Over the years, I have renovated dozens of bathrooms. And the more I reshape, the more I see several important guidelines repeated over and over again: the general rules to reduce costs and make the most of your money. Now, if money is not an object, just hire the best bathroom designer you can find and write them a blank check. For the rest of us, I offer the following advice:
Whenever possible, leave the fixtures in their existing locations. Moving plumbing lines for a bathtub, shower, toilet or sink can be expensive and messy. A better solution is to improve these fixtures for a new look or a new feature.
When choosing new fixtures for your bathroom, stand in white, off-white, bone or cookie. Light-colored fixtures do a number of things for you. First, the white means clean. White fixtures look cleaner than colored fixtures. Second, white fixtures have less impact on the overall appearance of the room. Generally, they tend to make a small bathroom look bigger. Colored fixtures – especially black – tend to make the bathroom smaller.
Light colors are also suitable for walls and floors, especially in smaller bathrooms, as they give the impression that the room is larger. Dark colors give the appearance of a smaller bathroom. Leave the white ceiling. If you want to add a touch of color to a bathroom, do it modestly with a border of wallpaper, decorative tiles, etc. Better yet, color your bathroom with accessories like area rugs, soap dispensers and photos. That way, if you are tired of the color of the accent, it's just a matter of changing your accessories.
Planning to replace your sink? Like the look of a pedestal sink? If you do, there are some important things you should know about these popular sink upgrades. For starters, you will lose any storage space you had with a sink. And in a small bathroom, this can be a big problem. Secondly, most homeowners do not realize that the pedestal portion of the sink is primarily decorative; the sink itself is actually mounted to the wall. For secure mounting, this means removing your existing wall cladding, installing a support cleat and repairing the wall. A pedestal sink often requires modifying / moving the supply and drain lines in the sink – usually with very tight tolerances.
If a new toilet is in your future, consider replacing it with an elongated or raised bowl. These two elements can add comfort to your daily routine. It is important to note, however, that in small bathrooms, an elongated toilet can cause clearance issues. Check with the manufacturer of the toilet for the recommended clearance before buying any of these. It is surprising how two inches can make the difference in the height of the toilet. It's all the difference in height between a standard toilet and an elevated toilet. These few inches make a significant difference in the ease of sitting or getting up from a toilet. Raised toilets have become so popular that many lighting manufacturers offer most of their styles at this height.
When you get tired of this old tub or shower, you'll be surprised by all the choices available. Lightweight materials (such as fiberglass) facilitate the installation of a new unit. You should know that there are two major categories of new bathtubs and shower units: remodeling and new construction. Monobloc shower / bath units are designed for new construction only. They are designed to be installed before the installation of drywall. If you buy one for a renovation project, two things are likely: you will not be able to install it at home, or if you can, the unit will not fit in your bathroom without removing the drywall and all fixtures. Stick with remodeling units in several pieces. They are made to fit in tight spaces and are easy to install.
Bathrooms are constantly exposed to water, so when choosing a floor covering, opt for a moisture-resistant material. My first choices are vinyl sheet and ceramic tile. Avoid materials that swell and deform when they are exposed to water, such as laminate flooring and planks or strips of wood.
Finally, invest in quality products – especially the sink and tub / shower faucets. Buy from a quality manufacturer and consider taking a faucet repair kit when you buy your faucet. Even the best faucets will require maintenance in the future.
By following these proven guidelines, you will save money and have a nice new bathroom in no time.