10 Easy Bathroom Upgrades
By my estimation, an "easy" bath upgrade could include virtually everything in the room except replacing the tub or shower, tearing up and/or replacing floor or wall tile, and relocating plumbing fixtures. That still leaves the faucet and sink, the walls, the lighting and many more options that canPosted — Updated
Replacing a bathroom faucet (a.k.a. lavatory faucet) really is a pretty easy job. If you haven't done it before, it'll take you a while, but it's not hard work, provided the old parts aren't rusted onto the sink (see item 2, below). For such small fixtures, faucets can really date an old bathroom, so this tends to be a high-return improvement.
If you're replacing your bathroom faucet, you might considering swapping out the sink, too, depending on what type it is. Drop-in sinks, the kind with a heavy rim that sits atop the counter, are the easiest to replace. Also, if the retaining nuts on your faucet are fused with corrosion and crud, it might be easier to remove the sink to get at the faucet; thus a good opportunity to put in a new sink. Another option is to replace the old sink and vanity top with an all-in-one vanity top with integrated sink. You just screw and/or caulk these to the vanity cabinet, and can add a new faucet before mounting the top.
Sleek water-saver toilets used to be somewhat of a novelty and thus carried an unnecessarily high price tag, but now they're far more commonplace and affordable. This is a relatively easy improvement that not only updates the look in your bathroom, it also saves tons of water over the years (that's if you still have an old-style toilet).
The right piece of bathroom furniture is both good looking and hardworking. Freestanding cabinets with glass-panel doors are the mainstays of this category. Glass doors lighten the visual impact of the piece and are good for storing linens and the like. If you need something to hold a mess of medicines and makeup containers, a solid-door cabinet or one with some drawers probably is a better option. Shop carefully for just the right size, style and color, and the cabinet will look like it was made for your space.
This upgrade idea may be as obvious as painting the walls, but there are a few things to keep in mind here. Fabric features in a bathroom can include not just towels but also bath mats, window treatments and some shower curtains. (I don't include toilet seat covers in my list, but you may in yours.) You can take a matchy-matchy approach or go for a more dynamic but complementary color mix. Any design can add a lot of pop with little effort. When it comes to linens, don't buy cheap towels. They look cheap, feel cheap, and don't last. If you can't afford good towels for everywhere in the bathroom, splurge on some guest towels, and buy some cheaper sets for your own use. That way your bathroom will look nice when it needs to, and you'll be motivated to make more money so you don't have to put up with scratchy towels for the rest of your life (I use scratchy towels, by the way).
New hardware is a super-easy upgrade. Think: towel bars and hooks, toilet-paper holder, cabinet knobs and pulls, showerhead, shower curtain rod…basically anything metal. All hardware should coordinate well with the sink and bath faucets and support the overall decorating scheme.
Adding or replacing light fixtures may seem like a no-brainer, but if that's the case, why are so many bathrooms poorly lighted? Most builders get bathroom lighting completely wrong; they shove in a couple of recessed fixtures over the vanity mirror and call 'er good. But overhead fixtures, especially recessed cans, shadow your face when you look into the mirror. What they're really good at is highlighting male pattern baldness (I speak from experience) and dark roots, so who wants them? The right lighting for vanities is side lights. A nice wall-mounted fixture on each side of the mirror does wonders for your viewing pleasure. You can also go with strip-style lights, if you want to feel like a star.