Wouldn't it be nice to have like $20k to renovate your bathroom in some serious style? Hey I wish I sure did. However, just because you don't have the "crazy cash" doesn't mean you have to settle for your run of the mill bathroom either. Here are some tips to turn your old outdated bathroom into a wonderfully updated space. (The pictures are of my upstairs bathroom before and after. I spent less than $2k on this update. Imagine how much I would have paid to have to professionally redone.)
TIP #1 - DEMO YOURSELF - I know what you're already saying....I don't have the tools nor the experience to demo myself. Well there are a couple things to that. First, if you are demoing and doing a restart then you don't have to worry about damage. You're damaging everything anyway so just rip it out. You can do it. Second, sometimes demo can take a certain degree of mental toughness. Especially if what you are demoing has been in place for a long time. Like in the above pictures, the tile floor was sooooo difficult to get up it literally took me an entire day. I wanted to give up a few times. haha. But you just have to be willing to get the job done and do what it takes. Demoing can save you a bunch labor costs too. If you don't have the ability to do it yourself then ask some family or friends to come over and help. Buy them pizza and anything else yall need and have a little work party. Just sayin.
TIP #2 - KEEP WHAT YOU CAN - If you are doing this DIY you are definitely going to be on a budget and will need to save cash where you can. Two areas I saved by keeping something in place. I kept the original tub and by doing that I saved in costs for a whole new tub (which in my case would have been a lot due to it being a jacuzzi). I also just painted the tub with some tub and tile paint from Lowes (cost me less than $100) and Rustoleum metal spray paint for my fixtures. I had to be very very careful when I painted the tub and sprayed the fixtures because I didnt want them to look painted. Both of these paints are water resistant and dont wear and tear. They are amazing products for DIYers like myself. But my point is you need to find a way to save some money by keeping what you can. For me, I purchased a new toilet, vanity and wall fixtures (hand towels, toilet paper dispenser, mirror). So buy what you need to but if you can keep something and still utilize it in the new theme your going for then go for it.
TIP #3 - STUDY TILE WORK - If you don't know how to do tile very well or at all then watch some youtube videos and study how to do it. It isn't that difficult but it does require you to be precise in cuts. And in order to make the right cuts you will need the right tools.
TIP #4 - USE THE RIGHT TOOLS - This goes without saying but it also is the thing most DIYers don't make the effort to get right. You really do need the right tools to do projects. If I have spent significant money over the years it's mostly been on making sure I'm working with the right tools. In the case of tile work you will need a wet saw. Don't get the tile cutters, get a wet saw. It might cost you $100 (on the cheaper end) but it is well worth the investment. Trust me. Also if you are doing tile work around a tub or shower you will need to use some kind of a water membrane. I used Redgard. Its a red paste that you will put on behind the tile that seals the walls up from any potential moisture problems. But like I said, just make sure you are using the right tools and products. If you don't know then ask someone at Home Depot. They should be able to help you as well.
TIP #5 - THE LITTLE THINGS - So when you are finalizing your project there will be a bunch of little things that need to be done right. If you dont do them right then it could lead to an "unfinished" looking project or potentially complications down the road. One example is the toilet. Remember that if you are putting new tile down then there is a chance that tile could be thicker than your previous toilet. That would mean that your flange might not sit right and you need to get a new one. If you dont make sure your toilet is secured and tight then you will have water leaks under your new tile or worst case into the floor below. It's a little thing but can be a big thing if not done right.
Again, I spent a grand total of $1800 on the renovation of this bathroom and $700 of that was a vanity. It did take me two weeks to finish. Probably not as quick as a professional but I saved a ton of money learned a lot doing it. Hopefully this helped! best of luck with your bathroom on a budget.