Bye Bye Bad Bathroom: High-Impact Rental Upgrades

published Jun 12, 2017
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white bathroom with lots of framed art on the walls
(Image credit: Elizabeth Bac)

Being a renter means that a lot of things about your house are non-negotiables — but a bad bathroom doesn’t have to be one of them. Even if you can’t replace the old tub or tear down the tile, there are plenty of changes you can make to your bathroom that will have a big impact — even if you’re leasing and not buying.

(Image credit: Julia K)

1. Replace your showerhead.
Replacing your showerhead will have a huge impact on the look — and also the functionality — of your bathroom. And although it may seem intimidating, it’s actually a fairly easy DIY that even beginners can do.

(Image credit: The Washington Post)

2. Upgrade your floor.
If you hate your bathroom floor, there are options besides just covering the whole thing with bathmats or never looking down. This vinyl floor cloth (seen on The Washington Post) comes in different sizes that can be cut down to fit your bathroom. You simply lay it down on top of your existing floor, which you will never have to see again.

(Image credit: A Merry Mishap)

3. Replace the mirror.
An interesting mirror can really make your whole bathroom. If you decide to go this route, make sure you have a spot to store the old mirror, and make a note of how it’s hung so you can replace it when you move.

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

4. Paint your vanity (if you can).
This definitely falls into the ‘check with your landlord’ category, but if you can get permission, painting your vanity cabinet (especially an old or dingy-looking one) can have a huge impact on the look of your bathroom without the trouble of painting the whole room.

5. Paint the whole room.
Another check with your landlord one, although this may be an easier sell than painting the vanity cabinet, since it’s a more standard ask. Approaching your landlord with a color already in mind will make you seem like a reasonable renter and not someone with dreams of painting their entire bathroom blood red.

(Image credit: My Fabuless Life)

6. Hang some shelves.
Shelves (like this one hanging over a commode) have the double benefit of drawing the eye and also giving you a place to put stuff.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Backup)

7. Add a gallery wall.
The bathroom is an unexpected place for a gallery wall — but that’s precisely what makes a wall of art in the bathroom such a great idea. All that beautiful art will enhance a boring bathroom and distract from an ugly one. Just be sure to consider the humidity, and maybe save your most priceless works of art for the living room.

Re-edited from a post originally published 1.5.17