Affordable Bathroom Updates You Can DIY

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Not every bathroom in every home is worthy of a spread in an interior design magazine — and that’s largely because not every homeowner has the disposable income to waste on bathroom upgrades. Next to kitchens, bathrooms are the most difficult room in your home to renovate. This is because of the complexity involved in modifying plumbing as well as the abundance of costly features and fixtures required in the space. Even if your bathroom is small, you could easily drop $10,000 just by changing the plumbing fixtures, updating the vanity and laying new tile.

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However, the high expense of bathroom remodels doesn’t preclude you from creating a chic, attractive space. While you might not have the budget to tear your bathroom apart and start fresh, there are a few smaller projects you can do yourself to improve the look and function of your water closet.

Reglaze the Sink and Tub

If the cast iron on your tub or sink is starting to show through, you might think the only solution is a replacement. However, a better choice might be to refinish your fixtures, which will cover all scratches, cracks and chips in the old glaze. Plus, you can get any finish color you like, from standard high-gloss white to race-car red to bland beige to jet black.

Yet, while this a job you can do yourself if you have significant handy skills and experience, you might want to hire it out to experts. A professional glazer will charge between $300 and $500, depending on the size of the tub; this might seem steep, but compared with the purchase of an attractive bathroom set, which can easily climb over $2500, this project is a steal.

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Keep Everything Spotlessly Clean

The bathroom gets dirty — you could argue that’s the room’s job. However, to keep your bathroom looking good longer, you need to fight against the grime and keep your bathroom clean. This means doing more than the minimum of wiping off counters and mirrors; you need to work to keep every nook and cranny in your bathroom shining. Otherwise, grime, soap scum, mildew and mold can become permanent eyesores.

Grout is often the hardest element of bathrooms for homeowners to keep clean. You can create an effective grout cleaning solution by mixing water and vinegar in equal amounts inside a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto your grout, allow it to sink in for about five minutes, and scrub with a soft brush. If grout maintenance becomes part of your weekly bathroom cleaning, you can avoid ugly stains between your tiles.

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Additionally, you shouldn’t forget to keep your pipes clean. If your shower or sinks are draining slowly, you need to act fast to clear the clog before it solidifies and causes serious problems to your plumbing. There are all sorts of different types of clogs that require specific solutions; you can’t pour drain cleaner down your pipes and expect success every time. You can research how to unclog a shower drain on the web.

Get Creative With Wallpaper or Paneling

Wallpaper isn’t just that boring, repetitive floral pattern in outdated homes from the 1950s. These days, wallpaper is bold and exciting — a unique way to add life and dimension to walls, especially in smaller rooms like bathrooms. Deluxe wallpaper can be pricey, which is why you should consider making your own by being creative with other paper goods. Pages from books and magazines have long made for an interesting accent wall; you might also look for eye-catching wrapping paper that would look good as wall decoration. Once you have your wallpaper alternative, you can affix it to the wall using Mod Podge or a similar craft adhesive.

If wallpaper isn’t appealing, you might also consider getting creative with wainscoting or some other type of beadboard in your bathroom. As opposed to tile, this wooden decorative touch is more affordable and relatively easy to DIY, but like tile, paneling like this provides your walls with extra protection against moisture. You can paint your paneling a contrasting color to your walls to add visual interest in the small bathroom space.

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Match or Mix the Metals

Along with wallpaper, mixed metals are an increasingly popular trend in home design — and it is a style effect that is relatively easy to achieve in a bathroom, which is filled with metallic elements. You might keep your chrome faucets but swap your cabinet hardware for shiny brass, your light fixtures for black iron and your mirror frame for bright copper. You might have a etagere (a metal shelving unit) of brushed nickel, a golden wire basket and s brushed bronze showerhead. There are rules for mixing metals, but you should feel free to be creative in your own space.

A clean, tidy bathroom is well on its way to being stylish. With a few simple upgrades, like new colors and textures, you can avoid a costly bathroom renovation and enjoy a stylish bathroom without wasting a dime. Thanks to AHS for collaborating!

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