How to Renovate a Bathroom
Renovating a bathroom can be as simple as changing out towel rods and faucets for new ones, or as complex as knocking down walls and rearranging tubs and toilets. It can be quite intimidating, especially if you don't know where to begin. This article will give you the basics of how to renovate a bathroom.
Planning the Design and Budget
Decide how you want the bathroom to look like.Think about what mood, theme, and color scheme you want. This is also a good time to think about new faucets, towel rods, door knobs, tiles, and so forth. Great places to get ideas include websites such as Pinterest and home design magazines. Be sure to save pictures of bathrooms you like. Here are some other design ideas to get you started:
- Go with a theme, such as country or ocean. Write down things that might go with that theme, such as rustic wood, lavender, lighthouses, or starfish.
- Go with a color scheme, such as all blues or all greens.
- Go with a limited, modern look or an ornate, old-fashioned look.
Plan a budget.The more you plan on doing to your bathroom, the more money you will have to spend. Something simple as changing out a light bulb or faucet probably won't be very expensive. Things such as adding a shower, or removing a wall, however, may require a higher budget.
- Just because something is out of your budget does not mean that you should abandon your design. You could always go for a cheaper item that looks similar, or buy the item when it goes on sale. Many hardware stores also offer promotions and coupons.
Think about how much work needs to be done, and what sort of work.There are different types of renovations, and each requires a different amount of work, time, and money. Some renovations may also require the aid of a trained professional, for which you will need to hire a contractor.
- Simple renovations include things like painting the walls, adding faucets, or changing the towel rack and lights. This sort of work can be done by anyone, and won't take very long.
- Complex renovations include things like removing or adding walls, replacing bathtubs, adding a shower, or moving a toilet to another spot. These sorts of renovations require a contractor to do the work for you, and may require some time to complete.
Decide how much time and effort your want to spend on your bathroom.Things like switching out old light bulbs for new ones won't take that much time or effort. Changing a bathtub or moving a toilet also won't take much work from you, because they will be completed by a trained professional instead. Painting and adding new tiles, however, may take a lot of time and effort, especially if you choose to do the work yourself. For example, paint needs time to dry, and tiles need to be laid out in grout. This may also affect your budget.
- You can do most of the work yourself, but it will take a lot of time and effort. It will, however, be much cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you.
- You can also hire a professional instead. This may cost you more money, but you won't have to lift a finger or get dirty. Most professionals get their work completely quickly, because they have done it many times before.
- Just because a bathroom is small does not mean that it will be finished sooner. If you need to order supplies, such as tiles, a small bathroom can take just as much time as a large bathroom.
Consider asking a professional designer for help.If you don't know where to begin when it comes to design work, you could hire an architect or interior designer to design a bathroom for you. He or she will know how to work with different colors and materials to create something visually pleasing. The architect or designer will also know how to place things in your bathroom to make them more efficient.
Know when you need to hire a contractor or trained professionals.If you need to do anything to the plumbing or electrical wires, you will need to hire a contractor. He or she will then take care of hiring workers, salaries, working hours, and so forth.
Make sure that your new bathroom meets building codes while still being comfortable.Some places require certain rooms, such as bathrooms, to be a specific size. If the final design does not meet the requirements, the city won't approve your re-design, and you won't be able to renovate your bathroom. Be sure to check with your city if you plan on re-sizing your bathroom, and make sure that your design is meeting the building code. Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Half baths usually range between 3 to 4 feet wide and 6 to 8 feet long in the United States. The larger the half bath is, the more comfortable it will be.
Take advantage of the space in a master bathroom.Master bathrooms are meant to be used by two people. If planned correctly, they can be quite comfortable and roomy. If planned incorrectly, however, they can become cramped and lead to unnecessary elbow-jostling. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Consider adding in a separate toilet room with a door; this will give you and your partner more privacy.
- Having both a shower stall and a bathtub will allow two people to get clean at the same time.
- If you choose to have two sinks, make sure that they are at least 36 inches (91.44 centimeters) apart. This will give both people enough space to spread out and not worry about bumping elbows.
- Be sure to include pathways. If two people are going to be using the bathroom at the same time, they will need enough space to pass by each other. Plan on having 36 to 42 inches (91.44 to 116.84 centimeters) wide pathways in the bathroom.
