Bathroom Remodeling

When you’re investing in a home remodeling project, you want to make sure that the results not only please you but add value to your home and save you money on energy and water as well. These seven steps will help you take advantage of the latest design trends, technologies and products.

Budget for the unexpected

Hidden water damage is a common problem in bathrooms, whether from a leaky shower pan or running toilet. “If the floor feels spongy, that’s a sign of serious water damage”. An experienced contractor will do exploratory work early in the project to sniff out as many issues as possible

Hide the toilet

A master bath that’s stylish and functional can also be discreet. That’s why it’s nice to hide this fixture away, either in its own “room-within-the-room” or behind a half wall.

Do choose appropriate surfaces

Your master bathroom’s surfaces do more than just contribute to the overall aesthetic. They also take lots of abuse. Porcelain tile is a favorite among designers, for use on the floors and walls alike. You can find some versions in the $5 per square foot range that look like natural stone. We recommend larger tile sizes to minimize grout lines. Porcelain is also a popular option for bathroom sinks. Enamel-on-steel sinks were especially durable and stain-resistant, as were stainless steel sinks, which are becoming more popular for use in bathrooms. When it comes to the countertop, granite and quartz have migrated from the kitchen into the bathroom, where they deliver the same durability and visual interest. Laminate and solid surface are still popular as well, and can be cost-effective options.

Splurge on the shower

To create this sensual experience, you’ll need a shower stall that measures at least 4-by-6-feet, larger than the 3-by-3-feet box that used to be standard. If you can take the stall up to 5-by-7-feet, you may also be able to do away with the door, since the showerhead(s) can be directed in a way that the spray doesn’t reach beyond the shower area (an L-shaped design is helpful). This will eliminate a sizable expense, especially if you were planning on a frameless door, which can be pricey. One caveat: Don’t eliminate the bathtub if there aren’t any other bathrooms in the house with a tub.

Consider water efficiency

Showerheads, toilets, and faucets have all become more water-efficient in recent years, thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency’s voluntary WaterSense program, which labels products that are 20 percent more efficient than federal standards.

Make room on the vanity

Since grooming is the main task at the vanity, it’s important to have plenty of surface area to put things down. While the his-and-her double sink configuration has been popular in the past, it often makes sense to have a single sink and more counter space. Besides maximizing the counter space, opting for a single sink vanity saves you the expense of the second sink and faucet. And eliminating a set of plumbing expands the available storage space inside the vanity.

Provide adequate ventilation and light

Moisture not only breeds mold and mildew, it can take a toll on finishes and painted surfaces. A bathroom fan is the best defense. Consider a humidity-sensing unit that will automatically turn on and off depending on the amount of moisture in the air.

As for lighting, the goal is to bring different layers of illumination into the room. A ceiling fixture is suitable for general lighting, but it will cast shadows on your face when you’re seated at the vanity. That’s why you’ll also want sconces or other vertical fixtures mounted on either side of the vanity. The shower and toilet should also have a dedicated task light, such as a recessed canister light. Remember to put the fixtures on dimmer switches so that light levels can be adjusted depending on the mood and task at hand.