10 Design Tips When Renovating a Bathroom
We spend a lot of time in the bathroom.
So how much is “a lot?” Well, consider that if the average person lives to be 75, he or she could spend about a year and a half in a bathroom over the course of a lifetime. That’s 18 months – a huge chunk of time spent in front of a sink and mirror, in a shower, tub, or on a toilet.
So why not make your own bathroom as comfortable, inviting, and functional as you possibly can?
If you’ve finally decided on a bathroom renovation, we’ve collected a boat load of tips, tricks, and common sense advice during 20-plus years in the business, and they can help your project go as smoothly as possible.
1. Understand your goals, and “window” shop. Many communities sponsor home improvement expos in the spring and fall, and that’s a good way to find great ideas for your new bathroom renovation project. Or if that doesn’t work, then wander down to your local home improvement warehouse and peruse the displays, or check out any of the more popular home decorating publications.
2. Even if you’re an experienced do-it-yourselfer, consider the benefits of working with a licensed contractor, someone with knowledge, experience, familiarity with local building codes, and the ability to bring an unbiased opinion to your bathroom renovation.
3. If you decide to work with a contractor, we always recommend getting a minimum of three estimates – preferably from someone who’s actually visited your home – and stay away from the low bidder when possible. Remember the old saying “You get what you pay for?” Well, sometimes it’s true but you don’t need to learn it the hard way.
4. Choose elegant fixtures, such as a pedestal sink, a claw-footed bathtub, and accessories and colors to match.
5. Go for durable flooring. The first choice in any bathroom is usually ceramic or a derivative of stone tile, which makes perfect sense, but properly sealed hardwood – three-quarters of an inch in order to be refinished later – can survive normal bathroom use.
6. Install grab bars at strategic locations, particularly around or in the tub and shower area.
7. Over the years we’ve heard horror stories of families with young children and even pets who’ve received burns from scalding hot water, so we recommend including heat regulators on bathroom faucets during your bathroom renovation.
8. Add a touch of European flair to your bathroom renovation by installing a bidet to go along side your toilet. A bidet is a low, wall mounted plumbing fixture used to clean a person’s private parts, often with warm water. Another popular feature is a multi-function toilet that combines odor repellants, heated seats, music, and other features.
9. Finally, when revamping a bathroom – whether doing the work yourself or working with a professional – remember to take your time and plan everything well and to the smallest detail.
A bathroom renovation can be a whirlwind of experiences, but always keep your goals and budget in mind, and select a design that fits your style for an end result that is functional, stylish, and safe.