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Bathroom Remodeling Basics – The Essential Checklist
So, you’ve decided to remodel your bathroom but you’re not sure where to start? As one of the most used rooms in the house, bathroom remodeling is an important project. The options may seem endless and overwhelming, but completing this checklist will get you on the right track!
1. What type of bathroom are you renovating or adding? half a bath? family / shower together? master/spa bath? baby shower?
*Tip: Unlike other types of bathrooms, the half bath allows the use of materials that are not used in bathrooms with showers and tubs due to the large amount of steam and splashes. For example, some half-bath options include wood, bamboo or cork floors.
2. How many people will use the bathroom regularly?
3. Is this a master bath or a family/shared bath? Will more than one person be using the bathroom at the same time?
*Tips: If you install dual sinks, a vanity with two sinks provides the most storage but two pedestal or wall-hung sinks will make the room look bigger.
*Tips: If privacy is a consideration but you don’t have the space to add a separate room for the toilet, consider adding a partial dividing wall between the toilet and the tub or sink and installing a frosted glass door. For a cheaper option, use an opaque shower curtain.
4. Are there children? Are there regular disabled or elderly users? Any other special considerations?
*Tips: Although the answer is no, there is no harm in thinking ahead. Certain features, especially for disabled people or children, can be useful for everyone – some items to consider: non-slip floors, hand-held shower heads, rocker light switches, rounded edges for towel bars, hooks and tables.
*Tips: Consider asking your contractor to add plywood reinforcement and bracing between the walls so that if needed in the future, grab bars can be easily installed.
*Tips: If necessary, consult the ADA Standards for Accessible Design for information on standards and clearances for individuals in wheelchairs.
5. What kind of storage do you need? Are you going to store linens and towels in the bathroom? What about extra toiletries, cleaning supplies and equipment, such as hair dryers? Do you need a medicine cabinet? Would you keep a hamper in the bathroom?
*Tip: Big or small, with a combination of cabinets, built-in drawers, adjustable shelves, wall niches, baskets, bins, and hooks, your contractor can help you make the most of your space.
*Tips: Do not forget the storage system of cabinet inserts that are commonly used in the kitchen, such as stainless steel baskets in drawer glides or pull out units that can be used for garbage or as a hamper or even pull out towel racks.
*Tips: Wall niches recede into the wall and can be used to hold small toiletries or add a few inches to a shelf. If you have a partial wall separating the toilet, consider cutting space for storage out of the wall or installing a medicine cabinet in the wall.
6. What features do you like in your existing bathroom? What features do you dislike in your existing bathroom?
*Tip: Although it seems like an obvious place to start, it is often overlooked. Start paying attention to the bathrooms of family and friends, as well as bathrooms on home renovation websites or in magazines. Focus on fixtures, flooring, and lighting but don’t forget about the general layout – just imagine going through your morning routine while doing a bathroom tour!
7. Do you like the layout of your bathroom? Is there enough space between the equipment? Do you like the location of your toilet? bath? sink? How is the traffic flow?
*Tip: When reviewing an existing layout or mapping out a new layout, traffic flow is crucial to your ultimate comfort. Are your doors blocking access to equipment or storage space? Is there a logical path in your bathroom that doesn’t require you to retrace your steps during your morning ritual?
8. How is the lighting in the existing bathroom? Do you have a window in your bathroom?
*Tip: If possible, consider installing windows to allow for natural light- possibilities include skylights and glass blocking windows or high windows, which will allow in light but still provide privacy.
*Tips: If windows are not an option, ambient lighting can be used as a substitute. Surface mounted ceiling lights are a common choice but also consider cove lighting. For lighting tasks, if the vanity mirror is not too large, a vertical fixture or sconces installed on either side of the mirror is best for even light casting or, for large mirrors, choose a diffused light fixture above the mirror for even. light.
*Tips: The dimmer switch should always be used to provide some light depending on mood and needs. Your contractor can help you design a lighting plan to include a combination of ambient, task, accent and decorative light sources.
9. Is the floor strong enough for the equipment you are considering?
*Tips: Your contractor should be able to help with this determination and maybe add joists to the subfloor, but before you buy an antique claw-foot tub or soaking tub, make sure your floor is strong enough to support the extra weight. Another note about tubs: standard water heaters may not be enough for large tubs; consider buying a tankless water heater if you will be installing a large tub.
10. Do you have galvanized or copper water supply pipes? What is the water pressure in the existing bathroom? Do you have a leaking pipe? Do you have a lot of clogs or backups?
*Tip: Be sure to discuss all of these issues with your contractor.
11. Is the heating sufficient in your bathroom?
*Tip: Some options include forced air systems, heat lamps, toe heaters, or radiant heat that comes up through the finished floor. Electric radiant heat maps installed in sub-floors are inexpensive to install but can be expensive if you leave them on altogether.
12. Check the ventilation in the existing bathroom? Is it enough after a hot shower?
*Tips: Although windows and skylights will help, fans should also be considered. The Home Ventilation Institute (HVI) (www.hvi.org) is a non-profit association of home ventilation product manufacturers and offers a certified rating program for testing fans. Check the hvi symbol before you buy a fan.
13. Consider the electrical appliances that will be used in the bathroom? Do you need to add electrical circuits to your bathroom? What is your electrical service amp rating? Is it enough for your device?
14. Are you thinking of adding luxury to your bathroom? Electronic controls, televisions, speakers?
Once you have answered these questions, sketch out a rough design of the layout. This will help you narrow down your ideas. Then, the fun begins when you consider your options for flooring, countertops, showers, tubs, toilets, window treatments, lighting and other fixtures!
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