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Planning a Bathroom Remodel? Consider this first…

The bathroom is one of those special rooms that can either entice someone into a quick purchase or turn a potential buyer away in a instant.  A bathroom can be a place of luxury, relaxation and serenity if its design is thoughtful and timeless.

Before embarking on the lengthy and potentially expensive task of a major bathroom overhaul, take a moment and review these key considerations.

Considerations BEFORE any Bathroom Renovation:

Before you even think about demolition, revisit the bathroom’s current floor plan.  Is it already well-organized?  Is there a way it could be safer or more efficient? Though relocating plumbing and electrical might dip a little deeper into the budget, now is an opportune time to right any wrongs concerning space planning.

Along with rethinking the layout, it’s also the perfect time to review the existing “pieces” of the bathroom.  Typically, a full-sized bathroom includes the following pieces: toilet, vanity, bathtub (or bath/shower combination).  Bathtubs take up a huge amount of real estate so, in some cases, it might make sense to replace an underused tub with a grander, deluxe shower.

Also consider the style and size of the vanity. Should it have single or double sinks?  This will also affect what type of mirror(s) will best suit the space.  Many people are opting for decorative, framed mirrors instead of the usual frameless, builder style.

Lighting is another important consideration for a bathroom remodel. Is the existing room too dark?  Is there space for more fixtures, such as recessed can lights?  The new bathroom might benefit from some accent lighting or an opulent chandelier above the bathtub.

Don’t forget to address ventilation and safety requirements in the new layout!  What kind of grab bar works with the bathtub model?  What are the requirements for electrical outlets?  Does the vent fan need to be relocated?
Before any bathroom remodel, the primary users must determine their ideal layout, one that accommodates their needs and capitalizes on the space available.

Considerations DURING any Bathroom Renovation:

With the layout finalized, it’s time to come up with a demolition strategy.  What stays and what goes?  For most major remodels, a bathroom is demolished down to the studs.  Even so, is there anything that can be re-purposed?  Be mindful during demolition and set aside anything that might come in handy later.

Now is the exciting part … redecorating!  The floor plan for the remodel is a launch point for the bathroom’s decor selections.  Consider the intended style of the bathroom.  Contemporary or Country? Should certain details stay within a specific time period to mirror the historic character of a house?  What metal finish will look best for the fixtures?  Is matching trim available (towel bars, toilet paper holder, etc)?  Remember to refer back to the lighting plan, as these fixtures are key elements in any cohesive design.

When determining the overall vision for the bathroom, consider its environmental impact. Is it a priority to use environment-friendly construction and finish materials?  Are there local sources available that provide refurbished options? There are numerous water and energy-conserving products that help cut down on utility costs and save the planet!

Considerations AFTER any Bathroom Renovation:

For several weeks after construction is complete, continue to monitor the remodeled bathroom.  Is the fan working properly?  Does anything appear to be leaking?
Again, be sure to address the safety factor.  Does the floor get too slippery during use?  If necessary additional measures can be installed post-remodel (grab bars, textured tile treatments, etc).

A bathroom remodel is a considerable undertaking, but the payoff is significant.  It adds value to your home as well as enhances your quality of life.  If you approach a major bathroom remodel prepared with the necessary tools and information, it can prove to be a very rewarding project.

By Emily Struzik

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