So you’ve caught the DIY bug and are feeling inspired by the new year to tackle your bathroom remodel—congratulations! You’ve got this under control and can be confident that you’re making the right decision in remodelling your bathroom to add extra value to your home. Plus, if you’re doing this on a budget, you’re adding even more value to your pocket by cutting down on the expenses of renovation by doing most of the work yourself: you clever homeowner, you.
But before you get started, there are some questions you’ll want to consider that can make everyone’s life much easier. And when you’re done and enjoying the peace and quiet of your brand-new (well, kind of) bathroom, you’ll be glad you did.
As a bathroom remodel contractor, we understand how much you love your home and want it to look and function its best. Our in-house design team can help you create a value-adding space during your interior remodel. So, before beginning any bathroom remodel, here are a few things to consider.
At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.
What’s your mould protection plan?
There are many different options for mould-proofing your bathroom, but you’ll want to have the materials prepared and ready to go to streamline the process. Once you’ve stripped your bathroom down to bare bones, it’s time to re-build from the ground up, and if your bathroom is prone to mould, it may be worthwhile to investigate your mould protection options. For example, the blue board is a form of drywall that’s mould resistant and only costs a few dollars more.
Don’t forget the fan.
It may not sound like a big deal but think about all the moisture your bathroom creates on a daily basis, trapped in such a small space. A fan is a necessity in keeping your bathroom as healthy and mould-free as possible. But what kind should you buy? If you opt for a separate fan and light, your overall cost will be cheaper, but they’ll be trickier to replace. If you decide to go with a combination fan, you’ll be spending more money, but will be choosing the more convenient option.
What kind of budget do you need for professional services?
There’s a lot you can do on your own for a bathroom remodel, but if you’re touching plumbing or electricity, you will need to hire a professional. A remodel is a great opportunity to assess if your current bathroom is working for you and move outlets to a more convenient location or update plumbing to more efficient versions.
Does the layout of the bathroom work for you?
It may be easier than you think to freshen the layout of your bathroom without actually making a lot of changes. For example, an easy option is to rip out a linen closet and replace it with cabinets. It’s a big change without the added expense of moving to plumb.
And let’s be real about the purpose of a bathroom and not forget the little things, like where is the toilet paper holder going to go? Plan the flow of your bathroom strategically, and you’ll avoid any unwanted surprises later on.
Do you have what it takes to do a tiled shower?
If you’re considering replacing your drop-in shower with a tiled version, you’re going to have to do your homework. With mudded tiled showers, the need to waterproof is real, and it’s not always easy. There are a lot of steps involved, so research and preparation are key.
Do you want to spend the money on a shower door?
If you’re yearning for a fancy-schmancy glass shower door, but don’t have the budget at the moment or want to relocate those funds for other important things, like a heated toilet seat, keep in mind that because glass shower doors are standard-sized, you can always add one later. Stick with a colourful shower curtain for a while while you save up for a shower door.
Don’t tiptoe around the tile.
What size tile do you want? Larger tiles are harder to lay down because they are less forgiving, but you can cover ground faster with them. However, they are also more slippery, so inside the shower, you will need smaller tiles with larger grout areas for your feet to hold on to. Mosaic tiles are a good idea for anti-slip protection if you don’t want rugs on your floor.
What do you want to do with your cabinets?
Before you seal the deal with your DIY bathroom remodels, you’ll need to decide on your cabinets. First up, thoroughly check inside each cabinet for water damage. If you need to replace the whole cabinet, you can then decide if you want to have a custom bathroom cabinet made to fit a piece of pre-cut countertop or go the other way around and have a countertop cut to fit your cabinet.
However, if your cabinets are not water damaged, it may make more sense to repurpose your vanity by sanding them down and painting them with a latex or oil-based paint.
Can you reuse older bathroom fixtures?
While it may be tempting to throw out all the older bathroom fixtures, like that cream-coloured toilet, it may be worth your time (and wallet) to consider if you can incorporate a cream-coloured bathroom scheme. You can purchase newer almond or cream-coloured components, such as a toilet, to blend the old with the new without actually having to purchase all new appliances. Now that’s some DIY remodelling to be proud of.
Consider Your Materials and Costs
Before starting any major renovations, it’s important to consider your motivation such as how much you’re willing to spend, the expected return of investment you want, the quality of materials you’ll use, the size of your bathroom and whether you’re planning to do it yourself or hire a contractor.
Several issues influence the return of investment obtained from a bathroom remodel, but the most important influence is your inspiration for doing the remodel in the first place.
For instance, if you’re hoping to stay in your home for the long-term, then you’re remodelling for personal use. Then the return on investment you will receive will not be financial, but rather emotional as it will enrich your lifestyle. For this kind of return investment, you ought to spend money on materials you love and appreciate, such as a new shower with rainfall and massaging showerheads or a freestanding tub.
Consider Building a Shower
You shouldn’t be afraid to indulge in a beautiful shower. If you don’t have space or if you’re not a fan of taking baths, replace the tub with a perfect walk-in shower. In bathrooms that are narrow or have a low ceiling, simply removing your bulky bathtub will allow you space to feel open and beautiful.
