Buying, selling or running a home – everything you need to know about your home and garden!

Improving your bathroom: Re-enamelling the bath

After the kitchen, the bathroom is usually the room which has the most potential for adding value to your property. It’s quite easy to splash the cash on this type of improvement, but don’t go crazy. You might also want to think about the potential resale value of the property and whether your improvements will be cash well spent. There’s not much point in spending £20,000 on fabulous bathroom improvements if it’s only going to increase the potential sale price by £10,000.

puppy sitting in a bath

I love bath time!

Of course, if it’s your ‘forever home’ and you want to make these improvements for your own and your family’s benefit, then such considerations don’t apply to the same extent. But if your property is any any way intended to be an investment, then you must keep your investor’s hat on and make financial decisions with your head rather than your heart.

That said, there are plenty of ideas to spruce up your bathroom without having to spend a fortune. For example, you might like to install a wet room. This can be an inexpensive way to give your bathroom a bit of wow factor. And if you DIY, the cost will be even less.

Wet rooms aside, there are a few simple rules which apply to most bathroom renovation projects.

White bathroom suites

Fashions change but white sanitary ware is timeless and doesn’t date, unlike the ubiquitous avocado suite of the 1980s. Often it will be better to rip out the old and replace it with a new suite, but some suites might be worth saving. Not only will this often cost you less, it may also add a bit of period charm to your property.

For example, one London semi we owned had a very tired old cast-iron bath. It looked quite grotty, even after it was properly cleaned. Buying a new bath was certainly a consideration; it’s quite cheap and easy to buy a cheap plastic one or an inexpensive steel bath. However, we decided that it would be a pity to lose the good-quality old bath to replace it with a better-looking but inferior product.

Our dilemma was easily solved as we were able to re-enamel the existing bath. This was a simple matter of buying a kit online and painting the bath with the new enamel.

It wasn’t quite that simple, of course. We had to prepare the bath properly prior to applying the new enamel, and there were certain steps to take (such as leaving it to dry between coats) to ensure the finish was good. Nevertheless, all in all, it was a very easy project to create a reasonably attractive renovated bath for a very small cost. It also meant we didn’t have to pay labour costs for a plumber or put up with the disruption while the building work was carried out.

Here’s a quick video showing how easy it really is.

But if it all sounds like too much hassle for you to DIY, you can hire a professional to do it for you. Or, if you want to go for the cheap new bath option, Wickes sells steel baths from as cheaply as £150.

Wickes: steel baths

If the bath needs a complete overhaul, you can buy a re-surfacing kit online from Amazon or any good DIY store. Alternatively, if it just needs a few chips repaired, then simply buy a repair kit.

The next reasonably cheap way to revamp your bathroom is to repair or replace the tiling, and that’s the subject of our next article in this series.

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