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Léa Noémie Plourde-Archer
Léa Noémie
Plourde-Archer

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Renovating a Bathroom: Things to Take Into Consideration

Last modified: 2018/08/06 | Approximate reading time 6 mins

Along with kitchens, bathrooms are one of the main areas that tend to come first during home renovation projects. In order for you to  be well prepared, RenoQuotes.com has prepared a small guide including things that need to be taken into consideration for bathroom renovation projects.

How to plan a bathroom renovation project

Before you launch the project, start by defining your needs and your budget. If this room is only being used by adults, it can be decorated using objects that convey luxury, such as a therapeutic bath, whereas, if it is being used by young children, elements should remain simple and practical for everyone.

The daily habits of the family members are one of the main factors that should be taken into consideration when planning a bathroom renovation project. For example, if you like to spend hours soaking in a nice bubble bath, you will have to choose a bathtub that suits your needs.

However, if you only spend a few minutes each day in that room, a standard shower or bathtub will be better adapted for you. Another thing to think about during this part of the process is the number of occupants living in the home and who will be using the bathroom, especially if you only have one.

You could decide to invest in a second sink and/or second mirror. This will avoid morning traffic jams when everyone is trying to prepare for school or work. Of course, if you’re not intending to extend the size of the room, make sure that the extra sink will fit properly within the current setup. You don’t  want to make things more cramped than they already are!

This line of questioning will also help to determine the type of storage that is best suited for your bathroom. If you own lots of accessories and appliances (hair dryers, towels, makeup, etc.), you’ll have to choose cabinets or cupboards that can hold all of your belonging. In terms of drawers, try to choose furniture pieces that include several of them.

This way, you’ll have an easier time organizing your objects, which will  make them easier to find on a day-to-day basis. Since the bathroom is usually one of the smallest rooms in the house, it should not be cluttered up with objects that are left lying around. Try to superpose storage elements in order to maximize the amount of space available, especially if your washer and dryer are located in this room

. Soumission-Renovation_ bathroom renovation_storage

Photo: Pinterest

Bathroom renovation budget

Determining your budget will help you decide which renovation projects are doable. If your budget is limited, either stick to one essential project or work on a more superficial level, giving the room a nice makeover. Small elements can make a big difference: doorknobs, cabinet doors, wall paint (make sure to choose a paint product which is specially made for bathrooms), etc…

These small changes can really change the look of your bathroom. However, if you decide to go for a full room transformation, expect to spend quite a bit more money. You’ll have to take several things into account: plumbing, electricity, faucets, floor and wall coverings and sanitary appliances, among other things.

The fact of the matter is that bathroom renovations can be costly but they end up adding value to your home, which can be a considerable asset if you are looking to sell your house in the near future. Above-all, these improvements will affect your day to day life positively. Even though it is possible to keep a budget under $2500, material choices for the cabinets, the floor and the various surfaces in the bathroom, as well as labour costs,  will affect the total price, in some cases bringing it up to $20 000 or more.

That’s why it is so important to make sure that your project is well defined and that you carefully select the materials that will be employed. This may seem obvious but think twice before you buy that huge bath which will fill up the whole room and leave little space for the sink and toilet. In many cases, the practical aspect should trump aesthetical considerations.   

Always plan out 10%-15% of your budget for unplanned expenses that could come up during the renovation process. It’s always better to take proper precautions.

Preparing to transform the bathroom

Optimal preparation is crucial to the success of your renovation project! Before you start ripping everything appart, plan out how things are going to go! This will help you avoid future problems. Using a tape measure and a sheet of squared paper, draw out a plan of your bathroom according to scale.

Note the exact location of the door, the windows, the sink, the toilet, the bathtub (and plumbing), etc. Once all of these permanent elements have been sketched out on paper, you’ll have a better idea of the amount of space with which you are working, which will make things simpler when you go shopping for a bathtub, a shower and a toilet.

This is also the time to plan out any modifications you are looking to bring in terms of the setup. If you decide to move your toilet, be sure that there will be enough space to move around it properly. The same goes for the bathtub and the sink. Entering and exiting the room should be effortless tasks. If you don’t wish to complete this task yourself, hire a designer who will be able to do a nice job with the plan.

Plumbing, taps and other bathroom elements

All elements, big or small, should be chosen using the same rigourous selection process. If you aren’t planning on changing the plumbing, check to be sure that it works with the new sink or bathtub that you wish to install. In terms of taps and faucets, heavier weight tends to indicate better quality.

Once again, check that all the measurements are exact. In other words, the faucet must have the proper dimensions to fit with the chosen sink. This will avoid leaks that could occur if you have to plug any of the elements for them to fit.

Photo: Bain Dépot

Photo: Bain Dépot

Bathtubs come in several sizes and shapes. If you wish to change yours, the size and shape of your bathroom will determine the type of tub you will choose. Acrylic bathtubs are a great option as they are very durable. They also help conserve heat, which is always a good thing to know for people who like to take long warm baths at the end of the day.

Enameled steel or cast iron bathtubs are also good options. These are cheaper than acrylic tubs. However, they lose heat more quickly. The shower can be installed separately, or it can be set up right over the bathtub. In the latter case, a shower curtain or glass doors will be needed to block the water from gathering on the ground.

For independent showers stalls, you will need to install a slip-resistant surface on the ground to avoid falls when the floor is slippery. The other main sanitary appliance, is the toilet. Always choose a low-flow model. Old toilets consumed 20 liters of water for every flush. These days, new models use less than 6 liters. Since the toilet is one the elements that uses the most water around the home, having a low-flow toilet will considerably improve your water consumption level.

Bathroom accessories, storage and decoration objects

If you opt for appliances with traditional shades (like white), use decoration objects to give the room more character. Lighting, ceramics, frames, towels, candles, shower curtains, etc. These elements can bring the room’s overall look together to create a pleasant space where one is happy to spend time. And to hang your towels, opt for hooks instead of poles, which are more traditional. Hooks are easy to use, especially for children, and they are better for drying. These small details can make a huge difference.

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

To see examples of bathroom renovation projects completed by RenoQuotes.com contractors, check out "10 examples of beautiful bathroom renovation projects". 

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