Planning a Bathroom Remodel

Not to get personal, but let’s talk bathrooms! A bathroom could be considered a little oasis inside of your home; a place to escape the chaos and enjoy a private moment alone. It is also the most important room in a home and in today’s modern standards wouldn’t be livable without it.

If your bathroom is outdated or too small for your family, perhaps you have considered a bathroom remodel or upgrade. Although a bathroom renovation is no small task, it can increase a home’s value, improve functionality on a day-to-day basis, and maybe stop a fight or two between siblings. Whether it’s enlarging a bathroom, installing cosmetic updates, or a complete renovation, careful planning from start to finish is necessary for a successful outcome.

The first thing to consider for this type home improvement project is budget. The budget depends on how extensive the bathroom remodel will be. For example, enlarging a bathroom will be much more expensive than say, a few cosmetic updates. A moderate cosmetic update can easily run $5,000, while a more extensive remodel or addition can be anywhere from $15-$50,000. Once a reasonable budget is determined an essential question to ask yourself is how you want to be able to use the bathroom. Aside from the obvious reasons, is it a place to escape and meditate? Who in the family frequents the bathroom the most? What are the style goals of the bathroom remodel? How long are you planning to live in the house?

Answering some of these essential questions will help determine if you should consider enlarging the bathroom, maintaining the same footprint and doing a complete renovation, or perhaps some simple cosmetic updates will be adequate. After these questions are answered and the goal of the bathroom remodel is decided, let the planning commence!

Enlarging a bathroom

This concept can be translated a few different ways. For example, it could be enlarging a half-bathroom into a full, or a full bathroom into a master. Either way, it’s a big undertaking for a bathroom remodel.

There are two ways to enlarge a bathroom, either steal space from another room or create an entirely new space by adding on. The latter is much more expensive. Utilizing space from another room can be more cost effective yet produce dramatic results. For example, using a closet on an adjacent wall can enlarge an existing bathroom or a large closet could even be converted into a small or medium-sized powder room. A guest bedroom is another space that could be converted into a bathroom. For a two-story home, the location underneath the staircase is often a unique way to utilize extra space for a small bathroom.

If there is no additional space to spare there are a couple other options for your bathroom remodel project: A bump-out wall or cantilevered wall projection can provide up to two feet of extra space. Although it doesn’t sound like much it can make a significant difference in a small bathroom. The alternative option is a full-blown bathroom addition. Although the measurements are custom to the needs of the bathroom this is, by far, the more expensive option.

Complete bathroom renovation

If the current bathroom has adequate space but needs a style renovation or an overall update, this is a great option. Like every home improvement project, determining the budget is the first step. Next, determine the style of the bathroom renovation. Although every bathroom style is different following are three common themes.

Modern/Contemporary: This style is a sleek and forward-thinking design, and usually incorporates contrasting patterns and textiles that catch the eye.

Classic: If the overall design of the home is historical or colonial the classic style is a good option. The elegant hues and luxurious touches create a relaxing space.

Rustic: If you are looking to bring the outdoors inside, a rustic renovation is a good option. This design embodies nature and usually has large windows and plant or rock accents.

After the style is decided on, it’s necessary to map out where all the fixtures will go. It often helps to solicit the assistance of someone experienced in design and building codes. A designer can also offer valuable insight on space saving fixtures. For instance, a pedestal sink vs. a vanity is less bulky in a small bathroom. Feasibility of plumbing and sewer line placement are also important considerations.

Once a floor plan is mapped out and the fixtures (tub/shower, toilet, and sink) are decided on, next is flooring. A couple common flooring options are:

Wood plank tile: This flooring has the look of wood, but the durability of tile. Ceramic and porcelain wood tiles are designed to look like they have wood grain but stand up to moisture and easy to clean.

Bamboo/Cork: An environmentally friendly option that resembles wood, yet more durable. It is also resistant to mold and mildew.

Another big decision for a bathroom renovation is deciding on the countertop, assuming you are going with a vanity style sink. Three common options are:

Granite: This is a beautiful option to add to any bathroom. It is durable and easy to clean, but more expensive than some alternatives. If you really do some shopping, you might find an unused, smaller piece of granite that was part of a larger piece for say a kitchen countertop. Think the remnant table at a fabric store.

Manufactured Quartz: This looks like granite but is more cost-effective and has most of the same qualities as granite.

Tile: This is another common bathroom countertop option that is a much more cost-effective option than quartz or granite, but it is harder to clean and maintain because of the grout lines.

Although there are more decisions to be made for a complete bathroom renovation, including lighting, sink and tub/shower faucets and valves, and paint colors, the above items are the most essential and can help you determine the overall direction you’d like to go with your bathroom remodel project.

Cosmetic bathroom update

If a complete bathroom renovation is too large of an undertaking, consider a simpler cosmetic update. It can still make a huge difference in look, functionality, and resale value. One of the easiest updates that can be done to refresh the look of a bathroom is a new coat of paint. To take a paint job to the next level crown molding is another option that helps modernize a bathroom and give it a finished look.

Another easy and inexpensive way to brighten up any bathroom is to replace the light fixtures. It can make a bathroom seem larger simply by exposing hidden corners.

New plumbing fixtures in the shower and sinks are also an instant face-lift for a bathroom, as is, adding a curved shower rod and new curtain for another way to help create a new look.

When thinking about what’s most important for a cosmetic update consider longevity and functionality. For example, decorative grab bars and a shower step are something to think about for the future or a multi-generational household.

All things considered, a bathroom remodel is no small feat with many variables that need to be kept in mind. Make sure your plans are in order before “breaking ground,” for your bathroom remodel.

Working with a professional remodeling contractor will help make your bathroom renovation go smoothly. Let us help you find a remodeling contractor today!

 

 

 

Cari

Cari Barron, owner and founder of Contractor Hotline, purchased a home in need of various repairs in 2002. The process to find a quality home remodeling contractor proved to be a complex challenge. The first-hand experience was the inspiration behind founding Contractor Hotline in 2006. Connect with her on Google+

Latest posts by Cari (see all)