The $20 (Temporary) Bathroom Makeover

By: Lilybee Jul 09, 2008

created on: 07/08/08
I'm going to come right out and say it. I HATE our bathroom with a fiery passion. After living with it for a year-and-a-bit I decided that something had to be done.  Now my first choice would have been to rip it out, burn the pieces and salt the earth, cursing all the while. Trouble is this is a rental, and the agency might have a problem with that.

Here's the before and after shots:

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Note the ill advised blue paint on the 70's medicine cabinet doors and the 40 million miles of impossible-to-clean floor grout.

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Here's what I used:

A few self adhesive vinyl floor tiles. ($8 worth from the Dollarama)

a new shower curtain.

8 Placemats and some glue to make new slidey doors for the cabinets. (2 for a $ from the Dollarama)

First I did the floor, using instructions that I found here. I cleaned the tiles with bleach then vinegar, cause of the whole sticky Vs. Dirt thing. Then I popped the new tiles straight over top of the old ones. It's probably easier if you don't get a small dog to help you.

created on: 07/09/08


Next came the cabinets, after experimenting with some contact paper I decided to write off the old doors and start from scratch.

I made new doors from Bamboo placemats glued onto stiffer plastic placemats.

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Using the old door as a template I chopped the placemats to size glued them together .

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Then I jammed the whole 'door' into the slot that the old door came out of. These are light enough that they don't need doorknobs.

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Lastly I bunged a plant in there and folded some towels.

It's not perfect, but I no longer feel the need to sack it like Carthage. And, like my kitchen, it can still be returned to it's former hideous state should the need arise.

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Looks great! i am looking to do something similar to my bathroom. Reading the directions you posted from Lowe's, it seems like a lot of work (removing the toilet and doors, etc).  These are things I don't want to exert the effort to do and I'm wondering if you really moved everything out or if you were just able to cut around things with an exacto knife?


Like your 'before' picture, I have similar tiles in my bathroom, and they are hideous. I was unaware you could get so many shades of ugly pink in tiny, square tiles on a bathroom floor until we found this rental. How are your sticky new ones holding up to water and steam in the bathroom? My roommate and I are debating doing similar things but are worried that the poor ventilation and use of the shower will cause the tiles to peel or bubble. I've been hearing horror stories about that, but there are stories of the tiles holding up really well.

Woah, I literally have the same bathroom and was looking for ideas to spruce it up. I hate those little fucking tiles and my cabinet doors have pretty much disintegrated because they're so cheap. I'm totally doing the same thing you did. You don't live at 50 Stephanie Street by any chance do you?

What a difference $20 made! The million little tiles were cute, but I can immediately imagine the sort of headache involved in even TRYING to make them look halfway clean. Now picturing your pebble mat in there, I can see it as a delicious little space that one could really relax in now! Good work. :)

Hey it looks great now! Very creative I love the placemat idea!

Nice!  I'll have to steal the bamboo placemat idea to replace the sliding doors on my ugly old blond wood headboard.

Very clever! And all for 20 bucks no less....

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