While 81 percent of remodeling jobs are for bathrooms, you don’t have to spend a fortune to remodel your bathroom. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time and effort, either. In fact, an affordable bathroom update is feasible for many — and a lot of it comes down to the hardware you use in your mini-renovation project.
One of the least expensive and fastest ways to give your bathroom a makeover is by installing new hardware. You can find bathroom hardware in numerous materials, colors, finishes and designs, which lets you give your bathroom a rejuvenated, personalized touch.
Revive your tired bathroom with classic crystal knobs, novelty hardware and solid brass cabinet fixtures, for instance. By the time you’ve finished your bathroom updates, you’ll have a bright, functional and modern-looking room — and more money in your pocket to invest in other areas of your home.
This guide provides you with 13 quick and easy ways to refresh your bathroom, so let’s dive in!
Why Refresh Your Bathroom With New Fixtures and Hardware?
Think of new fixtures as a bathroom’s jewelry. They’re relatively inexpensive and don’t take much effort to update, yet have a significant impact on the feel and look of your bathroom — just like a necklace, cuffs, belt or ring on your outfit.
Bathroom fixtures you can update and replace with ease include:
When you refresh your bathroom space’s fixtures and hardware, you can also create a custom look. Plus, you can make your bathroom more functional, such as by hanging towel bars or racks, wall shelves and other new fixtures. And shopping for new hardware is hassle-free as many pieces come in coordinating groups.
Types of Hardware Materials for Bathroom Refreshes
Before exploring the ways you can refresh your bathroom, it’s essential to review the materials that makeup bathroom hardware, from pull handles and towel bars to robe hooks and toilet paper holders. Understanding their features helps you make the best decision when shopping.
Hardware materials for bathroom updates include:
- Brass: There’s a reason why solid brass is so popular. More than half of the hardware products you’ll find here at Cliffside Industries consist of solid brass due to its gorgeous sheen and durability. They are a hybrid of around 60 percent copper with tin and zinc mixed in.
- Bronze: Bronze is another hybrid of tin and copper, but has more copper than brass hardware. As a material, bronze tends to oxidize superficially and offers warm tones.
- Zinc: Because solid zinc is flexible when heated, it’s a favorable material for cabinet hardware. It’s also a cost-effective hardware option, which lets you have metal hardware, but without the cost of stainless steel, brass or bronze.
- Stainless steel: Stainless steel is flexible and robust, plus it resists corrosion. Because of these characteristics, it’s hard to damage and offers a long lifespan. On top of these benefits, you can finish it in various ways if you’re not into the brushed, classic look.
- Pewter: Pewter is a blended metal, but mostly consists of tin. Because it’s a soft metal, you can meld it into your desired shape, which allows for intricate designs. The Antique Pewter Victorian Jewel Knob with Green Aventurine showcases this meticulous feature.
While the appearance of your hardware is essential, its quality is critical. It takes the consequences of your hands’ natural oils, as well as endures the rough nature of pets and children. Compared to your cabinets, your hardware takes most of the brunt of wear and tear. That’s why it’s best to invest in higher-quality hardware.
Refer to our hardware materials guide for more information on the value of materials, as well as tips for choosing high-quality cabinet hardware for your bathroom — and your kitchen.
13 Quick and Easy Ways to Update Your Bathroom
Here’s a baker’s dozen of ideas to change the look and feel of your bathroom for just a few dollars. No need for a major bathroom renovation when a few updates can do the trick — many of which you can find right here at Cliffside Industries.
1. Put Up a New Towel Bar
Hang towels in style with updated hardware. While often disregarded, bathroom towel bars serve an essential role within the space of a bathroom. Hundreds of styles and types of towel bars are available for you to choose from, letting you select the perfect one to fit into any bathroom decor.
Before shopping and installing your new towel bar, make sure you measure its intended area. You’ll also want to avoid hanging your towel bar too close to the sink because the towel will dangle into it. You’ll also want to be careful about placing it too close to a cabinet door.
A tip from our experienced team is to figure out the function of your towel bar, such as by asking:
- Do you want a mounted towel bar to hold wet towels for drying? For this purpose, you might want to attach a single bar to your bathroom wall. You can also install a movable, swinging towel bar, which lets you push them out of your way when they’re not in use. Just pull the bar out when you need it and push it back when you don’t.
- Do you want a decorative towel bar to add to your bathroom decor? If this is the function you’re going for, a single towel bar attaching to the wall should do the trick. Try a classic-looking towel bar to complement a clean bathroom interior. A decorative towel bar with a neat design or fun edges is another alternative that’ll add character to your space.
When shopping for a new towel bar, consider keeping photos of your bathroom on-hand for reference.
