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Angie’s List: Refurbishing Your Bathroom

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Susan Koeppen
A nationally known, award-winning journalist, Susan Koeppen co-anc...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Do you have a bathroom with pink tiles or a blue bathtub?

Little updates like changing the grout color or refinishing the tub can provide major aesthetic improvements for significantly less money.

For more than nine years, Catherine Young devoted countless hours to scrubbing the dingy gray grout between the creamy white tiles in her bathroom.

Instead of redoing her floors, she hired a company to replace and seal the grout for about $350.

“Now the grout is back to a lovely shade of gray and it’s sealed so I don’t’ have to worry about it,” Young said. “And it was very inexpensive, very inexpensive choice for something that has a dramatic change in how it looked.”

While a full-scale bathroom remodel costs tens-of-thousands of dollars, there are simple updates you can make without breaking the bank.

“Remodeling your bathroom can be overwhelming, but it can also be one of the best returns on investment,” Angie’s List founder, Angie Hicks said. “You can get up to 85 percent return on the investment, but you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars.”

If your tile is in good shape, consider re-grouting, cleaning, sealing or staining to make tile look like the day it was installed.

“When we walk into a bathroom,” contractor Chris Uhland said. “If the shower is in pretty bad shape with mold and mildew everywhere, they are thinking about tearing it out. We can come in, re-grout it, clean everything, and re-caulk it and it makes the bathroom look brand new.”

Over time, the bathtub begins to show signs of wear – stains, scratches or a dull finish.

Refinishing an existing bathtub is another simple project that can make a big impact.

“It’s really a nice alternative because bathtubs as well as tile over the years they get scoured, stains and tile becomes porous,” contractor Paul Dickerson said. “So this creates a barrier so that the water can’t get behind the tile. It also puts a coating on the tub to make it look pretty much brand new.”

Another simple update can be your toilet.

It may be more cost-effect to replace that toilet than find and repair leaks, which not only cause damage, but consume water and increase your utility bill.

“For about $200, you can buy a new toilet that will not only help from an appearance standpoint but also be a more efficient model,” Hicks said.

Updating your sink’s hardware or other bathroom fixtures such as the tub handles, control knobs or shower head are another great way to give your bathroom a newer look without spending a lot of money on a total remodel.

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