Top 8 Forgotten Details to Remember When Renovating Your Bathroom
There’s only about a thousand different details to consider when renovating your bathroom. The bulk of your attention might be caught up with the pretty things that will make your future bathroom’s first impression a dazzling one: flooring, cabinets and countertops, tile, shower curtains, faucets and fixtures, and more. But while you’re focused on the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile, what are the finer details that are being neglected?
Especially for those who don’t have a lot of experience with home renovation, remodeling a bathroom can be an overwhelming task. With so many different ideas and elements to keep track of, it’s inevitable that some items might slip through the cracks.
Nothing is more frustrating than completing a big project and then belatedly realizing that you forgot something important. In order to avoid that experience, be sure to keep these details in mind as you plan out the bathroom of your dreams!
1.) Water Usage
You’ve probably seen lavish showers and bathtubs on your favorite renovation show or on social media. Large, walk-in showers with multiple shower heads and large, deep bathtubs made for soaking are incredibly comfortable and transform a regular bathroom into a personal spa. However, these luxuries use a lot of water.
In order to properly enjoy the comforts of your new bathroom, you may need to consider some major plumbing upgrades. Pay attention to how many gallons of water is needed to fill your new bathtub and how that compares to the capacity of your current water heater. You may need to invest in a new water heater with a larger capacity. Likewise, the water demands of a large luxury shower may require your water lines to be upgraded from half-inch to three-quarter-inch.
While these upgrades are all very doable, keep in mind that they’ll likely eat up thousands of dollars of your budget. Not taking water usage into consideration when planning your bathroom can turn into a very costly mistake!
2.) Leak Prevention
Never underestimate the destructive power of water. Some of the scariest structural problems any homeowner can encounter are caused by water damage. With the bathroom being an area of your home that will regularly see a significant amount of wetness, mistakes that lead to leaks can be some of the most costly and dangerous mistakes that can be made.
For example, a modern style bathroom with a glass shower is absolutely gorgeous but it’s vital to make sure that the glass is sealed in all the right places. If potential leaks are neglected, water from the shower head ends up seeping underneath the shower door instead of going safely down the drain.
Even if your bathroom is a wet room with a drain in the floor, make sure to choose proper waterproof materials that are made for bathrooms or showers. Using improper materials will lead to water seeping through into the structural supports of your home.
3.) Adequate Storage
Consider all of the things that you typically store in your bathroom. You probably have makeup, beauty products, bath products, extra toiletries, surplus toilet paper and paper towels, cleaning solutions and supplies, and towels at the very minimum. When making design choices for your new bathroom, it’s important to keep in mind where these items will be stored.
You might be sold on a floating or pedestal sink to open up the space from bulky old cabinets, but consider how many of your bathroom essentials that you keep in those cabinets. Unless you have an alternate solution, such as a storage closet or other shelving, updating the cabinets might be the wiser move compared to removing them.
Another often overlooked detail is where the best place to keep extra toilet paper. There’s nothing worse than doing your business and belatedly realizing that there’s no toilet paper left, especially if you’re a guest in someone else’s house. Make life a little easier for your houseguests by planning to keep extra rolls conveniently within reach of the toilet, eliminating the problem entirely.
4.) Proper Lighting
Good lighting in the bathroom is actually more difficult than you might first imagine. It’s typically a smaller room, and mirrors make light bounce around in sometimes unpredictable ways. Not to mention that not all lights are safe to use in the bathroom, where humidity and water is a concern. The last thing you want is to accidentally cause an electrical fire with improper lighting.
Most interior design experts will agree that one strip of light over the vanity isn’t sufficient lighting for the entire bathroom, even though that’s one of the most common practices you might see. A variety of lights will help keep the space well-lit, particularly any of these options:
- Glowing Ceiling Light: Positioning a glowing light in the middle of the ceiling of a light-colored bathroom will provide a lot of ambient light, illuminating the space effectively. In particular, make sure that the shower or bathtub area are well-lit, as they have the highest risk of slipping and injury, especially in the dark.
- Well-Positioned Downlights: When using downlights in your bathroom it’s important to be strategic with their placement. Downlights are better suited for the sides of the room rather than the middle but should not be pointed down over the mirror; this will create the eerie “funhouse” effect on anyone looking in the mirror. Instead, position the downlights on the ceiling so they’re aimed in the direction of the mirror, which will reflect and disperse the light more effectively.
