Modern Bathroom Blog

From design ideas to cleaning best practices, the Modern Bathroom Blog provides tips and tricks for creating or maintaining a beautiful bathroom.

Can You Paint A Bathroom Sink?

Perhaps you have an old chipped and stained sink, and you’re wondering, can you paint a bathroom sink? It is possible, but there is a reason why you don’t often see homeowners refinishing bathroom sinks. It takes quite a bit of time; can be messy; and requires a variety of tools, supplies and skills to get the job done right. Most paints won’t adhere well to an unprepared ceramic sink, which means you will need to do some extensive prep work. You will also need a special painting kit.

Can You Paint a Sink Bowl?

Still want to learn, can you paint your bathroom sink? Read below for instructions. Step 1: Preparing the Area Can you paint a vanity sink? As discussed above, yes. That said, you’ll need to fully prepare the area. Start by thoroughly scrubbing the sink. Use a descaling cleaner or rust remover to get rid of stains. With a caulk tool, remove the caulk that seals the sink to the countertop. Last, clear the bathroom of towels, toilet paper and other items that will collect a lot of dust during the next steps. Put plastic sheeting over the doorway, your vanity and any cabinets to protect them — and their contents — from dust. Step 2: Remove All Plumbing Many DIYers attempt to skip this step, but in the next steps, you’ll be sanding and painting. It’s easy to accidentally sand and ruin the stainless steel finish on your drain or faucet, or to get some paint on these appliances. Make sure that the water is shut off leading to the faucet. Then, using channel lock pliers and wrenches, remove the drain assembly and the faucet from the sink. Step 3: Sanding the Sink The next part of the process is to sand the sink. For this, you’ll need a respirator and safety glasses to keep the dust out of your eyes and lungs. Use 400- to 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper with a small electric sander that will fit into the sink’s contours. The key here is to roughen the surface so that it’s no longer shiny, but has a dull finish. In some spots, you may have to sand by hand if you can’t fit an electric sander around the contours. Creating this dull texture is essential to help the fresh paint stick without sticking or bubbling. Step 4: Paint With a Refinishing Kit Ceramic and porcelain require specialized paints, so you’ll need a refinishing kit to paint your sink properly. Start by using a ceramic or porcelain repair kit to patch any chipped areas on your sink. Once the patches are dry, follow the instructions on the refinishing kit to mix the paint, which usually comes in a two-part solution. Apply it using a small roller and a small foam brush. Let the paint dry for about an hour, then give it a second coat to make sure the finish is even and opaque. Step 5: Finishing Follow package recommendations to see how long it will take for the paint to fully cure. Often, you’ll need to wait at least three days before you can use the sink. While waiting, pick up plastic sheeting and drop cloths, and begin the process of removing dust from the bathroom. Once the paint is cured, you can reinstall the faucet and drain, and you can also place new caulk around the sink to keep it sealed to the countertop. Hopefully this has answered your question, “Can I paint my bathroom sink?” If you’ve decided that replacement is the right way to go rather than repainting, find your perfect sink at Modern Bathroom!

How To Remove A Bathroom Mirror Glued To The Wall

You have a bathroom mirror that is attached to the wall — and you’d like to replace it — but you can’t see any clips or fasteners holding it in place. What now? Most likely, the mirror has been glued to the wall, which means it may be a little trickier to remove than if the original installer had used clips. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible!

Here are three methods to show you how to remove a mirror glued to the wall.

Method 1: Heat and Pry

This method for how to remove a glued-on mirror means you’ll need a sturdy drywall or putty knife, a drop cloth of heavy canvas, and a heat gun or a blow dryer. Heat guns are preferred — they’re relatively inexpensive to purchase, and they get much hotter than a blow dryer, which is ideal for melting adhesive.

Start by spreading your drop cloth, then use the heat gun to warm the mirror. Focus on a small section at a time, starting in one corner. As you warm the mirror, try to slide the putty knife beneath it. Eventually, you should start to feel the glue soften. Continue heating and prying with the putty knife until the mirror comes free.

Some recommend covering the mirror with tape for this method in case the glass breaks. If you’re using a heat gun, it will melt the tape’s adhesive and possibly the tape.

Method 2: Use a Wire Saw

When it comes to how to remove stick-on mirrors from the wall, a wire saw is one way. Here, you’ll need a drop cloth and a wire saw long enough to fit behind the mirror — perhaps a partner to help you, too. Work the saw behind the mirror and use it to cut through the adhesive.

