What’s the average amount of space required for a toilet? How much does a basic bathroom remodel cost? And how do you pick out the right vanity? If your answers to these questions are some combination of “What?” “Huh?” and “Um …,” don’t worry. You’re not alone.
There’s so much that goes into a bathroom remodelling project that unless you’re a professional who does it every day — or a homeowner who’s been through the process numerous times — then all the nitty-gritty details, processes, options and decisions are going to sound like they’re in a foreign language. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the test.
If you’re tackling a bathroom remodel project, having a working knowledge of what to expect and what to consider can make the difference between a months-long waking nightmare ending in a bathroom that you settle for or a near-pleasant experience resulting in the room of your dreams. Consider the following collection of tips your cheat sheet for finals week. You’ll be happy you prepared.
A bathroom renovation is an exciting task. But before jumping to choosing the latest tile or bathtub design, there are some less exciting things to consider so your project turns out just the way you dream it. Because renovating a bathroom can be overwhelming, time-consuming and costly, we prepared a simple checklist to make sure that your project stays on track and the renovation runs smoothly.
At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.
Ask Questions Before You Start
First things first—before you even start mood-boarding or falling in love with a bathroom design you want to recreate—ask yourself the boring questions. You may not even realize they impact your bathroom needs, but they do! Any designer worth hiring would run these past their clients before getting started. So get your answers ready, talk to your designer, and then start gathering into photos.
- What’s your daily routine?
- The layout will depend on it.
- How much can you spend? Better to budget now than be disappointed later.
- How much storage do you need? Easy to add now, harder to add later.
- How many people will be using the room? You’ll need to decide: double sinks and mirrors or one.
Checklist Before Starting Your Bathroom Renovation
If you don’t know, already you should work up an idea of how much you want to spend on your bathroom renovation. Setting a budget will help guide you as you make decisions about what to include in the remodel. Once you’ve figured out what you can spend and subtracted the amount allocated to labour, you’ll have a clearer sense of what you can spend on tile, fixtures, and extras.
Many people assume that if they are remodelling a small bathroom, it will only take a few days, or anyway it will take much less time than a larger one. This is not necessarily the case. Depending on how many items you are changing in the bathroom, your contractor will have to go through all the same steps as a larger bathroom. However, planning refers not only to defining the duration of the renovation works but also certain intermediate steps such as ordering and purchasing tiles, fixtures, custom-built vanity or cabinets to make sure they can be delivered when your contractor needs them. Planning time is also crucial for those with only one bathroom in their house as they will have to make arrangements where to take a shower and use the toilet while the bathroom is taken apart.
When it comes to bathroom renovation by completing the job in a specific sequence, you can save yourself from a lot of clean up time and mistakes. Whether you are demolishing sheetrock or simply repainting, you always want to start at the top of the room. Remodel your ceiling first, walls second, and floors third so you can prevent damage to your new components.
If you are doing a major upgrade to your bathroom, consider doing a “full gut”. When done by a professional with expertise, you end up with a zero problems bathroom that will function flawlessly and add tremendous value to your home for many years to come. Depending on the age of your home and how well it was built the biggest hidden problem you may encounter is water damage, so look for structural deficiencies in the floor framing, not properly vented plumbing, old corroded plumbing, non-waterproof tile shower/tub surrounds, etc.
Design style and functionality
When first starting start by thinking about the look you want for your bathroom. There are many factors to consider, like paint colour, tile choices, vanities, showers, tubs, faucets, etc. It can get overwhelming very quickly, so start with some research. You can start to piece together elements that you like into what will become the final design of the bathroom or you may choose a design item you want to feature in the bathroom and then work the rest of the bathroom design around it. The design should work hand in hand with functionality so consider who will use the bathroom and how to consider an eventual resale of the house and also take a moment to think how the bathroom design will fit in with the rest of the house.
There are three major limitations which make size matter in bathroom renovation: the overall size of the bathroom (usually the smallest room in the house), the location of existing plumbing pipes and electrical wiring and the typical standard dimensions of bathroom fixtures. Therefore make sure you have the correct measurements and specifications when you go to the store. More frustrating than trying to shop without measurements is to end up purchasing stuff that doesn’t fit.
Hiring a contract for a conceivably DIY job? Well, yes, that is a smart thing to do given the complexity of the job and difficult operations involved (electrical, tiling, plumbing, etc.). Therefore do not overlook the advantages of hiring a contractor and save yourself a load of misery and time.
