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How to Design The Bathroom of Your Dreams on a Budget

How long have you been considering a bathroom remodel, yet put off starting it because you worried that the spa-like bathroom you’re imagining is beyond your budget? MrSteam is here to explain that you can dream big – taking bathroom inspiration from the dreamiest bathroom trends around – and still make your dreams a reality.

After all, don’t you deserve the kind of health benefits and improved quality of life that such a personal home retreat can give you? Not to mention the fact that creating such a personal oasis can have a profound effect on the resale value of your home in years to come.

So if you’ve only been dreaming of a bathroom complete with mood lighting, music, heated floors and, of course, a steam shower – let’s consider why these trends will provide untold benefits in health and wellness, while being easier to afford and install than you could have possibly imagined.

While of course you want a beautiful bathroom, you also should consider how your newly remodeled bathroom can enhance your personal health and wellness. As noted in Why Steam Rooms Should Be a Regular Part of Your Wellness Lifestyle, the saying that health is wealth means that making smart choices as to the amenities in your home spa will pay dividends in happiness for years to come. Such choices as a step-in shower may help any family member to age in place and remain in your home during their golden years. Or adding aromatherapy to your bathroom can help you unwind from a hectic day, and may even make it easier to slip into a restful sleep.

But what about my tiny budget, you may ask? This all sounds wonderful, but I could never afford it! When you take into account the increased home value that you’ll realize – and that you may even recoup 100% of your investment while still enjoying your enhanced bathroom for years to come – it may be an investment that you can’t afford not to make. And, in fact, there are plenty of options that are affordable and that can increase your home’s value. We’d like to share a few of these with you.

Moderate Cost Options

If you have an old model toilet, taking up space with all those hard-to-reach corners on the floor to clean, consider a wall hung model. With this option – which costs only around $1,000 to purchase and an additional $1,000 to install – you hide the unsightly toilet tank in the wall, place the seat at the precise height you’d wish, and have no ceramic hardware on the floor to clean around.

There is nothing like in-floor heat – not merely to keep you comfortable underfoot on chilly mornings, but also to increase your energy efficiently by heating the entire room. Radiant heating systems require exposing the subfloor and installing either electric or hydronic (hot water) grids. The cost is surprisingly affordable, ranging from $5 to $8 per square foot, plus installation.

A More Expensive Option – But Well Worth It!

A low-threshold or no-threshold shower enclosure is a much safer choice than the traditional curbed shower stall. Not only does it prevent falls, but it looks better, too! With the added advantage of being easier to clean, lowering the threshold of your shower enclosure instantly updates any bathroom. Costs for this option run around $3,000-5,500.  You will also need to add installation fees to create either a trench drain or a shower floor that slopes slightly toward a center drain.

Pick Your Cost Range

Bathroom clutter immediately detracts from the way you feel upon entering your bathroom – making smart storage an important choice when remodeling your home spa. You want to select vanities that fit the room yet provide lots of extra room for supplies and towels. How much you’re willing to spend is entirely up to you, as costs can range as low as a mere $50 to thousands of dollars for custom-built cabinets.

If you are dreaming big, you know you’ll be spending much more time in your remodeled bathroom. For that reason, you may want to add music or media to the mix. The music you choose to listen to can have a strong effect on your wellbeing and mood – as we’ve described in The SteamTherapy Guide to Music and Mood. Nowadays, music and media can be built into mirrors, vanities, tiles, and shower heads – including the streaming Bluetooth system AudioStream3® and MrSteam’s built-in shower speakers. And when you learn that you can pay as little as $300 for shower tile speakers to around $2,000 for a luxury splashproof mirror/TV, you’ll see that you have a wide range of choices.

Steam – the Surprisingly Affordable Luxury

And then there is steam. There are dozens of reasons why installing a steam shower will improve your health, help you sleep better at night, give you much needed relief when you’re congested from a cold or allergies, improve the quality of your skin, and more – and you can read about these in depth in Why Steam Rooms Should Be a Regular Part of Your Wellness Lifestyle. But were you aware that while transforming your shower into a steam shower may feel like sheer luxury, it’s actually extremely affordable?

Depending on your budget and the SteamTherapy add-ons that help to improve your health and boost your happiness, you can spend between $1,250 to $5,000 for a steam shower system. And if you’re worried that the cost of installation will be prohibitive, you only need to budget 25% for the overall shower remodel for materials and labor.

So, go ahead – dream big – and decide which of these and many other possible options can make your ordinary bathroom an extraordinary place to unwind, gain in health benefits, and refresh your body and soul. Need more ideas? Check out “8 Bathroom Décor Trends” from The Spruce, or download our own Dream Bathroom Remodel Guide (for Every Budget) that includes several additional bathroom remodel ideas.


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Topics: Bathroom Remodel, New Construction