Rafed English

Easy Bathroom Upgrades

Three quick add-ons to max out a small space

Get bottles off the sides of the tub with a toiletries organizer. Oxo's Bathtub Corner Shelf is a plastic triangle that suctions to a bathtub's corner (and can go right in the dishwasher).

Hang towels where you need them with stylish metal-look adhesive hooks, like the Command line by 3M (from about $6).

Expand elbow room: Install a curved shower-curtain rod. A double-rod style like Polder's ($45 and $50) lets you dry towels or hand-washables out of sight.

Little changes, big impact

Swap out the toilet seat. Having a pristine seat in place is just...nice (and inexpensive, too — as little as $15). Unbolt the old one from the rear of the bowl and attach a new one; some have nuts that can be tightened with your fingers.

Replace your showerhead. WaterSense-labeled ones, as in the multi-spray Moen Nurture line ($29 to $39), could save your home 2,300 gallons of water a year. To replace: unscrew the old showerhead (you may need pliers or a pipe wrench), remove the plumber's tape, apply new tape (available at hardware stores) to the threads, and twist on the new showerhead. Done!

Re-caulk the tub or sink. Discolored caulk makes a bathroom look dirty even when it's not. Remove the old caulk with a scraper (with any luck, it'll peel right off), then wash and dry surfaces. Mind your "45s": Snip the tube's tip at a 45-degree angle, then apply to seams at a 45-degree angle. GE Silicone II Kitchen and Bath caulk ($6) sets in three hours and has a five-year no-mold guarantee.

Ambitious, but still easy

Put down a new floor. It's easier than you'd think. Armstrong self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles (starting at $1 a square foot) can be cut to fit with a utility knife. Peel off the backing and stick right atop the existing floor (linoleum, tiles, etc.). Tip: A faux-stone pattern like granite is almost foolproof — geometric styles can be tricky to align.

Dress up the mirror. Add a frame from MirrorMate ($135 to $235). Unlike others, these are precut and have adhesive backing so they'll stick around your existing mirror. Or, if you have a medicine cabinet, consider replacing it. Robern makes handsome cabinets that are mirrored inside and out ($190 to $468).

Not a handy-woman?

Leave the tools in the box and try one of these chic, simple trade-ups:


The vivid stripes of Kate Spade's latest ($40, Bed Bath & Beyond) add a splash of color to a neutral space. Not so bold? The graphic-yet-subtle patterns of West Elm's spring styles ($40 each, West Elm) are eye-catching, but not overwhelming.


Who doesn't love to cuddle up in a fresh set? Pottery Barn's plush Hydro Cotton ($6 to $19, Pottery Barn) shrank little in GHRI tests and can be monogrammed. Swank!


For secure footing — and a spa-like look — splurge on a wooden mat, like a teak one ($69). Prefer a softer style? Pick a cotton mat (it'll be superabsorbent) that's machine-washable and reversible so you can clean it less often.

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