- Vertical Fluorescent Lights: For an appealing, glamorous look, consider installing a vertical fluorescent light with a warm bulb next to the mirror. The glow from this light creates a lovely atmosphere! Vertical lights also help to ensure that the vanity itself is lit up, not just the ceiling above the vanity.
5.) Proper Ventilation
Even professional designers sometimes struggle to understand proper ventilation for a bathroom, but it’s one of the most important details not to neglect! Be sure to consult a professional to understand what size exhaust fan is appropriate for the demands of your bathroom. Hot showers and baths create steam and moisture in the room and typically require at least two fans to adequately handle the amount of steam generated. A window is a great feature that will help with ventilation, but rarely is enough for the entire room alone.
Insufficient ventilation can lead to moisture-related problems such as mold, mildew, and rot. Not only will these issues more quickly deteriorate your walls, floor, ceiling, fixtures, and entry door, but also have health risks due to the poor indoor air quality they create.
Perhaps more concerning, if you have an incorrect ventilation system all of the bathroom moisture can collect in the attic and start to build up mold and rot there. The attic is typically not as often visited as the bathroom is, leaving the mold to grow undetected for unknown amounts of time.
6.) Non Slip Flooring Materials
It’s probably no surprise that the leading cause of injury in the bathroom is from slipping and falling. If you have young children, aging relatives, or even pets in your home, then diligence in choosing flooring with the least room for risk is all the more important. While a certain tile might be prettier, it could have unforeseen dangers for those using the bathroom.
There’s a variety of non-slip flooring options on the market, so style shouldn’t have to be sacrificed for functionality. The best flooring for slip-resistance is going to be rubber, which also has the added benefit of cushioning the blow should anyone fall. If you want something a little more stylish, vinyl flooring comes in all sorts of patterns and colors, mimicking everything from hardwood to ceramic tile. Vinyl has all the benefits of non-slip properties while allowing you almost any look you want.
Certain types of ceramic tile may be very slippery, though that’s not the case for all of them. If you’re sold on ceramic tile in your bathroom, look for tiles certified by the ADA for slip resistance. Any tile that is not certified is a risky choice.
7.) Cleaning Ease
Your bathroom is going to be beautiful once complete. And then people will use it, and then it’ll get dirty, and then someone is going to have to clean it. Keeping this in mind while choosing your materials and other design elements will help make your future a little easier, since some things that look great don’t clean up as easily as others.
To create a bathroom that’s easy to clean, consider the following:
- Space Things Out: When choosing the layout of your bathroom, try to leave at least four inches of space between the vanity and any walls or tubs on the left or right side. Doing so will make it easier to clean between these areas.
- Wall-Mounted Toilets and Faucets: Because these items are attached to the wall, there’s less surface area that needs to be cleaned! Mopping is easier as well since there’s no awkward angles to try to squeeze behind like a standard toilet that sits on the floor.
- Colored Grout: White grout looks great until the bathroom is actually used, and then very quickly gets dirty and dingy. Consider a light gray grout instead. The pigment in the grout helps to disguise stains that are so blatant on white. For a really dramatic look, you can even get black grout, or metallic mix-ins for extra shine.
- Sealed Surfaces: Any cracks or seams in your bathroom countertops will collect dirt and grime over time and are a pain to try to clean out. Make sure to choose a countertop with a non-porous surface to make cleanup easier.
- Flooring: Water inevitably collects on the bathroom floor and if left to sit becomes a breeding ground for mold. By slightly sloping the floors, especially to a drain, the problem can be prevented.
8.) Future Buyers
Unless you’re counting on living in your current home for the rest of your life, it’s important to keep future homebuyers in mind when renovating your bathroom. You may love gothic architecture and gargoyles, but it’ll be hard to sell that home to the average buyer. Your personal aesthetic preferences are not universal and the bathroom is a rather private space where too much personality may be too off-putting to buyers.
Try to include timeless colors, fixtures, and materials in your design. Following the trends isn’t always a bad idea, but keep in mind the difference between a trend and a fad: trends are long-term movements that tend to last for several years at a time whereas fads are short-lived and very quickly become outdated.
Your personal style can still be incorporated into the bathroom, just in less permanent ways! If your favorite color is bright teal, then bring that into your bathroom through towels, window treatments, light shades, and other knick knacks and decor items that find their way into the bathroom.
Ready for an upgrade to your bathroom? Contact Kitchens By Countryside at 585.349.8100 or kitchensbycountryside.com to schedule your free design consultation today!