feel bad about your bathroom? this should help


When I was asked to represent Shelterrific in judging the recent Chicago’s Ugly Bathroom contest, I jumped at the chance! After all, I consider myself an expert in the field since my first apartment (a one-windowed shoebox on Boston’s south shore) contained a bathroom with horrific Barbie-neon pink shower tiles, sink, and toilet. The contest was sponsored by The Tile Shop with the grand prize of a $50,000 bathroom makeover. There were hundreds of entries, and it was incredibly stiff competition: zebra-striped mirrors, shag carpeting, cigarette-burned linoleum, and outdoor light fixtures (yes, in a bathroom).

After much heated debate with my fellow judges (Chicago Home + Garden’s Jan Parr, a couple of WGN staffers, and some Tile Shop representatives) the grand prize was eventually awarded to first-time homeowners Matthew and Suzanne Witt of Evergreen Park, Ill. Matt secretly entered the contest to surprise his pregnant wife, who was forced to endure grimy pink linoleum, falling down yellow plastic tiles, and horror movie-worthy fluorescent lights. After the jump, take a look at the second- and third-place winners. I guarantee they will make your bathroom seem like a spa. — Katie D.


Rich Richter was awarded second place and all-new tile from The Tile Shop thanks to his just slightly gold — or wait, is that rust on the tiles, too? — bath.


Third place and a $500 gift certificate went to Jennifer Healy for her lime green palace.

From our partners

Wow, those bathrooms are TRULY frightening!! They totally deserve a makeover…


Why is there a hammer in the tub??? I’m having visions of “Psycho”!

The hammer as shower implement is a bit unnerving.

i’ve never seen bathrooms in such a state! quite amuzing that there is a competition for the worst though. do ppl prepare for these competitions like ppl prepare for flower shows etc? lol :)

Katie D

Sorry to shatter all the Patrick Bateman-themed explanations but, according to the owner, the shower would leak unless a weight was strategically hung from the faucet so they had to shower with the hammer daily. Yikes, right?

T Bone

but did anyone actually check the criminal record of that guy?

Hypothetical Woman

Nah, my bathroom’s nearly as bad as these – nasty seventies-syle tiles painted over with peeling gloss paint in cream, green and purple, the bath cracked and boxed in in unpainted wood and the paint on the walls needing a second coat. Yay for rented accommodation.

This is a mess. Probably one of the biggest benefits you’ll enjoy when you remodel the bathroom in your home is an increase in the home value. When you remodel the bathroom, you end up with an even better home, and larger remodeling projects can really make a difference in the amount that your home is worth.

This must have been staged no one in their right mined would use this bathroom that is in this condition. We are from Toronto painters company and I don’t remember seeing this type of neglected bathroom except when someone was using it as storage room.

And I am feeling bad because our two bathrooms are overdue to be remodeled! But in compare to those pictures our bathrooms still look like brand new. LOL
I don’t know how people can let things go down that much.
Just using some common sense should tell those people the repairs will be way higher than what a regular upkeep or remodeling would have been. It wouldn’t surprise me if those pictures were taken from houses or apartments they were for rent and the people moved out and the landlord is stuck with the repairs and probably most of the costs.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » post off: do you judge others on the cleanliness of their homes?

[…] posted before about dirty bathrooms, those nasty enough, in fact, to win prizes for their impressive grimy […]