bathroom tiles

Photo: Courtesy of Hakatai Enterprises, 888-667-2429

Freshen Up Your Tiles

Transform older tiled surfaces in your bathroom without retiling. Thoroughly cleaning and recoloring your grout can make wall and floor tiles look brand new. This is an easy Saturday project that requires few tools, modest expense, and zero expertise. The process starts with a deep cleaning of the grout lines (a good idea to do on a regular basis in any case), followed by the application of a color that best complements the tile and room—a process that effectively seals the grout as well.

  • Always read the label of a grout-cleaning product closely. Most will etch unsealed tile, such as natural stone, and are consequently meant only for use with ceramic or porcelain tile.

  • Wear gloves and work in small (3-foot-square) sections. Brush the cleaner onto the grout lines with a grout brush. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and scrub the grout again. Rinse with a damp sponge until all the cleaner has been removed. Let the tile and grout dry entirely, which may take up to 1 hour.

  • Put a small amount of grout colorant in a plastic dish. Starting from the corner farthest from the door, begin coating the grout lines with colorant, using a foam applicator. Work in a grid about 3 feet square. Apply the colorant over the grout lines while trying to limit the amount of bleedover on the tiles.

  • Use a damp sponge or damp clean towels to wipe the tiles after you've applied the colorant. Continue gently wiping them until you've removed all colorant from the tiles themselves. Note: You can also mist the tiles with water even after the colorant has dried, to wipe any remaining residue off the face of the tiles.

  • Proceed to the next section of tile and repeat the process (you may need to coat the grout lines a second time to get satisfactory coverage or color).

  • If the tiles are dull after you're finished, buff the face of the tiles with a scrub sponge, working diagonally to the grout lines.
glass shelf

Photo: Courtesy of Moen, 800-389-6636

Step Up Your Shelfie Game

Spruce up the look of any sink or toilet area with the addition of a nicely styled glass shelf. Glass shelves like this—sometimes called "vanity" shelves—provide a clean and airy appearance with little visual weight. This particular shelf is perfectly placed to hold personal care products used at the sink. It's also got a bit of style, boasting a chic chrome front rail and chrome mounts that match the faucet and the towel bar brackets. It's an extremely pulled-together look.
bathroom surface sheen

Photo: Courtesy of Durat and Modern Surfaces

Mix Up Your Surface Finishes

Contrasting surface sheens are a subtle and sophisticated way to spark a bathroom design. Not only does the unusual matte floor in this skinny bathroom really pop against the wealth of otherwise glossy surfaces, the high-gloss solid-surface ceiling adds an unusual and stunning element. All the surfaces are easy to keep clean and amplify the available light in the room.
bathroom lighting

Photo: Trisha/Shutterstock

Pick the Right Lighting

When using over-mirror lights such as these three fixtures, it's wise to outfit them with low-wattage, soft white bulbs. The softer light, especially diffused through a skin-flattering yellow lampshade, shows skin tones more accurately and with fewer harsh shadows. Bright is good for close personal grooming, but a softer, milder light works really well for checking your image as others see it.
bathroom cabinet storage

Photo: Courtesy of Diamond Cabinets

Customize Your Cabinet Storage

Make the most of any vanity by equipping it with specialized storage shelves that accommodate your particular needs. Door racks, a special corner shelf, and a tilt-out drawer on top all make this vanity more useful. Choose features like this in a new vanity or as add-ons to retrofit your existing unit, and you'll have taken a big step toward efficiently organizing your bathroom.

chris peterson book
From Bathroom Ideas You Can Use, by Chris Peterson. Copyright © 2018 by Quarto Publishing Group. Excerpted with permission by Cool Springs Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group.