update your shower on a budget

So this weekend was spent mostly prepping [I'll tell you more about that next week]. But basically this weekend was spent doing boring things like spending 5.5 hours at hardware stores. However, we did manage to get a few small fixes done this weekend that have me super happy. 

When we moved into our house I already despised our tubs. They were almond. It just looked so aged and dirty. I even bought a kit for changing up the color. But I couldn't commit. I feared it would look bad or obvious and figured that there's a lot of people way less picky than I am. So almond they remain. But there were plenty of other gross things to tackle. 

First, we cleaned everything with CLR. I knew we had some built up but man, I didn't know how much this stuff would work. Whenever I cleaned the shower before I felt like it was never truly clean. Now I know what I was missing!

So immediately I left a few things that I had originally planned on getting rid of. We did replace this faucet though [grrossss- and we don't even use this shower].

This is what was left after I unscrewed it from the wall. Some screw on and others kind of push on I think- there's universal ones for the screw on kind too. It took me a minute to figure out that my new one didn't fit because that gold piece in there needed to be removed since the original was still in place on the wall. 

Hope you can forgive the iphone photos. It was too easy to resist. Next is one of the biggest things that made a difference. The shower handle. This was the guest room. The master was way worse but I must have forgotten to get a photo of it.

You can take a flat headed screwdriver or paperclip in a small hole along the edge and pop the top off. I feel like this is one of the biggest things that really age a shower. It's like the crow's feet of the bathroom.

This is what you will see inside. You can use a phillips head screwdriver to unscrew it. The handle should just fall off. With our one bathroom this was the case, but this one, not so much. 20 plus years in and it was pretty complacent. 

Something really important to remember guys. I am by no means a plumber. But I did watch a lot of youtube videos. Commence professional plumber eye rolling ... now. But please please please don't force it. If you twist it so much or something you can apparently break the pipe that's within the wall. And that's no easy fix. This was not a twist off though, you just had to pull straight. It did take more muscle than I wanted to use since I was nervous about damaging pipes but Oscar didn't have a problem manning up to the job.

You can buy these replacement knobs in the bath/plumbing section. I find that a lot of the older knobs have a piece of paper that has wilted over time due to moisture. So a new knob made it look so fresh. This one was about $12 but I got mine on clearance for $6. For about $7 I got the little drain stopper thing. We were always missing them in this house so it's really nice to finally cover up that little hole. 

As for the showerheads we switched those out too. We bought one for about $12 at Lowes for the guest bathroom. We also picked up a new flange [the round piece of metal against the wall] since the originals were in rough shape. 

We took off the original and placed plumber's tape around the threading. I was pleasantly surprised to find the tape supplied by the showerhead manufacturers. I had bought in preparation but didn't need it.

I loved how much more substantial it felt. And here's the master bath one... I'm sorry but I have no idea where I got this. It was before I even owned a home and I found it on sale at Gaiam or something like that. There's a filter inside. Maybe that will help with our hard water! 

I hope that helps someone who has an older but not necessarily geriatric bathroom. It's a good way to wake up a room and update it without going crazy. 


  1. Great updates. And I'm a fan of CLR!

  2. I would take almond over the mauve colored shower we have! I would love to replace it, but I'm thinking after we replace the matching toilet, update the floors and vanity I can hide it behind an extra long curtain. Why couldn't everyone just choose white?!

    1. Holy moly. I didn't even know they made it in mauve. Yikes. Good luck!

  3. much better! We're about to replace all of our fixtures, too....long overdue!

  4. I love how you raised up the shower head! We are going to have to look into that. Our master shower head is super low. Nick barely fits under it!

    1. Thanks Amber. They have extension rods you can get for like $12 but if you want to shell out between 30 and 50 you can get one that articulates more and has the head on a swivel for more control like this one. You guys have such a nice place I'm sure youll find something snazzy!

  5. It's amazing what an impact small changes can make. Great update. You have inspired me!

  6. This looks fantastic. Good thing that you could get new covers that fit the existing rough plumbing in the wall :)


Drop me a line! I monitor all comments just to make sure we keep it fun and light :]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
the diy nurse © 2013.

Design by The Blog Boat