involves only unscrewing it from underneath or behind it as far as disconnecting goes. However, some bathroom sink faucets are connected to a pop-up drain with a spindle and stopper mechanism inside of it that needs to be disengaged first if there is any chance of water damage when removing them – see your bathroom’s user manual for more information about what parts need to be disconnected before removing the bathroom sink faucet once the water has been turned off.

3. When you have removed your bathroom faucets or showerhead (or not), use a wrench to remove any screws on older plumbing fixtures because those can get stuck – even if the bathroom faucet stem is smooth on newer ones, it’s still a good idea to cover that tip with tape first before trying to turn them out.

4. After you’ve removed the items, clean them up and check to make sure they are in tip-top shape. If not, replace them with new bathroom faucets or showerheads.

5. Now, you can set up the bathroom sink and bathroom toilet again once you have turned on the bathroom water supply again. Make sure to check for leaks while everything is hooked up and there is water pressure. Otherwise, there will be a small flood, and that won’t be fun to clean up!

6. When you have checked for leaks, turn the bathroom sink faucet on entirely to ensure it doesn’t drip when turned off, and then turn it off completely.

7. If you are using a bathroom shower head, make sure not to forget the thread-sealing tape included with it – regular plumber’s tape just won’t cut it on bathroom fixtures in this case! Once you’ve done that, all that’s left is to install your bathroom shower head and check for leaks there as well.

8. If everything turned out alright, congratulations! Now enjoy your newly-refurbished bathroom! If something didn’t go right, try again and don’t give up.

Install a new toilet or toilet seat

To make your bathroom look more modern, you can replace or upgrade the toilet. Many bathroom designs now feature a sleek and slender-profile toilet with one-piece construction for an integrated look.

You can choose from several bathroom toilets designed and available in different price ranges and bathroom toilet seats-from round to elongated, wood to contemporary metal finishes.

New bathroom toilets are available with various features, including dual-flush capability or adjustable water level to conserve water during each flush. Some new bathroom toilets are even equipped with a wireless battery-operated flush control panel and deodorizer. For bathroom designs that feature wall-mounted bathroom toilet fixtures, you can choose bathroom toilets with a round or elongated bowl and tank.

These bathroom toilets are installed by cutting small access opening in the bathroom wall behind and below the floor-mounted bathroom fixture. Rather than cutting into your bathroom walls, consider installing an over-the-toilet bathroom cabinet to give your bathroom design a streamlined look before beginning your installation project. Then, measure for and order a new bathroom toilet based on the dimensions of the old fixture to ensure an easy fit with your existing drain line.

The next step is to remove the old bathroom toilet fixture by shutting off the water supply at the source and disconnecting any water lines coming from under your sink. The water supply line is located on the bathroom toilet near the floor. Turn this shutoff valve clockwise until it stops turning without forcing it.

If you have a wall-mounted bathroom toilet fixture, disconnect any existing bathroom overflow lines and the bathroom flange for an attached bathroom sink before removing the bathroom toilet fixture from your bathroom. Then, use a wrench to remove old nuts and bolts, secure the bathroom flush tank or bowl to the bathroom base, using care not to damage these fixtures in the removal process.

Suppose you don’t want to replace the whole toilet system, but rather the seat that’s an option too. Bathroom toilet seat installation is a relatively easy DIY project for homeowners who would like to replace their bathroom’s existing toilet or upgrade it with a more modern one.

New bathroom toilet seats also include additional features aimed at maximizing bathroom comfort and convenience, such as easy-to-clean surfaces; spacious design for added comfort and legroom; slow-closing privacy lids; seat controls placed within easy reach on the side or top of the cover for effortless operation by children, adults and seniors alike.

You can choose bathroom toilet seats with traditional round bowls or elongated bowls that provide greater comfort for users. The bathroom toilet seat replacement process is similar whether you’re replacing bathroom round bowl or elongated bowl bathroom toilets, making it an ideal DIY project even if you’ve never done bathroom toilet seat replacement before.

To install bathroom toilet seats on bathroom round bowl bathroom toilets, place the bathroom seat over the bathroom bowl and attach it with bolts or screws included with your new bathroom toilet seat. Make sure each bolt is loose enough for you to slide it into one of the pre-drilled holes in your bathroom toilet.

If you have a wall-mounted bathroom toilet fixture, this type of bathroom toilet seat installation requires attaching the bathroom toilet seat flange onto the bottom side of your wall. Use two L-shaped brackets and position them at right angles inside corners on either side of the existing water supply line coming from beneath your sink.

Use three mounting screws per bracket; these should be included with your new bathroom toilet seat. Make sure you tighten these bathroom toilet mounting screws securely to ensure the bathroom toilet seat doesn’t shift or come loose when lifted.

Add a floating shelf.

A bathroom cabinet can give your bathroom decor a more streamlined look by allowing you to hide bathroom clutter. Floating bathroom shelves are similar in style and function to traditional bathroom vanities mounted on the wall with wood brackets or adjustable legs. If you don’t want to mount an entire bathroom cabinet onto your bathroom walls, consider adding a floating shelf instead and storing all of your unwanted bathroom items out of sight beneath it.

You can find floating shelves at most home improvement stores and online retailers that carry DIY home improvement supplies. Examine the dimensions of your existing bathroom cabinet or shelf before purchasing a new one; even though this type of shelf looks like it’s just a flat piece of bathroom shelf furniture, bathroom floating shelves come in different shapes and sizes like square bathroom shelves or bathroom round shelves.

