This post brought to you by Moen, Incorporated. All opinions are 100% mine.
So I (Hilary) am a woman obsessed with DIY home improvement projects. The house we bought was chock full of cheap brassy gold light fixtures and super cheap linoleum. Its only 12 years old, but looked much older than that when we got it. Over the years, we've improved the house a lot (new door knobs, new light fixtures, new paint), but its only been this past year that I've started on the bathrooms.
A few months ago, I redid the bathroom floor for under $40:
And became hooked on bathroom DIY projects. Why? They aren't the focal point of a house per se, but a well-organized, well-decorated bathroom makes me happy and the projects are small enough, they are very cheap. Tiling my bathroom floor was under $40, but my kitchen will be well over $100.
One thing I especially hate about our bathroom(s) are these:
Gack, eek, gross. The faucets remind me of the 1980's, but my house was BUILT IN 2001! Ugh. I knew they had to go. However, I knew I couldn't just run to Lowe's and grab any one I wanted. If you look closely (or don't, its pretty bad):
You can see a decade of hard-water stains slightly eroded a perfectly rectangular shape around the base of the faucet...meaning most faucets like this:
with their beautiful curved, circular bases wouldn't cover that ugliness. We discussed replacing the sink, which led to wanting to replace the counter and the sink, which led to some exasperated sighing from my husband (since he'd be doing much of it). So when I saw the Moen Boardwalk Centerset bathroom faucet in Chrome with its square base, and kind of art-deco-y style that matched my light fixtures, I was excited!
The whole process took about an hour (mostly because we screwed up one part and my husband had to redo it, otherwise it would have taken about 45 minutes) and it was pretty easy. And trust me, we are not handy people. We are social workers who have a few tools around lying around the house, and we still got it done quickly. So here's the how-to plus some little tips we learned along the way:
1. Turn off the water lines (they are underneath the sink and ours had a hot and a cold line). Gather your tools: wide-mouth pliers, towel, plumber's putty.
2. Disconnect the stick (I'm sure there's a real name for that) by unhooking it underneath the sink.
I so wish I had a close-up picture of this because its tough to describe. However, since we have a tiny vanity, there was no way I'd be able to get my camera in there. In fact, most of my pictures ended up like this:
You can see. Not much room for a camera in there with my husband's long arms. Luckily, the directions included with the faucets were very descriptive and had a good diagram to show us what to do.
3. After my husband disconnected the stick, he unscrewed the nylon washers that are the underside of the faucet (under the vanity). The worst part of this experience was when he unscrewed the washers, a decade's worth of old, moldy, stinky water that drops dripped onto my husband's head. Gross. There's a reason I listed a towel under tools needed.
(Those big white plastic things are the nylon washers)
4. After a little jostling, we were then able to pull the faucet out. Then we simultaneously shuddered at how gross it was underneath. Eww...
We used baby wipes (aren't they handy for everything?) to clean off the old putty. Even after we cleaned it, I was grateful for the rectangular base of the new faucet, because we still had the slightly eroded edge where the old faucet was.
We followed the directions and stuck the plastic guard on the bottom side of the new sparkly faucet (its really really clear in the directions), then popped it into the holes.
So pretty! And sparkly! And modern!
5. My husband had to crawl back under the sink and awkwardly screw the new nylon washers on underneath. Done!
The faucet also came with the drain as well (which was much prettier and shinier than the old one). This was a pretty easy install as well and had good directions. You literally unscrew and pull out the old one:
6. Use a towel (or baby wipes!) to clean off the grime off the lip of the hole, then dry it off:
7. Put together the drain (the directions are really good about showing you how to do this):
8. My husband put a thin ring of plumber's putty around the drain lip, stuck it in the hole, and I held it down flush to the sink while he screwed it in from underneath.
9. Then we dropped the drain stopper into the drain, and stuck the stick (drain pull?) into the hole on top. My husband crawled underneath the sink again and connected the end of the stick to the base of the drain.
And ta-da! It is done! It was a pretty fast project and took minimal tools (we didn't even need a hammer or screwdriver). And the difference is totally totally worth it. We went from this:
It is so pretty, the spout is taller (so you can fill up a cup of water in your sink), the handles are easier to turn for little hands (or super soapy ones) and it just looks better.
We will definitely be doing the other bathroom's faucet ASAP and will use the same brand. You can buy this faucet at Lowe's or one of the other variations of the Boardwalk line (they also have a one-handled version, a widespread version and several in brushed nickel). It was definitely fun to partner with Moen because we've had their faucets in the past and loved them! You can also Like Moen on Facebook and drool over their bathroom inspirations pictures!