If you have someone assisting and you’re using a wire saw featuring rings to help you pull it (as opposed to a wire saw with a wooden handle), ask your helper to pull one ring while you pull the other. This will make the process a little easier.

Be aware, though, that using a wire saw is possibly the toughest and most time-consuming of all methods — not only because the cutting process is slow, but because the wire saw will clog with adhesive and need to be cleaned often.

Method 3: Break the Mirror

If you’re looking for the easiest method for how to remove a glued bathroom mirror, this is it — but it’s also the most dangerous and damaging. You’ll need a hammer, safety glasses, leather gloves, drop cloth, duct tape and putty knife. Spread the drop cloth to catch broken glass, and put on your safety glasses and gloves. You can cover the mirror completely with duct tape or place duct tape every few inches across the mirror to help capture shards of glass and make cleanup easier.

Once you’re prepared, go to work with the hammer, striking the mirror hard enough to crack it but not so hard that you crack the drywall beneath, too. As the broken pieces start to come away from the wall, use the putty knife to pry any remaining pieces stuck to the wall.

Preparing for Your New Mirror

Whichever method you use, there will likely be damage to the wall behind the mirror. Often, this will just be adhesive remnants, in which case, you will need to learn how to remove bathroom mirror adhesive — usually with heat or by scraping it. There could be scarring or damage to the drywall, too, especially if you used a hammer to break the mirror.

If you’re planning to replace the mirror with one that is the same size or larger, simply make sure that the wall is smooth enough so that the mirror can rest flush against it. Often, this means using your putty knife to scrape raised bits of glue.

If the drywall needs to be repaired, then you have a bit more work to do. Smooth the drywall using sandpaper and your putty knife. Then, get some spackling or joint compound and appropriately sized spackle knives (wide ones for large holes or extensive damage, narrower for smaller holes), and use them to smooth the spackle into holes and cracks.

Let the spackle dry. On larger jobs, you may notice that the spackle shrinks as it dries. If so, put another coat on and repeat the process until the spackle creates a smooth surface. Use a drywall sander to create a smooth texture and remove any raised bits of spackle if necessary. Then you can prime, paint and install a new mirror.

When you’re ready to install that new mirror, we recommend hanging it with clips or fasteners. It should be much easier to remove, if needed — as you can see in this post about removing mirrors fastened with clips. Second, be sure to check out the selection of mirrors available here at Modern Bathroom.

What To Do When Your Toilet Doesn't Completely Flush

One of the most unpleasant plumbing problems to face is a toilet that won’t flush all the way. Not only is it highly inconvenient, but it also presents a sanitation hazard. Everyone takes their toilets for granted — but when they’re not working as they should, what can you do? Read on to find out.

Narrow Down Possible Problems

When a toilet doesn’t flush completely, there could be any number of causes. Start by checking the toilet tank. If the toilet tank doesn’t fill all the way, you’ll need to figure out why and fix that problem. If the tank is filling properly, then you may have a clog, or there may be other issues at work.

Another easy thing to check is the toilet’s chain and handle. If the handle doesn’t do anything when you press it — in other words, if it swings freely — that’s a sign there is a problem with the handle itself or the chain that connects it to the flapper. Check inside the toilet tank, and if you find the chain or handle is broken, replace them to get your toilet back up and running.

Clear a Clogged Toilet

A clog is the most common reason for a toilet that doesn’t flush. Clogs can range in severity, from a complete blockage to a partial obstruction. Wipes, toilet paper and other items can build up in sewer lines, which could result in slow flushing that doesn’t completely clear the bowl.

To remedy this problem, use a plunger or toilet augur. If using a plunger, make sure it’s a flange-style so that it seals well with the bowl. Use the plunger a few times to loosen any materials potentially clogging the sewer lines, then flush the toilet to see if it’s working better. If the flushing improves, you may need to use the plunger once or twice more to completely clear the blockage.

If using a toilet augur, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use, then flush to see if the situation has improved.

If you have neither a plunger nor an augur handy, you can also try hot water. Sometimes this is enough to loosen mild blockages. However, never use boiling water as this can damage the toilet or its seals.

If none of the above methods work, you may not have a clog. Below, you’ll find some other issues that can cause a toilet problem.

