How to Plan Your Perfect Bathroom Project.
Having a luxurious and functional bathroom is every home owners dream. We may only spend short periods in our bathrooms each day but having one that makes for washing, showering and bathing a pleasure can be potentially life changing.
If you plan to renovate or create a brand new bathroom in your home, here’s XX key areas to consider before you take the plunge.
Pre-Designing & Preparation
It’s always wise to have a good idea of your desired bathroom layout to firstly assess whether it’s possible within the space allowed and secondly, what potential problems you may need to overcome before you start. A contractor will be able to spot potential pitfalls early on.
Always take measurements of the actual space you have at your disposal and draw a simple plan on paper with your fixtures measured into the space. Popular trends such as centrepiece bathtubs may look great but they require a lot of space which will take away options for other fixtures elsewhere if your bathroom is too small.
If you plan to move items such as the toilet, the vanity sink or the shower, this will undoubtedly require changes to the plumbing layout so decide whether such drastic changes will be too impractical or expensive before pressing ahead.
If you’re stuck for bathroom layout ideas, just go online! The internet is jam packed full of inspirational bathroom designs so there’s bound to be many that are a similar size and shape as yours to give you some guidance on how to design your own.
Set Your Budget
A bathroom renovation can be very cheap or extremely expensive, depending on how ambitious you are. There’s many places where fixtures and fittings can be bought online which will give you a fairly good idea of your material costs. But remember, if you plan to hire professional help such as plumbers, tilers and general contractors, always set aside a reasonable amount to cover their labour time.
Projects inevitably take longer than you might expect so ensure your budget has a contingency in place for unexpected extras that may crop up during the process.
Find the Right Contractor
Once you have a bathroom design in mind and a budget set, now’s the time to start talking to contractors. Speak to at least three different people and show them your ideas so they can discuss the practicalities of embarking on such a project. They may offer up some useful advice and potential alternatives that you may not have previously considered.
It’s always worth listening to the advice of contractors as they will have overcome many hurdles similar to yours in the past and can inform you of the best approaches to avoid any major hiccups along the way.
Try to get your contractors to offer a quote or at least, a reasonably accurate estimate for the work involved, and check their availability if you need the work doing fairly quickly. It’s not uncommon to find contractors are booked up for several months in advance so be prepared to wait if you find one that you feel at home with and can do a great job for you.
If you struggle to find a suitable contractor, then speak to family and friends who may be able to recommend someone and if all else fails, there’s many online websites where contractors offer their services and are reviewed by past customers. There’s always going to be at least one good contractor near to where you live.
Function Over Fashion
Above all, your bathroom needs to be practical and functional for everyday use. It’s very easy to get carried away with wanting to install the latest fancy fixtures and fittings but above all else, will they give you the bathroom that you really need?
Make sure that you have a wish-list of items that includes all must have’s such as the WC, sinks, vanities, shower, bathtub and all important storage and shelves. We forget just how many items we need to store in our bathrooms such as soaps, shampoos, towels, toiletries and more. So make sure your desire to have the biggest bath or the grandest of showers doesn’t eat up all of the practical space in the room.
If your bathroom is going to have to endure heavy use and could potentially have a large build up of moisture, make sure you choose materials that will be able to deal with such eventualities.
Surfaces on vanities and shelves may need to be better at handling frequent splashes of water or condensation so quartz, glass or tiled work surfaces would be far more suitable than solid wood or cheaper laminates and MDF based materials. If you have a large family that will use the room, opt for high-end, better quality fixtures over cheaper budget options. They’ll only end up getting damaged quicker and you’ll soon be replacing them, costing you more in the long run.
Storage & Shelving
Suitable storage and shelves are a must in any bathroom. If your bathroom is very tight for space, try adding some recessed shelving into the shower enclosure or hang storage units on the walls where the space allows. You’ll be so glad you did when you realise just how much stuff needs a home when you come to finally using your bathroom.
A dark and dingy bathroom is never a good look so make sure you choose lighting that suitably illuminates the entire space. If your bathroom has no windows, you may need to consider installing down-lights from the ceiling as well as a backlit mirror over the vanity to bring the light levels up.
Where possible you could even install a skylight or a sun-tunnel to bring more natural light into the room from above if installing a window is not an option.
Much like your fixtures and fittings, you need to ensure you choose a suitable flooring that can handle large amounts of moisture or traffic. Hard wearing, non-porous floors such as ceramic or porcelain tiles will be a better choice than carpets, real woods or laminates.
Colours & Finishing
Most classic bathroom designs stick to a simple colour palette of calming cool tones. Bright garish colours in bathrooms are a no-no and old fashioned coloured bathroom furniture such as avocado is simply a design disaster.
If you want your bathroom to offer timeless appeal, stick to using white fixtures such as the WC and bathtub and add subtle splashes of accent colours to the walls that match and tie in with your towels, flannels and floor mats. Clean, simple designs will always outlast bold and brash ideas which always have a short shelf life!
The quality of the final finish is what will make your completed bathroom design a success or failure. By working hand-in-hand with your contractor, you should be able to work towards a high end finish that will make your bathroom look a million dollars.
It always pays to be clear on what you want to achieve and to keep an open dialogue with your contractor. This will ensure he or she is absolutely clear on what you want so there’s no nasty, unwanted surprises later on or worse still, a falling out and arguments.