Plumbing fixtures and features
No renovation is complete without remodelling or repairing fixtures and features, which could very well make a separate checklist themselves: shower, bathtub, toilet, bidet, sink, faucets and showerheads. You should also update or repair your mirrors and shower doors. You can also change the look of your bathroom very easily by changing out door handles, drawer pulls and the hardware for your shower doors. If you have the budget, a new set of shower doors can completely change the look of your room.
Cabinets, storage and shelving
Planning cabinets, shelving and storing solutions is a tricky problem in most cases. In small, irregular shaped rooms like the bathroom, it is even more so. They need to be functional and accommodate all your stuff while keeping everything easily reachable, they must fit into the available space and make the most of it, and on top of it all, they need to look stylish.
Walls and flooring
Virtually any material can be used to surface walls and floors in the bathroom as long as it’s waterproof, either naturally or by means of an impervious finish. Depending on your budget and style, ceramic, marble, and granite tiles make handsome and highly durable flooring and wall surfaces for baths. For flooring, additional options may include cement (painted or stained), sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles which are inexpensive and look better than used to. Whatever your choice, always mind another key criterion for choosing your bathroom flooring: durability and slip-resistance.
A bathroom can be rendered impractical or downright dangerous without adequate lighting so plan for design lighting that is functional and also creates atmosphere. Plan for maximizing natural light first, whereas for artificial light you should have at least 4 watts of incandescent lighting per square foot.
Although insignificant in the bigger picture of the overall project, no remodel is complete without new accessories. And surprisingly enough, the small stuff like new towels, washcloths, soap dishes, mirrors, towel racks, bath mats do add up to the final bill. If you are on a budget, new hand towels will be better than nothing.
Ventilation is crucial in a wet room like the bathroom. It is also a tricky task which needs good planning: choosing the right fan, the right position for its installation and dealing with the electrical wiring. Poor ventilation can leave your bathroom damp, mouldy and can even harm your health. A well-ventilated bathroom, however, isn’t just a healthy bathroom. Continual airflow can also prevent both the decay of any wooden trim or fixtures and the saturation of building insulation.
Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Even if you don’t care about going green one way or the other, the market is trending toward this, so it’s something to consider. And there are many budget-friendly options for adding a green touch to your bathroom: a low flow toilet that uses less water and saves you money in water bills; low-VOC or no-VOC paints; vanities made from sustainably harvested wood; recycled glass tile surface countertops, etc.
The final clean should include a thorough cleaning of all cabinetry, inside and out, ductwork, walls, floor, windows, and light fixtures. Although often overlooked in the planning phase, in the case of a major renovation, you may want to consider contracting a cleaning service which means additional costs that impact your budget. If you feel up to doing it yourself, you may need to add a day or two to your initial timing.
Design Tips to Know Before Remodeling Your Bathroom
Know What a Bathroom Remodel Costs
Before you begin any project, it’s important to put your expectations into perspective when it comes to how much money you’re willing to invest. The size of your bathroom, the quality of materials you want to include and whether you’re planning to do some of the labour yourself all can affect the cost of a remodel.
Don’t Make the Toilet the First Thing You See When You Open the Door.
Ask a bathroom designer what his or her best tried and true tip is, and this is what you’re likely to hear. The reasoning is simple. Oftentimes bathroom doors get left open, meaning that you or any guest in your home walking by will see the toilet — which, come on, isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing to look at. If you’re hoping for a spa-like vibe, putting the john front and centre in the design can kill the mood as you’re transitioning into the room. So, what should you make the focal point? Anything but the toilet.
Consider Leaving Those Vintage Finishes
The point of your bathroom might be a fresh, new look, but some things are easier to replace than others. For example, in older homes, wall tiles may have several coats of concrete and maybe wire lath. The difficulty in removing these can cause labour costs to skyrocket. Instead, you might want to keep the vintage tiles and spend your time and money elsewhere. Besides, vintage finishes such as tile can be a cool feature.
Plan a Lighting Scheme
The best approach to a well-lit space is to incorporate layers of task, accent, ambient and decorative lighting. Consult with your bathroom designer or lighting specialist about getting your lighting right.
Understand Standard Bathroom Dimension
Knowing a few key measurements, like the size of a typical bathtub and how much space is needed for a toilet, will help you plan you’re remodelling more efficiently.
Plan the Right Height for Your Sink
Typical countertops are 32 to 34 inches off the floor. But you need to consider how your sink will add to or take away from the countertop’s height. If you have an above-counter vessel sink, for example, you’ll want to make your counter height lower so you can wash your hands or brush your teeth comfortably.
Consider a Corner Sink
If you’ve got a tight space with potential traffic-flow problems due to how the entry door or shower door swings open, then consider putting your sink in the corner to free up space.
