Bathroom upgrades on a budget
Article by: Kimberly Guest
Improve your home

Bathroom upgrades on a budget

Updating your bathrooms can add significant value to your home, but a full remodelling costs a fortune. There are ways, however, to give your bathroom a makeover without breaking the bank and many of them you can even do yourself.

  • Lighting
    Upgrading your lighting can add a new feel to your bathroom; giving it a more stylish appearance. Toss away that old bowl light fixture in favour of discrete downlights, a clean flush mounted fitting or even a dramatic chandelier. For functionality, add single light fixtures to either side of your mirror or a directional light above the mirror. Remember that moisture and electricity are a recipe for disaster, so bring in an electrician to do the installation properly.
  • Flooring
    If your bathroom floor is beginning to look a little worse for wear, then an upgrade could make all the difference. Speak to your hardware store about the various options that would be appropriate for a high-moisture area and what kind of treatment they would require to avoid slips and falls. If tiles or wooden flooring are outside your budget, head over to the vinyl section to see the vast improvements that have been made in style and finish.
  • Fittings
    Bathroom fittings get a lot of use and tend to show signs of wear and tear sooner than anything else in your bathroom. Head over to your bathroom or hardware store to take a look at the various options available for hooks, towel rails, toilet roll holders, shower caddies and more. While you're there, select matching handles and knobs for both your cabinets and bathroom door.
  • Fixtures
    Bolster your style choice with updated bath, basin and shower taps, as well as a good-looking, water-saving showerhead that you can install yourself. Avoid the temptation to move your plumbing points unless it's necessary, as this is always a costly endeavour and requires a plumber.
  • Refurb your sanitaryware
    Replacing your bath, basins or shower is an expensive affair; however, you can get these items professionally refinished. For smaller problems such as nicks, cracks and scratches, you can get porcelain repair or touch up products from your hardware store.
  • Spruce up your shower
    Toss out that tatty shower curtain and install a door or a partition for a classier look. Replace your shower flooring for a cleaner look. Choose textured non-slip tiles, mosaic or pebble-finishes to keep you safe from slipping when the floor is wet and soapy.
  • Colour and contrast
    Update the feel of your bathroom with a colour scheme that makes a statement. Add a feature wall to draw attention to a particular area or use contrasting colours to pull various elements of your bathroom together. Don't forget to add the cost of matching towels, bathmats, facecloths and sponges to your budget.
  • Revamp your vanity
    Update your vanity with a new countertop and doors, or refresh your current cabinets by repainting what you already have. Speak to your hardware store about how to prepare laminated and Formica surfaces so that the paint attaches properly.
  • Replace your vanity
    If your existing vanity really isn't up to scratch, then head to your bathroom store for a new vanity. Before deciding on an expensive countertop that needs to be cut specifically for your new basins, take a look at readymade options that have the countertops and basins already built into the vanity. Remember to secure the vanity to the wall to avoid accidents and prevent warping.
  • Mirrors
    Increase the size or number of mirrors to make your bathroom feel larger and airier. Add picture frames for a clean and classic feel that matches the style of the fittings and fixtures.
  • Refresh your walls
    Bathroom walls have to deal with a lot of humidity which can lead to bubbling, peeling and mouldy grouting. Not only is this unsightly and a risk to your family's health, it can also damage the structural integrity of your walls. Speak to your tiling store about the variety of options available for your bathroom. Also consider the variety of different finishes, shapes and sizes, as well as attention-grabbing layout options for an end result that will be the envy of all your friends. If you're not up to tiling, use a high-quality satin or glow paint that will provide improved water resistance.
  • Finishing touches
    Now that your bathroom is looking as good as new, it's time to bring in those personal items that complete the look. Consider artwork, display items, plants and those small elements that add a special touch. Look online for DIY craft projects that will give your bathroom that added sparkle.
  • Don't forget
    Your bathroom may look ready for a magazine spread, but the new shine will disintegrate quickly if you haven't paid attention to the protective elements. Make sure your bathroom sealants are all in good condition to protect your walls, cabinets and floors and check your plumbing for leaks and blockages.
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