Is it possible to update the bathroom furnishings in the shortest possible time and at a low cost? If you approach this issue correctly, you will be able to significantly transform the bathroom without resorting to major repairs, the very mention of which frightens many. Redecoration in the bathroom and toilet involves the restoration or replacement of finishes, plumbing fixtures, fixtures, the installation of new furniture and other alterations that do not relate to the replacement of water and sewer pipes and redevelopment. We figure out what can and should be done, what work can be done independently, and for which it is better to call specialists.
# 1. Updating the ceiling
Constant temperature changes and high humidity in the bathroom negatively affect any finishing material. This primarily applies to the ceiling, lined with whitewash or paint.
It is impossible to apply a new finishing layer to the old one, so the first step is to remove the damaged layer. To remove whitewash, it is necessary to moisten the surface with warm water section by section (use a roller, sponge or spray), and after a couple of minutes remove the old material with a spatula. If in some places the whitewash will not give in, then you can use a brush with metal bristles.
If the ceiling was painted with moisture-resistant paint, then the work on dismantling the finish will be somewhat complicated. You can use a belt sander or a drill with a special attachment: the paint can be removed relatively easily, but there will be a lot of dust, so take care of protecting the plumbing and furniture, and carry out all work in a respirator. There is also a thermal method, involving the use of a construction hair dryer, heats up a section of paint, which is then removed with a spatula. An alternative option is the method of shock therapy: first, the surface of the paint is rubbed with a metal brush until numerous scratches are formed, then it is moistened with warm water and again rubs with a brush, you can additionally arrange a draft. After all this, the paint should itself fall off in layers.
After the old, damaged finish has been removed, you can proceed with applying a fresh one. If painting is chosen, then the surface of the ceiling must be flat, without cracks, pre-primed. The paint must be resistant to moisture and preferably contain antifungal components. Of the inexpensive ways to finish the ceiling, glass wallpaper and expanded polystyrene tiles can be distinguished. Suspended and stretch ceiling systems will be more expensive, which perfectly hide the flaws of the original surface (some do not even remove the old finish for them) and allow the use of effective built-in lighting. On the other hand, such structures will “steal” part of the height, so if it is in short supply, then it is better to consider other options.
# 2. We eliminate wall defects
Despite the existence of many ways to decorate the walls in the bathroom, more than half of the bathrooms today are decorated with ceramic tiles. It is the most durable and wear-resistant material, but even small defects can appear over time. Depending on their scale, the nature of the work will differ:
- if the whole tile is intact, has no cracks or chips, then it is better to focus on the seams. Under the influence of moisture, they begin to darken or turn yellow, making the bathroom sloppy and giving away the fact that major repairs have not been carried out for a long time. Often, just updating the seams is enough to create the effect that the tiles were laid only yesterday. If active cleaning of the old grout does not bring the desired result, you will have to remove the old seams with a spatula or knife and apply a new grout. You can simply cover the seams with special paint, but all the work will need to be done very carefully. Sanitary silicone sealant may also need to be replaced, which eventually loses its original appearance. It is removed, the place is treated with an anti-mold compound and filled with a fresh seam of the sealant;
- if there are small scratches and chips on a couple of tiles, you can get by with minimal investments and level the surface with mastics or putties on a polymer basis;
seriously damaged tiles are removed with a chisel and hammer, and new whole elements are attached in their place. True, this option is possible if the tile was taken with a margin, and this stock was responsibly stored until cosmetic repairs.
In cases where the tile is badly damaged in many places, or if you want to completely update the situation, they resort to complete dismantling. Then the choice is yours: use a new tile or replace it with paint, PVC panels or moisture-resistant plasterboard.
You can keep the old tiles and paint the walls to match them – on a tight budget, but great results can be achieved with careful design. Craftsmen advise another interesting option to update the tile without dismantling it: a special primer is applied to the surface, allowing you to repaint the tile or draw any necessary ornaments.
If the state of the bathroom as a whole is not bad, and a minimum of time is allocated for repairs in it, vinyl stickers, which are absolutely not afraid of moisture, will help to update the decor. They can be glued to tiles, painted surfaces and other materials. The choice is huge, so you can decorate the walls with both floral motifs and geometric shapes. On sale you can find a film with a pattern printed on it, this is a kind of photo wallpaper. At least the entire surface of the tile can be pasted over with such a film, but it is desirable that the base be light and monochromatic.
No. 3. We repair the floor covering
The bathroom floor suffers as much, if not more, than other surfaces. It is constantly exposed to moisture from spilled water and wet feet, so there is a high probability that the renovation of the floor will also be included in the list of cosmetic repairs.
