Bathroom Renovation Tips and Ideas

Bathroom Design

In many homes the bathroom is the one room in the house most shared by family and visitors alike, other than the kitchen of course. Bathroom renovations are, and should be, one of the higher priorities on a homeowners list. After all, it’s where most of us begin and end our day. Though these rooms are fairly small, updating this space can be tricky (and costly) to anyone undertaking this project with little knowledge about what it entails. Following are some helpful bathroom renovation tips and ideas to consider as you dream of that steamy new in-house spa:

Consider the size and space

Is it ample or do you need more room to accommodate a larger tub, a separate shower, or more vanity or linen space? Could extra space be ‘stolen’ from an adjoining room or closet to add to the bath, and is it enough to make a usable difference to the total cost and outcome?

Consider the architectural details and design of your home

Should your bath reflect that same personality?  Many Victorian, colonial, and cottage homes for example, have woodwork and other details that define their character, so traditional or furniture style vanities with bead board walls may be more complimentary. The simpler lines of modern homes are open to more European designs such as frameless or euro type vanities. By mixing and matching the proper products available on today’s market, you can still modernize a bath to be sleek, elegant, and functional without it ending up in direct contrast to your homes other living areas.

Factor in plumbing

You may or may not need to update plumbing, but if it’s old you should consider replacing it before installing that new shower or sink. Also, the layout of existing plumbing stacks and drains may more or less dictate where you can and cannot install new fixtures without tearing up walls, floors, concrete, etc.

Are you well ventilated?

Without it, moisture can cause mold and mildew and damage to ceilings and walls. A window is useful for ventilation, but you may not be able to open it year round. You should install (or update existing) exhaust fan that’s rated to the size for your room. It should be vented to the outside rather than into an attic where moisture is just transferred to potentially damage rafters and beams.

If space is small and cannot be enlarged

Don’t further cramp it with larger items, such as too large vanities or bigger tubs. Properly scaled new cabinetry with drawers and pullout’s, countertops, a water efficient toilet and bath/shower or tub can work wonders in bringing new life back to your bathroom. It’s best to avoid trendy colors and design fads though when selecting new faucets, fixtures and tile. New paint in a light cream or white, or light colored bead board walls helps give the illusion of larger space, as does matching floor and wall tile. Also, a new floor such as natural stone, re-stained wood or other moisture resistant flooring to coordinate with fixtures and cabinetry can make your bath feel brand new.

Who’s using it most?

If the remodeled bath will primarily be used by kids and teens, such as a ‘Jack & Jill bath’ between bedrooms or a shared hall bath, consider products that are easy to clean but can also stand up better to daily use and abuse. A stainless steel sink is probably a better choice here than a painted ceramic one that could easily get chipped. Granite or quartz countertops over high-pressured laminate or oak wood are also a good, durable choice. If your children are still quite young, you may want to consider lowering the vanity and faucets for easier reach; otherwise your 12-year old will probably be ready for adult sized fixtures any day now. If space permits, consider a double vanity to speed up prep time for school, etc. If you have frequent adult guests who will share that same bath, consider them in your choice as well. Some adults may have difficulty bending over a too low sink or sitting on a lower seated toilet.

If your bath is en suite to a master bedroom

Design with two people in mind. If installing double sinks or your space is ample enough for ‘his/her’ areas, use the same materials for both spots. You can differentiate them by varying the heights of vanities or using different color/style sink basins; however, if you plan to sell later keep in mind those differences in size/color/design may appear mismatched to potential buyers. Sometimes it’s best to use coordinating paint and linen colors to define those areas, as it’s much cheaper and easier to neutralize later. Plan a shower stall with built in shelving or racks ample enough to hold a variety of products, such as shampoos, conditioners, soaps, shaving needs, etc. Ample towel bars and/or hooks should be strategically placed near the shower door and/or tub area.

If space permits

Allow for a closet to store towels, linens, toiletries, and other personal items. If there is no available space for this, you might consider an armoire or other furniture cabinetry to place outside the bathroom for easy access to those items. This can also apply to other bathrooms in your home that may or may not have room for a linen closet.

Small space doesn’t mean giving up on luxury

Just because there’s no room for that two-person jet spa, you may still be able to incorporate a couple of other options. Heated floors and towel bars, frameless glass showers, smaller but shapely soaking tubs, steam generators, and therapeutic showerheads all lend to luxury.

Don’t forget to light it up!

Ample lighting should be planned and placed everywhere it’s needed:  over the mirror/sink for shaving and applying makeup, over the shower, tub, linen closet, etc. Choosing and placing the right lighting can be tricky. Vanity lighting is different than the source of light needed elsewhere in the bath.  A good lighting plan is a must-have for not only shedding the right light on your task, but also enhancing the overall mood of the room.

No matter what your wants and needs for your bath area, it’s always best to consult a professional design team to assess your bath’s current layout, the plumbing and other features. Our team can ease your confusion as to what your home’s layout (and your budget) will allow, discuss options to overcome obstacles, and help you determine the best plan of action for making your new a reality! We can also advise the best products to use and assist with coordinating colors, patterns, styles, etc. The hardest decision you may have is choosing your new toothbrush! Let us show you how we can design a bathroom renovation your entire family will enjoy for years to come.