Additionally, opting for a design with a frameless glass door will allow your bathroom to appear brighter and larger as you will be removing visual interruption. This is ideal for bathrooms that don’t have any natural light.
You may also want to opt for a fantastic shower head as this will make the difference between a decent shower and a great one. Converting your tub to a shower would also be cost-effective because you wouldn’t have to reroute the plumbing.
Consider Beautiful Surfaces
One exciting step for remodelling your bathroom is selecting gorgeous surface materials. Vanity countertops, hardware, wall tiles, and floor tiles can all have an enormous effect on the overall look of your bathroom.
The simplest way to make a statement is to choose either a statement vanity or wall or floor tile. A statement of vanity will create an attention-grabbing and unique contrast to your bathrooms overall design. Whereas, bold tile will make an all-white bathroom feel less sterile and more modern.
Indulge on beautiful surfaces such as Calacatta marble or with a splash of stylish colour. Picking the right surfaces for your bathroom can make any space feel luxuriously designed.
Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Consider the Perfect Toilet
Picking the perfect toilet for your project is likely not the first thing on your mind, but choosing an appropriate toilet is just as important as any other element in your remodel. Resist the temptation to cut corners in this department. This will help avoid regrets and extra expenses down the line.
The commonplace choice is a two-piece toilet which has a separate tank and seat. Although the tank and seat are made to fit together, they will have a seam. Down the road, the seam can become a difficult spot for cleaning. Nevertheless, two-piece toilets are cost-effective, as well as simpler to transport and install.
Alternatively, one-piece toilets tend to be more lavish and expensive. Similarly, prices, styles, and quality vary. One-piece toilets are seamless and provide a contemporary, sophisticated look with one less place for germs to hide.
Consider Upgrading Your Bathroom Lighting
Lighting always sets the mood for any space, particularly in the bathroom. When you are designing your bathroom lighting, you will have many options. As you’re shopping, you will find the size, layout, style, and pricing vary.
The two most common light sources are either a sconce or a mounted fixture. However, you have many styles to choose from, such as over the mirror lighting, ceiling lights, or hanging lamps. The options the endless, but will all add a new ambience to your bathroom!
When remodelling your bathroom, you can stay on time and budget, while making a beautiful space. Use our list of things to consider when renovating your bathroom.
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? Often 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 material that is solid, 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 farther 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.
Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.
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.
“Bathrooms are a more personal space than kitchens,” Snyder continues. “So some of the questions I ask clients may be personal, but I need to ask them because if you are designing this area for yourself and your family, you want to make sure it is personal.”
For instance, how many people soak in the tub at one time? Do you shower alone? (If the answer is no, you may want multiple showerheads and more space in the shower.) Do you want a more private space for the toilet, and how is the ventilation working in that space now?
How old are you? (This might be the most personal question of all!) Are you planning on staying in your current home, and how will your needs change as you get older (known in the design industry as “aging in place”)? Will your bathroom be able to accommodate these needs? The industry term universal design refers to the principle of designing features that cater to aging homeowners, such as attractive grab bars that double as towel racks and curbless showers.
The discovery you’ll make during this process of determining how your bathroom must work for you is that despite the rudimentary appliances (toilet, shower, sink), this space functions very differently for everyone.
So while you’re in the initial phases of determining what your existing space lacks, think big, says Lori Carroll, president, Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, Ariz. “Let’s design your dream space,” she tells her clients. “We can always value-engineer back, but let’s start by creating the vision. It may seem backward—the opposite of starting small—but at least you incorporate into the design all of the elements you want as opposed to adding them on later.”
Then, Carroll says, you make choices based on what features you need and what you can afford. The extras can remain on your wish list as enhancements for down the road if you decide to do the project in phases. But start by addressing the essentials: space layout and appliances/fixtures.
Of course, what’s essential depends on which bathroom you are remodelling. While your home has a single kitchen to focus on all design efforts, you might have several bathrooms in the home, and each one serves a different purpose. “The master bath is the second most important space in the house next to the kitchen,” says Brian Johnson, principal, Collaborative Design Architects, Billings, Mt. “This is where the magic happens when you get into design work—it’s an intense, very specialty room.”
On the other hand, the full bath is often a “family bathroom” for children and generally space where function trumps fashion. “A three-year-old won’t care about the vessel sink and granite countertops,” Johnson says.
Three-quarter baths that include a toilet, sink and shower are generally useful and here, too, a place where the budget might not allow for heated floors or shower sprays and intricate tilework. The powder room or half bath, on the other hand, is a tiny spot that can pack a serious design punch. As the saying goes about small packages?
“When you have guests over for a party, you want to give them a small sampling of what the home has to offer,” Johnson says of why the powder room can make a big impression, especially when expressive materials are used for the basic sink-toilet-mirror setup: concrete countertops, glass vessel sink, natural stone tiles, cabinetry that looks like furniture.
So now it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and start your preplanning, so you will be on your way towards a bathroom makeover that is manageable and enjoyable. Most of all,… have fun with it!