The leader among bathroom flooring is ceramic tiles. The update methods here are the same as for the wall-mounted counterpart. The seams will need to be tidied up in any case, since on the floor they darken much faster than on the walls, and then we look at the state of the tiles. We repair or replace damaged elements, and if everything is really bad, then we remove all the tiles and lay a new one, or we use another type of coating, for example, self-leveling floors.
No. 4. We put in order the plumbing
It is cheaper to repair old plumbing than to buy new one. An old bathtub can be cleaned from dirt with special store-bought products, or you can use a solution of wine vinegar and table salt to get rid of rust. If this does not help, use more costly, but much more effective methods:
enameling. For work, you will need special enamel, hard and soft brushes. The enamel is prepared in accordance with the instructions, the first layer is applied with a hard brush, then after about 20 minutes a second layer is applied with a soft brush, trying to make it as uniform as possible and without smudges. It will take about a week to solidify;
the “bulk bath” method involves the use of liquid acrylic. The mixture is poured onto the sides, and it flows down freely, forming an even layer. From an old cast-iron bathtub, a new acrylic is obtained. The material hardens for about 4-5 days, during this period water should not get on its surface;
the use of acrylic inserts that completely follow the contours and dimensions of the old bathtub. This is the fastest upgrade method, but it will cost a little more than the previous two and is not suitable for non-standard bath configurations. It is difficult to install such an insert on your own – you will need the help of professionals.
The outside of the tub also needs to be tidy and the easiest way to do this is by covering it with a screen. Plumbing that does not cope with its functions, cannot be repaired, or simply does not suit in appearance and functionality, will have to be replaced. Designers say that one has only to change the faucet on the bathroom or in the sink, and the room will be perceived completely differently. It is necessary to be guided in choosing a new mixer not only by its appearance, but also by the type of connection and other parameters.
If small alterations can be done on your own, then it is better to entrust the work on complex plumbing repairs, replacing it, connecting new equipment to professionals in order to be sure that everything will work for sure, and your own bathroom and neighboring apartments will not suffer from the flood. Residents of Moscow and the Moscow region can apply for qualified help to the construction company “Etalon”, which will help with plumbing and, if necessary, perform cosmetic turnkey apartment renovation: price per square meter calculated depending on the work performed.
No. 5. We replace lamps
When carrying out repair work in the bathroom, lighting is often overlooked, making a big mistake. Well-organized lighting and interesting fixtures can affect the perception of a room no less than a new tile or shower stall.
The easiest way is to replace the plafond of an old lamp. You can go a little further and create some new lighting zones using lights or LED strip near mirrors or cabinets. A great option for a bathroom is busbar systems that can be mounted to existing wiring. Their light is easy to direct anywhere in the bathroom.
When organizing a new source of lighting, the wiring will have to be arranged outside the walls. There is an option providing for laying the cable in the seam between the tiles, but it will be much safer to use special boxes. When choosing a luminaire, make sure that it is suitable for use in wet areas.
No. 6. We organize proper storage
The main problem of modern bathrooms is their insufficient area. Therefore, all the things stored in the bathroom should be carefully examined and almost empty jars, old washcloths, unnecessary utensils that only litter the space should be thrown away. It is better to store all really necessary things on closed shelves and in cabinets.
When performing cosmetic repairs in a bathroom, you can replace old furniture or renovate existing furniture by repainting it or sticking a film. The mirror can be replaced with a mirrored wall cabinet, a shelf can be hung above the toilet room door, and the door itself can be equipped with hooks, baskets and an organizer. Neatly laid out things are a guarantee that the bathroom will be perceived as freer and more spacious.
No. 7. We take into account the little things
The details give the overall impression of the bathroom. Accessories can greatly affect the perception of space and transform even the most basic renovation. Consider buying a new rug, bath curtain, towel set, and a soap dish and toothbrush cup all all in the same style. These are not very high costs, and the bathroom will immediately acquire a shade of novelty.
It may be worth moving the towel hooks to increase the comfort and aesthetics of the room. The curtain under the bathroom can be replaced with a screen: in most cases this option will be more justified, the only exception will be a Provence or country-style bathroom. If necessary, it is worth replacing handles on furniture and doors, hooks and other fittings.
Redecoration lasts from a couple of days to a week and is able to give an excellent result with minimal waste. Do not overdo it with attempts to save money – it is better to entrust some things related to plumbing and electricity to specialists. If there is no time, opportunities and minimal skills, then redecoration can generally be entrusted to a team of professionals. Remember that even the best quality repairs can be quickly ruined if you don’t keep things neat and tidy.