5 tips for updating bathrooms

How to update your bathroom

How to update your bathroom - Credit: Archant

Fitting out your bathroom is one of the most expensive jobs in the house. No wonder they can end up looking a bit dated. Here are five ways to give your bathroom a quick refresh without overhauling the entire thing

1. The quickest and easiest way to update your bathroom is to repaint the walls and ceiling. Special kitchen and bathroom emulsion paints (Dulux has separate ranges for kitchens and bathrooms, see www.dulux.co.uk) are designed to withstand steam, stains and mould. Traditionally, kitchen and bathroom emulsions had a sheen, but now many come in a matt finish and a wide range of colours, including some pretty dramatic ones. You should never apply paint in wet, damp or steamy conditions, so if you’ve only got one bathroom and you want to redecorate, ventilate it well before starting to paint.

2. You can also paint the wall tiles if they’ve seen better days. Use a specialist primer, such as Dulux’s Primer for Difficult Surfaces (£18.19 for 750ml), and a tile paint or conventional wood/metal paint for the topcoat - use a mini foam roller to get a good finish. Re-tiling will produce a better finish, but it’s a lot more effort, expense and mess, and you could damage the bathroom suite in the process – ripping out old tiles can be a nightmare job.

3. If you need to replace the bathroom suite, choose carefully. There are lots of inexpensive options online, but like anything only available to buy online, you can’t see and try the products first. If they’re not what you expected or wanted when they arrive, sending them back can be expensive, especially if it’s something bulky like a bath or heavy like a toilet or basin. At a bathroom showroom or DIY store, you can see what you’re buying before you commit.

4. Perhaps you fancy turning your bathroom into a wet room? Creating a wet room may work in a really small space, but with a low-profile shower tray and minimalist enclosure, you can get the wet-room look for less, plus there’s no danger of soggy towels or toilet paper. “One of the key bathroom trends we’ve noticed is the growing popularity of walk-in showers, as they combine convenience of use and a minimalist aesthetic,” says Emma Foster from Mira Showers. “A wet room is an aspiration for many consumers, but this look comes with practical difficulties. In order to prevent water-egress problems, the wet room needs to be fully tanked, a complex job that requires specialist skills and knowledge. If this isn’t done correctly, it can turn into an expensive mess.”

5. It’s really a good idea to consult a reputable plumber if you want to make anything more than cosmetic changes to your bathroom, as it’s easy to buy a shower, for example, that isn’t compatible with your home’s boiler and water system. In a bathroom, seemingly straightforward changes like re-jigging the layout or choosing a different bath or basin can have implications you might miss, but a good plumber won’t.