Update your bathroom the speedy way!

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Unless you have just gone through a major bathroom renovation, your bathroom may be showing its age. There are some quick, easy updates you can do to bring your bathroom back to life!

Where to start?

Updating your bathroom without breaking the bank is possible. Making a few changes that do not involve calling in a tradesperson is the way to go. In this article, we are going to take a look at some DIY jobs.

Such dramatic changes in this bathroom by “Grace my space”. She refinished the sink top with a professional kit.

Update your Paint

Painting is not hard! Painting can be tedious with a lot of prep, but the cost for a dramatic change is very reasonable. If you have a tiled bathroom, changing the tiles is out of the question for a cheap, quick change! So you work with the tiles you have. Choose a contrasting or harmonious paint color based on your existing tiles. Do not be tempted to paint your tiles. This is a bad look! When you paint, you lose any contrast you had in the grout and tile when it is all one color. As well, tile is not a good surface to paint, and it will peel and chip in no time. Just don’t do it!

As a side note: If you feel you must paint tile, get a quote from a professional. And if you must do it yourself, get a paint system made for the job. House paint, even high gloss, is not strong enough for tile.

The best thing to do is thoroughly clean your bathroom tiles and grout before you paint the walls. A steam cleaner can be very helpful and it uses no chemicals for a super sanitized clean. A good clean can bring back the grout lines, but if they are really bad you can re-grout. Grout color is another way to change the look of your existing tiles.

update your paint with popular bathroom clors
Update your paint with popular bathroom colors that move away from just white

Picking the best color for your bathroom

Bathrooms are normally small rooms, so staying with lighter colors is a good idea. If you want a dark color, you could make one wall dark for a feature. Calming colors are good in this space, and remember you do not have to match your whole house, the bathroom can be its own space.

Think about the size and light you have in your bathroom. Our next quick change is looking at your lights, and you may need to jump ahead to lights before you paint, as you may need to clean up the wall surface when you change a light. Prepping the walls by filling in small imperfections now will make for a better-finished job.

Check out Behr’s site here for tips on prep and paint

The small details can make or break a paint job. Sharp lines and no overpainting are small things that make a big difference. Take the switch plates off, (better yet replace them with new clean ones!) tape the edges of the tile, and buy a quality brush for edging. If you are going to have a feature wall, make sure to get the edges perfect.

Update your Lights

Take a look at the lights in your bathroom. Do you still have that wooden bar with exposed incandescent bulbs blasting you from over the mirror? LED, or light-emitting diodes, are the way to go nowadays. Many mount points are standardized, and it is just a matter of matching wires for a big result. If the base area is different, refer to the paragraph above; Changing your paint color.

Take a look at your ceiling light. Is it a big upside-down glass bowl full of dead bugs? Again you can update here with minimum effort. Just make sure you turn off the power for any electrical changes. Do you have a noisy old exhaust fan? Check out some fan updates here. Bathrooms are one room where more light is good. Nothing is worse than a dark, dingy bathroom.

You could think about adding a ceiling vent fan if you do not have one. This job may require some professional help.

Update your Sink and Vanity

Don’t bother just trying to change an old sink. If your sink is old and worn out, your vanity has probably seen better days too. Go for a sink and vanity combo. Check out the variety you can get nowadays on amazon.

If you have a wall-mount sink, it does not mean you have to stick with it. Choose a vanity sink combo that is big enough to cover up the mount points. The good thing about a wall mount is you will have no worries about complete tile coverage. If you have a built-in unit, check that it is tiled on the floor and behind the vanity before you choose a smaller replacement.

Just changing from a sink cabinet that sits on the floor to one with legs can be a great new look. It can lighten up the whole look of your bathroom. With so many styles to choose from you should work up a design board. On the design board, you put samples of the paint you like, representations of your tiles and lights, then print up pictures of the vanities you like.

Take the time to do some visual planning. Photograph your existing tile to help tie your new look together.

Benefits of a new vanity

Think about how your bathroom could be improved when you change the vanity. Added storage, more counter space, or a smaller vanity to take up less real estate in your bathroom. Remember to keep space around the toilet. A toilet should have some elbow room between it and another fixture or vanity. The NKBA’s (The National Kitchen + Bath Association) recommendation is at least 18″. Codes allow a minimum distance of 15″

You should look for a complete package for your sink/vanity update. New taps and faucets are a must, it is great to have them already installed in the vanity, and you get cost savings too. Take the time to update your shower head too. Unless you really like gold taps, it is a rare design in gold that does not look dated. You can keep the updates coming by adding or changing out your towel holders, toilet paper holders, hooks, and mirrors in a matching look.

Again if you can not afford to change your vanity, you can re-paint your existing vanity. Just make sure you prep correctly and use quality paint.

Update your Toilet

Toilets are not luxury items. But you can still spend a lot on a new toilet. But many models are still reasonably priced. Toilet seats, however, are super overpriced compared to a whole new toilet!

I have found that round toilets do not look as modern as oval toilets. If you have the space, it is a small difference in shape with a big difference in perception.

A colored toilet is not for everyone. Colored toilets do date a bathroom.

Toilets can last a really long time! Your toilet may still function fine but be very outdated.

Colored toilets are a sure thing your bathroom is dated. If you can go with clean white and match it to your new sink in white, you can quickly banish the dated look.

Changing a toilet is not as hard as you think. Clearing out all the water is a not-miss step to ensure you are not grossed out when you remove the toilet.

Can you update your bathroom without gutting it?

  • Yes!
  • Do some preplanning
  • If you only paint your bathroom a new color, you can still totally change the feel.
  • Do not paint your tiles yourself
  • Updating lighting is fun
  • Measure your space well for vanity changes
  • Lose the colored toilet
  • Only tackle jobs you can do. Know your DIY level

Price out the big stuff before you start. Settle for small changes if it is all you can afford. Add new towels and a matching rug, or get a house plant. Even small changes like these can add to your enjoyment of your old bathroom.

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