Or a Tiny Tub
If you’ve got a small bathroom, you may think that a bathtub is not an option. But many companies are shrinking their models down to accommodate chic little spaces.
Pick the Right Vanity
Vanities aren’t just for looks. Get one too big, and you could mess up your bathroom’s traffic routes. Too small and you’ll be scrambling for more countertop space and storage. Pick the wrong material, and you could have maintenance issues on your hands.
Splurge on a Few High-End Materials
A little designer secret is that because bathrooms are usually smaller spaces, splurging on a few higher-end materials and finishes can be a good investment that can make your space seem incredibly luxurious. So before you issue a mandate that your bathroom will feature only the most basic, affordable materials, look at materials for wall and floor coverings, countertops and more on the higher end of the spectrum. You might find that adding one or more of these materials to a small portion of your bathroom is within your budget.
Double Check Your Tile Size
Surprisingly, that 12-inch by 24-inch tile you bought might not be exactly what it claims to be. That’s because most tile is sold in European sizes (millimetres), and the quoted size might also factor in a grout joint, putting your fancy new tile at 11⅜, which can affect your tile layout, niches and plumbing.
Think About Converting Your Tub to a Shower
If you don’t take baths but have a bathtub, that’s a 5-foot by 2½-foot area that’s going to waste. Converting it to a shower would be cost-effective because it would make use of the space that’s already there and you wouldn’t have to reroute the plumbing.
Have More Than One Way of Drying Out Your Bathroom
Reducing mould and mildew begins with removing moisture. To do that it’s best to have a multifaceted approach: a great fan that vents to the outside (not into an attic) and an operable window.
Pay Attention to How Hardwood Meets a Tile Floor
Chances are, your bathroom will have a tile floor, but the hallway or room it’s connected to will have something different, like hardwood. The transition between these two spaces and materials is tough to get right. As in most cases, planning will give you results that meet your expectations.
Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.
Tips for Remodeling a Bathroom
The best place to start with any remodelling project is the budget. Not only will it have a big impact on the type of materials you select for your bathroom renovation, but it will also help you set the boundaries of your design. Knowing what you can afford to spend will make it a lot easier to decide what items you want to replace and where you need to get creative!
Going “green” is not only good for the environment; it’s also good for you. Green products have great design, tend to function better, which lowers utility bills, and they’re also chemical-free, making them better for your health. Having an eco-friendly approach to remodelling isn’t just about buying new products, doing something “green” can be as simple as painting a cabinet instead of tossing it in a landfill.
Want to save some big bucks remodelling your bathroom? Consider refinishing existing items such as your bathtub, shower, sink or tile. With refinishing, you’ll only pay a small fraction (as little as 10 per cent) of the cost of replacement. Your bathroom won’t be torn up for weeks, you’ll avoid the big renovation mess, and you’ve put one less big ol’ tub in the landfill.
Don’t want your budget to skyrocket? Don’t move your plumbing. On the surface, switching your sink and toilet around may look easy enough, but the problem lies underneath and all the costs involved in moving that plumbing. Besides, if you spend less money on moving fixtures, you’ll have more to spend on that new sleek shower system or vanity you’ve been eyeing.
Be brutally honest about your DIY skill level. Assess which projects to do yourself and which are better left to the pros. You could save yourself a ton of money in the long run if you don’t have to call someone in to fix a project you’ve messed up. The best way to find a good contractor — seek referrals from friends, family, neighbours, co-workers and others who have had remodelling work done.
Some of the most effective updating in a bathroom can also be the easiest and the cheapest. Changing out all the hardware, such as drawer pulls, faucet handles and showerheads, can make a big impact. Be sure to use the same finish, such as stainless steel, aged bronze or brushed nickel, to keep the room looking cohesive.
Don’t underestimate the importance of lighting in a bathroom. Sconce lighting at the vanity is the ideal way to get even lighting on your face, and installing it at eye level will help diminish unflattering shadows. Dim lighting is nice for a relaxing bath; bright lights are great for shaving or applying makeup. Adding more overall lighting can make a small bathroom seem larger.
Ventilation. Ventilation. Ventilation. Moisture is your bathroom’s greatest enemy. Mould and mildew will make quick work of any renovation you’ve done so be sure to install a vent fan of appropriate CFMs for the square footage of your bathroom. The rough guide is one CFM per square foot for bathrooms of one hundred square feet or smaller. New designs are quieter and more stylish than ever and are a must-have for any bathroom remodel.
A bathroom redo is going to cost you time, money, and maybe even a few grey hairs. The price can range from a few thousand dollars to spruce up an existing bathroom to six figures for a gut renovation of a high-end master bath. But if you’re smart about spending, the investment will likely prove worth it.