by Janice Anderssen, Home-Dzine
I have been flooded with enquiries for ideas for giving a bathroom in a rental flat or house a much needed makeover. Even though you are renting your place, there are more than a few cosmetic changes that can be done to improve living conditions. We have also included plenty of bathroom before and after pictures to provide you with ideas and inspiration.
Let’s be honest, there are some landlords out there who really don’t care about the state of a bathroom in a rental property. As long as the toilet flushes and the taps work they think that’s all that needs to be done. And when the demand is high for rental properties – you sometimes just have to settle for something that isn’t quite up to standard.
While it is always best to discuss any modifications with your landlord, don’t just approach and ask, put together an idea of the planned changes and how these will add value to the property, or arrange to take the bathroom back to its original condition when you leave. If you are prepared to fork out for the expense for any changes, what landlord wouldn’t be happy to agree to improvements. And be sure to get any approval in writing!
Grab a can of paint
At a cost of around R400 per 5 litre tin you can easiest freshen up the grungiest bathroom. But if the paint is bubbled or peeling, do some prep work beforehand. You will find helpful tips for cleaning a bathroom here and tips on minor repairs here.
Should you decide the paint the bathroom in a colour other than white, either discuss this with your landlord or be prepared to paint the room white before you move out.
GOOD TO KNOW
Bathroom windows that don’t allow air to circulate in a bathroom will generally lead to excess condensation and perhaps even mould around fittings, on walls or the ceiling. Leaving the door open after bathing or showering will help circulate fresh air, or look at the option of installing an extractor fan. Have this done professionally and DO get permission from the landlord for this type of project.
Build a stylish bathroom vanity
ABOVE: Knock-off bathroom vanity – You can easily make one (two in fact) from a single sheet of supawood.
In a bathroom that offers little in the way of storage think about making your own bathroom vanity. A sheet of supawood costs around R500 and is 2700mm wide 1830mm high – that’s a big sheet of board and more than enough to make a decent-size bathroom vanity with shelves and storage drawers. When you think that a ready-made bathroom vanity will cost around R2000, putting your DIY skills to good use will not only save you a bundle, it also means that you can design a free-standing bathroom vanity that fits into the space.
Cover up or clean disgusting floors
There are several options to consider for bathroom floors that are dirty and disgusting. The most affordable would be to get down on your hands and knees and give tiles and grout a good scrubbing. After cleaning you may find that only the grout needs to be whitened to improve the look of the floor, and you can do this with Tubby DIY Grout Sealer.
If the floor is simply beyond repair, think about covering up with vinyl tiles or vinyl sheet cut to fit. Self-adhesive vinyl tiles will stick nicely and be reasonably easy to remove in the event that the landlord prefers the floor to be returned to its original condition. Use Genkem Glue Remover to clean away any adhesive residue.
Where you can’t find self-adhesive vinyl tiles, make sure the existing floor is clean and dry and then use double-sided carpet tape to secure vinyl tiles to the floor.
If you are prepared to foot the bill if the landlord won’t, and you plan of staying in your rental home for as long as possible, you can consider the option of installing mosaic tile over the top of the existing tiles, as long as the tiles are in good condition. You will find a varied assortment of glass and stone tiles at your local hardware store, and if you keep a lookout for special offers, can pick these up at a reasonable price.
Even ceramic tiles to cover up an ugly floor needn’t cost an arm and a leg. You will find good quality tiles at around R90 per square metre and a standard bathroom of about 2 x 3 metres will only cost around R600. Not bad when you think of the difference it will make.
GOOD TO KNOW
If you are laying tiles on top of tiles you will probably need to trim the bottom of the bathroom door. You can use a planer, jigsaw or circular saw to trim off any excess. You will find helpful tips here.
There are plenty of small cosmetic changes that can be done to improve a bathroom. Shop around for accessories such as a shower curtain, towels and decor that will enhance the bathroom.
While Tanya didn’t obtain permission from the landlord before giving the kitchen in her rental home a makeover, the landlord was over the moon at the improvement. Everything that was done could easily be undone – the old doors were stored in the garage ‘just in case’ and everything else was purely cosmetic or free-standing.
When planning to do any improvements to a rental bathroom on a DIY basis, be prepared to put in extra effort to ensure that the improvements are done professionally. If it’s a job well done it will only add to the value of the property and the landlord may be willing to reimburse for certain expenses once he or she sees the benefit of the work done.
Here are some bathroom before and after pics to provide ideas and inspiration
A new bathroom vanity an make all the difference in a bathroom. You will find a selection of PAR pine at a large hardware store to design and build a custom bathroom vanity. Find helpful tips in our bathroom craft section.
Use paint to brighten wood trim around windows and paint up a bathroom vanity. Plascon Velvaglo water-based enamel is easy to use and quick-drying, plus you an have tinted in your choice of colour.
Update a bathroom vanity by adding a new Formica top (costs around R500 for a 3.6 metre length) and replacing doors. You can have 16mm supawood cut to size, as well as all the supplies needed to attach and finish the doors. Use butt or overlay hinges to attach the new doors and paint with Plascon Velvaglo water-based enamel paint.
Cover up vinyl flooring or ugly tiles with a decorative rug. A plain white shower curtain instantly refreshes a bathroom. Add personal touches here and there with accessories.