Though the bathroom might be one of the smaller rooms in a house, there’s a wealth of choices a homeowner can choose from when it’s time for bathroom remodeling. Because there are so many features that you an choose from, it’s best to plan out bathrooms with several types of decor, including the one of your dreams. Then, make up a budget. This will help you narrow the list till you choose a bathroom that you both love and can afford. Here’s a guide to help you choose some bathroom components:
Sinks can be real works of art with a price tag to match. Some sinks come with integrated faucets with one or three hole set ups. If you’re buying a sink that doesn’t come with its own faucet, by the faucet first and then the sink to fit it. There are several ways to mount a sink.
- Wall Mounted
These sinks are mounted directly into the wall and the water flows behind them. If you had a regular type of sink where the water flows down through a J bend, you will need a contractor to redo the plumbing in your bathroom. This can be expensive.
- Drop In
This kind of sink is dropped into the hole in a countertop, so you’ll have to make sure that it fits.
This type of sink is installed under the countertop.
- One piece
This can be a pedestal sink or a sink and a countertop made out of solid surface material.
These very elegant sinks are bowls that sit on top of a countertop. They often have their own faucet and vanity.
*Faucets and Other Bathroom Fixtures
Faucets, shower heads, control knobs and tub handles also come in a great variety of shapes and materials. Finishes on these fixtures can include chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, steel, brass and chrome. Choosing these fixtures can be one of the pleasures of remodel bathroom and your final choice can make a surprisingly strong impact when it comes to your bathroom’s decor.
*Vanities and Countertops
Unless the sink is a pedestal sink or a wall mounted sink, it will need to be fitted into a vanity. A vanity can be a simple cabinet with a hole in it for the sink, or it can be an ornate piece of furniture with an expensive top made out of beautifully patterned marble or granite. However, natural stone countertops are expensive and heavy. Make sure that the vanity can hold them up without buckling. Natural stone is also porous and will need to be sealed to protect against stains. Synthetic stone like Caesarstone or Silestone might be an option. They look like natural stone but cost less and require less maintenance. For really cost-friendly options, consider countertops of laminate or ceramic tile.
Buying and installing a new bathtub during a bathroom remodeling can be quite expensive, to say nothing of labor intensive. It’s possible that your first bathtub was installed even before the walls of your bathroom were roughed in as it would have been too big to fit through the door. So most homeowners keep their old bath and have it refinished unless they’re going for a very extensive remodel bathroom. Even new fixtures can really spruce up the look of an old tub. But whatever you decide to do with your old bathtub, be it remodeling or replacing, make sure you’ve planned for it in your budget. A bathtub can cost anywhere from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars. The installation of a new tub is best left to a professional, especially if the plumbing needs to be changed. Traditional bathtubs, like sinks, can come in a great range of materials. They can be freestanding with clawed feet, installed in alcoves or dropped into platforms like enormous drop in sinks. Some customers choose garden or soaking bathtubs, which are deeper than traditional bathtubs and let you immerse yourself almost completely. Walk-in tubs are a good choice for people with mobility problems or the elderly. Whirlpool or Jacuzzi style tubs have nozzles which agitate the water and massage the bather.
Showers have also enjoyed a revolution. They now come in their own enclosures, stalls and even their own rooms. Fixtures like multiple body jets and foot massagers can be added to a shower to make it a real spa experience. But like bathtub replacement, adding or replacing a shower can be expensive and is best left to a professional. You can add tempered glass doors to a shower stall and have the stalls made of vinyl, plastic, acrylic or PVC. These materials can be inlaid over your existing flat walls and can come in a wealth of textures, patterns and colors. The tiles that line a shower stall can be made out of natural stone, ceramic materials or even glass and can have a great variety of colors, sizes and patterns. A professional, experienced tile setter should be hired to install these tiles. A glass block wall in the shower is not only aesthetically pleasing but can also offer privacy.
Very few items in the new bathroom can add functionality to the bathroom like a new toilet. This is especially true if the old toilet is inefficient and wastes too much water. One important thing to do is measure both the existing space and the new unit.
*Lighting and Mirrors
Very few things are more pleasing than a well-lighted bathroom. Wall lighting is often used with overhead lights and mirrors. Sconces that are placed on either side of a bathroom mirror provide extra light for shaving, applying make-up and other types of grooming. Strip lights above the mirror also help with grooming and are pleasing in themselves. Recessed lights have an advantage of being able to be put anywhere and are quite useful for low ceilings. Their light levels can be changed and they can be angled to pick out wall decorations. Wood framed mirrors add warmth and sophistication to a bathroom, though the homeowner can also buy mirrors in different shapes that can be grouped together. Mirrors also make the room seem bigger than it is.
The bathroom’s wall coverings have to be able to withstand heat, moisture and cleaning. Many homeowners choose gloss or semi-gloss paint for the walls. Wallpaper should be made of vinyl and tiles have always been traditional for bathroom walls.
Again, tile is traditional for bathroom floors because it’s long-lasting and waterproof. Tile floors need to be cleaned regularly and the grout needs to be sealed to prevent stains and mildew. Vinyl and linoleum floors are also good choices for the bathroom, though water-absorbing materials like carpeting and wood might not be ideal for a bathroom. If the bathroom remodel involves a new floor, you might think about a radiant heating system. Radiant heat will keep your feet warm and might also increase the value of your home when you get ready to sell it.
You might also keep in mind opportunities to make your bathroom wheelchair accessible. Handicap features added today may be the difference between being able to stay in your home when you’re elderly and having to move into an assisted living situation. Even if you plan to sell one day, a home with handicap features can be quite tempting to a future buyer.
Even if you have money to burn, consider that some things might not work out as well as you planned in the bathroom remodeling. Despite all those mouth-watering pictures of exotic bathrooms that you studied during the planning stage it’s best to stay away from types of floor covering like wood and carpets which are too vulnerable to a bathroom’s high humidity. Some vinyl floors can also be subject to rot and mildew in a humid room. With that in mind, ceramic tile is always a good bet. Remember to buy more than you need when doing the bathroom floors. Since tile designs change so frequently, you might not be able to find a match for that one broken tile in the hardware store when you need it. Also, because of the materials, bathrooms tend to be among the coldest areas in the house. Make sure there are provisions for heating the room, like registers that connect to the central heating system. Also, remember that the plumbing is inside a wall and is hard to replace if they wear out or if you change the location of the fixtures. Be sure to buy the highest quality you can afford.