The only project more stressful on marriage than building a house is remodeling an old one. Because there’s no space more personal, a bathroom remodel project can be particularly prickly. That’s why Tom and Sandra remodeled each of their bathrooms on their own. In the interest of maintaining domestic harmony, here are tips for keeping your project (relatively) peaceful.
1. Start your bathroom remodel with a plan.
The first tool you’ll need is a pencil. Grab a pad and decide a budget. Then, stick to it. Your budget influences the type of materials you select and sets design boundaries. Knowing what you can really afford makes it easier to choose what your can replace and what you can’t.
2. Giving yourself time saves you money
Like Rome, your bathroom remodel project won’t be built in a day. It takes time. So, take plenty of it up front to really plan what you want. Spend weeks or even months considering materials, fixtures, lighting, and your layout. Changes along the way balloon a project budget.
3. The best way to keep your budget under control
Don’t move plumbing during your bathroom remodel. Rearranging a sink or toilet location means moving pipes—and that means money. Typically, bathrooms use a single plumbed wall. That is, fixtures are lined up and served by one source of drains and water supplies. It’s better to plan around your existing plumbing layout and use the savings to upgrade your fixture choices instead.
4. Make sure your plan measures up
Take time to gather key measurements, like the size of your tub, the space your toilet needs, even your sink.
5. Understand standard bathroom dimensions.
Knowing your existing measurements, like the size of of your bathtub area and how much space is needed for a toilet, will help you plan your remodel more efficiently. Here are some typical dimensions to help you plan:
- Tubs. Standard tubs with apron fronts are 60 inches long and 30 to 32 inches wide. Depths range from 14 inches to 20 inches
- Toilets. A toilet needs at least 30 inches of clear width, but 32 to 36 inches is better for most spaces.
- Single sinks. For a single sink, you need at least 30 inches width, but 36 to 48 inches is better.
- Double sinks. Two sinks can be squeezed into a 60 inches width, but 72 inches or more is preferred.
- Towel bars & robe hooks: There are standard height rules for towel bars and robe hooks. Decide where you want them early and mark potential locations with painter’s tape, then adjust for comfort.
6. Measure twice, tile once
Just as a 2×4 isn’t really two by four inches, 12-inch by 24-inch tile may not be exactly that size. Tiles is sold in millimeters, not inches. Then, there’s the grout joint to figure in. These size variations are especially important where plumbing locations are concerned.
7. Sink to new heights
Countertops are typically 32 to 34 inches off the floor. But, your sink may add or subtract from that height. A vessel sink, for instance, may require a lower counter height. You may also want to consider a higher counter since you’ll most likely use the space standing up. Choose a counter height so you can comfortably wash your hands or brush your teeth.
8. Bring your bathroom to proper light
There’s no underestimating the value of lighting in your bathroom. Remember that it serves three function layers: ambient light, accents and decorative lighting. Using a sconce at the vanity is deal for lighting your face. Install them at eye level to cut down unflattering shadows. Dimmable lighting can make your bath extra relaxing while more lighting overall makes a small bathroom seem bigger.
9. A money-saving way to update any bath
A bathroom remodeling project is a great investment in your home. But, you can still give your current bathroom a fresh new look on the cheap. Consider changing out all the hardware: showerheads, faucet handles, even drawer pulls. Something as simple as changing their finish to stainless, aged bronze or brushed nickel gives your bathroom a fresh feel.
10. Know when to say no to DIY
How handy are you? Honestly. That’s your decision. Just remember, there’s no shame in calling in a pro to get a job done. Especially where electrical and plumbing is concerned. If you think an old bathroom is a problem, consider what a messed up one will do to the mood in your home.
That’s why starting with a plan is Step One. Depending on how much you want to get done, calling in pros like TriFection may well be the best Step Two of all.