2. Change the Vanity Knobs
Updating a bathroom vanity takes attention to detail and careful planning. From the style and layout to the countertop and sink, you have a handful of decisions to make. One of these is your choice of bathroom vanity knobs.
A popular pick for bright bathrooms is solid brass knobs with a black finish, like these contemporary square black knobs, which create a striking balance. Not only are they perfect for your bathroom vanity drawers, but they also work well for your kitchen cabinet doors, giving your home a pulled-together feel.
3. Install New Cabinet Pull Handle Hardware
One of the most efficient, as well as affordable ways to transform and refresh your bathroom, is to update your bathroom’s cabinet hardware. Rather than replace each cabinet or install a new countertop, just replace the drawer pull handles — a swift update that you can do in a day, and without hiring professional help. All you have to do is choose the pull handle hardware you want for your cabinet and install them.
With all the various styles, materials and a range of prices, however, choosing the best hardware for your bathroom cabinet could become complicated or even overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the weaknesses and strengths of each design.
To make the best decision, consider the following when shopping for any hardware, including pull handles:
- Your bathroom decor: If you’re keeping your bathroom refresh to a minimum, you’ll want to think about its existing design. A bathroom with a white Scandinavian minimalist decor, for example, will go well with something that’s low-profile, slender and jet-black.
- Your previous hardware’s hole status: If you already have drilled holes in your cabinet, then you’ll need to either cover the holes with new attachments or match them. This a critical factor to consider, especially with pull handles as they have more than one screw hole.
- Your provided screw length: Will you be able to penetrate your cabinet’s wood with your new hardware’s screws? If not, you’ll need to use a ruler to measure the cabinet’s thickness and then purchase installation hardware that matches your old screw’s thread count, width and
- Your hardware’s functionality: By its very nature, cabinet hardware should be functional. But, you might not want to go with a delicate pewter inlay if you have toddlers who enjoy opening and closing cabinet doors non-stop.
To make your hardware replacement worthwhile, you should keep up with the latest hardware trends. You’ll be delighted at how easy it is to create an aesthetically pleasing bathroom by doing a quick replacement of your hinges, knobs or handles.
And remember to think about your hardware’s finish, such as these 10 popular hardware finishes, which include:
- Antique brass
- Old antique
- Old copper
- Polished brass
- Polished chrome
- Polished nickel
- Silver satin
- Venetian bronze
You’ll find many of these finishes are timeless.
4. Tile the Countertop
A tile countertop, instead of a stone slab, will not only resist moisture better but also provide a more straightforward installation, which makes it hassle-free and cost-effective for you to add to your bathroom. Just add a bead of clear caulk to protect the wood of the cabinet from water damage.
This option works best for smaller bathrooms because the downside of adding ceramic tiles to your bathroom countertop is that you have to clean the grout in between the tiles, which can become a chore for larger master bathrooms.
A tile countertop design we love is a mosaic of crisp green and blue colors, which provide a relaxing and calming, spa-like effect that you and visiting family will adore after a long day at the office.
5. Add a Wall Shelf
Put your empty bathroom wall to use. Bathrooms are often short on storage space, so if you need a spot to hold towels, toiletries or pretty trinkets, then look to the wall. With a wall shelf, you now have another place to store your toiletries.
And don’t underestimate the impact of adding shelving to a room. A wall shelf with a width up to 18 inches, for example, can double the storage space you have in your bathroom. It can also remedy the nightmare of keeping the following items organized in your bathroom:
- Soap bottles
- Grooming supplies
- Other toiletries
Plus, if you share bathroom space with another person, it’s twice as much stuff to try and keep organized. Wall shelves provide you with a clutter-free, open storage system where everything is within an arm’s reach.
You can also add a shelf to more than your wall, but also your shower area, which offers the following benefits:
- Shower shelves provide added storage space. Chances are you probably have things like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions and other items cluttering your shower area. By installing shower shelves, you can organize all these products, so they’re within reach and without looking cluttered. You’ll also free up more space in your shower.
- Shower shelves make it easier to clean your shower. When it comes time to clean your shower, you won’t have to take the time to remove all the bottles of shampoo and conditioner, bars of soap and other items.
- Shower shelves offer a low installation cost. You won’t spend a lot of money buying shelves for your shower — and you won’t have to hire someone to add them to your bathroom since they’re easy to install yourself. Some even hook onto your shower head.
- Shower shelves come in many different styles. No matter your bathroom decor or theme, you should have no problem finding an attractive, durable set of shelves to complement it. Shelves not only look good, but they also improve your experience in the shower too.
