smart spending

Save money on bathroom remodeling

Upgrade your vanity
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Upgrade your vanity

Cost: $30 to $499

Vanities run the gamut from cheesy to elegant. Where yours is on this spectrum will determine if you want to include it in your bathroom remodeling plans.

A $500 budget restricts the search to vanity-and-countertop combinations. Unless you find a great bargain somewhere, any vanity wider than 40 inches probably can't be replaced for less than $500.

At Home Depot, you can upgrade to a new vanity for as little as $149 for the St. Paul Chelsea 24-inch Vanity. It includes a porcelain counter top. A 37-inch RSI Palisades vanity with granite top costs $489.

No matter its width, if your vanity is wood, you also can renew its appearance with paint. Use a high-end latex paint with a high-gloss finish. A gallon costs about $30.

Ryan recommends removing the doors and all the hardware before painting. "Use a latex paint, and lightly sand and prime the surfaces first," he says.


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