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Pool Restroom Makeover

If your pool restroom is in serious need of a makeover, here are some inexpensive ways to renovate without hiring contractors.

Start With The Toilets

Worn, broken toilet seats and doors that are falling off the hinges may require a complete overhaul, sometimes they just need a little care. First, check the toilet seats to see if the color is faded, the hinges are rusty, or any other signs of wear are present. If so, new toilet seats should be purchased and installed. A new seat typically costs around $30 to $50. This should be done every one to two years, depending on the amount of wear. A new seat will immediately freshen up the restroom, and patrons will appreciate it! Seats can be purchased from a local home-improvement store or online. I recommend inexpensive seats--especially for high-traffic restrooms.

Doors with rusty, broken hinges should be evaluated. During our restroom makeover, we purchased new hinges and doors, but kept the partitions in place. Since all the doors were missing their locks, we opted for new ones; however, replacement locks and hinges can be purchased in lieu of new doors. If you have wooden doors that are in good shape, consider re-sealing them with lacquer or choosing a different color of lacquer to change the restroom’s appearance. Wooden doors with severe wear should be replaced for safety reasons.

Sinks And Dispensers

Our largest complaint from patrons was a lack of supplies. Therefore, we installed double-roll toilet tissue dispensers and larger paper-towel dispensers. Next, we checked the sinks, which were stained and leaking. We fixed the leaks, purchased new handles, and contacted a local painting company to get a quote on re-coating the sinks. Re-coating is inexpensive and involves a special coating application that can be done by anyone, but the cost for materials is extensive. Therefore, I recommend contacting a refurnishing company with experience to save on the cost of supplies.

Typically, it should cost about $25 to $35 per sink. The results are phenomenal. The sinks look new, and the coating lasts for several more years when done properly. The contractor should guarantee no chipping or peeling, and offer to return to fix any problems. Be sure to fix any leaks prior to painting to ensure proper application.

Flooring And Walls

Our restroom had rubber-mat flooring in an unattractive blue color. The dark floor made the bathroom look dark and gloomy. We purchased new rubber flooring in a lighter color to brighten the rooms, and installed it ourselves. Next, we checked the mirrors for any signs of wear. We only had one that needed to be replaced, but did not want to spend the money for the same size. We were going to paint the walls anyway, so we opted for a smaller mirror on sale at a nearby store.

The walls were my favorite part of the makeover. We visited www.decoratetoday.com for ideas. None of us were wallpaper experts, so we decided to purchase border paper and install it ourselves. We chose a tropical theme, and purchased paint that was on sale to match a color in the border. A couple of walls had missing tiles, and replacing them was more than we could spend so we opted to replace them with sheetrock. We then added a small molding to the bottom of the floor to make the room look more inviting.

Next, we painted the walls, and once the paint was dry (we waited two days), we were ready to install the border. I stood on a ladder and my assistant on the floor had a cooler filled with water. She took the roll of border paper, stretched it out, and, immersing it completely in water, handed it up to me. I highly recommend this method because we were able to maneuver the paper around the wall while it was wet, allowing us to properly place it. Once the first section was mounted, we took a dry towel and smoothed the paper into place. I do not recommend purchasing the peel-and-stick border paper, as it rarely sticks well, and does not last very long.

The Entrance

The last order of business was the restroom entryway. After many years of wear, the kickplates and doors were falling apart. We purchased brushed plates in a nickel color, eliminating the brass because of how quickly it shows wear. We attempted to paint the doors, but the wood was so rotten that we decided to replace them and apply new kickplates.

We also purchased new restroom signs, replaced wooden posts, and painted the entire building to complete the makeover (this was mainly for safety reasons because the building had a lot of weather damage). Painting the entire building completed the renovation package, and we did it ourselves to save on cost. Our patrons appreciated our personal involvement with the project, which was an added perk.

Maintenance

With any redesign project, maintenance is paramount! Keeping the restrooms clean generally encourages patrons to do the same. For a final touch, we also purchased time-release air fresheners for $30 each, and placed two in each restroom. I recommend the use of Ozium air freshener for air sanitization. Again, make the commitment to keep a nice restroom, and it will resonate with patrons. Happy renovating!

Kati Trammel is an advertising and public relations specialist in Lakeland, Fla. She can be reached at katitram@yahoo.com.

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