Are you excited about a new bathroom? The possibilities – even for small spaces – are endless. It can also be overwhelming but planning on the front end can save a lot of trouble. Here are a few tips to help your bathroom renovation go smoothly.
The entire remodeling process can take several months if you are doing this on your own. In many cases, the design process can take longer than the actual remodel. Don’t just sketch a couple things on a napkin and then grab the sledge hammer! Make sure you are familiar with at least some of the standard dimensions used in bathrooms. How high should that countertop be? Is there enough room on either side of the toilet? Design for your future. Consider safety and accessibility needs as you grow older, as well as energy and water efficient components.
With plumbing considerations, layout is key. Wherever there are drains, water lines, and vent stacks, it’s called a “wet-wall”. If they are all on one wall, then you’ll need to layout your sink, toilet, and shower along one wall. If money isn’t an object, then you can consider moving plumbing to accommodate a layout of your choice. When you’re building a new bathroom addition, you’ll have a few more options.
Keep air flow in mind and leave gaps to allow the bathroom to be properly ventilated. Don’t forget a fan if you don’t already have one. Mold and mildew love stagnant areas, so ensure that your fan can perform at least 8 air changes per hour. This translates roughly to 1 CFM per square foot of bathroom area. For a 10’ x 9’ bathroom a 90 CFM fan will be sufficient.
Purchase the Correct Materials
Do you want an easy-to-clean floor? Glazed or porcelain tiles can be wiped up in a jiffy. Tiles with more texture aren’t quite as easy to clean but they will provide much better grip to avoid slipping. If you’re on a budget but still want that luxurious feel, consider purchasing high end materials for very small components such as coverings and countertops. These little accents aren’t as expensive but can give that opulent feel while saving you money.
It’s often tempting to save money on cabinetry. However, continued use and moisture means the cheapest option is not going to last. Find at least a good quality middle-of the road cabinet or consider custom-built if your budget allows.
Create the Mood with Lighting
Proper lighting shows off your bathroom’s best features and makes it safe. A quick rule to go by when determining the amount of light required is the age of the user plus 20 in foot-candles (fc). A 40-year-old would need 60fc to see as well as a 20-year-old in 40fc. (A foot-candle is a measurement of light intensity and is defined as the illuminance on a one-square foot surface from a uniform source of light.) A good designer and builder will be able to help you determine the best lighting for your space.
Add a skylight or two, if possible, to bathe in natural light when waking up. Sconces at eye level provide a nice even light with minimal shadows to light up the vanity. For ambient lighting, downlights can work well, although they are often incandescent and less energy efficient.
Considering the factors mentioned, and many that we didn’t, building a new bathroom is more complex than you’d think, and proper planning is key. A good designer and experienced builder are worth their weight in gold.
Check out a few of our bathroom remodels Here.