Bathrooms may be among the smallest rooms in the house, but remodeling one is a huge project with many important points to consider before getting started. For some home owners, a bathroom remodeling job may involve demolishing certain structures and rebuilding them. For others, it may involve simply replacing some of the main features to modernize the look and functionality of the space overall.
Determining what needs to be done and what fits your budget can leave many homeowners confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. The following guidelines were designed to help you plan your bathroom remodeling job a little more carefully so that you get the results you want with the minimal amount of time, effort, and expense involved.
Before Starting a Bathroom Remodeling Job
Bathrooms are personal spaces where some of us spend a considerable amount of our time. For this reason, most home owners prefer that their bathroom spaces remain a delicate mixture of functional and beautiful. Here are a few basic considerations to keep in mind before we get to the more detailed specifications involved in undertaking a bathroom remodeling project.
Consider Your Budget
Your personal budget is a huge part of the planning process when undertaking a big project such as a bathroom remodeling task. Professionals recommend that homeowners keep their budget for such a job to about 10% of the total value of the home for a master bath remodel or 5% of the total value of the home for a half-bath remodel. This ensures that you have a decent amount of funds to work with while not going overboard on expensive but unnecessary splurges.
Avoid Reinventing the Wheel if Possible
If the basic layout of the bathroom can be kept the way it is and remain fully functional, it is advisable to do so. This will drastically cut down on the total cost of the bathroom makeover, while still providing a fresh and modern look that makes everyone feel more at ease and comfortable. If the layout has severe functional issues, the cost of changing the layout overall must be a part of the budget.
Areas of Focus When Remodeling a Bathroom
Many of us spend a good chunk of our time in the bathroom each day. For busy parents, it may involve bathing the children or helping to toilet train them. The process of applying makeup and doing their hair also takes a good portion of time for many women as well. Others prefer to unwind at the end of the day with a long hot bath and a good book, spending up to several hours in the bathroom daily. It’s no surprise, then, that you want to give attention to these four key areas when performing your bathroom remodeling job.
It’s vital to consider the toilet habits of all family members who plan to use the bathroom that is being remodeled so that proper decisions can be made affecting the choice of hardware and equipment. You might consider asking yourself the following questions regarding the bathroom toilet:
- How many people plan to use the toilet in this specific bathroom?
- How long does each person spend using the toilet daily?
- Is the toilet in a private area or would the addition of a toilet room be a wise investment?
- Can improvements be made to the ventilation in the area?
- Is the existing toilet old, does it leak, or does it have other issues that affect its functionality?
If the existing toilet is an older model or has any problems with its functionality, it is a wise move to replace it with a new model. Toilet parts can become worn down with time, which can lead to ineffective flushing or water wastage that adds to your utility bill each month. Replacing an older toilet with a more efficient model could lower your utility bill and lead to fewer frustrations with toilet clogs and similar frustrating issues.
Another consideration when it comes to the toilet is privacy, and this is especially true in the master bathroom. If more than one person is likely to be in the bathroom at any given time, it may be wise to create a partition around the toilet or to build a toilet room that completely separates it from the remainder of the bathroom. This can ensure that everyone who is in the bathroom at any given time is comfortable and feels that their privacy is respected.
When it comes to the sink, it’s important to consider usage habits once again. Many women use a lot of sink space to hold cosmetics and other products that they rely on each day. In a master bathroom setting, consider whether you and your spouse are likely to be in the bathroom getting ready at the same time. If this is likely to be the case, many couples prefer a double sink so that both parties have access to water as needed without having to ask the other person to step out of the way. Dual sinks and extra storage spaces can add as much as $500 to $2,000 to your overall budget, but it may be worth the cost in saved time and more efficient bathroom usage for some couples.
Similar things can be said about the shower and bathtub space. When determining whether related expenses are necessary or extravagant, it all comes down to your usage habits. How often do people in the family take baths instead of showers? Is more space needed? A separate walk-in, standalone shower and a bathtub designed for soaking can be one way to minimize frustrations and maximize the pleasure and comfort of the bathing process. If you and your family take a lot of baths, you will want to ensure that the size of the bathtub is adequate to cover your needs. Finally, pay attention to smaller cosmetic details, but keep in mind the primary focus of the bathing area should be functionality and seeing that all family members have their needs met comfortably.
When considering the tile in the bathroom, you can save a great deal of money by going with porcelain tile rather than natural stone. Both provide beautiful and long-lasting results, but natural stone is always going to cost substantially more. Opting for porcelain tile could save as much as $1,500 for an average-sized bathroom. If you are remodeling more than one bathroom, this could add up fast. Porcelain tile is also much harder to damage, which might be an important consideration if you have young children in the home. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of your grout as well. Urethane grout is a wise choice because it doesn’t stain or become discolored over time. If you need to add warmth to your bathroom floor, consider having your tile installer add radiant heat beneath the tile to warm up your floor and reduce your heating bill in the colder months of the year.
Planning a bathroom remodeling job is a big task that can seem overwhelming and frustrating. With proper planning, however, it is possible to make wise choices that fit in with your budget and allow your family to experience a beautiful and functional newly designed bathroom.