8 solutions for ugly bathrooms

A scungy bathroom getting you down? Here are seven cost-effective and eco ways to improve this important little room  

1. Is the bathroom unpleasantly cold?
Many Kiwi houses have less-than-adequate insulation, so check the walls, ceiling or
underfloor. If it’s damp or mouldy, consider extra sources of ventilation or warmth, such as an opening window, extractor fan or heated towel rail.

2. Smelly loo fix
 The quickest and cheapest way to upgrade a toilet is to switch out the old seat with a shiny new one. Simply pick up a DIY kit from your local home store.  

If you lack light, a frosted window or ceiling sky tube will make a huge difference while maintaining privacy. Failing that, hang the largest wall mirror you can find. Add interest with frames, such as the rustic wooden one below, or for extra glam, choose a gilt frame and switch your standard light fitting for a chandelier.

Stuck with dated tiles?
Work with them by adding paint, accessories or a second tile in a shade that balances 
and complements.  

A tile splashback above the sink is a great place to try a bit of DIY tiling. Mosaic glass tiles come in sheets with a fabric mesh backing and are a good option for beginners as they’re much easier to fit around obstacles than full-size ceramic ones.

Grout is essential for water tightness but can get horribly mouldy. Scrub it clean using an eco cream cleaner and an old toothbrush, then save yourself having to repeat the job with grout sealer – it stops water, dirt and mould from penetrating and staining the grout.

Replace loose grout altogether, by first removing at least two thirds of the old grout. (You can do this by hand with a grout saw and elbow grease!) Wash the tiles with water and white vinegar before re-grouting. 

Paint delivers a dramatic result. 
Make sure you use the correct paint for each surface, so it’s resistant to scuffs, moisture and mould in hard-working or damp areas. White is fresh and clean, but can also look a bit hospital. Try a combination of complementary neutrals instead – think pumice, sand or eggshell. Or for real impact, add a feature wall. 

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