There’s something about a newly renovated bathroom that just makes you feel pampered and relaxed. For some reason it makes me feel even more clean and fresh. On top of that it can add massive value to your home, if done properly. It important to speak to those in the know about property before you starting opening thousands of dollars on renovating though. You need to be clear on just how much value a bathroom renovation will add to you property so that you don’t over capitalise. Once you’ve sorted all that at there are a few things you must consider.
Bathroom renovations can cost upwards of $30000 so you need to be clear from the start about your budget. Things that can drive the budget up are moving the location of pipes, doors and windows. Labour is one of the largest costs and materials.
A good project manager is a must. This is someone who comes out to the house and talks you through the decisions that need to be made. They will give you a clear idea about labour costs and are able to schedule all required tradesman to come in when needed. They also measure all the areas and can guide you to what you can and can’t incorporate into your design based on you space and budget limits. It is important though to make sure you know what they are qualified to do e.g. tiling, electrical, screeding. Ask for referees and inspect some of the work they have done before to ensure you can trust the quality of their workmanship. Ask them about suppliers, and enquire as to whether it’s cheaper for you to go out and source product or to order it through them. Will they pick up the supplies or do you need them delivered? Do they have a checklist of things you need to buy? Get quotes in writing and work out a realities timeline with them for works to be completed. Lastly make sure they are very clear about the design you want so that they can execute it properly
Design is one of the most difficult elements about bathrooms. There are so many decisions to be made, and materials to select. Using a bathroom designer is extremely helpful and should make the process more streamlined. However, designers are costly so if you do need to do it yourself here’s my advice. Collect a few images of bathrooms you like but stay flexible. It is very difficult to find exact matches to Pinterest images. Use them as inspiration and colour palette guides. Then remain open minded at the shops as you select your materials.
Demo day looks so fun on the renovating shows in reality its a serious mess. You need to prepare for demo day well in advance. Clear out all your existing bathroom cupboards, the last thing you want it to being paying your labourer to watch you empty your cupboards. Cover all the doorways with renovator dust seal zip covers or plastic drop sheets. Make sure you really masking tape around them to create a seal. Put plastic drop sheets down over any furniture and remove paintings and valuables. If you can put drop sheets on any exposed walls and ceiling fans as well. There will be dust, I repeat THERE WILL BE DUST!!!!! and it’s not the normal dust, it’s the fine white powder that gets on everything. Ask you workman to use extractor fans, this will reduce the mess. Once they are done each day vacuum what you can around the area to stop it getting into the rest of the house.
Screed and Waterproofing
Once they have demo’d they will have to chip away the old screed. If you are moving pipes they will cut these into place and fill any holes in the wall. Then they will put a screed down this ensures the floor is level, this can take a few days to dry. Lastly they will apply waterproofer in the shower. Ask them to do two layers, one layer going in one directions and the second going in the other. Waterproofing is the most important step, there’s no point in having a pretty bathroom if it leaks!
Larger tiles take less time to tile, which reduced labour costs. But they can be heavy so its best to get advice before you buy. Matte tiles are better suited to the floor, and gloss to the walls. If you’re going for a feature tile it can be very busy which will mean your other elements need to be plainer. It’s great idea to tile floor to ceiling as it creates a streamlined luxe look however it does cost more in materials and labour. If you don’t though you will need to paint, and it means another design element that you need to decide upon. Lastly consider the natural light in the room. Although you may love a dark design in a magazine it may not be suited to your space or the rest of the design of the house.
Vanities are a real feature of your bathroom. You need to consider the size of your vanity and where your existing plumbing is. The amount of storage you are going to require, and whether or not your vanity comes with a bench top or not. When deciding on a vanity you really need to have all your other design elements sorted. It help’s it you’ve picked a particular style because it will direct you to your vanity choice. In a Hampton’s style bathroom the wall tiles are white/marble and the vanity is white wood. Occasionally its a contrasting colour such as navy. In a more modern Hamptons the vanity may even be grey. Contrast works really well in a bathroom you just need to decide what the contrasting elements are e.g. Tile/Benchtop, Tiles/Vanity, or Vanity/Benchtop. Vanities come in wall mounted and your standard that sits on the floor. If you pick wall hung it’s important to consider how you will conceal the pipes underneath. It looks very fancy if you can conceal all the pipes in the vanity and wall with none showing underneath. Otherwise you can use a bottle trap, or tile a box around the pipe. The last thing to consider is the handles, the choice can dramatically change the style of the bathroom. Ensure the handle matches the overall design you have chosen.
How the tiling is executed is extremely important and easy to over look. A good tiler will consider the following things before starting, but its always best to check before they start. You want to see full tiles and conceal tile cuts behind toilets and doors. You also want to make sure when there are cuts they’re silly narrow strips but well planned out cuts that are unnoticeable. If your tiles don’t go all the way to the ceiling there could be sharp edges. When there’s a sharp edge you have the choice to either put an edging piece on or have the edge mitred. Tiling where are the corner joins are mitred is a must so make sure your tiler knows the expectation. Think about where the drains are going to go, and what type of drains you want, you can get some really trendy ones these days. If you are lucky enough to be designing a shower without a door then the screed in your shower should have been done on an angle so that the water drains away from the shower opening. Lastly ensure that the screed they put down is level and they are checking the level of each tile. If they don’t then you will end up with lippage.
Grout colour is important. It can make or break your design. Make sure when you picky your tile you pick the grout at the same time. For more natural looking tiles its best to go with a grout that is similar in colour. For more contemporary styles a contrasting grout can be better suited.
Sinks, Taps, Showerheads.
Sinks can be difficult to clean, keep this in mind when you are shopping. Ensure the sink fits in your vanity, and consider if you’re going to under or over mount it. Taps can be plumbed into the wall or into the vanity so make sure you know well in advance what you want. Taps go in and out of fashion so the best thing you can do it make sure they’re easy to replace. This is especially important if they are being drilled into the wall. Finding one that fits the exact height, width or an existing hole can be tricky. Keep this in mind also when you buy a shower head. It’s easier to replace one that only has one mounting not two.
Mirrors are one of the last elements you add to your design. It’s very trendy to go with mirrors that have decorative frames or beveled edges over wall length ones these days. Ensure you mirror are hung at the right height- approx eye level.
It is well worth allocating a decent amount to lighting. A bathroom needs to be functional, and you need plenty of light for this to be effective. Many older bathrooms have the one light unit fan/heat/light which isn’t adequate in a newly renovated bathroom. It wise to consider downlight or pendants closer to the mirror where someone may be applying makeup etc. The ability to dim lighting for a bath is also a great idea. Lastly consider the colour of the bulbs you use as they will also affect the overall effect of the design you have chosen.
Have a really good think about where you want your PowerPoints in the bathroom. Make sure you put them high enough up form the bench so that you can fit standard chargers in. Consider hiding them inside drawers and putting in a extra one with a USB charging point.
Towel-rails, toilet roll holders
These can be a really stylish element, especially if you pick ones that match with your tapware. Consider heated towel rails, and railings that allow for multiple towels these are called towel ladders. Same thing with toilet roll holders.
CHECK CHECK CHECK
Check all the workmanship before you pay the final amount. This means inspecting for level surfaces, no evidence of cracks, that all fittings are secure. I cannot stress enough that you go over everything with a fine tooth-comb.
Good luck with your reno’s
Mumma Z xxx