The bathroom is often considered one of the most important rooms in a house (along with the kitchen), especially when it comes to selling a house. For this reason, it is a good idea to make the bathroom look fresh and up to date as allowed by the budget. Of course, you can always decorate the bathroom, which will go a long way to achieving its updated appeal. But sometimes the decor doesn’t cut it. One of the cheapest ways you can get a successful bathroom upgrade, whether it’s a small or large bathroom remodeling, is to look at your own bathroom renovation options. Does it sound intimidating? It doesn’t need to be.
Traditionally, the bathroom is composed of a variety of key components, such as the bathroom, sink, shower and bathtub. In other words, the bathroom is one of the easiest places in your home to break down into small pieces. This is an ideal opportunity for DIY: you can tackle the projects you feel most comfortable with, which ultimately reduces the cost of renovating the bathroom and you can leave the other parts to a professional.
Tip for remodeling your own bathroom #1: Update walls.
The walls of almost all spaces set an instantaneous tone to the style and atmosphere of the space. Bathroom walls are no exception. If your bathroom has peeling, encrusted wallpaper or strangely colored and stained paint, the entire space will feel dirty, grey and/or dated. Conversely, if the walls are cleaned and refreshed, the entire space will experience a pick-me-up in the style department.
Some do-it-yourself options for upgrading the bathroom walls include the following:
- Smooth out the old wall texture.
- Table and cue installation.
- Paint the walls in a fresh, light color. Keep in mind that less contrast (e.g. lighter walls surrounding your white porcelain appliances) will make the space larger, while higher contrast (e.g. darker walls) will increase energy and visual activity in the bathroom.
- Contemporary wallpaper installation.
Tip for remodeling the do-it-yourself bathroom #2: enlarge the mirror.
Each bathroom should have an excellent mirror. What makes a bathroom mirror excellent? It should be big enough to see at least your entire head, even if more of your body is better. It should also be well lit. Mirrors are advantageous, especially in remodeling small bathrooms, because they reflect a lot of light and make the bathroom smaller, with stamp size, a little more spacious than it really is.
Some do-it-yourself options to maximize the mirror in your bathroom include the following:
- Choose a mirror that is large enough, in stylistic proportion to make a statement.
- Mount a bathroom mirror professionally, even if you’re not a professional.
- Install a light on top of the mirror for greater light reflection and a double opportunity to admire a great light.
- Ensure that the mirror is centered above the bathroom sink.
DIY Bathroom Remodel Tip #3: Customize your vanity.
Vanity could well be the biggest piece of “furniture” in your bathroom. As such, you have the main opportunity to show off your style with a vanity makeover! In a DIY bathroom renovation, you may not feel completely comfortable with the total replacement of vanity… or you might. But if you don’t, there are still some great ways in which you, yourself, can take your bathroom vanity from grey to fabulous.
Some do-it-yourself options for customizing your bathroom vanity include the following:
- Replacing vanity altogether. (This idea may require a plumber or other professional, unless you are a very experienced and competent do-it-yourself expert in this arena.)
- Updating the faces of the existing bathroom cabinet cabinet.
- Laying a faux marble false ceiling from the concrete subfloor on your dressing table.
- Build a smart and chic shelf to hide unpleasant bathroom accessories and needs, mounted on the vanity side.
- Vanity hardware upgrade.
DIY Bathroom Remodel Tip #4: Re-plate the bathtub/surround shower.
This do-it-yourself project is not really an “a” project, but rather many do-it-yourself projects with the unfortunate luck of being grouped in a larger column. It’s intense, it can be frustrating and it’s a big problem. You want to get this right, or your bathtub/shower is going to lose and crumble and you’ll curse the day you’ve ever heard the acronym “do-it-yourself”. On the other side of the coin, a re-plated shower/tub coating is gorgeous. It’s fresh, up to date and fully customized according to your preferences. Only he can make the shower a pleasure. And, really, this is a series of completely do-it-yourself projects; doing it yourself will definitely help you keep the cost of refurbishing your bathroom lower.
