Give your Bathroom a Facelift
Nothing decreases the value and appeal of your home like an outdated bathroom, but you don’t have to break the bank to complete a bathroom makeover. Some paint, a new vanity and faucet, and a few decorating and design ideas can give your bathroom a much-needed facelift, in just one weekend.
Before you begin, stop by your local True Value hardware store for the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right. Then follow the steps below.
Replace Bathroom Vanity
Your vanity is one of the most-used items in your home. It can quickly look worn and dingy and make your whole bathroom look the same. Replacing your vanity can be a great way to make a big impact on your bathroom makeover. Vanities are available in a variety of colors, dimensions and finishes, ranging from inexpensive basic models to designer originals. When you’re shopping for a new one, pay attention to size — you can go a little larger than your existing vanity, as long as the replacement won’t crowd existing fixtures or overpower the room.
- Consider the best sink height for your needs. Do you have young children? If so, choose a low vanity that will allow them to reach the sink. Vanities that are a few inches taller are easier for adults, who won’t have to bend as much to use them
- If you have a wood vanity, you may consider sanding it down and staining the bottom a new color. Then simply replace the sink, faucet and cabinet hardware, for a more budget-friendly option with the same amount of impact.
If you are installing a new vanity, follow these steps to remove the old unit and install its replacement:
Shut off the water and then disconnect the plumbing lines. Remove the sink, followed by the cabinet’s mounting screws. Now slide the old cabinet out from the wall.
Use a pencil to draw the outline of your new vanity on the wall, where you plan to mount it. Measure the vanity’s height and width at its highest point and draw a corresponding line on the wall. Now draw vertical lines down to the bottom on both sides. Be exact, and make sure your lines are straight, by using a straight edge tool such as a yardstick. Use a stud finder to locate any wall studs that may be located within the outline you just drew. Mark their location with your pencil. They will provide a sturdy base for anchoring the vanity to the wall. If your vanity has a back panel, be sure to cut holes into it to fit the pipes extending from the wall. Mark the location of the pipes with a pencil and cut holes using a jigsaw or drywall saw.
Following the outline you drew, align the holes you cut for the pipes and slide the vanity into place. Use a level to make sure the unit is straight and even on all sides. If the vanity isn’t level, it’s probably not the unit that’s to blame. Often, the culprit is an uneven floor. Place wooden shims under the vanity’s low end, until it is level.
Fasten the vanity to the wall using washers and 3'' wood screws (check again to ensure it is level, before tightening). Use a power drill to drive screws into the wall and into the studs, for a secure installation. Seal the entire top edge to the wall with a bead of latex caulk. If you removed the vanity doors, replace them now.
Don’t forget about the shims. Use a chisel and hammer to carefully trim away portions that protrude.
- If the shims are large, hide them by placing decorative molding along the bottom of the cabinet, using finishing nails to secure.
Replace the Bathroom Sink Faucet
It might be time for a new faucet, in addition to the vanity. Plan so that the color and style of your new faucet matches your décor, accessories and countertop. There are a number of colors available. Popular choices are in various finishes of chrome, nickel and stainless steel.
Step 1. Remove the Existing Faucet
Before you begin, shut off water to the fixture, by turning the water valves for both hot and cold water, located under the sink. Turn on the faucet to drain any remaining water in the lines. Use an adjustable wrench to disconnect the water supply lines. If they are hard to turn, spray the faucet tailpiece, mounting nuts and coupling nuts with WD-40® spray lubricant. Detach the coupling nuts first, with a basin wrench or channel-type pliers. Next, unscrew the tailpiece mounting nuts and remove the faucet base from the sink. Clean the now-exposed surface with mild detergent, a rag, brush or sponge, depending on how dirty it is. If stubborn plumber’s putty remains, gently scrape it away with a putty knife or razor blade.
- Place a small bucket or pot in the under-sink cabinet to catch any water that might spill while you’re disconnecting water lines.
Step 2. Insert New Faucet
Insert the new faucet into the empty opening where the old faucet sat. Caulk the base of the faucet with either silicone caulk or plumber’s putty, applying a bead about 1/4" thick. Move the faucet into position, being sure that the base is parallel to the back of the sink. Now press the faucet down firmly so that it’s tightly sealed to the sink. Scrape away any excess caulk from the surface of the faucet. Let the putty set.
Step 3. Make Connections
Use your basin wrench or channel-type pliers to connect the metal friction washers to the tailpiece underneath the sink. Then attach the mounting nuts. Attach the supply tubes to the tailpiece, and then use your basin wrench or channel-type pliers to tighten the coupling nuts.
