What never to spend money on in the bathroom

I know we use the bathroom every day (if you’re not, there’s an issue). But if there’s somewhere in your home you can cut down on costs, it’s in this zone.

And I don’t just mean the design elements, either (though there are some pieces you can totally skimp on). There are some savvy cheats you can implement around your bathroom that are much smaller but equally impressive.

So let me tell you what they are.

An affordable way to give your bathroom a fresh new look is to paint the walls a trendy colour. Picture: Reece

Hand soap hack

Turns out you can fool your friends and family into thinking you have expensive tastes when you don’t. How? It’s all about the art of illusion.

Buy a bottle of your most prized, lusted-after hand soap. You know; that expensive one you’ve been eyeing off for ages.

Use all the soap in it. Then, go to Aldi and buy a hand soap refill for a couple of bucks. Fill up the expensive bottle with your Aldi soap and hey presto: Everyone thinks you buy the pricey stuff all the time. Winning!

See moreHow to impress guests when they visit your bathroom

The modern bathroom at 8/87 Beresford Road, Bellevue Hill, is simply decorated with an indoor plant and ‘luxury’ hand wash. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy


I know tapware trends are big right now; gold, brass, rose gold, matte black. But don’t feel like you’ve gotta fork out big bucks to put these trends in your bathroom.

You can get black tapware online for under $90, or opt to go something more traditional like a chrome option for around $50. Sometimes the classics are the smartest choices to use. They’ll never date and you can save yourself a lot of money in the process.

Traditional chrome tapware is a classic choice you won’t regret. Picture: Getty

Cabinetry handles

It’s important to match the handles on your bathroom cabinetry to the overall look and feel of the room. But don’t go overboard. Some handles can cost you upwards of $90 each, while other options on the market retail for under $15.

My advice would be to invest money in larger pockets of your bathroom (like vanities, the bathtub, tiles etc.,) and skimp on the handles. Truly; you vary rarely notice the handles on a cupboard, but you always remember the tub or the tiles.

No one’s going to notice your cabinetry handles when the rest of your bathroom looks this good. Picture: Meir Australia

Toilet roll holder

You know that contraption that sits beside the toilet and holds all of your toilet rolls? You can usually squeeze four rolls onto it at a time. Well, I’m going to share the ultimate secret with you now to save you the big bucks: Never buy them!

These things are beyond ugly. Save yourself some cash and put your toilet paper in a cupboard under the sink. Toilet rolls will never be decorative, and never be cute. Sorry about it.

There should only ever be one toilet roll in view in the bathroom. Picture: Chris L Jones


Mirrors are another element of the bathroom that you can go budget on, or really invest the big bucks in. But they don’t tend to make or break the look and feel of a bathroom the way the vanity or wall tiles can.

With this in mind, look to save yourself some cash and go for an affordable option. Ikea, for example, does great mirror options for your bathroom – cabinetry included – for around $90. Considering that you can easily spend up to $800 on a mirror, it’s well worth looking into retail options like this.

Ikea is a one-stop shop for all stylish and affordable bathroom decor. Picture: Ikea


So, there’s a toilet that costs $3,500. I know right, WTF!? It would want it to do some pretty impressive things for that price.

Sure, advances in technology are making toilets a lot smarter. And in many cases, so much better to look at. But you don’t have to go crazy here.

See moreHow to maintain that trendy bathroom

Nothing wrong with a good old classic loo. Picture: Getty

Instead of blowing your budget on a lavish loo, consider going for a cheaper option. Considering prices for toilets start at around $97, there’s a lot of savings to be had here.

Originally published as What never to spend money on in the bathroom by Chris Carroll. Author at realestate.com.au.