Bathroom remodeling hints: Small price tag, big impact

Unless you just completed a stunning bathroom renovation with a five-figure price tag, there’s probably at least one thing in your bathroom you’d like to change. Whether you’re dealing with a constantly leaky faucet or the whole room just looks drab and out of date, you can find many ways to make your bathroom beautiful again without breaking the bank or investing a huge amount of time. Here are a few tips to get you started:

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Replace your tired old toilet. Upgrading to a sleek, easy-to-clean one-piece toilet is a surprisingly simple way to update your bathroom, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot, either. Toilet installations are often viewed as a job for a professional, but some new toilets are being designed with the do-it-yourself homeowner in mind. The new SAVER toilet from American Standard, for instance, can be installed without using any tools at all – just a simple hand-tightening is all that’s required. Plus, a new low-flow commode like the SAVER can pay for itself in water savings alone.

Clean up your caulk. If the caulk in your bathroom is grimy, prone to mildew, or cracked, replacing it is a great way to freshen up the look of your bathroom. Use a caulk softener, available at any hardware store, to soften the existing caulk and make it easier to remove. Then, a good scraping with a plastic putty knife will do the trick. After the caulk is removed, clean in between the tiles with a bleach and water solution, and allow to dry completely. Then you are ready to apply the new caulk. Tom Kraeutler of the home improvement blog TheMoneyPit.com recommends using a mildew-proof caulk for easier cleaning and longer-lasting good looks. Apply the caulk in between the tiles with a smooth, steady motion, and then smooth the surface with a moistened finger for a more even appearance.

Fancy up your faucets. Swapping out an out-of-date faucet is less expensive and time-consuming than replacing an entire pedestal sink or vanity, but can still have a big visual impact. Whether your style is clean and modern or romantic and ornate, updating your faucets can be easy and stress-free now that many manufacturers are offering easy-to-install bathroom faucets. For example, all lavatory faucets from American Standard and JADO come with Speed Connect drains that contain only four parts -10 less than conventional drains – and are easy to install in minutes, without guesswork or special materials.

Paint your way to a beautiful bath. Freshening up the color on the walls in your bathroom can be an easy afternoon project depending on the size and structure of your bathroom. Because they are typically the smallest rooms in the house, bathrooms are a great place to experiment with color – if you hate it or change your mind, it’s easy enough to change to something else. Want to keep it simple? Pure white walls, especially when accented with glass and dark woods, are a current design trend.

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