Bathroom Renovations

3 clues it’s time for a new bathroom

Are you loving or hating yours?
Annette O'Brien

How was your shower this morning? Did your mouldy shower curtain creep and crawl up your legs the entire time?

What about brushing your teeth? Tripping over small children and their bath toys? “A bath?? Luxury!” you exclaim…

If you think you’ve had enough of putting up with the time-worn bathroom in your home, it’s time to take stock on what’s really needed and decide when it’s time to say goodbye to chipped tiles and dodgy plumbing.

“A bath?? Luxury!”

The good news is, it is possible to do an upgrade of a bathroom using the existing plumbing and general layout, without changing the footprint. This means that rather than waiting for an entire home renovation, a mid-way makeover of your bathroom with new fixtures and fittings can make life SO much easier in the meantime.

Here’s how to do it.

Problem1 : You don’t have enough storage

What impressed you at first with cute cupboards under a vintage sink and dainty knobs sliding to reveal a single mirrored cabinet have now well passed their use-by date, with old, peeling paint on shelves and mould collecting in cabinet corners. Despite your best efforts to organise your toiletries and beauty products, there’s only so much you can fit and keep tidy in such a small space.

Solution: Upgrade your vanity

Measure up and shop for a new vanity with more storage. Take into account the location of taps and wall plumbing to achieve the best swap with a like-for-like model that offers more storage.

Consider installing shelving on the walls to store towels and daily incidentals – baskets work well to hide clutter.

3 clues it’s time for a new bathroom
(Credit: Annette O’Brien)

Problem 2: Your bathroom looks old and tired

Retro pink basins and checkerboard floor tiles are all very well – beautiful, in fact – if they’re in good condition. If you’re finding the layout still works well – ideally with room to move for all members of the family – but your soap holder fell off the wall three years ago and the stains on the once-fabulous pale pink bathtub simply won’t budge. Not only is it time for a makeover, the longer you leave things, the more damp and damage you risk to the entire space.

Solution: Refresh the finishes

Chipped tiles can be replaced. It’s worth the investment in a professional tiler to do the work properly and ensure everything remains watertight.

Bathtubs can be-enamelled and a fresh coat of paint can change the way you feel in the space.

Working with the same fixtures and finishes, consider replacing taps and perhaps the mirror above the vanity to something more contemporary – or new but still in keeping with the style of the bathroom.

Choose a fresh colour for wall paint in mould-resistant paint made specifically for bathrooms and wet areas. Do due diligence with the preparation or hire a professional to ensure the job is done right.

“Use colour and durable finishes that will stand the test of time aesthetically, and the rigours of constant use”, says Jo McIntyre of Beautiful Home.

“Choosing a light colour scheme also really helps the space feel larger than it actually is.”

Jo McIntyre, Beautiful Home
How to tell it's time for a new bathroom
(Credit: Simon Whitbread)

Problem 3: The layout is wrong for your family

Face it, your art deco pedestal basin can barely cater for soap dispenser – let alone your makeup each morning. The single powerpoint is on the other side of the room to the mirror and bench space is sadly wanting. Most mornings you’re physically juggling all members of the household as they try to wash, brush and ready themselves for the day.

Solution: Refresh using the current layout

  • Start dreaming in detail of how you think the space would work better.
  • Make a wishlist of your needs and take measurements of the room as it is to visit bathroom showrooms to research ideas for a more workable layout.
  • Create a floorplan on grid paper to scale with all of your fixtures and fittings as moving pieces on the grid. Work out what extra space you can squeeze out of the walls and floor.
  • Consider:
    • a new wall-hung vanity plus additional shelving
    • a glass blade shower instead of a wall
    • a wall-hung toilet suite
    • more (or heated) towel racks stacked on one wall
    • doing away with your bath, or replacing it with a smaller one to allow extra room

Here’s a great example of a makeover in the same small space with fantastic results: Before & After: Bathroom disaster to designer dream

How to tell it's time for a new bathroom

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