Bathroom Make-Over Without A Renovation

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just to improve it you’ve probably asked yourself if there are ways to make a bathroom show better without a complete renovation.

While a complete renovation is not what I recommended when selling your house because the buyers would more likely want to renovate for their own tastes and preferences, we all know kitchens and bathrooms sell a house. So the objective becomes to remove the buyers turn off and to update the space enough so the potential home buyer will think they can move in and live with the way it looks until they’re ready to take on the renovation.

Most important a bathroom should be CLEAN.

  • Get rid of mold. Almost every bathroom contains some form of mold, especially in corners.
  • If wallpaper is peeling, steam it off the walls and paint the walls with a light-colored semi-gloss. Even if it is not peeling I always recommend removing it. Home buyers see it as outdated and a lot of work!
  • Throw out worn, frayed, or outdated rugs and towels.

Think hotel! Or spa – you get the picture! When showing the home the bathroom should be sparkling clean and free of any personal toiletries, shampoos, toys, etc.

The biggest impact in updating a bathroom without spending a fortune is changing outdated or items in poor condition like

  • Lighting fixtures and cabinet door/drawer handles.
  • Fix leaky/dripping faucets or change them if they are really beaten up
  • You don’t have to go high-end on any of these items. You can find nice things at Home Depot, Lowe’s or even on Ebay I found nice cabinet hardware at really good prices
  • bathroom before staging
    Bathroom Before Updating

    bathroom after staging
    Bathroom After Updating

    On the list of biggest impact for less is to paint the walls and paint really freshens up any space. But if the tiles are white, don’t paint the wall white. There should be a little contrast otherwise it may look like a hospital.

    If you have one of those large, frameless mirrors that span the length of the vanity like in this example consider either removing it or adding a frame. These are screaming 80s! and if adding a frame/trim around it seems too much and you repaint anyhow adding smaller framed mirrors are more in fashion these days.

    If the tub is in poor condition, or of a dated color(think pink!), it can be re-glazed by a professional and it would  be much cheaper than removing and replacing the tub.

    If the grout between the tiles surrounding the tub is mildewed or crumbling (which is most of the times) keep in mind that a re-grouting can do wonders. If the grout is really not that bad but could use a face lift there are quite a few products on the market that can be used to paint and seal the grout and the end product will look like you just had new tile installed.
    bathroom after staging
    If you have an outdated oak vanity, like my clients did here painting it or staining it in a darker color with a semi-gloss finish, and adding new hardware will go really help to get an updated look. Or you can just choose a paint color that is going to tone down the oak and just tie everything in so it wont scream at you anymore :)

    bathroom after staging
    Then there comes the fun part, the finishing touches: new shower curtain, bath rug, and fluffy towels, accessories, and shampoo’s/oils placed in a tray or a basket with rolled up towels, but

    Keep it Simple! If you’re tempted to add a few too many cute touches resist it! and stay focused on your goal, a quick and profitable sale!