Whether you have a simple powder room or a master en suite, the functionality should be at the heart of your bathroom remodel. Read on to learn tricks for gaining storage, improving lighting and drainage, and more to ensure that your renovated bathroom stands the test of time.
You’ve finally decided to start renovating your bathroom. Congratulations! If you’re like many of the Fox Cities homeowners that we talk to, your renovation is on your mind constantly. Perhaps you’ve searched online, bought design books and magazines, or even have an inspiration board on Pinterest. However, don’t let the excitement blind you from making logical decisions that could potentially save you money and time! Here are some common mistakes we see people make during their bathroom remodel project. Keep these tips in mind as you move forward with creating the bathroom of your dreams!
At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.
Mistakes When Remodeling Your Bathroom
Don’t set an unreasonable budget.
Assess what is important and what is not important in accomplishing your renovation goals. In doing this, you can see what is affordable or not in your remodelling budget. It seems simple to calculate the estimated costs of the materials needed and set your budget up that way, but that isn’t always the best option. Your budget should cover the surprise costs that come up with potential issues in the renovation, such as faulty ventilation systems, signs of mould, drainage issues, or potential plumbing mistakes from the original contractor.
Don’t rush your project timeline.
Just like anything in life, sometimes your bathroom remodel doesn’t go as planned. Based on what the remodelling project entails, a remodeler can come upon issues within the bathroom or homes itself, such as issues with pipes, mould, and mildew. Be optimistic, but don’t be too optimistic because not all house projects will be completed within the given timeline — so don’t rush it.
Don’t forget the details.
One usually thinks of the bigger picture, but in the case of a bathroom renovation, the smallest details cannot be ignored. Although decisions are hard, try to have all of the cosmetic changes chosen early on, such as tile design, paint colour, fixtures, and finish type. Storage is also extremely important. Don’t underestimate the amount of storage you need. Think of the common issues you have with your current bathroom storage and accommodate accordingly. Time is money, and having details thought out before talking to a remodeler can speed up the process.
Remember to plan the layout.
Let’s say you’re set on having a double sink vanity. Great! But, maybe you also want a spacious walk-in shower. Make sure your wants are possible with the square footage of your bathroom. You don’t want a bathroom that’s crowded with no room for foot traffic, especially if it’s the most used one in the house! Work with designers and plumbing experts to set a realistic layout with room for what is necessary.
Trends aren’t always meant to be followed.
You may be remodelling because your current bathroom looks old-fashioned compared to the modern bathrooms we see today. Although adding a few modern touches to your bathroom fixtures and design are great, keep in mind this a long term investment. Will that colour be “in” 3 years from now? Probably not. Classics are classics for a reason. Remember that it took a while even to start thinking of renovating, so you’re next renovation likely won’t be for a long time. Make these decisions in the present but keep the future in mind.
What To Consider Before Your Bathroom Remodel
Residential plumbing typically uses 1½-inch pipes for drains. You’d be surprised how much gunk and hair goes down that drain. The larger the drain, the less likely it is to clog. The cost difference to upgrade to a 2-inch drain is practically negligible, and unless your framing doesn’t allow for it, you should consider increasing the drain in your shower to 2 inches.
Also, If you live in a region where temperatures drop below freezing during the winter, your water supply lines mustn’t get routed through an exterior wall.
Consider recessed light fixtures throughout your ceiling to brighten up the room. Include one (or two) in your shower with the proper shower trim. Install a dimmer switch so you can adjust the mood in your bathroom. You’ll want to consider how you’ll be using the mirror in your bathroom and whether you want aesthetic or functional lighting. Whether you’ll be applying make-up or shaving, bright light fixtures properly placed go a long way to help you see what you’re doing close up.
Do you have space to recess your medicine cabinet? Frequently this is a great way to save a few inches of space over a shallow vanity, and the additional framing typically isn’t going to break the budget. If that’s not an option, ensure that you have enough room at your vanity to have your medicine cabinet protrude by 4 to 5 inches.
