Are you thinking about remodeling your bath? You might be thinking about a bathroom remodel for any of a number of reasons.
- You need more space or functionality
- You need a second sink
- You want to provide a little more privacy when two people are in the bathroom at the same time
- You want to make your bathroom safer
- You want to make your bathroom accessible to people with disabilities
- You want to update or modernize your bathroom
- You want to create your own spa in the privacy of your own home
- You want to add a shower
- You want to add a whirlpool tub
- You want a linen closet in the bathroom
- You are getting your house ready to sell
- You just want a little change
These are all great reasons to remodel a bathroom. And your reason for remodeling will determine the changes you make. Your budget will also be an important factor in deciding how you will change your bathroom. But there are a few other things you might want to consider in your plans.
— Are you planning to stay in your house as you grow older? If so, you might want to plan to equip the bathroom with fixtures that will make it safer. Should you consider higher toilets? Should you consider stepping into a bathtub in order to take a shower?
— Will someone who has a disability uses the bathroom? How will you need to arrange fixtures for ease of use and for the ability to move around in the bathroom? Do you need to plan for space to navigate a wheelchair? If the bathroom is to be used by someone in a wheelchair, should you lower the surface of the vanity? Should you use different sinks?
— One current trend in new homes is to build larger master bathrooms. If you are remodeling your bathroom because you plan to sell your house, this might be a consideration.
— Do you want to add a little luxury to your life? Do you want to create your own spa?
If your remodeling goal is to make your bathroom more accessible and safer, you will probably want to think seriously about access to the shower or to the bathtub. You will certainly want to place a few grab bars (near the toilet, near the shower and near the tub). You might want to install a seat in the shower or a raised toilet. You may find that some of the luxury features also serve comfort and therapeutic purposes as well. For example, multiple shower heads can be soothing for aching joints. A heated floor may be very comfortable in a cold climate.
If your goal is to add a little luxury to your life, you will find that the sky is the limit. Almost anything you can imagine is possible if you have space and the budget.
If you just need a little extra space or an additional sink, you can do renovations that meet those needs and others at the same time. For example, if you want a second sink in the master bathroom, you can create dramatic effects by choosing a particular style of sink. If you want to remodel your bathroom to provide additional privacy when two people are using the bathroom at the same time, your remodel might be as simple as adding a short wall and a door to enclose the toilet area.
So what is popular now in terms of design and materials? The answer really depends upon what you want to achieve and the direction you want to go. Retro continues to be very popular. You might want to tear out existing vanity areas and bathtubs so you can replace them with a retro footed free-standing bathtub and pedestal sinks. You may be tired of chrome fixtures and simply want to try a new look like brushed nickel.
If you have decided to create a home spa, you might want to use more mirrors, particularly the fog-free mirrors. These mirrors can also be used as nearly-invisible doors to cabinets and cupboards. There are many new styles of small sinks that create amazing visual effects, as well as functionality. You can turn your bathroom into a steam room. You can install a shower with multiple adjustable shower heads at various heights to provide a full body massage. You can install a bathtub on any level (sunken, raised, etc.) for beauty and functionality. Your tub can include several types of jets for hydrotherapy effects.
Your choice of materials will be determined by the “look” you want to achieve. Ceramic tile has almost completely replaced vinyl floor covering. The many varieties and designs in ceramic tile can create virtually any style you want. You can install heating elements beneath the tile for a little bit of extra warmth and luxury. Your sink, tub, and a shower can be made of anything from fiberglass to porcelain to various metals. Your walls can be painted drywall or drywall painted with a mural. You can choose wallpaper to create the effect you desire. Or you can use ceramic tile or mirrors on all or part of the walls. With a little shopping and planning, you can make your bathroom look like a Roman bath or an Asian spa or a turn-of-the-century hotel bathroom. You can use granite or marble for counters. And there are no limits on the colors you can use to create a mood of relaxation. Just check with a few stores to see what is available and create the design that serves your purposes. You might be amazed by the variety that is available in most any bathroom fixture.
Once you have your design and you have chosen your fixtures and materials, you only need to decide whether you will do the remodeling yourself or hire a contractor. The decision to do it yourself will depend upon your skills, your knowledge of how to install various fixtures and design elements, and the extent of the remodel. You might find that you would be in over your head if you decided to do electrical or plumbing work and hire a contractor to do those tasks, allowing you to do the painting, wallpapering, and less complex tasks. If you know the basics, you might find that you can do more of the work yourself if you take a class at a home improvement store or center.
Don’t be afraid to remodel your bathroom. Just consider your needs both in the long term and in the immediate future. Then design the space and the “look” that is right for you.
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