Does your bathroom look tired? Does it look old fashioned? Have you been cleaning, scrubbing and styling to give it a modern looks without success? Well, it sounds like you have tried what you can to spruce it up, short of a renovation... Yes, a full renovation can cost lots of money and for this reason many do post-pone it. But if the plumbing and tiles are all in good condition, there is a fast, economical and very effective way to give this room a fresh facelift on a budget: change the tap-ware!
Trends come and go, and when it comes to taps and spouts the choices are many. First of all we need to understand that by replacing only the tap-ware and not the vanity, for example, we must choose a model that fits where the old one has been. Some taps require three holes into the basin or vanity bench top, such as a 3 piece tap set, (being one hot and one cold tap plus the centre spout) the mixer tap, however requires only one hole. The most popular kind of tap-ware nowadays is the mixer as it allows you to choose the right water temperature and pressure with one simple flick of the wrist, instead of playing with two separate handles. However as mixers are made for vanities with one hole only... it is important to consider this prior to choosing your new updated tap-ware.
The next choice you will face is the looks: stainless steel, copper, matt black or white... there are many choices available, which provide lots of possibilities, and it's up to you, your taste and of course the existing look of your bathroom. Chrome is the most common, and perhaps the safe bet, but the latest trends suggest using rose-gold, white or maybe the striking and very popular matt black... so we are spoilt for choice. Which of these work for you?
Prices vary from brand to brand, technology and of course quality. Always choose to fit your budget, but spend what you can afford, as buying cheap tap-ware will leave you with a disappointing product. Leaking and easy to scratch finishes are some of the problems that may come with cheap tap-ware.
Finally, to achieve a satisfying 'new look' for your bathroom you should change all tap-ware in the room. The vanity, bathtub and shower if all in the same room, should all match. As with the vanity tap-ware, the shower tap needs to be replaced "like with like" as a wall mixer tap, needs to be installed behind the tiles, and cannot simply be added to an existing shower. Visit different retailers and see the possibilities that suit your existing bathroom. Ask for quotes and opinions, stick to a look that suits the tiles and bathroom furniture you are keeping... Finally apply some new styling, like a new mirror, bath mat, towels, a new toilet seat and the ever welcome luscious plant, which I always include in a wet area. These added extras are also cost effective and simple additions to your home, but you'd be surprised how easily a new and fresher bathroom can be achieved simply by adding new tap-ware.
Of Course you could choose to update and refresh your tired vanity with a good coat of paint if it's made of timber or replace it altogether with a new one. You could also have the wall tiles resprayed to become fresh, bright white, transforming the room entirely. At this point you should also look at the condition of the shower screen as this is also one item which can easily be replaced to update the look of a tired bathroom... but where do you stop? Because every case is different, depending upon the work required talk to renovation experts. And to avoid costly surprises, make sure you know your budget and stick to it. But updating the tap-ware alone can be done in a short time and for a fraction of a full renovation; for these reasons it's one of my favourite quick transformations.
Make sure you choose new tap-ware that fits with your vanity: take a few photos of it to show the retailer or take the old taps with you if already dismounted.
Choose new tap-ware that suit the looks and style of your existing bathroom.
Pay a professional plumber to install the new tap-ware, unless you are experienced at it, to avoid expensive headaches if the job is not done properly.
Before purchasing, visit showrooms, search the web or cut and paste images from magazines, as all of these will help you find the look that best suits your existing bathroom. See below two playful examples.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James Treble has more than 25 years of experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from. Interior Design For Profit is now available online.