Put a Fresh Face on Your Bath with a Makeover

Money-Saving Ideas for Sprucing Up the Bath

- A new look, the latest colors, and an updated style -- yes, we are talking about a makeover, but not for you . . . for your bath! It’s amazing what a huge impact you can make by sprucing up an outdated bath. And, the best news is that you can do it without major expense or massive effort.

According to a recent survey of 20,000 consumers by trade journal “Kitchen & Bath Business,” basic remodeling jobs (those priced less than $2,000) will dominate the market in 2003 with 4.87 million jobs expected. That means many people are jumping on the low-cost, bath enhancement bandwagon, and with good reason.

Consumer shelter publication experts note this trend as well. “With today’s tight economy, many people are opting for a spruce-up, rather than a full bath remodel,” said Lisa Siglag, editor of “House Beautiful Kitchen & Bath Planner.” “Since people are spending more time at home now, investing in that home has become important.”

According to Siglag, it is an investment worth making. “An updated bathroom will not only raise the resale value of your home, it will also provide immediate payback by allowing you to enjoy the room. Even small changes can affect the feel of the bath.”

Here are some of the top spruce ups to cost-effectively change your bath from drab to “fab”:

Room with a Hue

Painting is one of the quickest ways to redo a room. It has the advantages of being inexpensive and easy to do. According to Siglag, there are two sides of the spectrum in color now. On the one hand, people are painting very clear colors of blues and greens to create a peaceful mood for their bath to imitate nature. On the opposite extreme, homeowners are gravitating toward deep, rich tones like chocolate browns and wines for the bath. Either way, the faux techniques that were popular just a few years back seem to have run their course, with most people choosing regular brush or roller techniques.

Vanities and Sinks that Make Sense

For just a few hundred dollars, a vanity can provide a great facelift for your bath. If you have a small bath, look for white or light-colored vanities. Going from a dark wood to a lighter color vanity will brighten up the entire room.

“As for style, the new trend in vanities is an open bottom with recessed shelving underneath for linens, baskets and bath essentials,” said Siglag. “And, don’t forget the latest hardware -- traditional looks include simple chrome pieces while contemporary designs feature the strong architecture of square or rectangular knobs.”

To accompany the vanity, more and more homeowners are opting for an integrated sink and countertop. With many sizes and types of solid surface products on store shelves, it eliminates the need to custom order.

Faucets: Jewelry for your Sink

The crowning touch to your sink and vanity is the faucet. Changing the faucet is an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade the bath. Moen’s Castleby bath faucets provide the look of a country teakettle or an antique water pump. The faucet has simple, clean lines and is available in a number of finishes. What makes this faucet an attractive buy is that it is built on Moen’s M•PACT common valve system. Once installed, this valve allows you to easily change faucet trim from above the sink. So in a few years, you can give your bath faucet another makeover, just by unscrewing the handles and spout, without ever having to go back under the sink.

Floors that Won’t Leave you with Cold Feet

There are many options in flooring today -- tile that looks like stone, vinyl that looks like tile, and linoleums that run the gamut in style and color. Depending on your budget, you are sure to find something that will complement your bath perfectly. According to Siglag, most homeowners choose neutral-colored flooring since this is one area of the bath that probably will not be changed often. And, neutral colors will blend well with many wall colors and accessory finishes.

A Spinning Showerhead

When it comes to an upgrade you can enjoy every day, change out your current showerhead to a new unit that offers unique spray and massaging patterns, such as Moen’s Revolution. Because you can easily screw off your old showerhead and twist on a new one, this product is the perfect addition for consumers who want something different in their baths but don’t have the budget for a fancy showering system. Revolution spins, twists and swirls the water for phenomenal coverage.

Other quick fix tips for the shower include replacing clouded shower doors with an attractive new shower curtain and covering a chipped or rusted tub with an acrylic liner.

Accessorize your Life

Unlike the old, mismatched accessories of yesteryear, new suites of products allow a homeowner to carry the same theme throughout the entire bath. Accessories manufacturer Creative Specialties International offers towel bars, robe hooks, toilet paper holders, soap dishes, toothbrush holders and more to provide a customized accessory look in the bath, and can be changed out in just an afternoon

Although chrome is still the most popular bath accessory finish, today consumers have a number of other choices including oil-rubbed bronze, wrought iron and wood. In addition, accessories can be found to match every decorating style from country to traditional to casual/contemporary.

Add Some Flair

There are a number of other small touches that can make an overall dramatic impact on the bath:

* Mosaic tiles -- a few colorful tiles can add some charm to your room.

* Lighting -- rather than an overhead fixture, purchase a decorative fixture that can fit over your vanity and reflect the new style of your room.

* Window treatments -- from a bamboo shade to a floral valence, the choices are seemingly endless.

Like any makeover, you will be amazed at what a difference these spruce ups will make -- it can take years off the bath, making it more stylish and hip.

For more information about Moen products, contact Moen Incorporated at 25300 Al Moen Drive, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070-8022, call toll free (800) BUY-MOEN (289-6636) or visit its Web site at www.moen.com.