The beauty of renovating a bathroom is that all the money spent is 100% recoverable when you sell the house! If you’re not planning to sell any time soon, the new bathroom adds convenience, luxury and will have your friends green with envy. Don’t be surprised, though —often after making big changes in a small bathroom a homeowner will start wanting to renovate other parts of the house.
A properly executed bathroom renovation would include removing all electrical and plumbing fixtures first. Drywall should also be removed especially from any exterior walls. This gives you an opportunity to check if there is adequate insulation and a vapor barrier. You can also check for mould at this time, and discuss any removal procedures with your licensed contractor.
You will also want to update the electrical. Add GFCI for safety if it’s not already present, and a bathroom fan to control humidity. If the bathroom feels cold, you could install in-floor heating and/or add a towel warmer, which may double up as a radiator as well as warming and drying your towels.
Regardless of what the existing flooring is, it should be removed. There are basically two acceptable materials for bathroom floor: porcelain tiles or stone such as trendy limestone, granite, or marble. The sizes of tiles going on the floor or walls are only limited by your imagination. The 12”x12”, 12”x24”, or 24”x24” on walls look great! Use this opportunity to get creative. Square tiles may be placed diagonally; rectangular tiles may be laid in a brick pattern. Another great option is glass tiles which give you endless design possibilities.
A complete bathroom renovation would also include a new vanity and sink top. The newest trend for a sink is a large, simple, anchored bowl – some of these are just clear glass, others feature deep ridges for the designs or even floral carvings. Depending on the décor of the bathroom the faucet you add to complete the vanity’s top could be a rustic copper faucet or a sleek, shiny, silver, stainless steel as just two examples.Then hang a large, decorative mirror on the wall over the sink and the vanity becomes not only a functional bathroom necessity, it becomes a showpiece.
Toilets are no longer regulated to be simply white or off-white; they come in several colors to match the rest of the bathroom and are high performing, water-reducing units that will save homeowners money over a period of time. Many municipalities also offer cash incentives for replacing old toilet with water-efficient ones.
The lighting in a bathroom should be updated as well. There are beautiful, smaller hanging lights that would complement any style. Or try a row of soft, bare light bulbs running down either side of the large mirror over the sink with their own on/off switch for putting on makeup, brushing your teeth, or fixing your hair. Adding a skylight will bring natural light and save energy.
To add pizzazz and something special, the addition of a Jacuzzi or whirlpool tub will complete a new bathroom’s look and really bring your comfort up to a whole new level; you really would not need to leave your home to have a relaxing, unwinding, spa experience. There are also tub enclosures that can up-cycle your old, worn-out tub, to a beautiful sunken tub, many that include jets for a wonderful water experience.
Some homeowners are stepping away from bathtubs altogether and going with simple shower enclosures. These can be large, stone or tile, and even have a seat or bench at one end. Showering in a glass-enclosed stall will really allow you to enjoy the space and the experience. Shower valves could include the new ‘rain’ shower heads which are large, flat plates that direct water down and over a person from all directions. Usually these rain showers have the water spraying from various hoses and spouts located in different positions on stainless steel poles throughout the shower for an all over body ‘watering’ experience.
Storage-wise, an elegant cabinet of cherry wood or maple would complete the look and add a place to keep towels and other bathroom necessities handy, but out of the way, and out of sight.
When renovating your bathroom, hire only the best—those who are experienced in all aspects of remodeling: plumbing, electrical, and cabinetry. Using only licensed trades will ensure the renovation process and will be painless and that you get many years of enjoyments out of your new bathroom.