“We only have one sink. The two of us can’t get ready at the same time.”
“That pink and black tile has got to go.”
“I wish the kids’ bath wasn’t always a mess.”
“How much would it cost to add a waterfall shower?”
“We never had a linen closet.”
“Can you fix rust stains on a tub?”
“How old is this plumbing, anyway?”
“Would an antique vanity fit in here?
“Is that mold?”
Those are just a few of the questions a homeowner might be asking when considering a bathroom renovation. Some of them are about safety – mold is a health hazard, for instance; some are about function (no storage, not enough counter space), and others are about aesthetics (wouldn’t it be nice to have a master bath that looked more like a spa?) And the answers to those questions add up to another question:
How Much Will It Cost?
Welcome to the world of bathroom remodeling, where the smallest space in the house gets all the attention. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you dig in, from the popular online home magazine Houzz:
- Who uses this bathroom?
- What’s their routine? When is the bathroom most in use?
- How could it function better?
- How long do you plan to be in this house?
- Are there any accessibility issues to address?
- Is this update primarily for resale purposes?
The answers to those questions will help you focus as you look through magazines and online galleries, clipping and bookmarking things that appeal to you. And then the fun begins. Do you want subway tile? A pebbled shower floor? Do you want to enlarge the footprint of the bathroom, adding storage or room for a garden tub? How about tile installed in a chevron pattern on an accent wall? Do you want granite countertops, or do you prefer a stand-alone vanity? The options are endless – and can be overwhelming.
Here are some of the top trends in bathroom remodels, from the folks who bring you Décor magazine:
- Using wooden finishes– You want to avoid the areas that will constantly be wet, but wooden vanities and trim bring warmth and an organic feel to space;
- Go minimalist– You can never go wrong designing a space that feels clean and fresh. Go white, pale gray and glass, and add bits of color in your accessories;
- Mirrored walls– an easy way to make space feel larger and brighter;
- Terrazzo surfaces: The speckled surfaces are playful and strong, and are a new alternative for both countertops, floor, and tiles.
- Freestanding bathtubs: They’re making appearances at current tradeshows, many of them geared especially for small spaces.
- Vintage touches: An antique dresser can become a vanity; an old-fashioned basket can hold towels for guests; a mirror found at an estate sale can be a centerpiece.
- Sustainability: Think recycled wood, eco-friendly water management (not all low-flow appliances are annoying), and LED lighting, which lasts much longer than traditional.
Once you’ve figured out your biggest problem issues and your favorite design ideas, talk to a good contractor about possibilities. He or she will excel at looking at your space and helping you figure out what will work, what won’t, and why. They know the cost and availability of materials, and can tell you about expected time frames.