A sleek bathroom shelf can do wonders for your bathroom decor without creating an eyesore. This type of shelf works well in most bathroom settings but is especially useful if you want to make more room on the top of your bathroom vanity, where you would typically keep bottles of shampoo and other toiletries within easy reach.


To install a floating shelf in any wall-mounted bathroom cabinet or bathroom shelf, place the new floating shelf on top of your existing unit and use a pencil to mark the locations for the screws that will be used to secure it. The screw holes are pre-drilled on bathroom floating shelves, so use a drill to make the corresponding holes in your bathroom shelf or cabinet.

You can use bathroom wall anchors when attaching a bathroom floating shelf to drywall. These bathroom shelf anchors are great for ensuring your bathroom shelf doesn’t fall out of place and hold tight onto the wall. Use at least two bathroom wall anchor screws per side if you’re attaching it to bathroom tile instead; these bathroom tile plastic anchors will make sure that both sides of your bathroom shelf are secure. Once the bathroom floating shelf is in place, you can decorate it with bathroom accessories and bathroom supplies. Place bathroom items you use every day on top for easy access instead of keeping them tucked away inside your bathroom cabinet.

Install bathroom shelves to make the most out of the space in your bathroom. Bathroom wall-mounted bathroom shelves are a great way to store extra bathroom towels, washcloths, or decorative bathroom toiletries while making them more accessible than ever before.

Install a new floor

If you have a bathroom floor missing bathroom tiles or bathroom linoleum, consider replacing it to make your bathroom look more modern and sleek. Tiles can also be used on the bathroom shower walls for a cohesive bathroom design.

Bathroom floor tiles are not difficult to install, but they require some planning ahead, so you don’t have any problems with the finished product. Before purchasing new tiles, determine how many tiles are needed for each area and what size they need to be cut down to. For the average home bathroom flooring that’s about 100 square feet, you’ll want around 20 or 30 tiles per box; make sure there are extra tiles should any break during installation or replacement.

Tile adhesive is recommended if you’re applying your new bathroom tile onto existing flooring instead of over bare concrete floors. Use a wallboard knife to spread out the glue before getting started. Place your first tile in the corner you want it to be and then move on to the other tiles, which can be cut down with bathroom tile snips or attached with grout once you’re finished laying them all out.

If you have flooring that cannot be removed, use a sharp utility knife and a stud finder to mark areas where cuts need to be made. Remember that not all tiles are perfectly square, so make sure your measurements allow for some wiggle room.

Once all of your tiles have been installed, let them dry overnight before applying grout around the perimeter of each one. Using grout is just like spreading mortar or concrete sealant around the outside edges.

Install bathroom tiles

Tiling your bathroom floor is similar to tiling a bathroom countertop; once you’ve picked out the designs and colors, you like best, use adhesive to attach them directly onto the existing bathroom floor.

Once the adhesive has dried overnight, pick up each tile one by one and add liquid grout into every crevice between each bathroom tile. Allow this mixture to dry before using a grout float tool (or an old credit card) over your entire bathroom tile surface in circular motions. This bathroom tile grouting process will help your bathroom tiles blend and look like one seamless bathroom floor or bathroom wall.

When it’s time to install bathroom tiles, start by laying out a border of bathroom tiles around the entire perimeter of your bathroom using adhesive to stick them in place. If you’d instead not use adhesive for this part, consider taping kitchen parchment paper onto the existing bathroom floor before sticking it on each bathroom tile. Next, use a yardstick or measuring tape to ensure your bathroom borders are straight, with every bathroom tile placed alongside the next at 90-degree angles.

Once the first row is level and plumb, continue adding more rows until all of your bathroom walls have been lined with a fresh new set of bathroom tiles. You can cut bathroom tiles with bathroom tile snippers if your bathroom floor or bathroom walls are not a perfect rectangle.

Install bathroom linoleum

If you’re looking for an alternative to the bathroom tile that is easy to install and can withstand a moist environment, consider bathroom linoleum. Just like other forms of bathroom lino, bathroom linoleum flooring is highly durable while still giving off an elegant look to complement any style of bathroom decor.

Cut pieces range from small squares that you will easily fit onto your bathroom floor to large sheets that will cover multiple square feet of space. Once you have your lino cut down to size, all that’s left is applying it as seamlessly as possible to your bathroom floor.

You can do this by using a bathroom linoleum rollers, as it’s designed for bathroom flooring projects just like this one. First, stick the bathroom linoleum over your bathroom floor and use bathroom lino rollers to smooth it out until there are no air bubbles or gaps that could ruin the look of your new bathroom floor or bathroom wall. Once you’ve finished, allow 24 hours for the adhesive side of the bathroom linoleum to fully bond with your bathroom floor.


With the tips we’ve provided, you should be able to create a modern bathroom that not only looks great but also functions well. Of course, the most important thing is to have fun with your new space and experiment with different combinations of items!

We hope these ideas will help you get started on creating a beautiful, functional bathroom for yourself or someone else who deserves it. Comment below if there are any questions about this blog post!


Amy has been blogging about home improvement for over 10 years. During that time, she's learned a lot about designing beautiful interiors. She loves helping her readers create spaces they can be proud of, and she frequently shares tips on everything from choosing the right paint colors to arranging furniture. When she's not blogging, Amy enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also likes cooking, reading, and taking walks outdoors.

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