Have a backup bathroom.This is especially important if you are making renovations that involve plumbing. The last thing you'd want is to be stuck without a toilet or shower for several days. If you don't have a spare bathroom, you may need to install a portable toilet and an outdoor shower.
Choosing the Materials and Fixtures
Take measurements of everything before you go shopping.You will need to know the exact side of your bathroom, including the width, length, and height. You will also need to know the dimensions of other things, such as toilets, bathtubs, sinks, showers, and cabinets.
- If you don't take proper measurements, you may buy something in the wrong size. Taking measurements early will prevent the hassle of trying to return something that doesn't fit.
Choose slip-free, non-absorbent flooring.There are different types of floor material that you can use in a bathroom. In general, what you pay is what you get. If you want something that looks good, is high quality, and lasts for a long time, you will need a larger budget. Here's some things to keep in mind:
- Porcelain and glazed tiles are easy to clean and take care of.
- Marble and granite are expensive, but they look great.
- Avoid porous stone, such as limestone. They absorb stains easily, which makes them difficult to clean. If you want a natural stone, then make sure that it is sealed.
- Try to get something that is non-slip. Look for textured or matte finishes, or glazes that have sand in them.
- Keep painted or stained cement in mind.
- You can also get sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles. They are less expensive than the real thing, but they may not look or feel as great either.
Choose moisture and mildew-resistant paint.Because bathrooms get damp, wallpaper is not a good idea.The best paint to use for a bathroom is something that is either semi-glossy or satin; both are resistant to frequent cleaning and touching. Textured paint is also a great option if you are re-painting an old surface; the texture will conceal any bumps and imperfections. Whatever paint you decide to use, make sure that it is intended for bathrooms, and is both moisture and mildew proof.
- Use light colors, such as sky blue, sea foam green, or lavender, if you have a small bathroom. They will make your bathroom appear bigger than it actually is.
- Use darker colors to make large bathrooms appear smaller and cozier.
- Go for gray or white if you can't decide. They are common bathroom colors.
- Consider adding accent or trim colors to match your decor and towels.
Decide what sort of material you want for your counter.There are different types of materials you can use for your counter, if you choose to have one. Here are some things to get you started:
- Natural stone looks and feels luxurious. It is very beautiful, but it needs to be sealed properly so that it does not soak up stains. The drawback is that it can only come in flat slabs.
- Resin is great for counters with irregular shapes. They are a great choice if you want to have a sink molded right into the counter. They can be made to resemble almost any material and don't need to be sealed. Despite this, they don't have the beauty of natural stone.
- Laminate counters are cheap and come in many different finishes. They are also stain and scratch resistant. Unfortunately, they can also fade and deteriorate over time.
- Consider covering your counter with porcelain or glazed tile. This will make it durable, and easier to clean.
Choose your bathtub, sinks, showers, and other fixtures.There are different types of tubs, sinks, and showers. For example, some types of sinks and tubs are free-standing and can be moved around if needed. Other types are directly molded into the counter or wall. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Pedestal sinks look elegant and take up little space, but they won't fit in a counter, and you can't place a cabinet under them. You will need to install cabinets and counters in other parts of your bathroom.
- Vessels and bowls are popular sink choices. They sit right on top of a counter. The downside is that you will need to clean under them, and you can't just wipe things off the counter and into the sink, like you would with a molded sink.
- Molded sinks are often set right into the vanity. They are the most common, but also the most convenient.
- Claw-foot bathtubs are free-standing and classical. They are often made from porcelain and can hold heat better. You will need to add a drain in the floor to catch any spilled water.
- Molded bathtubs sit right on the floor, and are the most common. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some even include fancy features, such as benches for shaving on and jet streams.
- When you go to buy a bathtub, you might also want to sit in it to make sure that it is comfortable. After all, you will likely sit in your bathtub while using it at home.
Choose storage that is both efficient and stylish.This includes things like storage units, caddies, cabinets, and shelving. You want your storage to look good and be functional. You should be able to reach your cabinets and shelves easily, and have access to them when you need to. You also want your storage to fit everything it needs to fit.
- Cabinets don't always have to stick straight out of the wall. Consider having some cabinets recessed into the wall. This will save some space.
Make sure you have adequate lighting in your bathroom.Lighting is very important. If there is not enough lighting, then your bathroom could become dangerous. Take advantage of natural light first by letting as much of it in as possible. Plan on having at least 4 watts of artificial light per square foot.