However, we should note that to be successful in re-plating your bathtub or surround shower, you will want to familiarize yourself with the use of a wet tile saw (full tutorial available). This process is not difficult, but it has some techniques that will be useful if you are aware of them.
Some do-it-yourself options for upgrading the tile coverings in the bath/shower include the following:
Removing the original bathtub/shower tile (or whatever it is).
- Tile side by side with the shower/bathtub cladding. There are so many tile options available these days, you’re sure to find something you like. We especially like the idea of taking a classic, like the subway tile, and giving it a modern twist – placing the tiles vertically, for example, or with a herringbone pattern.
- Installing a shower shelf will not only look good, it will make your previously unremembered car deliriously happy. There are plenty of do-it-yourself options for this concept, including many that don’t require an entire tidying up of the shower before.
- Waterproofing the edges of the bathtub is critical in this very humid bathroom environment, so be sure to seal and caulk the tiles for longevity and cleanliness.
DIY Bathroom Remodel Tip #5: Choose stylish bathroom lighting.
Although it probably seems a bit intimidating, most people can turn off a light safely and successfully if they are careful and follow the instructions. And what a difference does fresh lighting make, especially in the bathroom! This idea of renovating the do-it-yourself bathroom is small and simple, and can often be done in less than an hour, and it really makes a difference in the brightness and updated feel of the bathroom. Lighting is the key to the bathroom, so be sure to opt for a light that is bright enough, but not too bright, and also designed for areas with high humidity.
Some do-it-yourself options for installing stylish bathroom lighting include the following:
- Install a stylish light directly on the bathroom mirror. This idea is both unique and useful, especially if you have a large mirror and a few options for mounting lighting that illuminates the face instead of the back of the head. Which, by the way, is a very important feature of quality bathroom lighting.
- Build a modern brass branch light to install over the vanity mirror. This option combines modern art (it’s asymmetrical! And three-dimensional!) with lighting and certainly infuses a standard bathroom with a greater aesthetic presence.
- Embrace the industrial style of the bathroom with a rustic industrial bathroom lamp.
- Replace the standard ceiling light with a brighter LED option.
DIY Bathroom Remodel Tip #6: update windows and hardware.
For something so disproportionately small in the big scheme of bathroom things, fixtures and hardware are so important to provide that chic finishing touch over the entire space. And, really, the cost is not so much for such a big impact. In fact, if I just replaced an old sink tap, your whole bathroom would look much better.
Some do-it-yourself options for upgrading devices and hardware in your bathroom include the following:
- Upgrade the bathroom faucet by removing the old one and replacing it with something more elegant and more contemporary and/or functional.
- By exchanging your bathtub and/or shower. If you’re remodeling the tub and/or shower anyway, you can take this do-it-yourself option one step further and move the overhead showers to a more comfortable height and even add more overhead showers.
- Replacing an old toilet paper dispenser with a new one you’ve made yourself is a simple, straightforward and elegant way. This can be as simple as folding a thick brass wire into a dispenser shape or as chic as creating your own brass dispenser from the fittings.
- The installation of elegant wall hooks helps to keep towels and clothes from the ground, thus increasing the shape and functionality of the bathroom. This is particularly useful in remodeling the small bathroom, where every square inch counts.
DIY Bathroom Remodel Tip #7: Enjoy the functional and beautiful details.
While a bathroom is, in general, a space with heavy functions, this does not mean that it cannot do its job without style, comfort and even beauty. Take the time in your own bathroom remodeling to assess which details will be useful to bathroom users.
Some do-it-yourself options for including beautiful and useful details in your bathroom include the following:
- Hang some artwork on the wall.
- Laying a comfortable non-slip mat near any area subject to water.
- Mount a shelf above the bathroom door to maximize otherwise wasted space.
- Replacing shower curtains or upgrading existing shower curtains with something unique, such as the edge along the top edge.
- Mounting shower curtains from the ceiling for a more dramatic touch. The vertical emphasis of this idea helps to broaden the room’s airy feel for a small bathroom remodeling.