(ARA) - Turn on your TV, and you'll be inundated with home decorating shows promising "a new bathroom in just two days!" While these shows offer great ideas, they also feature a crew of painters, carpenters and plumbers to get the job done.
Luckily, there is help for the average homeowner who wants instant decorating results for their bathroom without a contractor. With a little planning -- and only 48 hours -- you can give your bathroom a dramatic facelift. In fact, the small space of the bathroom makes it ideal for quick and eye-catching fixes in no time.
Step 1: Imagine The Possibilities. (Total time: 2 to 3 hours)
Pull out those home magazines you've been saving and start getting inspired. Your weekend renovation can include redoing everything but the most time consuming tasks, like replacing the tile, the sink, the tub or the toilet. Take the colors of these items into consideration, and then, as a first step, start selecting paint colors for the walls and cabinets to coordinate. Many paint manufacturers, such as Glidden and Sherwin-Williams, offer online tutorials and color visualizers that allow you to select your entire color palette -- including the colors you'll want for accent items, like towels.
The inspiration phase is also a good time to look at faucet and accessory styles and finishes that interest you. Gone are the days of boxy, boring bathroom faucets in basic chrome. Today, faucet manufacturers and retail stores are offering the latest styles and finishes. Think about what style you want your bathroom to have -- contemporary, classic or transitional -- and let your new faucet and accessories help you create it.
Moen, a leading faucet manufacturer, recently introduced several new faucet collections, including Thea and Eliana, at home improvement stores nationwide. Thea's elegant features include diamond-shaped handles and a unique mid arc spout. With Eliana, you'll discover elegant style and a unique, scalloped design.
With the faucet helping you set the stage for style, consider the look of coordinating accent items: bath accessories, cabinet hardware, showerheads and light fixtures. Choosing accessories and hardware in a finish that matches your faucet will assure the entire room looks new, and is visually tied together.
Step 2: Visit Your Home Improvement Store. (Total time: 2 to 3 hours)
One-stop shopping is the key, and today's home improvement stores offer everything for your weekend project. Start with a rough checklist of items you may need. You'll learn more about what to look for with many of these items in the steps to come.
* Paint primer
* Semi-gloss or bathroom-specific paint
* Latex-based caulk
* Bathroom faucet
* Bathroom accessories (towel bars, paper holders, etc.)
* Cabinet hardware
* Light fixture
* Shower curtain
* Towel set (or two)
* Throw rug
Step 3: Change Out Faucet and Showerhead. (Total time: 2 to 3 hours)
While replacing the sink is a difficult task, you can change out the faucet quickly and easily. When looking for a new faucet, consider the size your sink can accommodate. A centerset style is the easiest to install and fits any 4-inch spread -- measured as the space between the right and left handle holes on the sink. If your sink has one hole or an 8-inch spread, not to worry. Simply choose a faucet designed specifically for this application.
With the sink set, it's time to hit the shower. There's no need to settle with your existing shower experience. Simply replacing the showerhead takes only minutes and creates dramatic results you'll enjoy everyday. And, like faucets, showerheads have come a long way in terms of style and function. Today, you'll find massaging showerheads that soothe the body and rainshower showerheads that flood the body with water. New rainshowers offer the best of both worlds, thanks to a self-pressurized showerhead that delivers maximum water force and coverage. To replace your showerhead, simply screw off the old showerhead, add thread seal tape and screw on the new. Be sure to follow the specific manufacturer's instructions to ensure a secure installation.
Step 4: Paint. (Total time: 8 hours)
The high-humidity environment of the bath calls for thorough prep work to assure long-lasting beauty. Start by creating a clean seam along baseboards, tubs, sinks and countertops with a fresh bead of caulk. Next, invest in a top-quality primer designed specifically for wet areas. For the topcoat, choose semi-gloss or bathroom-specific paint. Many paints and caulks on the market today offer mildew-resistant finishes that are ideal for the bath.
Step 5: Add On The Details. (Total time: 1 hour)
When shopping for your new faucet, look for matching accessories and cabinet hardware. Some brands offer a wide variety of stylish and functional accessories, such as towel bars, pivoting paper holders, mirrors, curved shower rods and robe hooks that can tie the room together for a coordinated look. When choosing accessories, consider the organizational needs of your bath. Do you always have extra towels on the floor? Add double towel bars or additional towel bars. Is your counter overflowing with bottles? Install a new glass shelf to hold extra items.
Lighting can also create a dramatic effect on your space. Again, look for fixtures with a matching finish and coordinating style to the faucet. Replacing an out-of-date fixture with something fresh and new will not only look better, but cast light more effectively.
Now, bring in the soft finishing touches: a new shower curtain and fresh towel sets. Don't be afraid to treat yourself to something plush and cozy -- you'll want towels that stand up to daily wear and still keep their beautiful appearance.
Are we there yet? Almost. Just bring in a few decorative items, like soaps and candles, and in no time, your new bath is complete. Courtesy of ARA Content
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