These fixtures have grown in popularity lately and for a good reason. They no longer break the bank, and they also save space since the tank is hidden behind the wall. But there is a big consideration with these special fixtures. Because of how these toilets drain, if you ever change your mind and opt for a floor-mounted unit, you’ll have to rework the supply.
A window in the shower.
This is a great feature if done properly. Some things to consider:
- Choose a frosted-glass panel for privacy and preferably one that opens for fresh air.
- Ensure that there are stone jambs along with the entire installation so that this area is watertight.
- Ensure that the sill gets sloped down and away for proper drainage.
Lastly, I always specify a tilt-and-turn window in a shower, because the screen is located on the outside of the window; the handles are plastic so that they won’t rust, and the window provides full privacy even when tilted open.
Like the windowsill, what’s important here is that it is sloped properly into the shower. Try to choose a solid material, like stone or quartz. If you tile your shower curb, water can sit on the grout lines and eventually seep through to the framing.
Larger tiles are typically more difficult to slope properly, and unless they’re textured, they’ll be slipperier because the grout lines are further apart. Smaller tiles, whether textured or not, offer more traction and are typically the norm for shower floors — though the options are nearly limitless.
Gone are the days of boring beige prefabricated shower bases. More and more, I’ve been using shower systems that have modern, clean bases made out of acrylic or porcelain. Don’t overlook other options for your shower floor.
Consider installing a vanity with drawer storage rather than doors. Drawers are easier to access and easier to organize. They can be cut out around the plumbing and can be extra-large to accommodate large items.
Shower or tub?
When considering a bathtub or a shower-only option, ask yourself how many baths you take a year. I often have to remind my clients that they are not renovating their homes for a future buyer, but rather for themselves. Even if you live in your house only for another five years, it’s worth it to do it for yourself. And besides, there’s no guaranteed way to tell what will appeal to a future buyer.
Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Choose the Right Paint Sheen
In years past, you had to use a glossy or satin paint wall finish to lockout persistent bathroom humidity. But today many manufacturers are producing specialty paints in on-trend matte finishes that are formulated with anti-microbial additives to protect against moisture and mildew. These paints may cost up to two times more than standard latex-acrylic. So if you want to save money, go for glossy. The best way to prevent mould and mildew is to stop it before it starts with a properly vented exhaust fan ducted to the exterior. And don’t use the shower for at least 24 hours before and after painting to ensure that no moisture disrupts the paint-curing process.
Select the Faucet First
The sink faucet—or in some cases the tub faucet—is the most visible hardware in many bathrooms, so start by choosing it, and then match the shower set, toilet flush lever, towel bars, and other hardware to the faucet’s styling and finish material. Ergonomic lever faucets are the easiest to use for people of all ages—and you can find them in styles from modern to vintage.
Think About Your Storage and Counter Space Needs
Your choice of sink and vanity go hand in hand to determine how much storage and counter space your bathroom provides: A pedestal sink offers a slim and traditional silhouette that’s ideal for small bathrooms, but it has no vanity for storage and very limited counter surface. A vessel sink is a bowl that sits on top of the vanity—often a repurposed piece of antique furniture—so there’s plenty of room for drawers and storage space inside, but little usable counter space on top. A traditional vanity offers both counter spaces on top and storage space down below.
Make Flawless Flushing a Priority
If you haven’t shopped for a toilet in recent years, you’re in for a surprise. Heated and LED-lit seats, built-in bidet functionality, water-saving and self-cleaning features are just a few of the high-tech options you’ll need to evaluate. But flawless flushing should be your priority. Go to map-testing.com to check any toilet’s ability to get the job done with just one push of the handle. Look for toilets with a Maximum Performance (MaP) testing score of 500 or higher; this group includes many WaterSense-rated toilets, which are high-efficiency models that use as little as half of the 1.6 gallon-per-flush legal limit.
Flatter Yourself with the Right Light
While recessed or surface-mounted ceiling lights are critical for overall room lighting, they’re unflattering for self-reflection. Task lighting on either side of your over-sink mirror is ideal. Fixtures should be placed at eye level (around 66 inches) and ideally spaced 36 to 40 inches apart. If there’s no room for side sconces, install a long fixture on the wall above the mirror.
