Bathroom Renovation? Design Planning Guide & Tips!

Bathroom Renovation - Design Planning Guide & Tips

Is it time to do a bathroom remodel or refresh? No matter what the level of desired outcome is for your bathroom, you can make sure that the finished product suits your needs by following some simple steps along the way. 

The bathroom is probably the most function-filled space in your home. There are many moving parts crammed into a small square footage. Each part of the bathroom normally has a specific function that can’t really be used for anything else. 

So planning ahead is extremely important to ensure a happy transition to a functioning bathroom.

1. Know Your Budget

Once you are clear about your ideal renovation, having a realistic budget in mind is very important. This way you can sense which parts of a renovation are the most feasible, if your budget doesn’t allow for everything you have in mind. Costing out items and possible work done by plumbers, contractors etc. will give you an idea of what you can afford. 

Once you have established a budget, it’s a good idea to set aside a contingency budget in case there are unexpected costs. A good amount would be at least 10% of your main budget. 

2. Be Clear on How Much Remodeling You Need

Deciding on the amount of renovation you desire goes hand in hand with your budget and your needs and desires. Here we break down 4 levels of remodeling to be aware of. 

Surface Level Alteration:

If you are happy with your bathroom in most ways and like the layout and size, you may just need to cover (as in paint), and repair. This type of renovation (more like a refresh) avoids replacing items as much as possible. The least time-consuming, and least expensive of all the levels.

Gut and Replace:

Like the layout and location of items but want new items? Here you end up gutting the space to the walls and flooring. Then you can install new flooring, lighting, vanity, toilet etc. Often, new wiring and plumbing are installed as well. All this can be done partially or fully. 

Change the Layout:

In this level, the walls and perimeter stay the same, but with items moved around. Moving items like the toilet and tub is costly and involved but often important for proper function. This type of remodel includes rewiring, plumbing, and replacement of fixtures. 

Change the Bathroom Entirely:

This level of remodel includes structural changes, changes to the size of the bathroom, removing or moving some or all walls and even changes to the ceiling. Often, this is done to enlarge the bathroom. This of course, is the most expensive, and time-consuming project.

3. Opt For Low Maintenance Bathrooms

Low Maintenance Bathrooms

Having a well functioning bathroom should also mean that it is easy to keep clean and tidy. Try selecting finishes that don’t stain easily and are easy to wipe clean. 

  • Porcelain tiles are one of the easiest tiles to take care of. Incredibly water and stain resistant, they are very durable and chip resistant as well
  • Consider getting quartz counters. They are very durable, reasonably priced, attractive and have no need for sealers. They come in a dazzling array of colors and styles.
  • Choose fixture finishes such as satin nickel, satin chrome or stainless steel instead of shiny, polished fixture finishes to lessen water spots and smudges. Or, try getting fixture finishes that have been treated to be durable and easy to clean. 
  • Purchase and install stain resistant glass shower doors and mirrors. 

4. Think Ahead to the Future

Bathroom Renovations - Think Ahead to the Future

If you plan on staying in your home for the foreseeable future, it is a good idea to plan your bathroom for accessibility upgrades. With this comes the idea to make the bathroom as accessible as possible for all people, including those with physical limitations.

  • Curbless Showers: These showers eliminate the need to step into the shower by eliminating the raised edges. This will eliminate tripping or falling.
  • Textured Tiles or Other Non-Slip Flooring: Choosing tiles with texture or with wide grout lines will lessen the chance of slipping and falling.
  • Elevated Toilets: This is a simple solution for those who find lower toilets rather difficult to navigate. Since sitting down and getting up from a low toilet can be difficult for older or injured people, this is a solution that makes sense and causes no inconvenience to anyone.
  • Grab Bars: These bars go around the shower, bathtub and toilet. They can save you from a falling injury. Nowadays, grab bars are designed with beauty as well as function in mind.
  • Floating Vanity: Not only is a floating vanity lovely, minimal, and easy to clean, they are a great solution for those who use a wheelchair. The wheelchair can be pulled up underneath the vanity and used as normal. 

5. Let There Be Light

Bathroom Renovations - Let There Be Light

Natural light coming from the outside magnifies the space, especially so in small bathrooms. Installing a skylight really floods a room with natural light. This will also save your walls for other needed fixtures and furniture.

Of course, a skylight may not be possible, and since many small bathrooms have no windows at all, smart use of artificial lighting is vital.

The best way to use lighting in bathrooms is by layering that includes several light sources. Using a combination of task and ambient lighting is important. 

  • Try using diffused light at face level to provide good illumination.
  • Concealed LED strips can be put under vanities, medicine cabinets, and behind mirrors. LED lights in the shower also work very well.
  • Choose a paint color that reflects light well such as neutral or pastel shades. Your bathroom will feel bright and cheery. 
  • Consider adding bar lights above your mirror. These lights are great for saving space.

6. Include Plenty of Storage

Include Plenty of Bathroom Storage

When it comes to bathroom storage, many people stop at the storage in vanities. There’s no need to stop there. Here are a few other ways to maximize storage.

  • Think vertically. This is especially valuable in a small bathroom. Narrow cabinets, shelves and drawers can be invaluable for rolled towels, makeup, soap, and other small items.
  • Organize your vanity cabinet by adding a lazy susan to get to items quickly and easily.
  • Add a free standing shelving unit (if room allows) for practical purposes but also to highlight lovely items. Choose a shelving unit with an interesting color or texture to add to the aesthetic.
  • Add baskets made of textured materials to add to shelving to organize small items and also to add visual interest.

7. And Last But Not Least – Energy Efficiency!

If you plan to stay in your home, you’ll be glad you thought of energy efficiency in the bathroom. If you plan to sell, the new owners will thank you. Rising utility bills make energy efficiency a priority. 

Here are some examples:

  • Tankless water heaters
  • Low flow toilets and faucets
  • LED lighting
  • Insulated windows
  • Choose energy Star fixtures
  • Install an energy efficient low flow shower head

Sunshine Sunrooms will help you with your remodelling needs, whether you want your kitchen, bathroom, or a sunroom added! For an estimate or more information, reach out to us online or call us at 972-243-5390.

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