A beginner’s guide to bathrooms
Whether you are designing a luxury bathhouse or a simple wet area, a well-planned bathroom makeover should never end up looking like an architectural afterthought. The bathroom is one of the highest traffic areas in any home. It is one of the most expensive yet least changed rooms in the house to remodel, so money well spent today will mean savings in the long term. Attractive and robust bathrooms should comfortably endure changes in style and the rigours of family life for years to come.
Where to begin?
First, find the design style that inspires you. This will be useful for keeping sales and tradespeople on track. But don’t get too lost dreaming about candlelit bubble baths just yet as there are a few factors to consider before the old walls come down.
How much space is there? Not every house has the room to unleash grander designs (bathrooms are usually the smallest rooms in older homes,) the good news is, downsized bathrooms are on trend. Carefully measure the area and then the dimensions of desired bathroom fixtures.
Are the locations staying the same?
Shower or bath or both?
How is the room shaped? More unusual layouts will affect the organizing and positioning of the various elements, right down to the pipes, and electrical wiring.
How much storage is required? Is there room for toiletries, towels and bathroom supplies?
Is there someone in the family with special needs? They may need an all-one-wet room free of clutter, with overhead shower, hand rails, specific fixture heights and extra space.
What features are most important? Make a list of the must have’s and what goes.
Are bathroom renovations affordable?
A quality bathroom is achievable on a restricted budget. Particularly when existing layout and plumbing locations are re-employed. A flexi-hand shower over the bath with a printed shower curtain can add a touch of style with the minimum of cost and effort. For a more complete look, shop around for off-the-shelf bathroom packages at DIY centres. Changing out door handles, drawer pulls and the hardware on shower doors or the shower doors themselves can dramatically change the look of a room. So too will a new vanity.
While natural ventilation and daylight are desirable, a three-in-one light, fan and heater offer a cost-effective solution to dealing with damp in a small to medium size space.
Bathroom Remodeling Planning Guide
Bathrooms may be among the smallest rooms in the house, but that doesn’t mean a bathroom remodel is simple: bathrooms are the second most complex room in the house to remodel after kitchens.
A variety of unique factors come into play when remodeling a bathroom. It’s important to consider the primary function of the bathroom (e.g., master or guest bathroom), who uses the bathroom (including their ages), special needs like stabilizer bars in the bath/shower, and how to maximize storage space.
You’ll also make important choices on paint color, lighting, flooring, countertops, sink(s), bath/shower, toilet, fittings and fixtures. Also, don’t forget your wish list: some bathrooms now feature coffee makers, TV, charging stations, towel warmers and even small fireplaces.
Thinking about what you really want and need from your bathroom remodel takes a little effort. However, considering that the time between remodels is often 10-20 years or longer, it just makes sense to plan your project as effectively as possible. The effort will help you save money, and increase the odds that you’ll be happy when the work is done.
Footprint and Infrastructure
As a reminder, a room’s “footprint” is essentially its core structure: the foundation, walls, plumbing, and electrical wiring. Changing the footprint – such as moving a toilet or switching from a tub to a standing shower – will add time and expense to your project, so think carefully about whether or not major changes are needed.
Planning Guide: Bathroom Remodeling
Bathrooms continue to top homeowners’ lists of popular rooms to remodel—and for good reason. As more Americans are carefully investing in their homes rather than selling, they realize the value of a bath redo extends beyond enjoying new decor. Per Remodeling magazine’s 2010-2011 Cost vs. Value Report, midrange bath remodels get a 70% return on investment—even higher in certain regions or neighborhoods. That means if you spend the national average of $16,634 to remodel, you will not only enjoy a new bath, but you’ll also recoup $11,643 or more when you sell. (And having an updated bath just might give you a seller’s edge in a slow market.)
As with any home improvement project, it’s smart to spend with care. Begin the process by deciding how much you’d be comfortable investing in a bath, then do some research and familiarize yourself with the basics. This guide will provide useful information about design considerations, storage solutions, and tips for choosing materials and fixtures.
PLANNING YOUR BEST BATH
Most baths are modest in size (50-70 square feet), but that doesn’t stop homeowners from dreaming big. To get a realistic perspective on what’s possible, look through design books, magazines, and websites for ideas. Visit home shows and designer showrooms where you can open drawers, feel jet sprays, and really ‘kick the tires.’
