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Updating a 1950's bathroom

Updated on October 15, 2012

Ideas on a Budget

Bathroom on a Budget/part 1

I have a friend who has no interest in picking the necessary items to remodel her bath. She calls me and I advise her how to go about selecting what she needs to redo her bath. She has to do this within her means. Now you can find some really beautiful vanities and fixtures at great prices. I suggested she drive down to the street to a big box store, like Home Depot or Lowes to at least see what some vanities look like. This is a great way to to see a floor model. Her bathroom is not large. It measures 9' x 6'. This bath has georgeous 1950's white subway tile. She has a toilet that probably uses 2 gallons to flush and works just fine. You can imagine she needs to re-grout and update. The easiest and most affordable method to update the wall tile without re-grouting is to re-glaze. There are companies out there that reglaze tubs and tile. Everything gets sprayed one color. White is the best option because it will make the bathroom look bright and roomy.The results are phenomenal and your bath looks brand NEW! I know from a design standpoint, she should replace her toilet because it would be green, but her toilet is in perfect condition. Why replace what is not broken? I want her to get the most bang for her buck.

She definitely has to replace plumbing fixtures. I suggested brushed nickel. Brushed Nickel can hide all the finger prints and soap residue. It is definitely a better choice when you have kids. There are several manufacturers like Kohler, Moen and Pfister that the big box stores carry.

You know the job of a designer is to problem solve and help find solutions. Don't pick a vanity with-out drawers if your current one has 3; remember storage and daily usage. If you are a slob don't pick a vanity with open shelving. Kids do grow-up. " Will your girls be wearing make-up and using all the latest beauty aids? Do you need a place to store towels?" Try to think at least 5 years down the road. A bathroom is the smallest space in the house that is used daily.

I can't wait to see her new bath next year when I visit her. I know my suggestions were helpful to her and her bathroom will be within budget.

Alpha Girl Says:

I always tell clients to look through magazines and books to get ideas. The suggested reading can also be a guide to remodeling because our needs change. If you have kids and they are no need of a foot stool to reach sink, as kids grow your storage needs change, as we age our showers and tubs can be retrofit and or grab bars can be installed if you have elderly parents or if you any disabilities. Once you have the ideas, copy it and keep it in a notebook so that when you are shopping contractors you can ask if they have any experience in the things you are wanting to change and install. No two plumbers, painters, tilers, dry-wallers, electricians are alike. Also check their references and never ever pay for the entire job upfront. A good contractor will not ask you for any money upfront. Also make sure they are bonded. Good Luck!

Suggested Reading

Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies
Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies

Great for someone who wants to tackle the job themselves or be equipped with knowledge



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    • maddot profile image


      7 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia

      Thanks for the information. My bathroom is next on the hit list and your great hub has given me some food for thought..well done!

    • alphagirl profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA

      Phil Plasma, thanks, I try to be helpful. I will have another hub / followup because she called and had more questions.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Good tips, especially about recognizing what would still have value or use of what you already have.


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