Check the Flapper

Flappers are at the bottom of the toilet tank. They should seal tightly when closed. If they don’t seal completely, it can affect the way your toilet flushes. Remove the tank lid and examine the flapper to see if it is sealing properly. One way to check is to listen for a toilet that runs often. This is a sign that water is draining from the tank even when the flapper should be closed. If you spot an issue, then you’ll need to pick up a new flapper at a local hardware store and follow its instructions for installation.

Check the Inlet Holes

When you flush the toilet, water drains from the tank through small inlet holes around the underside of the toilet bowl’s rim. If these are clogged, then the water will drain sluggishly into the toilet bowl, resulting in a slow flush that doesn’t clear the bowl. Look for these signs to determine whether inlet holes are clogged:

  • Your tank drains slowly when it flushes.
  • Water flows into the bowl straight down from the rim, rather than in a diagonal direction.
  • You can see areas in the bowl where water isn’t flowing at all when you flush.

Each of these signs could indicate clogged jets. Use a scrubber, brush or toothpick to clean mineral buildup from the jets to get the water flowing again.

Check the Overflow Tube

An overflow tube is the tube in the center of your toilet’s tank. It’s meant to drain excess water into the toilet bowl should the tank overfill. With time, the overflow tube can develop cracks, which could cause the tank to constantly drain water into the bowl. This lowers the level of water in the tank, which results in slow, sluggish flushing. If you spot cracks in the overflow tube, replace it.

Check the Fill Valve Assembly

If your toilet doesn’t completely flush, the problem could be the fill valve. Start by checking the fill valve’s float. Depending on the style of the valve, this could be a bulb on the end of a metal rod, or it could be a circular float that fits around the fill valve itself. The float is designed to shut off the fill valve when the water reaches a certain level in the tank. If the float is improperly adjusted or if it has become stuck, it won’t rise when the water level rises, which could result in an underfilled tank and poor flushing.

Underfilling can also happen if the fill valve itself is clogged. To check this, flush the toilet so that water drains from the tank, then watch the fill valve to see if water is flowing from it as it should.

Check each of these things, and you’re likely to find the reason your toilet doesn’t flush well. If none of these solutions fix the problem, you may need to call in a professional — or possibly upgrade your toilet. For the best in new toilets, be sure to shop the selection at Modern Bathroom.

How To Descale A Shower Head

Have you ever noticed a crusty buildup on your showerhead? This is almost always what is known as limescale buildup. It’s caused by minerals building up on your showerhead each time you use it, kind of like how stalagmites form, only in miniature.

When the problem gets bad enough, you’ll notice issues with the way the water flows from the shower head. In serious cases, jets may clog entirely. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to descale your showerhead — or replace it if the problem has gotten bad enough to warrant it.

Read below to learn more. 

How to Descale a Shower Head That Is Fixed

If your shower head is fixed, you’ll need to get a bit creative. The best way to descale a shower head is to soak it in something that will dissolve the minerals. Vinegar works. For heavy-duty descaling, you can also purchase limescale removers.

To decalcify a shower head that is fixed, you will need a freezer bag, your removal product of choice and some rubber bands. Fill the bag with the descaling product, then use the rubber bands to bind the bag tightly to the showerhead so that the jets are soaking in the descaling product.

Let it soak for about an hour, then remove the bag and turn the water on to flush the cleaning product and dissolved lime. If there are stubborn bits of scale remaining, use a toothbrush to scrub them. A paperclip or pin will work to clean jets that are filled with scale. 

How to Decalcify a Shower Head That Is Detached or Removable

This process works the same as above: Choose a descaling product, vinegar or something commercially available. Soak the shower head for about one hour, then use a toothbrush and running water to flush the cleansing product and remove the last bits of scale. During the soaking process, however, you can use a bowl or bucket to submerge the shower head, which is quite a bit easier than using a bag and rubber band!

If it’s a removable shower head, be sure to have the right tools on hand to remove it and reinstall it. You’ll need channel lock pliers to twist the shower head loose. Once you’ve removed it, clean any grime or bits of leftover plumber’s tape that may be on the threads. When it’s time to reinstall it, you’ll need plumber’s tape and pliers. Wrap the tape around the pipe’s threads (this will help prevent leaks) and use the pliers to tighten the shower head. Take care to avoid overtightening.

