How to Save Money on Bathroom Renovations

bathroom renovation save money

In these uncertain times, it seems the only certain thing is that now’s a great time to renovate. We have been swept away by the demand for renovation products here at Ross’s Discount Home Centre, and one of the most popular renovation projects customers are undertaking is a bathroom renovation.

You need only look at Houzz’s 2020 Renovation Trends Study to see that bathroom renovations are increasing. In 2019, bathroom renovations rose from 16% in 2017 and 2018 to 17%, only to be topped by living room and kitchen renovations, respectively.

Bathroom renovations are often a necessity. Whether you have a leaking shower, horrid tile selection, or have outgrown your current bathroom, there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and give in to renovating your bathroom… even if you can’t necessarily afford it.

The good news is, at Ross’s Discount Home Centre, every day’s a discount day! That means if you’re looking to save money on your Bathroom Renovations, you’re sure to do so by shopping with us.

While knowing where to shop for bathroom products in Perth is one way to reduce bathroom renovation costs, there are, of course, other ways to save.

Today, I will share with you some of my own surefire ways to save money on bathroom renovations. And you can bet I have tried and tested each and every one!

Do the Demo Yourself

The first way to save money on a bathroom renovation is to get in there and do the demo yourself! It can be an unpleasant job, but it will save you hundreds in tradesman fees. And you really don’t need any experience with the tools to complete this task. You should, however, get a licenced plumber and electrician in to disconnect the services before you start. The plumber will remove your toilet and disconnect the shower and sink from the main water connection.

To get started, you only need a screw gun, Allen key hammer, chisel, crowbar, and a baby sledgehammer. To demolish a bathroom, you work backwards in the order of installation. So, start with the fixtures. Take your screw gun or Allen key and undo the toilet paper holder, towel rail, robe hooks etc. Then, move your attention to your shower screen. Unscrew all the fixing points and carefully remove the glass. Your plumber will have removed your toilet, so the only thing remaining is the vanity.

Once you remove all the fixtures and fittings, you can start on the framework. Take your hammer and chisel and remove the architraves from the door and window. Chances are, you will have to re-sheet the walls and ceilings, so pick up your hammer and start by smashing in the middle of the cornice to separate the walls from the ceiling. Then, use your hammer or baby sledge to pull down the remaining tiles, plasterboard and ceiling. Be careful when you get to the mirror; you don’t want to cut yourself.

You should now only have the floor remaining. This will be the most difficult to remove due to the screed. I found the easiest way to get the tiles and screed up was to use a small pinch bar or crowbar, hitting one end with a hammer to raise the screed from the floor.

Seek Three Quotes

I found the best way to get an honest price from my plumber, and tiler was by seeking quotes from three companies to see how they were fair amongst one another. But bear in mind the cheapest quote may not be the best option. So, due diligence is needed when getting quotes.

Consider their ability to understand your needs, how well they have communicated with you and their online reviews and references.

For your tiler especially, you want to know they are capable of doing the quality finish you expect for the price they have quoted. I have heard horror-tiling stories over the years where so-called “professional” tilers have completely ruined new bathrooms. Remember, you will be living with your bathroom for a good 10-15 years, so although it’s good to save on services, you don’t want to sacrifice quality for price when it comes to choosing a tiler or other finishing services.

You should expect to pay between $2000-$3000 for tiling, based on the size of the bathroom.

Try to Work With Existing Plumbing…If You Can!

No doubt you have heard before that moving plumbing is a big no-no for a tight budget, right? That’s because it’s true – especially if your home is on a concrete slab. You would be crazy to move your plumbing in this case.

At all costs, try to work with what you have. Doing so could very well slash thousands off your bathroom renovation budget.

I am fortunate to have my home elevated and with floorboards. So, in my case, I could move my plumbing without too much additional cost. My crawl space provides easy access for the plumbers, and my pipes are freely accessible. Unless your home is also elevated, I urge you to make what you have work in terms of layout.

Don’t Tile to the ceiling

It’s amazing how quickly a bathroom renovation budget goes from doable to out of reach. You have to be realistic about your budget and plan for what is attainable. One area that eats up a lot of a bathroom budget is tiles and tiling. You can save a chunk of money by making small sacrifices like only tiling three-quarters of the way up the wall or by only tiling essential walls. The good news is this is actually becoming somewhat of a trend. I have noticed a lot of bathrooms on Pinterest now featuring VJ Board walls rather than tiles due to the cost-savings. One sheet of VJ board is around $32.00 instead of the same coverage, costing potentially hundreds if it’s a feature tile.

Be Savvy With Your Tile Selection

Carrying on from tiles because, let’s face it, they can easily take up a big chunk of your bathroom renovation budget; there are ways to get the feature tile of your dream without it costing you a fortune or taking you over budget. For this, I have a couple of suggestions.

