7 Cheap Bathroom Improvements That Take Less Than 24 Hours

Source: iStock
Source: iStock

Need to refresh your bathroom without spending a fortune? Do a simple, quick, and inexpensive project. This is especially helpful if you’re pressed for time. Here are some cheap bathroom improvement ideas to consider:

1. Paint the walls anew

If your cabinets, vanity, and walls are looking a little worn down, renew and revitalize them with a new coat of paint. For the cabinets and vanity, you’ll probably need to sand down and remove old stain or varnish before adding primer or the first coat of paint. Be sure to add painter’s tape around trim and baseboards so colors don’t mix together.

2. Add new lighting

Older bathrooms often have lighting fixtures from the 1960s and 70s, so there’s a chance yours are due for an upgrade. Replace old fluorescent and incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LED alternatives. They’re green and just as bright—and they will also add that dramatic flair to your bathroom. If you need something a little bigger to finish the room, add a ceiling fixture such as a chandelier or medallion.

bathroom, bathtub, shower
Source: iStock

3. Increase bath and shower functionality

To increase the function of your bath/shower combination and lessen its environmental impact, consider replacing your faucets and showerheads with handheld sprayers and low-flow showerheads. These contain reducers that help save water, though some aren’t as powerful as regular faucets and showerheads. You can remove the reducer from inside the shower head, but remember to reinsert it when you aren’t using the shower. It won’t help to reduce your water use, but there are types of low-flow showerheads that are just as powerful if you decide to pursue that option.

4. Get creative with your storage

If you need additional storage in your bathroom but don’t want to spend the money installing cabinets or shelving, you can find eccentric pieces at secondhand stores or garage sales. Install vintage shelving, repurposed drawers, medicine cabinets—the possibilities are endless, depending on your finds. These pieces can better match the design of your bathroom if you coat them in a fresh layer of paint or stain.

5. Decorate the windows

If you have windows in your bathroom, they should be covered. You could install interior shutters for privacy at night and sunlight during the day. There are vinyl shutters made especially for mold and warp resistance. You could also decorate your windows with other types of window treatments including:

  • Fabric curtains
  • Roman shades
  • Blinds

Since window treatments come in various designs, colors and styles, you can find a type to match almost any kind of bathroom decor.

Bathroom, bathtub
Source: iStock

6. Test your ventilation

Your bathroom exhaust fan works overtime to keep the hot air moving and remove the steam from your mirror after a shower. It builds up dust and grime over time as it pulls out the hot air, which decreases its efficiency and can lead to mold buildup in your bathroom. You should test the strength of your exhaust fan by placing a piece of paper over it and seeing whether it sticks when it’s turned on. You should clean it thoroughly on a biannual basis with a vacuum hose to get the grime and dust out. In extreme cases, you’ll need to replace the exhaust fan.

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7. Upgrade your faucet

Changing out the faucet in your sink is a good way to upgrade the look of your sink without replacing it. There are lots of faucets to choose from at your local home improvement store, and they come in a variety of styles and materials. Look for faucets with the WaterSense logo. Faucets with the logo save about 20 percent more water—almost 500 gallons a year—which can help reduce your monthly utility bill. Just be sure to turn the water off to the sink before you pull the old faucet off, or else you could have a major puddle on your hands.

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