Every time you walk into your bathroom, you want to get out as quickly as possible. The lighting is bad, there is no storage and the tile? Well, it wasn’t even attractive when it was installed — several decades ago.
If the idea of a complete bathroom overhaul sounds great, but you don’t have the time — or the money — to hire a construction crew to completely gut the room, you don’t have to be stuck with pink tile and a tiny vanity with a broken door. You can update your bathroom and create an attractive, livable space over the course of one weekend. The trick to a weekend bathroom overhaul isn’t a team of carpenter elves or the crew from one of those television makeover shows; you just need a solid plan and reasonable expectations about what you can get done in a short amount of time.
Before You Start
Perhaps the most important part of tackling a weekend renovation project is realistic expectations. In the case of the bathroom, that means that if you want it to be usable on Monday morning, you’ll probably have to leave the major components in their existing locations. If you want to totally remodel the room and put the tub on the opposite wall — or replace the tub altogether with a shower or another labor-intensive project — you should not expect to get it done in a weekend. That being said, you can still change the entire look of the room in two to three days.
In the days leading up to the renovation, take your measurements and purchase the supplies you’ll need. This includes purchasing a new vanity and other fixtures ahead of time as well as tools and supplies you need to complete the installation. Buy paint and painting supplies — and anything you will need to keep you focused on task throughout the weekend, like sandwich fixings and drinks. You don’t want to lose momentum because you’re making six trips to the store to buy painter’s tape and bottled water.
Day One: Clean and Prep
To maximize your time on the first full day, start your project on Friday night by cleaning and prepping the room for the next day’s projects. Take everything out of the room and use the opportunity to purge unnecessary or unwanted items. Remove everything from the walls, and clean the walls with soap and water to prepare them for painting. If you have time, apply painter’s tape where necessary and then get a good night’s sleep.
Day Two: Demolition
While it may be tempting to head in to the bathroom with a sledgehammer, remember you can do some serious damage if you aren’t careful — damage that could set you back and increase your project’s budget.
That being said, begin the first full day by removing anything that’s going to be replaced, such as the vanity or toilet. Make any repairs, and then get to work on the walls and floors. If you’re planning to replace the flooring, paint the walls first (don’t worry about paint drips) and let them dry while you prep for other projects. Consider using stick-on vinyl tile or snap-together wood flooring for a quick and affordable update. In a few hours, you can completely change the room’s look. Once the flooring is done, replace the fixtures and call it a day.
Day Three: The Details
If everything went according to plan on Saturday, you should be able to spend Sunday tackling the details of your bathroom update. Finish installing any fixtures you removed, and replace the lighting if necessary. Install towel bars, shower-curtain rods (curved rods are both attractive and add extra space in the bath) and other accessories. Put away toiletries and linens. Then, sit back and admire your handiwork.
Of course, this plan assumes you are working with a small bathroom and you aren’t tackling any major jobs, such as retiling the floors or walls. However, if you want to make some basic cosmetic updates, it’s entirely possible to get it done in a weekend.
About the Author: Stacy Monaco blogs about her adventures in home improvement for her site and several others.