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DIY Bathroom Renovation Ideas

Doing your own bathroom renovation can save you thousands and you can undertake the work as and when you have the time and budget.


If you decide that you're going to DIY your bathroom renovation, make sure to do your homework first. Make a detailed list of the changes that you want to make, bearing in mind that it is easier and more affordable to undertake improvements if you leave existing plumbing where it is. If this is not going to be the case you'll need to hire a plumber to make any alterations and additions to the water supply and waste pipes. 

Replacing dated sanitary ware and fittings is one way to instantly modernise a bathroom - and add value to a home. Installing a new toilet and shower head also lets you bring a bathroom into this century by incorporating water wise techniques - giving your bathroom a new look, saving you money, and reducing your footprint by cut down on water usage.

If a bathtub or basin is old and cracked, consider replacing as opposed to wasting money trying to fix up. A basic brand new bathtub comes in at a cost under R3000, and you can hire a local plumber to install for about R1000 - if you're leaving it where it is.

You'll need to have a basic understanding of plumbing to rip out and replace sanitary ware, but it's not as difficult as you think once you get started. Even doing all the menial work yourself beforehand and then letting a plumber do the installation will save you money.

Do be cautious when looking for instructions on the Internet for removing and replacing sanitary ware. Guidelines differ around the world and you may end up with more problems that you started with. Look for local sites that provide step-by-step tutorials, or ask around. With DIY becoming so popular these days, you're bound to come across someone who has already done the job and will be able to offer helpful advice.

Another problem that can quickly dated a bathroom is coloured tiles. Popular during the 70s and 80s, tiles in puce pink, avocado green and blue, as well as patterned tiles, still appear on walls in older homes. If you want to get rid of ugly tiles, you can consider hiring local labour to rip out and replace.

Another option to consider for a bathroom renovation is to skip the tiles and install cladding using decorative boards. This option is great for a well-ventilated bathroom where excess moisture is not a problem, and boards must be finished with a quality paint that offers protection from a steamy environment.

Ditch the melamine countertop and fit a floating bathroom vanity with a 'his' and 'hers' basin. Bring in complementary accessories that finish off the look. Framed mirrors are easy to make and can be stained or painted to match the decor.

Paint is your partner for a quick change. Sometimes, all it takes is a coat or two of paint to freshen up a dated bathroom. Today's paint is versatile enough for use on walls and furniture, so don't forget to give the bathroom vanity a makeover as well. Do use a paint that is specifically formulated for use in bathrooms and contains an anti-fungal.

While painting tiles has become an easy way to cover up tiles, this is not a permanent solution and is only recommended if you need some time to accumulate funds to finally get the job done. If you need time to put money aside to renovate your bathroom, Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Kit can be found at your nearest Builders Warehouse and provides a temporary, albeit long-lasting, fix for tiles that you can no longer live with (don't apply to shower cubicles or wet rooms).

South Africans have come to expect a bathroom tiled from floor to ceiling, but elsewhere around the globe they have done away with tiles in favour of smooth walls that can be painted in trendy colours. Perhaps it's time to rethink bathrooms and save tiles for floors and shower cubicles, so that it's easier to keep a bathroom up to date without having to rip out and replace.


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