Whether you’re installing your wall shelf in your shower or on your bathroom wall, be sure you choose shelves made with top-quality materials so they’ll last longer.
6. Hang Wallpaper
Hanging wallpaper can get expensive. It’s not just the paper that’s expensive, but sometimes you need to have the walls prepped before you put it up. Save some money by covering less wall space. If you’re really on a budget, however, try spreading out your pattern and using vinyl stickers or painted stencil to mimic the design.
In many cases, you only need a pattern on one wall to make your bathroom look interesting.
And, because wallpaper often sells by the roll and in standard widths, you may even be able to find a reasonable price in comparison to shopping between retailers. The best wallpaper for the bathroom area is a self-adhesive paper, which is for high-moisture areas.
7. Incorporate New Soap Holders
When shopping around for a new soap holder, don’t settle for a poorly-made version. It likely won’t last, and you’ll have to search for a high-quality soap dish later. Instead, try a solid brass contemporary soap dish made from premium solid materials to complement your bathroom.
8. Add a Robe Hook
It should take mere minutes to install a new robe hook to offer you or your family members a convenient place to hang a wet towel to dry after showering. You can find robe hooks in numerous designs and finishes too, such as stainless steel, gilded bronze or antique silver.
Installing a robe hook is simple and takes three steps:
- Screw in a plate.
- Place the hook on top and over the plate.
- Secure the hook in place using an Allen wrench.
You’ll want to mount your robe hooks approximately five feet from the floor, though if you’re hanging ones for your children, consider placing them lower — you may even decide to install your robe hook higher if you’re on the taller side.
9. Replace Tissue Roll Holders
You’ll find installing a toilet paper holder is as easy, if not easier, than a robe hook. Just place your two plates and ensure they’re level. Then, put the knobs over the plates before securing them with the Allen wrench. Before you drill your mounting holes, experiment with several locations to ensure your roll holder is convenient to reach.
Tissue paper holders are available in both open and closed designs. Examples of these two holders include a double post, closed tissue roll holder from Amerock, as well as this single post, open tissue roll holder from the same brand.
We can assure you, though, whichever you choose, it’s a bathroom upgrade that you and your family will love.
10. Install a Ventilation Fan
If your bathroom stays noisy and hot — and your mirror fogged up — while drying off after your shower, a ventilation fan may help. You’ll want one with proper airflow for your bathroom’s size. Replacing a ventilation fan is an easy do-it-yourself (DIY) project, but if it’s a brand-new fan, you may have to hire a professional as it may require some electrical work.
Shop for ventilation fans with a one or less “sone” rating to ensure less noise.
11. Invest in Shower Curtains or Doors
Shower doors with a glass-surface treatment help shed droplets of water and make it easier to clean them. If you find shower doors are too expensive, you can always go with a new shower curtain. You’ll find a whole array of designs and colors to match your bathroom decor.
It may be a bit challenging to install shower doors yourself. If so, let the professionals handle the job.
12. Switch the Wall Plate
You probably didn’t consider switching out your light’s wall plate covers with new ones, but this bathroom update can add a decorative touch to your bathroom. You’ll be turning a practical necessity into an opportunity to inject stylish accents to your room. Before you remove any wall plate cover, however, ensure you turn the power off to prevent electrical shock.
13. Apply a New Coat of Paint
Paint is a simple way to refresh your bathroom. It’s also more cost-effective than wallpaper or a whole wall remodel. Be sure to choose a mildew-resistant paint. This type of paint features antimicrobial additives to help resist — but not entirely avoid — mildew growth.
The best paints for bathroom walls are semi- and high-gloss paint finishes as they repel moisture. Consider using semi-gloss for the walls and high-gloss for the trim, and remember to select colors that embrace your personality or bathroom’s themes.
Once you’ve picked your colors, clean your walls before you start to paint. Afterward, avoid using the shower in that bathroom for a couple of days as you’ll want to keep the room free from moisture as the paint dries. If you must use that bathroom, try to paint early in the day and then shower in the evening.
Choose Cliffside for Your One-Stop Decorative Bathroom Options
No matter the finish or style of hardware you select, you can expect it to carry the high quality that’s signature to Cliffside Industries. Here at Cliffside, we have been providing our customers with top-quality, decorative cabinet hardware since 1987 — which is why we’ve been the top provider of decorative hardware for the past 30 years.
Only the finest materials go into the craftsmanship of our products, and we have the best craftsmen for our cabinetry hardware designs. We also offer top-notch customer support and are here to answer any questions you may have about your bathroom update. With Cliffside Industries, you can be confident you’ll receive only the most exceptional decorative hardware products.
If you’re ready to refresh your bathroom, shop our catalog to buy your beautiful new hardware today.