Key Things to Consider Before Remodeling Your Bathroom
From simple half-baths to expansive master bathroom suites, it’s all about functionality when it comes to the bathroom. Among other things, this includes maximizing storage, improving drainage, and achieving that perfect lighting. Here’s what you need to consider when planning out your bathroom project:
Two big things when it comes to bathroom plumbing: drain pipe size in the shower, and how the water supply lines are routed.
While residential plumbing typically uses 1½-inch drain pipes in showers, consider upgrading to a 2-inch drain (if your framing allows for it). The cost difference is very small, and the larger drain is less likely to clog.
In addition, water supply lines should not be routed through an exterior wall if below freezing temperatures are an issue during winter.
Bathroom lighting is always tricky because bright light is needed at times, and more aesthetic mood light is needed at times. The answer? Recessed light fixtures dispersed throughout the ceiling to brighten (with one or two in the shower), and a dimmer switch to adjust the mood.
Now, what about bathroom mirror lighting? Depending on how you’ll be using your bathroom mirror will ultimately help you decide what type of lighting to use in that area – functional or aesthetic. Applying makeup or shaving? Bright light fixtures will help you see what you’re doing and can be placed in a flattering way to give you the best of both worlds.
A space saver and no longer a budget killer, wall-hung toilets are growing in popularity. The only major concern with them is if you change your mind and want to convert to a floor-mounted unit. Because the tank is hidden behind the wall, wall-mounted toilets drain differently and you’ll have to rework the supply.
SHOWER OR TUB?
When deciding on a shower or a tub for your bathroom, take into consideration how many baths you take in a year. Do you have children or pets that would need a bathtub? Is there room for a tub or can that space be utilized better? Look into the future 5 or 10 years and consider whether one or the other would suit you better as an older version of yourself.
A WINDOW IN THE SHOWER
If done right, this is a great feature! Be sure to consider choosing a frosted-glass paneled window for privacy, and one that opens for fresh air. Ensure there are stone jambs along the entire installation so that it is watertight. Also, make sure the sill slopes down and away for proper drainage. TIP: A tilt-and-turn window is a great choice for a shower because the screen is located on the outside of the window, the handles are plastic and won’t rust, and full privacy is assured even when tilted open.
Slope those sills into the shower for proper drainage. Try to choose a material that is solid, like stone or quartz. A tiled shower curb encourages seepage through the grout lines and into the framing.
Smaller tiles offer more traction and are typically used for shower floors. Larger tiles tend to be more difficult to slope properly and are generally more slippery (unless textured) because the grout lines are farther apart. The good news is that the options for smaller tiles are nearly limitless!
There are also many options nowadays for shower bases, not just the boring neutral prefabricated ones of yesteryear. Most popular are modern bases with clean lines made out of acrylic or porcelain, but don’t overlook other options out there for your shower floor.
Recess your medicine cabinet, if at all possible. The additional framing won’t break the budget and the precious space it saves over a shallow vanity is everything! If it’s just not an option, prepare for your medicine cabinet to protrude 4-5 inches out over your vanity.
Consider vanities with drawer storage rather than doors, as they tend to be easier to access and organize. In addition, the drawers can be cut out around the plumbing and can be made versatile enough to accommodate larger items.
The bathroom is a great place to bring luxury together with sustainability. Conserve on water with low flow toilets and shower heads, or consider motion-sensor faucets. There are also many eco-friendly energy-conscious options to choose from, such as lighting and venting fans.