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Bathroom renovation can be a challenging and very depressing thing to do. Dirty showers with mould in the corners, tiles that have fallen off of the wall a few years ago, tubs that have starting dripping through the ceiling right into the family room leaving big yellow spot on the stucco ceiling….
Simple things to imagine…
But bathroom renovation can also be a fun and exciting project that will put you into the world of design and new ideas. Going through all of the stages of transformation from selecting colors, styles and fixtures can be an exciting experience and you will finally fall in love with your own creation.
Let’s look and find out what a good bathroom renovation project should entail.
Firstly, the most important thing to know when we are talking about bathrooms – nothing lasts forever. Things get old and doing little things might cost more than doing things right, at the right time and with the right budget.
It is very easy to spend $25000 and make a bathroom look beautiful, but it is more difficult to spend $10000 and make it look like the cost of the project was $25000.
So, how do we start?
Let’s look around.
Does the tub look like it belongs in the dark ages?
Have the white grout lines between the tiles become gray and there is nothing you can do to give them their original look?
Are the vanity doors crooked and the drawers won’t close all the way?
If your answer is yes, than it may be time to start getting some ideas on your new bathroom renovation.
You should determine yourself if the whole idea of the bathrooms fix up is only going to include changing the fixtures, getting new tiles and replacing the vanity or could this be a big opportunity for you to make this room more useful for your whole family. If you decide to put your house on the market, hopefully someone will appreciate your hard work and pay you a good compliment with some extra cash!
One of my last bathroom projects started with a regular visit. Nice house, very nice and friendly owner who just recently retired and finally decided to do a little fix up on his old bathroom.
My first challenge was to use the size of the bathroom for maximum improvement, determine the right scope of works and determine an affordable budget. One very different thing about this bathroom was the size. The bathroom was large but it had a tub, vanity and toilet taking up too much space.
As I know, the most useful thing in the bathroom these days is probably a shower. In times past people used to put tubs with jets in their bathrooms but now things are more about feeling the space, making things more practical but also convenient for fast use.
My idea was as we already know is nothing lasts forever and things get old and to do little things might cost more than to do things right at the right time and with the right budget.
The large size of the bathroom was a good thing, but usage of the space had not been efficient. I had to find a solution on how to improve it and also accommodate the best needs of my client by adding a decent size shower, leave the tub but replace it with a new one and come up with the design idea on style. I also had to try and convince the owner to replace the vanity and get a nice vanity top for it as well as improve the lighting by replacing the old truck light with new look pot lights and add the exhaust fan.
I would separate all works in the bathroom remodelling into the following groups:
1. Demolition.
2. Plumbing.
3. Electrical.
4. Appliances installation.
5. Tiling.
6. Painting.
The cost of demolition part will normally depend on the time the team will spend on taking the tiles down, walls, ceiling, appliances and fixtures. Removal of some parts might require some water shut down or some electrical disconnection to make sure all works are done in safe manner.
It’s a good thing not to have all garbage sitting outside for a week. All garbage is placed in garbage bags and placed in a neat manner for swift removal to the recycling centre.
Plumbing is probably the most complicated part of the project, with the very advanced and complicated shower and plumbing elements that exist on the modern market.
Sometimes, as part of the renovation project people want to change the size of the shower, switch to horizontal surface mounted tub faucets instead of wall installation, replace the shower fixture with the more advanced pressure balancer with thermo control and a rain shower head.
There are lots of good brands on the market to choose from and most of the bathroom fixtures come with a lifetime warranty.
I do not recommend the use of pre- fabricated shower cabins in the main bathrooms and I always recommend going with the custom type, tile walls, floor and custom made tempered glass.
A very important element to take a look at is the existing electrical system and if you think some improvements can be made, here are some tips for the electrical:
Better have more light and have it on dimmer switch than have not enough.
All the pot lights that need to go into the attic ceiling will require special thermo insulated boxes.
The right lighting system for the bathroom will be: main area lighting on separate switch, shower or tub light on separate switch, vanity – make up lighting on separate switch and finally ceiling/ wall exhaust function that can be connected to some of the lights or can be on a separate switch.
GFCI receptacles required in the outlet by the sink.
Appliance installation will cover the installation of the vanity, toilet, some bathroom fixtures, medicine cabinets, mirrors and holders.
Things to know about tiling:
There is a different price range for the installation depending on the type of tiles used in the tiling project. The most simple to install are the ceramic tiles. Porcelain tiles are also not an expensive option to install but drilling through one can be a hard thing to do. Natural stones go from soft type to hard as slates, travertine, marble and granites, and can have large color and texture variations depending on the type of the stones. Stones need to be sealed with proper sealer for better protection against dirt and stains. Grout comes in to 2 variations – non sanded (use for the small grout lines up to 1/8”) and sanded (for the larger lines). They also need to be sealed to preserve the original color of the grout.
Based on the type of stones, pattern, design and decorative ideas, the installation charge can vary and increase depending on the amount of tiles to be installed.
Painting: Use of primer required for all the patched areas. Type of paint can be determined by a professional depending on project requirements, color, sheen and durability.

By Oleg Rusakov