As one of the most heavily used rooms in the house, bathrooms require diligent cleaning and maintenance to look and perform their best. Unfortunately, there are a number of materials and fixtures in your bathroom that will eventually wear out, no matter how vigilant you are. Particularly in older homes, bathroom updates are a must not just to hold up to day-to-day use, but to keep your resale value as high as possible. The following bathroom upgrades are perfect projects to enhance function as well as appearance without a huge investment.
Bathroom Upgrading: Caulk and Grout
Some of the most effective bathroom updates are also the most affordable. While it might make more of an aesthetic difference to replace flooring or fixtures in your bathroom, upgrading the seals behind around these items is going to make a huge difference in how well your bathroom holds up over time. Allowing standing watereven invisibly small pools of itto infiltrate the crevices of your bathroom is just asking for mold problems and stability issues for the wood and other materials behind the scenes. Along with soaking up standing water with a mop or towel, having a good seal around fixtures and between tiles is the number one way to keep water from causing damage that might not be noticed until it has become severe.
Replacing old caulk and grout is very inexpensive when compared to other bathroom upgrades, and while it won't be as noticeable as a new tub or sink, having new grout between tiles and new caulk around fixtures will improve appearances, especially of the old stuff was stained and dingy. Expect this project to be relatively quick (in many cases, professionals can do this in a single day), and view it as a preventative measure that could end up saving you plenty of money and headaches in the long run.
Simple Bathroom Updates for Showers and Bathtubs
When it comes to showers and tubs, bathroom upgrading is only as expensive as you make it. While simple projects like adding a new showerhead or replacing shower curtains or doors can be extremely cost-effective, redesigning the shower/tub area and installing all new fixtures can get very expensive very quickly. To keep costs as low as possible, it's a good idea to try a few of the less-costly procedures first to see just how much of a difference they will make before you decide on a full bathroom remodel.
It's incredible how a few tiny bathroom upgrades are able to transform the look (and even the function) of the space; change your shower curtain, update the showerhead, replace your bath mats, and maybe install a new light fixture or two before you call in the big guns. If you're still not that impressed, consider resurfacing your tub, polishing your tiles, and painting or staining your cabinets; once you've exhausted all of the inexpensive bathroom updates you can think of, you can then call for more complex, more expensive projects.
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Bathroom Updating for Sinks and Toilets
While many bathroom updates are cheaper (and about as effective) without replacing fixtures, when it comes to sinks and toilets, replacement is not a terrible idea in many cases. Older toilets use a lot of water, making them prime candidates for upgrading; bathroom sinks are often dirtier than kitchen sinks, and are frequently either sized improperly or placed poorly in the room, making them take up more space than necessary. Toilets and sinks are also easier to replace than tubs and showers, few sinks or toilets will require the destruction of walls to remove, cutting down on labor costs and project lengths.
Behind the Scenes Bathroom Upgrades
Bathroom updates are typically more expensive if they involve any behind-the-scenes plumbing work. Sometimes, upgrading bathroom electrical wiring can also become costly. If either your plumbing or electrical system desperately needs to be updated, there's really not much you can do about the high cost. However, there are two small bathroom upgrades that are generally very inexpensive but will make a big difference in how well your bathroom functions.
First, if you don't have a bathroom ventilation fan, it is high time you got one. Not only will this fan quickly remove any unpleasant smells and keep your mirrors from fogging up for long periods of time, it will also remove damaging moisture from the air, keeping other materials like paint and wood from aging prematurely. Second, bathroom lighting is notoriously poor (particularly in an older bathroom). Upgrading your lighting is often a very quick and affordable task that will make getting ready easier, allow you to see better when you clean, and create a more pleasant atmosphere all around. Both of these minor bathroom updates are long overdue in many homes, and both are well worth considering, even if you're on a budget!