Whether remodeling a powder room, master en suite bath, guest bath, or primary bath, we’ve put together a list of ideas and things to know before remodeling your bathroom, to help you better prepare for the changes ahead. Bathrooms may be some of the smallest rooms in a home, but there is nothing small about a bathroom remodeling project.
From the initial demolition and removal of old features to making design choices and installation, there are a lot of steps to prepare for an consider in a bathroom remodel or renovation. When remodeling your bathroom, there are many design choices you will have to make, however you may not have considered the equally many functional choices you will be faced with.
Read on to learn what considerations and upgrades will ensure you get the most out of your bathroom remodel.
Decide On Change
The first step to any remodeling project is to look at your existing bathroom features and determine what aspects you would like to have updated or remodeled. If you have an older home, your bathroom may need modern updates or if you have a drab or cookie-cutter bathroom, perhaps you want to add more personal flair and customize the space to better suit your family’s needs–in either case you need form a concrete idea of proposed changes. Whether you are looking to update or expand a master bathroom, update a powder room, or refresh a guest or kids’ bathroom, there are plenty of bathroom remodeling options.
Decide if you want a full remodel or just bathroom updates and installations for a new cabinets, double vanity, flooring, shower, or tub. Each of these individually can add value to your bathroom and make your daily routine easier, but with an older bathroom, it may be better to “gut” the entire space and start from scratch. Make a list of your top wants and determine what exactly needs to change. It’s important to determine what your end goals are, since a designer may be able to achieve the same result with different changes.
Determine Your Budget
Do research to determine the average cost of various bathroom updates, and decide what updates are most important to you. Knowing how much various bathroom remodeling projects cost from the outset will provide realistic expectations of what you’ll be able to accomplish with the budget you have. Determine what aspects of your current bathroom you are willing to live with, and what needs to change. Come up with a cost estimate of what you’d like in a renovation and determine how much you are willing to spend for your bathroom must-haves, then create a budget.
Once you have set a budget for the estimated cost of your bathroom remodel, allow for a bit of extra space in the budget as a buffer for any unexpected issues that arise as well as any design changes or extra features that you decide to include later. Oftentimes, if you are flexible with your budget, a company or designer can work with you to prioritize what is most important in the remodel. It might make sense to upgrade to a more expensive but longer lasting feature in your remodel to save money long-term. Examples of this include energy efficient lighting, water saving toilets or showers, and vanities or countertops that are made of durable materials to avoid scratches or burn marks. Ask the remodeling company or designer you have chosen to work with about bathroom materials that will last and can add value to your home.
Get An Inspection
With any major project, such as a bathroom remodel, there is a possibility that things may not occur as initially planned. Issues can arise from the way that your bathroom was originally designed or constructed, and an inspection can help. A preliminary inspection can remove any surprises that could pop up later and help you save on remodeling costs by accounting for those additional fixes or replacements. Have a professional to inspect your bathroom, especially the electrical, plumbing, and exhaust systems to check for issues or any health concerns such incorrect or dangerous wiring, plumbing issues or water damage, and mold. Unexpected repair issues can be mitigated by conducting a pre-remodel inspection and allowing for some flexibility in your remodeling budget.
Any professional remodeling company can provide a pre-project inspection, but it’s important that you are aware of the findings and consider how they will affect your remodel and budget. If you have an older bathroom, consider doing a “full gut” remodel. This can upgrade features to look nice and create a cohesive style and look, as well as provide more energy efficiency, safety, and peace of mind. You may want to add in extra ventilation to ensure no mold will find its way into your bathroom, especially in older homes.
Consider The Layout
Consider your bathroom’s current layout, your use of the space and, and your budget to determine what layout best fits your needs. Before you may have had a vague idea that you would like to remodel your bathroom “to be more modern”, but now is the time to get specific and come up with a solid plan in preparation of selecting a remodeling company and meeting with a designer. For example, that “modern bathroom” may become a “modern bathroom with a double vanity, jacuzzi bathtub, and new tile shower”.
Changing your layout significantly will increase the price of your remodel due to plumbing and electrical changes and may be outside of your initial budget–which is why we recommend you determine if you can live with your bathroom’s current layout prior to making any big changes. Leaving your toilet, sink, or bathtub in the same location can save several hundreds to thousands of dollars since you won’t need to run new supply and drain pipes. If you are truly unsatisfied with your bathroom’s current layout, consider implementing small design changes for your bathroom remodel and to keep most if the current plumbing or electrical layout intact–your budget will thank you later.
Keep Design In Mind
Regardless of your material selections, keep in mind the color and aesthetic of the entire room and the rest of your home. Choose quality materials that will last, but also pay attention to how all your choices come together. Wall colors, floor materials, lighting, and tile color and texture all play a part in creating a design that meshes well together. There is no point in remodeling your bathroom if you can’t stand the look or feel of the new space or think that future homebuyers or renters may not like the remodeling changes either.
Online designing tools can help you visualize the space with remodeled aspects and different color schemes, before you make a final decision. In addition to ensuring the remodeled bathroom is a well-thought-out space, consider how the room will tie into the rest of your home. Many remodeling companies or designers have sketches or programs to do this as well. If you feel overwhelmed with choices, a designer can provide options and input to help you create a cohesive room.
Make an effort to look at what storage your bathroom space currently has and ask yourself whether it’s sufficient to hold the items that belong in the room. If your vanity or counterspace is cluttered with toiletries and there are bottles or items taking up space on side of the shower or bathtub, you may need more cabinets with shelves or drawers for additional storage. Medicine cabinets, under vanity storage, floating cabinets and shelves, and built in cabinets provide extra storage space and can be great features in your bathroom. Modern cabinets and storage shelves also have smart storage solutions and specific areas designated to creating the most efficient storage possible, often through a mix of vertical and horizontal baskets or inserts.
Open shelving makes reaching items more accessible and looks great for displaying items such as towels or baskets, and built in cabinets or vanities with drawers can hide clutter or smaller items. Both storage solutions can work well for your bathroom depending on how you use the space. Floating shelves are another popular design choice that has popped up in recent years and looks fantastic in every bathroom remodel. This type of shelving has the added benefit of creating more floor space, ease of cleaning, and added flexibility in the layout of the space.
Splurge On Upgrades
When remodeling or upgrading your bathroom, especially a master or primary bath, you may want to invest a bit more money into upgrading the space to include those worthwhile extras. Consider including the following items to give your updated bathroom a luxurious, comfortable feel without breaking the bank:
- Double Vanity
- Separate Shower Tub
- Heated Flooring
- Heat Lights or Lamps
- Vanity Storage
- Smart Technology
- Towel Warmers
- Steam Shower/Sauna
- Jacuzzi Tub
- Glass Enclosed Shower
- Floating Cabinets Shelves
- Heated Towel Bars
- Cabinet Storage
- Tile Shower
- Rainfall Showerhead
Consider funneling your remodeling budget into worthwhile updates or changes that can aid your daily routine and improve the overall value of your bathroom. While you may not necessarily want to include all these extras, your use of the space can clue you into what upgrades may be worthwhile. Adding a double sink or vanity adds extra counter space to make getting ready in the morning or for a night out with your spouse easier and more efficient. Consider the benefit of your own separate spaces in the bathroom to store products and get ready–no more vying for extra time or space.
Heated floors are a worthwhile luxury to have in winter, or in a climate with colder weather. With heated floors, you can say goodbye to those chilly mornings spent tiptoeing on your bathroom floor and say hello to enjoying the toasty, heated floors. Separate showers and bathtubs make bathing more efficient and enjoyable than the standard shower/bathtub combo and add to the aesthetic and value of your updated bathroom.