RH Blanchard Contract & Design Blog

How to Make an Old Bathroom Look New Again

Posted by R.H. Blanchard Contract Design on Apr 11, 2018 11:28:00 AM

updated-bathroom.jpgAsk any realtor and they'll share that updated kitchens and bathrooms rent and sell homes and apartments. A great fact to know - but if you have a 20 year old bathroom that looks like it's seen better days, where do you start?

The First Step: Deciding on the Right Renovation Plan

Determine a budget or simply put, how much can you afford to spend. This one step is the key factor to whether a full remodel is in your future or an easier refresh is more realistic.
Are you remodeling for the long term and your enjoyment, or are you looking to remodel so that your home will be more appealing to a buyer or tenant in the short term? When you're creating a bathroom that you plan to personally use for many years, your wish-list is likely to be more luxurious, customized and may involve tearing down walls and more. In comparison if you plan to update simply for future resale or renting, your goals may be a little different.

Time frames, your skill set and, if it's your home, the availability of another bathroom. These are all factors to consider before starting any level of renovation. Best rule of thumb: if this is a DIY project, make sure you have the time available.

Easiest: The Refresh

Assumes retention of main components (sink, toilet, shower, tub). Also assumes any tile surrounds and floors are in good shape.

  • Clean up grout to bring back original color
  • Paint walls (use washable paint) for a fresh, bright, new look
  • Check caulking around sink, tub and shower. Remove and replace if tight seal no longer exists
  • Consider adding decorative accessories that complement the look and feel of the home.
  • Enhance your tub with a curved shower rod and new shower curtain
  • Update window coverings

More Challenging: The combo

Assumes retention of main components (sink, toilet, shower, tub). All suggestions under "The Refresh" apply, plus consider replacement of the following due to their "dated" nature or extreme tarnish:

  • Sink and tub faucets,
  • Shower head/control valve
  • Towel rails, hooks, toilet roll holder
  • Door hardware
  • Lighting fixtures

Other Areas To Consider:

  • Refinishing, painting or replacing doors to a vanity unit to add to your new look
  • Add a European style shower door in place of a shower rod and curtain
  • Upgrade ceiling fan to one of today's whisper quieter versions
  • Add or replace floor tile
  • Add or replace wall tile, particularly if there is evidence of water leakage behind or under the tile

If you plan to upgrade everything except the main fixtures, seriously consider whether this is a practical DIY project for you, or whether seeking outside contract help may be a better path.

Time to Shop: the Remodel

You're in it for the long term, your budget allows a total bathroom remodel, and you want to plan the bathroom of your dreams or your tenants dreams. Where to start? There's a lot to consider - walls, electrics, plumbing, heating, lighting, venting, and that's before the fun stuff of counter tops, flooring, fixtures and fittings. You also want to make sure that any local building codes are met too.


RH Blanchard Contract & Design offers a full interior design service as well as the contracting know-how needed to tackle any project from the easiest to the total remodel. Contact us to discuss your bathroom challenges today. No matter how big or small the challenge, we can help!

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