Preventing Limescale on Shower Heads

Limescale buildup can be tough to remove — prevention is much easier. Purchase shower heads that use specialized materials to prevent the buildup from happening, or you can turn descaling into a once weekly part of your cleaning routine.

To add it to your routine, you’ll need a spray bottle of your favorite commercial descaling product or white vinegar, plus a toothbrush. Spray shower heads with your cleanser, give them a quick scrub with the toothbrush, and rinse. This removes small bits of buildup quickly and easily so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time soaking and scrubbing a few months down the road.

Use these methods to remove limescale buildup on your shower heads. If the problem is severe enough, you can always purchase a new shower head. Be sure to check out Modern Bathroom’s line of shower heads and sprayers. We have a full line of products to help you create the perfect shower experience.

How To Replace A Bathroom Vanity Light

There are lots of reasons you might need to know how to replace a vanity light. It may not be giving you quite enough light, or perhaps you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom’s style. Sometimes light fixtures break — and nobody wants to be inconvenienced by nonfunctional lighting, which means the time for a change is now.

If you’re wondering how to replace a vanity light fixture, the process is relatively straightforward. Take caution, though — you will be working with electrical components, which means extra safety measures will be required. When you’re ready to get started, read below and we’ll walk you through the process.

Safety First

Changing a bathroom vanity light is one of those jobs that many DIYers can handle — but if the prospect makes you nervous, there’s no shame in hiring a professional to do it. Knowing your limits and taking extra care when dealing with electrical fixtures could help you avoid injuries or even a fire.

If you decide to do the job yourself, you’ll need to make sure that the electricity to the fixture is shut off at the breaker box. To do this, start by turning the bathroom light on. Shut off the electricity at the breaker box, then verify that the light went off when you flipped the breaker. Then, turn the light switch off as an extra safeguard in case someone unknowingly turns the breaker back on — and make sure that you warn everyone in your household to leave the light switch and breaker box alone until the job is finished.

How to Replace a Bathroom Vanity Light: Removing the Old Fixture

Now that you’ve taken some safety precautions, it’s time to get started. The first thing you’ll want to do is open the packaging for your new light fixture, so that you can verify that it has all the parts needed to complete the job. Also, check to make sure that enough wiring sticks out from the back of the new fixture, so you’ll be able to attach it to the wires within the wall.

Next, you’ll need to remove the old light fixture. Take off any glass shades so they don’t break, and remove the lightbulbs. Use gloves if the bulbs are hot or if there is broken glass. Look for screws that attach the fixture to the wall — sometimes these can be hidden along the rims of a flange or beneath decorative caps. You may also find thumb screws to remove a decorative plate that conceals the main attachments.

When the original light fixture is free from the wall, you’ll be able to undo the wiring that connects it. If you have a voltage tester, use it to confirm that the electricity is off — otherwise, you can always doublecheck the light switch and breaker box to confirm that the electricity is still off. Then, gently pull the wires out of the junction box within the wall and undo the wire nuts joining them.

Once you’ve finished with this, check the wires protruding from the wall and make sure the ends of the wires are in good shape — not overly frayed or damaged. If the wires are badly frayed, you can use a wire cutter to snip away the damaged section, then strip off the wire’s coating to leave about 1/2 inch of the wire exposed.

Installing Your New Light Fixture

Attaching the new fixture follows a similar process to removing the old one, but in reverse. Make sure to adhere to package instructions as you complete this job. Get started by attaching the fixture’s wires to the wires in the wall using wire nuts. When you have each wire nut in place, give the wires a gentle tug to ensure that they are snug and won’t come loose later.

Next, install the new light fixture’s mounting system. This will usually involve a bracket and screws to attach the fixture to the wall. Once you have it in place according to package instructions, continue following those instructions to add any decorative covers, shades or other components.

By the end, all you’ll need to do is put in the light bulbs and install the shades, if applicable. When all of this is finished, give the light fixture a close look to make sure everything has been installed correctly. You’ll then be able to turn on the circuit breaker to the bathroom, followed by the switch for that light fixture to verify that the light is working.

Whether you’re wondering how to change a bathroom vanity light and looking for new fixtures, or you want to make a major upgrade to your bathroom, shop the selection at Modern Bathroom. We have everything you need to make your upgrades — including beautiful vanities to elevate your bathroom’s style.

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