If you’re pondering a makeover for your bathroom, there may well be a couple of things putting you off – one being the potential cost, the other being the amount of work involved in giving your rest room the overhaul you desire.

Yes, transforming your bathroom can be a big job – especially if you are considering replacing all of the fixtures, and even more so if you want to move everything around, and therefore need to think about pulling up floorboards and cutting into walls to replumb it all.

But if that is what is holding you back, it’s worth having a rethink. There are lots of ways to revamp your bathroom that are neither difficult nor expensive. With a bit of creative thinking and a few pointers to fire your imagination, you can still achieve some stunning results with a minimum of effort and much less of a hole in your wallet.

Don’t believe us? These five fantastic hacks for a hassle-free refurb shared by London-based bathroom specialist Aston Matthews will hopefully change your mind. You can view more here.

Stick-on tiles

Re-tiling your bathroom is a major sticking point (excuse the pun) in many a refurb plan. Standard tiles hit you with a triple whammy.

First, you have to remove the old tiles which is a laborious and messy job. Then you have to buy the new ones, which can eat a surprisingly large chunk out of your budget depending on the type of tiles you want and the amount of wall space you want to cover. Third, you then have to stick the things on, which is a toss up between paying a professional to do it quickly or tackling a pretty steep and time-consuming learning curve in trying to do it yourself.

So what if you could just keep the existing tiles in place – but completely transform the way they look to fit in with your new design? That’s exactly what stick-on adhesive tiles offer. A fraction of the price of ordinary ceramic tiles (typically under £10 for packs of 20-plus), stick-ons are particularly great if you want to replace plain old white tiles with colourful patterns. Most can simply be cut to size to go over whatever tiles you already have, and you could even experiment with patterning just a small area (a single wall, maybe?) to save more time and money.


If your bath and sink are basically serviceable but you want to give the look and feel of the room an uplift, one of the simplest things you can do is replace the taps. A slight word of caution here – really fancy taps can be almost as expensive as buying an entire new tub or bowl. But one way to look at it is, whatever your save on those large items, you can put it towards faucets that add a real wow factor.

If you’re determined to do things on a budget, shop around for refurbished taps that will add an antique aesthetic to your bathroom. Or if you really want to go to town, how about installing a matching thermostatic shower over the bath, too? Yes you’ll need a plumber to fit them all, but that’s a whole lot easier than ripping out the entire bathroom and starting again.

Bath panels and sink cabinets

Another option for revamping the look of your existing bath and sink is to think about furniture and surrounds. There are lots of different options here, with the panel enclosing your bath offering the most flexible and straightforward choices. How about varnished planks of good quality hardwood for a timeless classic look? Or opt for basic pine panelling that you can paint or even tile to suit the look you want?

Sink units are slightly trickier, especially at a time when freestanding basins paired with bespoke stands or vanity cabinets are en vogue. If you have a wall-mounted sink, you’re in luck – any cabinet or shelving rack that fits the space underneath the basin will work. Pedestal sinks are slightly more restrictive, although bespoke cabinets to fit around the pedestal are available.

Tub refinishing

You’ll probably be inclined to replace your bath if the existing tub is showing signs of wear and tear, especially discolouration that can build up over the years. However, while you might be more than happy to invest in buying a new bath, many people baulk at the time and cost of installation. Especially if you are looking to replace the original bath fitted when your house was built, this can be a surprisingly messy and disruptive job, and may involve ripping up part of your bathroom floor as well.

Never fear – there is a great alternative which won’t involve moving your old tub an inch. Bath restoration services specialise in returning tired-looking baths to their former glories by resurfacing the interior. Modern refinishing typically takes less than a day and the bath is ready to use again in as little as 24 hours.

A lick of paint

Finally, while we tend to think of bathroom refurbs as being all about the bath and sink, the taps and the tiles, we often forget that the basic principles of redecorating apply just the same as they do in any other room. If you wanted to freshen up your living room, bedrooms, kitchen or hallway, the first thing you’d probably think about is what colour paint to go for. Why should a bathroom be any different?

Your bathroom is also a great place to experiment with the one-wall effect. The likelihood is that at least some of your bathroom is tiled, especially around the bath and shower, so you won’t be able to paint the whole thing anyway. That’s a great excuse to pick just one wall, or a section of wall (e.g. the space above your tiles around your bath), and paint that a contrasting colour to the rest of the room. You’d be surprised how striking this can look.

If all or most of your bathroom wall space is tiled, never fear – you can achieve exactly the same impact simply by painting the ceiling, or even more radically, the floor (this works particularly well with wooden flooring). Just remember to invest in some specially formulated bathroom paint that is both washable and mould-resistant.