Renovating Your Bathroom? Budget DIY Ideas

Bathrooms have a key part to play in any home. From quick morning showers and brushing your teeth to long soaks in the bath and a five-minute respite from the kids, it is important that they are both a practical and peaceful haven.

If you’re bored of your drab, outdated existing bathroom, don’t panic. You don’t have to rip out your bath, reorganise the layout or spend thousands of pounds. Changes to the flooring or décor can be done on a budget, and without getting in a professional, too.

Hiring the right tools from Speedy is cheaper than buying low-quality tools and will get the job done much more efficiently too. All the DIY bathroom ideas below can be done with a little help from Speedy Tool Hire, and some preparation work.

When carrying out any DIY, always wear the correct PPE. When renovating and decorating, this means a dust mask, eye protection, and clothing which will protect your skin. You should also wear work gloves and may need ear protection when using power tools.


Idea 1: Replace the wall tiles

There are a few reasons why this is a great idea. Not only will it change the look of your bathroom, but larger, smooth tiles can also be much easier to keep clean. Applying fresh white grout (or using a dark colour so you can’t spot the dirt as easily) will also help the modern look of your bathroom.

You should tile wherever water will reach. Around a bath, in a shower enclosure, above the sink and above the toilet are recommended. Remove any old tiles, ensure the walls are smooth and you’re good to go.

You’ll need:

read our full guide on how to tile walls for more information.

Use a chisel to get off any old tiles. Use your dust extractor here and ensure you’re wearing the correct PPE – a dust mask, goggles, and gloves are all required. The adhesive scraper will come in handy if you need to remove any leftover adhesive or bits of old wallpaper underneath the tiles. You need a clean, smooth surface for fresh tiling.

Start in the centre of your chosen space and work out, so any smaller tiles at each end are an even size. The tile cutter will easily cut any tiles to size. Use the adhesive comb to apply the adhesive, only applying around 1m2 at a time so it doesn’t dry out before you get a chance to tile. Place the spacers in between the tiles when done until settled, then grout.

Leave to settle for 24 hours before risking getting them wet, and this includes steam from the shower.


Idea 2: Repaint the walls

Bathrooms are commonly painted white to make them look ‘clean’, but this is a little…boring. While it may be practical if you need to touch paintwork up, it lacks an element of colour and fun. After all, it can be difficult to use artwork and other colourful decorations in a bathroom if it gets steamy and you struggle to keep on top of cleaning.

Painting your walls is the easiest step to take when planning a DIY bathroom renovation. Picking a bold colour, such as dark blue or green, can be a brilliant contrast against your white suite. Or, if you want to keep it light and bright, a neutral or pale colour can work wonders and still inject more personality than white.

You will need:

Cover everything with a dust sheet – and we mean everything. Paint splashes in your bath will be a nightmare to remove and could risk scratching your suite if you must scrape them off. Use masking tape around tiles, and on skirting boards.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP: If you have just done your tiling, you will want to wait until these are set before they can be covered for painting. If you do want to paint before tiling, leave the area under the tiles free from paint or the tile adhesive will not stick to the wall.

Don’t forget to cover your floor too. Use masking tape to secure the sheet to the floor so you can safely walk over it.

Finally, cover yourself. Using a paint sprayer is a messy job, but it will get everything done much quicker and will not leave your walls streaky. Overalls, goggles, a face mask and gloves are essential before use.

Using an airless paint sprayer is simple. Just lower the paint sprayer shaft into the paint tin. No pouring into paint trays, no drips down the side of the tin, and no washing rollers and brushes afterwards. Just clean the paint sprayer with hot water when finished.


Idea 3: Replace the flooring

A floor and tile lifter, available to hire from Speedy, can make light work of removing sheet vinyl, linoleum, bonded carpet, and floor tiles. So, whatever you have in your bathroom, it can be replaced.

Getting new flooring won’t only freshen everything up visually, but hygienically too. No matter how well you clean a bathroom floor, bacteria and dirt will still be present, especially around your sink and toilet.

Ceramic tiles are great for a bathroom floor. They’re easy to wipe clean, and water will just settle on top until wiped away rather than soaking into the material. But water-resistant luxury vinyl click is also a popular choice if you want something that is easier to lay, and it will work with underfloor heating if you’re splashing out. Water-resistant laminate flooring can be the best budget option though, especially if you want the look of wood.

You will need:

Remove the old floor first and check what is underneath. Remedy any issues with the base if required. Then, you’re good to lay your flooring, first fitting the underlay.

Read about how to fit your chosen flooring carefully. You will probably also need to cut at least one or two flooring boards or tiles smaller, and definitely will need to shape them to go around the base of your sink and toilet. If using tiles, a tile cutter will do the job. If using laminate or click flooring, a jigsaw will be best.

From using the same tiles as on the walls to help the bathroom flow, to patterned flooring and wood lookalikes, replacing your floor will instantly modernise your bathroom and will be easier to clean. Follow our full guide on fitting floor tiles here.


Idea 4: Add plants

Which plants you add depends on the level of light in your bathroom. If you have no window, or it is very dark, you may be best with fake foliage. However, if you can get real plants, they will really brighten up the place.

Ferns, Peace Lilies, Palms, and Spider Plants are all great options. They will thrive in high humidity. Some can even purify the air. You don’t have to have them all in standard pots, either. Why not try hanging them from the ceiling using a screw hook? This could be a great way to cover up your frosted window.

Don’t stop at plants, either. Other pieces of décor, and things like mirrors and pictures on the wall, can help give everything a boost.


Idea 5: Hide bits and bobs

Storage is needed yet underused in a bathroom. From shampoo to cotton wool pads and even your toothpaste, bottles around the bath and sink can easily overwhelm a small space which you need to wipe down every day.

Under-sink storage is a great way to hide everything out of the way. You can purchase units which fit around a traditional sink pedestal, with the hole already cut out. Just fix *it to the wall with a few screws and seal around it if you wish.

Or, if you have a wall-mounted sink, you can also buy floating cabinets which fit underneath. This is especially a great idea in a small bathroom, where floor space could be limited.

Tallboys can also be bought on a budget if you do have enough floor space in your bathroom. This could give everyone in the family their own drawer which makes for a nice, organised home.


Can I hire power tools?

Yes. Speedy, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of paint sprayers, floor and tile lifters and dust extraction units for hire nationwide. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery.

So, whatever DIY task you're undertaking, choose Speedy Services for easy tool hire. Open a Speedy account today to make things even easier!


 Ready for more DIY ideas?

Thank you for reading the Speedy blog, we hope you found this guide on how to renovate your bathroom useful.

  • Please visit our Skills and Projects page for more inspiration and help with your DIY projects. 
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