Cement and encaustic tiles are all the rage these days, but they can be pricey, they’re harder and more expensive to install, they’re prone to etching by acids and harsh detergents, and they require annual sealing. For high quality, affordable, and easy-to-care-for surfaces, the gold standard is porcelain. The toughest versions are practically crack- and stain-proof, and you can find tiles that convincingly mimic the look of handmade ceramic, natural stone, and even wood floors.
Go for Non-Slick Surfaces
Some tiles create a serious slipping hazard when they get wet. To ensure your bathroom floor doesn’t get dangerously slick for people stepping out of the tub or shower, choose tiles with textured surfaces, matte finishes, or sand-containing glazes. Another option: small tiles with lots of grout lines can add traction to the floor.
Tips for Choosing A Bathroom Layout
- The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all door openings should be at least 32″ wide when measured from the open the door to the opposite stop, so your actual door should be at least 34″ wide. If you are tight on space, consider a pocket door.
- Check all the hinges that will be used on doors and cabinetry. You want to make sure that no doors can hit each other if both are open. You might want to change the way that a door opens or swings to make sure that there are no issues.
- The height of your ceiling should be at least 80″, except in areas that are not meant for occupancy. Use these areas for storage to make the best use of your space.
- Designers recommend at least 30″ of clearance in front of an item, like the vanity or toilet for comfort reasons. Building codes usually require a minimum of 21″.
- The toilet has specific placement requirements. It should be far enough from the wall or other amenities so that it is easy to use and keep clean. It should be at least 20″ away from the wall when measured from the centre of the toilet.
- You don’t have to stick to traditional bathroom layouts. Consider these rule-breaking design options if you want a bathroom that will stand out from the rest.
Tools and Supplies
Once you’ve decided on the layout of your bathroom and the elements you want to include, you’ll need to gather tools to install these elements. Consider the following tools and supplies for your bathroom renovation:
- Safety mask
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Power drill (cordless)
- Pry bar
- Utility knife
- Extension cord
- Shop-Vac (Wet-dry)
Hiring a contractor is something to consider when remodelling. The complexity of the job (electrical, tiling, plumbing) can go right over your head. If you insist on doing some of it yourself, try it. If that does not work out, search for local contractors.
Plumbing for showers, sinks and toilets can be intricate systems. Unless you are a trained professional, it may be best to outsource this part of the project to a plumbing professional.
Bathrooms are the place where electrical and plumbing meet, meaning one wrong move and you could accidentally start a fire, or cause a flood.
Looking for a unique tile design? A tile professional can install challenging tile cuts, and prepare the bathroom subfloor that will withstand traffic for years to come.
A carpenter can install cabinets and trim throughout the bathroom.
They’ll handle your project in its entirety from start to finish. Working with a general contractor, you’ll have instant connections to the best professionals in the business.
Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.
If you are on a budget, DIY is your friend. While gutting the bathroom, save some items that may be useful to reuse. Even a simple coat of paint on a cabinet can go a long way in uplifting the bathroom. Scour Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, yard sales, or secondhand stores for items you can use in the remodel. Look for common items like shelves, mirrors, or towel racks. It is important to understand that more research is required when buying secondhand.
While buying new, consider best value items, even if they are more expensive upfront. For example, buying a “green” toilet can save you money on your water bill in the long run, but may not be the cheapest option. Checking out local department stores, or even Amazon for a toilet can give you the big picture on pricing.
The easiest way to save money on a remodel is to install everything yourself: shower, countertops, floors, and even shelving. You can DIY the decor too, creating soap dispensers out of mason jars, or staining new shelving made from wood. Knowing where to spend your money in a bathroom renovation will ultimately help you save on the total cost of the project.
So much time is needed for planning all the details that go into a bathroom renovation. Perhaps, you may even lack time and patience in planning this renovation. No worries! You don’t need to do it alone.