THE EVERYTHING-YOU-NEED-TO-KNOW BATHROOM RENOVATION CHECKLIST
Renovating a bathroom can be overwhelming. You have to decide how much you can spend, select the right products, and determine if you’re going to change the layout. And that’s often before you call a contractor. To ensure that your bathroom renovation runs smoothly, here’s a checklist to keep your project on track. Remember: A successful renovation is all about smart timing.
One Month Out:
-Prep for contractor’s arrival. Clear out medicine cabinets and bathroom closets, and set up a temporary grooming space where you can get ready out of sight of contractors.
-Shop for accessories. With most of the hard planning over, have fun shopping for towel bars, towel hooks, a toilet paper holder, and the perfect soap dish. If you have a new color scheme, pick out your new shower curtain or towels.
-Select a paint color. Once the tile is up and the flooring is down, you’ll be able to get a sense of what color to paint the walls. It’s difficult to pick anything before that.
-Check in with your contractor often. Every day, when the contractor arrives, ask what will be done that day and mention any project hiccups and concerns you might have. Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure he knows where to store materials and how to get into the house if you’re not there. Keep pets and children away from the work site.
- Be flexible. If a project runs a few days over, try not to get frustrated. If that’s the biggest problem you’ve had, you got off easy.
- Inspect the contractor’s work. Chances are you’ll do this every day, but if anything seems amiss, try to address it before the job is completed.
- Celebrate. Throw down your new bath mats, unpack your toiletries, and sip a glass of Champagne.
Tub and shower
The first design decision for your new bath is whether you will have a separate tub and shower, a combination tub/shower, or just a walk-in shower. Roughing in the plumbing locations is one of the first construction milestones after the demo of a bathroom. Selecting and ordering plumbing fixtures is a critical first step in keeping your construction schedule on track.
When thinking of your shower space, keep in mind storage for toiletries and if you want a built-in niche. Niches are constructed during the framing stage. Once the drywall goes up, it’s costly to add one.
Flooring is a key component in your materials palette and should be considered early on, when you are looking at cabinetry and tile. It’s important to understand the flooring thickness and its relationship to the cabinetry and transitions to flooring in other rooms.
Tile is the most common flooring choice for bathrooms because it holds up so well to moisture. In recent years, we’ve seen a growing trend for faux wood tile on bathroom floors and walls.
Planning for the shower drain is sometimes an overlooked detail in bathroom planning. This is an important selection to add to your plumbing list and order early.
Sharing with your sweetie is simpler when you’ve made space for these features.
- Toilet room: Gives this area privacy; best if it’s got a door.
- Separate shower stall: Lets bathers and shower-takers clean up simultaneously.
- Dual workstations: Place double sinks 36 inches apart or more, measured drain to drain, so that you’ll have elbow room. Give each sink enough outlets and lighting, as well as mirror, countertop, and storage space.
- Wide pathways: Traffic lanes 36 to 42 inches wide allow two people to pass each other without having to squeeze by.
Lighting and Electrical Considerations
Actual light fixtures don’t get installed until the very end, but the electrician will need to know how many junction boxes to install, where to install them, how many switches and dimmers (if any). Consider having enough overhead general ambient lighting as well as task lighting in the vanity area. I recommend using LED fixtures or bulbs with a color temperature of 2700k-3000k. You’ll want “soft white” lighting that gives a warmer yellowy color rather than a glaring “daylight” color temperature that gives off a blue light and makes you look sickly.
Think outside the box with lighting in the vanity area. Instead of 1 sconce above you mirror what about a lighted mirror medicine cabinet? Consider sconces that are more at your eye/face level on either side of the mirror, or funky pendant lights.
If you want an electric heated towel bar make sure you know where it’s going and have the model specifications to the electrician can wire properly for it!
What materials are needed for bathroom remodel?
Select your vanity.
Do not delay on selecting your vanity, some are custom made or are not in stock and can take several weeks to receive. You do not want your finished bathroom to be delayed while you wait for your vanity to arrive from the manufacturer. Most contractors will not begin work on your project until all the materials have arrived so this is a priority. If you hired a bathroom remodeling contractor, have him help you with the process of selecting your bathroom vanity.
Select your bathtub and shower glass doors (if applicable).
Bathtubs, like vanities, can have a long delay in shipment depending on where they are coming from and if they are in stock. There are a variety of different sizes and options for bathtubs including type of material, depth, length, with or without jets, and handles. Becoming popular are the walk in tubs meant for aging in place.
Select your faucets and trim to be installed.
Selecting your faucets and trim is an essential part of your shopping. There are “rough” parts to the shower fixtures which will be installed behind the drywall and under the tile floor. Without those parts, you will be delayed in the middle of your project. Be aware that the type of shower head options may affect your installation cost and be sure to match your tub and shower trim to your sink faucets; many times they are paired in a “family” of products such as Kohler’s “Memoirs Collection” .
Select the tile for your shower and backsplash.
Tile is just as important as your vanities because its such a large piece of the bathroom. You will be selecting tile for your shower and backsplash so you will want to consider how well they coordinate with one another. We tend to guide our clients against “matchy – matchy” with the different products to avoid a “washed” look. For example, we might suggest not using white tile with white cabinets.
Select your toilet.
When it comes to toilets, the choice may seem simple, however, toilets are getting more and more sophisticated! There are toilet options that are designed to be green and save water depending on which flush option you choose. Additionally, there are a variety of style and color options. Manufacturers such as Kohler have families of sink, tub, and toilets which have the same style, making your product selection choices a little easier when you want them to match.
Select your lighting.
Don’t forget to consider your lighting options…there are so many to choose from. Not only do you have to decide between canned lights, pendant lights, or light bars – you also need to decide what you want out of your light switches. For example, do you want to have a dimmer, is it important to have a built in night-light? Those types of questions will lead you to the light that will fit your family’s lifestyle.
Last, but not least, select your flooring
Flooring is your last and final piece to your master piece. Ditch the linoleum and select flooring that works with your design. If you love wood but don’t want the hassle of maintaining a wood floor, there are now porcelain wood tiles that can give you the look of wood flooring. Travertine flooring along with ceramic tile are also popular choices.
Your bathroom has the potential to look amazing. The world of design and remodeling have endless capabilities to turn the idea of your space to a wonderful masterpiece. Start getting inspired by looking at local design build contractor’s website or better yet look to see if they have a Houzz profile. Anything is possible no matter the size of the space.