So, it’s finally time to renovate that old-looking bathroom. A part of you is excited at the fact that you will be able to have warm and relaxing stress free showers and bathroom breaks without having to look at cobwebs, dusty corners and old chipping paint. But another part you might be not looking forward to the bathroom renovations process and all of the decisions and expenses that come with it.
Have no fear. Here are ten helpful tips to help you prepare for your adventure in bathroom renovations:
1. Window Tips
Some windows in older homes are placed in very strange places, like right above the toilet or bath so your neighbors can get a nice free show. So, if you’ve ever wanted to move your bathroom window completely, now might be the perfect time to do so. Because if you will be removing your bathroom walls and drywall anyway, moving the window can easily be incorporated into your renovation process, rather than it needing to be a separate project all on it’s own at a later date.
2. Toilet Tips
If you do not wish to move your window, could you (or your local handyman) improve your privacy by moving the toilet instead?
Note: If you are planning on moving your toilet, you might need to call your plumber to check your pipe situation and make sure that everything is up to date and that there are no leaks, strange smells or blockages.
Another idea would be to upgrade your toilet – particularly if you don’t already own an efficient dual flush and low profile option. Toilets can look so boring – so why not investigate a funky or retro option that could become a talking point when guests come over? Or decorate the area around your toilet with rocks or pebbles like in the photo below?
3. Flooring Tips
Do you want your flooring to match your shower walls? If you are in love with a certain type of floor tile, it might even be compatible to be used as a wall tile. To break up the use of the same colors and patterns of tiles, you can add a decorative border around your shower, walls and even on your floor.
Choose a floor type that is water-resistant. Tile, concrete and vinyl flooring are great options to choose from as they are long-lasting, durable and come in many different colours, styles and textures.
Get cold in your bathroom in Winter? Maybe explore the option to place radiant heat under your flooring so that you can get out of the shower and step out onto a warm floor in those chilly months. If you think you’ll still get cold, you can always complement your floor heating with an overhead heater in your light, heated towel racks and/or heated toilet seats!
4. Wall Tips
Has your drywall taken a beating? Are your walls covered in crayons, chipping paint or dents? Maybe it’s time to get back to the basics and replace your bathroom drywall before you start laying new shower tiles.
If you decide to replace the drywall, once the drywall gets removed, you will be able to see the bare bones skeleton and framework of the bathroom. If you have always wanted a different bathroom door placement or layout altogether, this might be the perfect the time to do so.
5. Painting Tips
Make sure, when choosing your paint type, that you are choosing a paint that is water-resistant and won’t show signs of streaky water lines on your walls and ceiling when your bathroom gets steamy. Choose a semi-gloss or eggshell finish in a minimum sheen for make it easy to clean, and be sure to buy a bathroom or kitchen appropriate paint. Typically the lowest sheen you can get is satin, but a slightly higher gloss is always recommended.
If you’re planning on renovating the bathroom simply for resale value, you might also like to keep everything clean, neutral and modern in order to appeal to as many people as possible.
6. Decor Tips
Now we’re getting to the fun part. Planning out the final look and finish of your bathroom is where you get to be creative and bring out your real personality in your bathroom.
Can’t decide if you want a calming beach theme or a modern, sleek and clean-looking theme? Losing sleep over how to best maximise your space?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the options available, take a deep breath and try checking out magazines, shop around town for finished looks or get inspired by checking out sites like Pinterest and home decor sites like Houzz. There are so many photos on those sites that with a bit of patience, there’s a good chance you will find an idea that will work perfectly for your space.
Houzz actually offers “Ideabooks” which help you plan out your decor and design before you get started with the renovation. This way, you will know exactly what colour of tiles, countertop, sink, plumbing taps and spouts, cabinets and other decor colours and styles to choose.
7. Exhaust Fan Tips
In order to combat water lines on your walls, condensation and ceiling mould, be sure you choose a highly efficient exhaust fan that will work best for the size of your bathroom.
You can even buy a timer for your fan so that, when having a shower, you can turn the fan on and keep it on for several minutes after you leave the room so that there is no leftover humidity which can damage your walls and ceiling.
Always buy a fan that is bigger than recommended. There is nothing worse than finding out later, due to unforeseen circumstances, that you can’t efficiently expel that nasty moist air (and smell) out of your bathroom.
8. Shower Tips
Have you thought about installing a brand new shower? Do you prefer a walk-in shower or a tub? Have you always wanted spa jets in your tub?
For home re-sale value, families with children tend to prefer bathtubs because it is easier to bathe children in a bathtub than in a walk-in shower. But for own your living pleasure, of course, choose whichever option works best for you now.
A walk-in glass enclosed shower with a beautifully tiled wall, ceiling and floor cannot be beat but if you’re going for this luxurious look, bear in mind that it might cost you more than just a bathtub and tile job, because you might need to remove the existing materials and change your plumbing around. Also keep in mind that glass doors and walls are on the pricier side.
When choosing tiles for your shower, make sure that you choose tiles that are easy to clean. Glass tiles tend to be easier than slate tiles. But the experts in your local bathroom supplies store can give you the latest advice on this.
Hard water and soft water will also appear differently on different colours and textures of tiles and glass so you will maybe want to do some water test spots to see how water would look once it has dried on different materials.
9. Budgeting Tips
Depending on how much work your bathroom needs, and the size of your bathroom, your renovation job could cost you anything from $5,000 to $50,000. So, make sure you have a clear budget in place before you begin and remember to review your budget mid-renovation. You should always allow a little extra in your budget so you are not surprised or frustrated when unexpected expenses occur (and unfortunately this almost always happens).
10. Money-Saving Tips
One way to save money is if you try a DIY bathroom renovation that you can complete from start to finish by yourself. If you have the skills and know-how to do this, fantastic. But most people don’t, so don’t be shy in calling a handyman or licensed builder to help you out. These professionals are typically very experienced in renovating bathrooms and can sometimes save you money in the long run.
Another money-saving tip is to start planning your design early. If you’re not in a rush to get your renovation finished, you will be able to shop around, compare prices and wait for store deals, coupons and clearance items.
Also be on the look out for price match guarantees or demo items that can be sold at discount prices. Don’t be afraid to bargain with store managers or shop somewhere else in order to save money. Every dollar you save is a dollar you can use for something else in your bathroom.
Try shopping online. There are many places online (not just eBay) that will ship items to your town and they might have cheaper options than what’s available in your local hardware stores.
If you need finance, be sure to also compare financing rates and credit card offers before you sign up to an agreement that will cost you unnecessary money.
Always keep your receipts in a special folder with all the materials you have purchased from the beginning of the job to the end of the job. You will most likely be purchasing excess materials that will not get used and in order to be able to return them to the store and get some money back, you will need to have your receipts for these unused materials. It also helps when you sell your home, to have all of these receipts organised and ready to hand over to your buyers.
Your Dream Bathroom Awaits You
It might seem like a time-consuming and costly nightmare at times, but with the right plan in place, your bathroom renovations should be worth it in the end.