How to update old fixtures on a budget

Do you want to remodel your bathroom but don’t have a large budget? Giving your bathroom a whole new look can be as simple as updating your fixtures. Follow these tips to update old fixtures without spending a bundle!

Bathroom - sinks

Step 1: Assess the current condition

Bathroom fixtures are more than just the faucets. Check out your showerheads, lighting, towel racks, medicine cabinet, faucets and other fixtures in your bathroom. Do they work? Are they attractive? Do they match?

If you are working on an extremely tight budget, you may be able to keep some of your existing fixtures and just buy new ones that will coordinate nicely with the keepers. Compared to the towel racks and TP holder, the faucets, medicine chest, and vanity lights will probably be the most expensive to upgrade.

Also take into account the cost for a plumber or an electrician if you are not comfortable upgrading old fixtures yourself.

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Step 2: Compare prices online

Before you run out to your local home improvement store and start buying the first shiny fixtures you see, take time to comparison shop. Thanks to the web, you can browse from the comfort of your own home. High-end faucets and showerheads can run you hundreds of dollars — but you can find low cost bargains too, if you shop smart. If you order from an online retailer rather than making your purchases from a brick-and-mortar store, keep the shipping charges in mind when calculating your bottom line.

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On sites like and, you can find new and used bathroom fixtures (particularly faucet sets) at low prices. You can also often find fixtures that are still under factory warranty without paying full price.

STEP 3: DECIDE on a color scheme

One of the quickest ways to overhaul a room is with the use of paint. A great color can set the whole mood of the bathroom, and should work well with the other fixtures in the room — whether new or old.

>> A guide to painting accent walls

Step 4: Add lighting

If the lighting is too low in your bathroom, you don’t have to replace your light fixtures completely. Instead, you can just add additional lighting. New sconces can be added to the wall for less than $20 a pair. This is a simple upgrade that can make a world of difference in your bathroom.

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Step 5: Learn how to do-it-yourself

Don’t be intimidated by replacing your faucets, showerhead and other fixtures.,, and other websites offer step-by-step instructions and videos to show you how. In many cases, installing a new faucet basically consists of shutting off the water, unscrewing the old fixtures, and screwing in the new ones. The sales associates at Home Depot, Lowe’s and other retailers can also provide simple instructions to DIY.

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