- You can let lots of natural light into your bathroom with skylights.
Make sure that you have adequate ventilation.Poor ventilation will lead to mould, decay, rot, and smells. Having vents, windows, and fans is always a good idea. When choosing a fan, consider getting a quiet one for master bathrooms, so that you don't wake your significant other if you have to use the restroom at night. Get a noisier one for powder rooms; the noise will give the guest more privacy, especially if the bathroom is close to a living room.
Pick out some new accessories to match your new bathroom.This will include things such as towels, wash cloths, and bath mats. It will also include things like soap dispensers, mirrors, and towel racks. Try buying these items when they go on sale. They can be inexpensive, but the price will add up.
Renovating Your Bathroom
Switch off all water valves if you are going to do anything to the sink, bathtub, shower, or toilet.You can find them behind toilets and under sinks. If you don't do this, you might end up with a flood.
Cover anything that isn't getting renovated with plastic or paper to protect it.If you are painting your bathroom, you will want to cover the floors, sinks, counters, toilets, and light switches so that they don't get dirty. You can use paper, cardboard, or plastic sheeting. Be sure to tape the edges down so that the paint or dust doesn't get underneath is.
- If you are removing any knobs, faucets, light switches, or towel rods, be sure to put them into a box so that they stay together. This is especially important if you plan on using these items again.
Get rid of anything that you will be replacing.This includes faucets, towel rods, and toilets. The less clutter you have in your bathroom, the easier your renovation will be. You can either donate the items you won't be using anymore, sell them online, or dispose of them according to your city's requirements. Some places will ask you to leave the item outside your home so that it can be picked up and disposed of, while others will require you to take it to a facility.
Start by painting your bathroom.Use a paint roller, and be sure to let each layer dry completely before adding another. Most paints will dry between two to four hours, but you might want to refer to the label on your can of paint for more specific drying times. If you don't do this, the paint may not cure properly and become sticky or bumpy.
- Leave the last coat of paint until after you have installed all cabinets, shelves, sinks, and tubs.
Add tile or new flooring once the paint has dried.This also includes the backsplash tile behind the sink. If you are not changing the floors, then you can remove any protective coverings off the floor at this time.
Install any toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers.You will most likely need to hire a plumber to do this step for you, especially if you are going to move a toilet, sink, tub, or shower from one side of the bathroom to the other. After you have installed the toilet, sink, tub, or shower, be sure to caulk around the edges so that moisture doesn't seep through. If you don't caulk, water will get into the floor and cause mildew.
Install any new cabinets, shelves, cabinets, and towel rods.You can place these wherever you want in your bathroom, but keep in mind that you will need to reach these items easily. Here are some guidelines for to get you started:
- Towel rods should be placed about 4 feet (1.22 meters) above the floor.
- The top of a cabinet should be about 6 feet (1.83 meters) above the floor.
- Place the toilet paper roll holder 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) in front of the toilet.
Install new lights and faucets.Be sure to properly caulk around the faucets after you install them. When buying caulk, try to get an acrylic or hybrid formula. They don't need chemicals to remove. This will make any future re-caulking easier.
Clean any dust, paint, or debris.When you are done renovating your bathroom, peel off any leftover painter's tape and discard any sheets of plastic or paper. Be sure to wipe down the counters and sinks, and to vacuum or mop the floors. This will make your bathroom look better and give it that nice, finishing touch.
- When buying caulk, go for an acrylic or hybrid formula. They don't need chemicals to remove, which makes future re-caulking easier. Make sure that the caulk also have mildewcide which will last for at least five years.
- Consider going green and eco-friendly with low flow toilets and aerated faucets that use less water. You can also use sustainable or recycled materials. They are both budget and environmentally-friendly.
- Consider how your bathroom fits in with the rest of your house. This may impact the value of your home, especially if you plan on selling it later.
- If you feel stuck at any point, don't hesitate to hire a contractor or a trained professional. Sometimes, it will cost more to fix a mistake than hiring a trained professional in the first place.
- Be prepared for any hidden issues, such as mould or rust, that may pop up as you renovate your bathroom. Some of these issues may not be noticeable until after you break down a wall, remove a cabinet, or pull up flooring. When these issues do show up, you will need to take care of them. Do not leave things like mould or rust untreated. If you do, it will only get worse.
Video: Remodeling a bathroom for Under 0 | DIY | How To | Modern Builds | EP. 67
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