How will the bath be used? It may sound obvious, but first take note of who will be using the bathroom and how, says Nakahara. Are you redoing a family bath that receives lots of wear and tear? Or are you going for a spa-like master bath to soak your cares away? Determining the needs of the inhabitants will give you key direction on materials, storage, and space needs.
Set a budget. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), a non-profit trade association, bathrooms can be one of the priciest rooms to remodel on a cost-per-square foot basis, partly due to the fact that there are numerous water, electrical and plumbing issues. Still, there are options to suit almost any budget. “To share a few examples: a master suite with all the amenities and luxurious materials in a major metro area could reach $100,000,” states the NKBA Bathroom Planning Guide (available as a free download at nkba.org).
THE BATHROOM RENOVATION CHEAT SHEET
Whether it’s a new desire to be trendy, keep up with the latest style, or because you’ve had a sudden realisation that your bathroom is a portal into past design, we all eventually experience a strong desire to renovate and upgrade our bathrooms. Whether you want to add extra storage, extend the bath, refresh your wall’s décor or completely knock it down and start from scratch, this bathroom renovation cheat sheet will help you achieve the new look your bathroom deserves.
Beginning with a guide to an essential tool kit, to tips on what to keep in mind regarding ventilation and plumbing, to a helpful diagram on the optimum distance between all the furniture in your bathroom to create a space for all your needs. There’s even a guide on how to tile, a guide on colour schemes and the finishing touches such as foliage and mirrors to really make the most of this essential room.
OUT WITH THE OLD
Removing your previous bathroom suite yourself is a gruelling job. If you’ve already got the skill set and determination, here are the tools to gather:
Screwdriver – helps unscrew toilets or basin
Tap spanner – helps remove taps or bathtub
Hammer – helps remove tiles
Chisel – helps remove tiles
Scraper – removes grout or plaster from wall
Sledgehammer – useful for large scale demolition
Pry bars – useful for removing a bathtub.
Keep the plumbing and ventilation
It’s easier to base remodelling works around the existing plumbing, to save money and time. Make sure you don’t block the main ventilation, i.e. a window or a vent fan, which will prevent mould.
Plan your new suite by how it will be used.
For a kid’s bathroom, a double sink or non-slippery tiles might allow a quicker morning routine with less bathroom hazards.
For a guest bathroom, extra shelving is a good idea as it gives them further storage space.
For a his and hers bathroom, two basins with two bathroom mirrors can speed up bedtime routines.
Ultimate guide to Bathroom Renovations
Renovations has completed hundreds of bathroom renovations around the world, and although bathroom trends change year to year and country to country, we’ve found that some principles are universal and stand the test of time. We’ve compiled all of the knowledge we’ve gained over the years to create this ultimate resource to bathroom renovations. In this guide we will cover every aspect of renovating your bathroom, from maximising space, to choosing your materials to the estimated costs.
Why do you want to renovate your bathroom?
Thinking about the reasons why you want to renovate your bathroom will guide the design of your new bathroom. Take into account what you like about your bathroom and what you want to change, and work from there.
Bathroom Renovation Time Frame
Bathroom renovations can take between 3 – 8 weeks to complete the build stage, and it’s not uncommon for homeowners to spend a month or two collecting ideas, deciding on a design and picking out materials and fixtures.
Money Saving Tips Back to top
If cost is a big concern, follow the steps below to save BIG on your bathroom renovation
1. Changing the layout of your bathroom will usually be the biggest cost as it will involve more complex plumbing work – If you can keep your layout as is, you’ll make big savings.
2. Luxury fittings can also eat up a lot of your budget. To save money, stick to the basic range, and choose 1 expensive “statement” fitting to bring an air of class.
3. Make sure to add timers to underfloor heating and towel rails to lower your power bills.
4. Choose a contractor with proven experience. It’s a well-known fact that builders will give very low quotes to undercut their competition and win the contract. This approach will usually lead to those builders cutting corners to ensure they can make a profit from the job, meaning the homeowner ends ups with a sub-par renovaton
Basic Bathroom Renovation Cost
$10,000 – $15,000.
In most cases, you will not be able to reposition your fixtures such as the toilet, vanity, shower or bath. You will however be able to replace your existing fixtures with new ones and still have the ability to create drastic difference with accessories, paint and tiling.