  1. As mentioned above, by using VJ Board on the non-essential walls, you will be saving hundreds in tiles and tiling costs. You can then spend these savings on the feature tile you would have otherwise not been able to couldn’t afford.
  2. Alternatively, and this is what I did in my own renovation, I bought a cheaper version of my dream tile. I had my eye on a subway tile that we didn’t stock. It was $101 per square meter – I loved it a lot. But, given I was tiling an entire wall, floor to ceiling, 3.5 metres long, I didn’t love it that much. So, I used a subway tile that we do stock, the same colour, the same size, just a little less texture, and it was just $30 per square metre. Now that it’s on the wall, I actually think it’s a much better fit than the $101 tile that I passed on.

Shop Around for Products

There’s no better way to save money on a bathroom renovation than to shop around and be savvy with your product selection. My own expected above is the perfect example of this. The same applies to the shower, toilet, basin, vanity, tapware, etc.

My suggestion for you is not to get fixated on one particular product but to look at them more broadly. Know the style or type of bath/toilet/tapware you want, and then source the cheapest versions of that product online.

Thankfully, you won’t have to look far to do this. Ross’s Discount Home Center is the epitome of value for money. With a slogan like “every day’s a discount day”, you can rest assured knowing you’re getting fantastic value for money from every single product in our range. Moreover, you won’t be sacrificing quality at all. We stock and sell the highest quality products, each backed by impressive warranties. Whether it’s the wall tile, feature tile, shower, toilet, basin, vanity, mirror, tapware; or whatever. You will find it right here, in stock and at the lowest prices in Perth.

Want to save money on your bathroom renovation? Shop with us. It’s that simple!

Forgo Custom Vanities

If your dream bathroom contains a custom vanity, you may want to re-think things. The difference between buying a stock standard vanity and having a cabinet maker make a custom vanity is vast; I’m talking anywhere from $500 – $2000 more!

With so many vanities available today, it’s easy to find one that will suit your space without calling in a cabinet maker, and in some cases, the quality is much better. Take our PVC vanities, for instance. Our Courtney, Brianna and Tianna Vanities are modern in design and are manufactured to be 100% waterproof – this is something a custom vanity cannot offer.

If you’re looking for a wall-hung vanity, which is very much on-trend right now, you also have a wide range to choose from. And, if you want to customise the top, you can still meet this wish with a stock vanity. At Ross’s Discount Home Centre, we have vanity tops in white, grey, and black, so you’re sure to find a suitable match.

With vanities starting at a very low $265.00, there are certainly good savings to avail yourself of by following this tip in your bathroom renovation.

Opt for a Floor Waste Over a Channel Waste

Another easy way to save a few Bob on a bathroom renovation is to choose floor waste over floor channel waste. Yes, floor channel wastes are more modern, but they are more expensive to buy and more expensive for your tiler to install.

Consider a tile floor waste as a happy medium. At Ross’s Discount Home Centre, you can pick up a tile floor waste for just $35.00, as opposed to a tile floor channel waste, which will set your budget back $195 (plus additional tiling fees).

Do Your Own Painting

My last tip to save money on your bathroom renovation budget is an oldie but a goodie: do your own painting. Bathrooms are often painted all white, so you can’t stuff this one up. So long as you have the right paint and equipment, you’ll save yourself at least a few hundred dollars.

If you plan to paint your own bathroom, here are a few tips.

  • Start with an undercoat on raw plasterboard
  • Use white ceiling paint on the ceiling
  • Be sure to use anti-mould paint.
  • If you’re using paint from another room/job, you can save money on buying a new tin of anti-mould paint by purchasing an additive to add to regular paint, such as Protite Mould Defender Paint Additive.
  • Tape around your windows with painter’s tape for a professional finish


Bathroom renovations are anything but cheap; stressful, hard work, and expensive, yes. Cheap, er, not if you want it to look decent! The good news is you can employ plenty of savvy cost-saving measures to save money on your bathroom renovation without sacrificing quality. After all, you want your bathroom to give you at least 10-15 years of use. And speaking of costs, check out our article, How Much Do Kitchen Renovations Cost, to get a good idea of what you can expect to pay for tradespeople and all other components of a kitchen renovation.

Some of the best ways to save money in the bathroom are by doing the demolition work yourself, getting fair quotes for quality service, working with the existing plumbing, being smart with your tile selection, shopping around to get the best products at the lowest prices, opting for a stock standard vanity over a custom vanity and a floor waste of a floor channel waste, and by doing your own painting.

Employ some or all of these tips to avail yourself of fantastic savings on your renovation budget. And, for more help with your renovation, I recommend you read our 2022 Guide to Perth Bathroom Renovations.

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