Step 4. Reconnect Water Supply
Now that the supply tubing is attached to the sink, use compression fittings to connect it to the water source at the shutoff valves. Tighten the mounting nuts by hand. Then use an adjustable wrench to turn them just 1/4 of a turn, to make sure they’re not too tight.
- When you’re tightening the supply tubing to the valve, hold the valve with a second wrench to keep it from turning.
- If your new faucet has pre-attached tubing it is not necessary to connect tubing to the faucet. Connect the pre-attached supply tubes to the shutoff valves with a basin wrench or channel-type pliers. The tubing with a red label connects to the hot water source and the tubing with a blue label connects to the cold-water source.
StartRightStartHere.com provides more detailed articles on installing a new faucet, along with more ideas for updating your bathroom like regrouting bathroom tile.
Update Your Bathroom with Paint
Painting your bathroom is one of the quickest, easiest and most affordable ways to give your bathroom a fresh, new look. And nothing makes a bigger impact than color — especially in a small bathroom, where there’s limited space for decorative furnishings and accessories
Colorful walls can create a feeling of size or warmth and can also help fixtures blend with their surroundings. Choose colors to match or complement other rooms in your home or simply because you like them. As with clothing, light or neutral colors make things look larger, while darker colors have the opposite effect. Warm, sunny shades make rooms seem intimate and inviting, while cool colors, like those found in the ocean and sky, create a sense of quiet, rest and relaxation. For assistance choosing a color, the paint experts at your local True Value hardware store can help you with your decision. You can also go to truevaluepaint.com to get ideas using our Idea Cards and Lifestyle Cards, learn about the latest color trends or find inspiration using the Color Selection Tool or Mood Gallery.
You can learn the step-by-step process of how to paint by checking out the helpful project, Paint a Room.
Light It Up
You can use light to enhance ambiance and mood in your bathroom. For example, add a warm glow to a small space by adding a pair of decorative sconces. Overhead lighting controlled by a dimmer switch adds ambient lighting, or if your taste and budget allow, recessed lighting is a fashionable option. If your bathroom is too dark, consider buying a fixture that provides more illumination than your existing one (or maybe it just needs higher watt bulbs). If it has frosted globes, replace them with clear ones that reflect more light.
Eliminating clutter is a simple way to make your bathroom makeover a success, while highlighting the new accessories and decorations you’ve added to the space. Get rid of unwanted items in the medicine cabinet, on the counter and under the sink. Items you don’t need visible but still need, can be stashed either out of sight in cosmetic bags and/or storage bins, or displayed on the counter in attractive containers.
You have many storage options to choose from. Make sure you have enough space to accommodate containers or they will end up adding to the clutter. Store cleaning supplies in a portable plastic container under the sink or on a high shelf.
- If you have small children, always secure all cabinets, drawers and the toilet with childproof latches.
Replace old, dingy or just plain boring hinges, doorknobs and drawer pulls with new ones to instantly give your bathroom a fresh new look. If you have a more traditional eye for style, shop for brushed or polished finishes, in brass, bronze, pewter or even ceramic pulls or knobs. If your style is contemporary, choose high-gloss metals such as nickel or stainless steel. For a more modern look, choose sleek nickel or stainless steel pulls, instead of knobs.
- Don’t forget to make sure your new hardware matches your new faucet. You don’t want brass hardware and a stainless steel faucet.
- Don’t just swap out knobs and pulls. You also want to replace hinges and catches to match the new exterior hardware.
Remove existing hardware with the necessary tools. In most cases, this will be just a screwdriver. For cabinet doors, as opposed to drawers, remove the door completely by detaching the door hinges from the cabinet frame. Attach new hardware the same way you removed it, by using a screwdriver and the screws or other fasteners provided. If you have to make new holes for screws, do so with a power drill and a bit that is approximately the same or a size smaller than the screws that will fasten the hardware to the door or drawer. Before drilling, measure the drawer’s surface with a tape measure to be sure you’re installing the knob exactly in the center of the drawer’s surface.
If you’re installing pulls with more than one screw location, measure the distance between each screw on the hardware and transfer the measurement to the cabinet or drawer and mark the locations with a pencil. Be sure you place the pull in the center of a drawer by measuring the drawer face. Also, use a level to be sure your new pull will be installed in the right place.
Fashionable rugs, shower curtains, window treatments and towels are easy on the budget, while providing lots of color and design interest. Eye-catching wall art and vases reflect your unique personality. If space allows, add a chest, armoire or comfortable chair to make the room more inviting.
That’s all there is to it! With just a little effort and some DIY know-how, you’ve made your bathroom new again. For the rest of your home maintenance and repair needs, visit your local True Value hardware store for the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right.
For more project ideas, visit the Project Library >