Top 10 Money Saving Tips for Buying a Bathroom

So what can affect the costs and how can I save money on my bathroom project?

If you are finding that you are over budget then there are many factors in the bathroom that can be altered to ensure you have control of when picking products. Some products are generally lower cost than others and some are easier and quicker to install which can affect the installation costs. Here are some examples:

1. Tiles


Tiles can have a big impact on the cost of your bathroom. Firstly, tiles can vary hugley in cost starting at around £20 per meter square and going all the way up to £300 or more per meter square. Secondly, you need to consider the size of the area you are going to tile as this will affect both the product and the installation costs. Tiling is notoriously time consuming which can make up a significant proportion of your fitter’s installation bill. 

To save money you can consider tiling just the showering area and having splashbacks behind the toilet and basin or perhaps half height tiles around the walls outside the shower area instead of tiling the whole room to its full height. Larger tiles (around 600x300mm) will usually cost less to install than smaller tiles (300mm or less and mosaics) as there is less grouting and therefore the process is generally quicker. You can also contemplate the idea of wall panelling which can work out a higher product cost (these do vary massively dependant on the material choice) but they can be fitted in hours instead of days when compared to tiles and don’t require grouting so they tend to reduce the installation costs in many installations.

Soap on Basin

Basin and Peach Column






2. Basin


When considering what basin to use to save money, the cost effective option is a basin with pedestal or wall hung basin instead of basin with a vanity unit.

Furniture based basin units can add hundreds of pounds onto the product costs. Of course you do gain valuable storage with a piece of furniture so this area can be a compromise between cost and function.




3. Toilets


When considering your choice of a toilet on a budget a close coupled (ceramic cistern sitting on the back of the pan) is usually the most cost affective (considering both the product and installation prices) when compared to a back to wall or wall hung toilet.

The latter options do look very nice but they are more complex to install and both involve concealing the frame/cistern within a boxing, a stud wall, or a piece of furniture which all adds extra cost.

Toilet Stock Image

Tiled Bath and Shower





4. Shower Tray vs Tiled Tray/Wetroom


A standard shower tray will generally work out a significantly lower price point in comparison to a wetroom, as it is far quicker to install and does not involve extra tiling.

A basic shower tray will cost less to buy then the components for a wetroom system.




5. Chrome vs Coloured/Special Finish


If you are looking at a unique or special finish for your taps and shower such as brushed brass, nickel, bronze, gold or black, then just be aware that these products mostly cost more than the standard Chrome finish when comparing like for like quality.

There are also knock on affects that customers don’t consider such as having to match the colour with shower enclosure profiles, shower wastes, toilet roll holders, heated towel rails, toilet flush buttons, handles/knobs, and tile trims which can all push the budget up higher than anticipated.

The Chrome finish has a huge variety of options at relatively low costs due to the higher quantities manufactured and sold.

Running Tap

Shower Enclosure




6. Shower Enclosure vs Open/Walk-In Glass


A walk-in piece of shower glass instead of a fully enclosed shower enclosure can help to reduce the product costs as it involves less raw materials and is typically simpler for your fitter to install.

A walk-in piece of glass is not always practical however, as you will need the space to ensure that splashing outside the showering area is kept to a minimum so this might not be a option if you have a compact showering area.







7. Exposed Shower vs Concealed Shower


The option of using an exposed shower system instead of a concealed shower system will also save you money as the exposed versions are generally lower priced products (comparing like for like quality) as they sell in higher quantities, and the plumbing is far simpler and quicker for your installer to fit.

Tiled Shower

Blue Bathroom




8. Illuminated vs Standard Mirrors and Cabinets


Specifying a standard, non illuminated, mirror or mirrored cabinet instead of an electric, illuminated one, can reduce the product budget required.

However it might not impact the fitting charges by much if you are having a charger socket in the bathroom anyway.

Some illuminated mirrors and mirrored cabinets have a built-in charger socket and have the additional features like lighting and a heat pad to keep the mirror steam free so you may not wish to compromise in this area.




9. Standard vs Freestanding Bath


Selecting a standard rectangular bath to go into the corner or a recess of the room instead of using a freestanding bath will save you money on both the product cost and the fitting of it.

Standard baths and the associated bath taps are far simpler to install than a Freestanding bath with brassware and, unlike a freestanding bath, standard baths require no flooring & tiling underneath them.

Corner Bath Project

Stock Red Bathroom


10. Heating Your Bathroom


If you are looking to reduce the budget required when picking heating for your bathroom or ensuite you can look at a standard radiator or a heated towel rail. Underfloor heating is a lovely and relatively inexpensive luxury however it isn’t absolutely necessary in most bathrooms.

A plain radiator that you find in most rooms is the cheapest option here. However, if you are selecting a heated towel rail which allows you to hang and dry towels more effectively then consider a standard ladder rail shape rather than a more designer shape as ladder rails are usually the lowest price point to buy due to the high quantities that are sold. Painted finishes can sometimes cost less than chrome as they are easier to manufacture and interestingly white rails output considerably more heat than the same versions in chrome. Stainless steel is the best material but will usually be among the most expensive.

Add-ons such as dual fuel electric elements will push up the total price and the fitting costs.



If you liked our top ten here’s a Brucey Bonus for you:

Seconds, Ex-Display and End of Line


A very popular way use save money with us here at Total Bathrooms in Bath is by selecting some products from our famous Clearance areas, where the factory seconds, end of line and ex-display stock can save you hundreds of pounds off your project, so head on down to take a look and start the journey to a stunning and bathroom with fantastic value for money!

2nds Showroom

Did you want to explore more and get more help on what sort of bathroom you can get for your budget?

Check out our other blog post – What does my budget get me for a new bathroom? – for a look at what products and styles are availble in your price range. 

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