When it comes to home improvement, many homeowners put bathrooms on the “someday” list. A bathroom can be outdated or ugly, with cracked fixtures and unreliable plumbing, but the expense and effort of doing a full remodel is just too daunting. So the homeowner gets used to having a suboptimal bathroom and tells him- or herself that it’s not that big a deal.
However, while completely renovating your bathroom is a big task, not every bathroom upgrade is. A few small upgrades can make your bathroom look stylish and feel like new. Here are a few ideas for bathroom upgrades that you can undertake on your next day off:
Like all rooms, a bathroom will look much better after the walls get a fresh coat of paint. Because of their size, bathrooms don’t take as long to paint as other rooms, but they do need to be thoroughly scrubbed with a solvent like trisodium phosphate to remove soap scum, which will prevent paint from adhering. Choose a latex-based paint with an eggshell gloss or higher and remove all fixtures, including the toilet tank, before painting.
Old silicone caulk around your sink, shower, toilet and tub will degrade and peel. If it comes into contact with mold or mildew, it can become permanently stained. In short, old caulk looks bad and doesn’t waterproof the fixtures as well as fresh caulk. Peeling up the old caulk and applying fresh can be done in an afternoon.
Add or replace a backsplash
Tile backsplashes around your sink and vanity are practical as well as stylish, because they’re easier to clean and harder to damage than a painted wall. Paint behind the sink can become marked by soap scum, damaged by water, or colonized by mold or mildew. Besides, a tile backsplash is a relatively cheap and easy project for a novice tiler and gives a homeowner a chance to pick out tiles in any color, pattern or material.
Replace the vanity
Thrifted wooden bathroom consoles are in vogue, so if you find an end table for sale at your local secondhand furniture store that is the right size, consider repainting it and using it to replace your existing vanity for a trendy and inexpensive upgrade. You can waterproof the tabletop with several coats of clear polyurethane and cut holes for the faucet and drain. Thrifted vanities are easiest to use with vessel sinks that sit on top of the console. If those don’t appeal to you, however, check out conventional vanities at your local hardware store.
A bathroom upgrade doesn’t have to involve tearing out walls or calling a plumber. If you plan it well, a day’s work can make your bathroom feel like a new and more stylish room. A knowledgeable salesperson at a home improvement store can provide more guidance.