Renovate The Toilet

  • Install A New Toilet, Toilet after renovation, Handyman magazine,
  • Install A New Toilet, Toilet before renovation, Handyman magazine,

The toilet may be the smallest room in the house but there’s no reason it can’t have style. 

Last renovated 25 years ago,this powder room looked cold and uninviting. The slate floors were dark, making the room appearsmaller and the basic toilet had an unusually large setout, with all the plumbing visible.

The challenge was to create a warm, tidy, modern look in a small space.

RETILE THE FLOOR with light coloured large-format tiles to make the room seem bigger. 

CREATE A FEATURE WALL using glossy black tiles laid in a brickwork pattern with a cream surround.

REPLACE THE TOILET with a sleeker and more streamlined model. 

COVER THE WALLS with grasscloth wallpaper for texture and warmth. 

DECORATE WITH ARTWORK that suits the look and adds atmosphere such as framed photos and statues.

ADD BLING with a light fitting that complements the decor and injects a bit of sparkle. 

Customise picture frames 

To decorate the revamped powder room, vintage prints were hung on a wall. Having the pictures professionally framed would have cost $270 each, but some clever scouting around and a little DIY resulted in a saving of $830. 

Four frames were bought from an op shop and painted all the same colour to unify the different styles. The frames and glass were in excellent condition and cost between just $5 and $20 each. 

The glass was removed and two coats of matt black spray paint applied to the frames. 

The pictures were professionally mounted in the frames for $50 each. 

Cutting wallpaper 

Grasscloth wallpaper was used in this powder room. It features variations in tone throughout, so the colour at the seams will always show a visible variance. 

To create the least contrast when using textured wallpaper, work with a few rolls at a time. 

Compare adjoining drops before cutting from the roll, moving them up and down to match the colour closely. 

Step 1. Prepare the surface

Repair any cracks or dents in the walls, mask off the skirting boards and apply primer with a paintbrush. Use an oil-based primer to prevent wallpaper paste being absorbed, creating a base for better adhesion.

Step 2. Cut and paste

Measure the wall and cut the paper to length with 100mm extra. Apply wallpaper paste to the back of the sheets with a brush then fold the top and base quarters of the sheet into the centre to keep the paste moist.

Step 3. Hang the first sheet

Starting from one corner, draw a plumb line using a spirit level. Unfold the top half to position the first sheet, aligning the edge with the marked line and overlapping the cornice by 50mm, leaving the base folded.

Step 4. Smooth the surface

Run a vinyl smoother across the top half of the wallpaper sheet, moving up and down then diagonally away from the edge to work out air bubbles and wrinkles. Unfold the base half and continue smoothing.

Step 5. Trim the overhang

Use a utility knife and straightedge guide to trim the overhang. Align the second sheet by matching the pattern then press the edge, working out any wrinkles with a vinyl smoother. Wipe off excess paste with a damp sponge.

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