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Our easy bathroom remodelling guide will take you through the basics.
Before you put pen to paper, ask yourself a few questions that can inform your design process:
Is the bathroom the main one in the house, or is it attached to a bedroom?
How many people will use the bathroom at the same time?
How many people will use the bathroom every day – a single person, a couple, or a family?
The answers to those questions can help you decide between installing one or two basins, and a bath-shower combo or a bath and a separate shower. They can also help you work out how much storage to include.
When you’ve thought about who will use the bathroom and when, you can start planning an appropriate layout. Start by measuring the room (or by asking an architect to measure it for you) and doing a scale drawing on graph paper. Once the basic floor plan is done, mark the location of the door, windows, soil pipe, drains and taps. You can then experiment with different layout ideas.
You may find it easier and more cost-effective not to change the position of the toilet, as moving soil pipes can be a big, costly job. You should also ask yourself whether the new layout will make it easy to keep the bathroom clean and whether humidity or water splashes could damage the finishes or be a safety risk. When you’ve settled on the new layout, don’t be tempted to change your plan willy-nilly.
If your bathroom remodelling project requires changes to the lighting scheme, rewiring or the installation of a shower pump or an electric shower, you should enlist the help of an electrician. Additionally, you may want to get a plumber to help with any changes to water pipes, taps, and/or the toilet, and a tiler, if you’re not keen on doing the tiling yourself.
After finalising the layout, it’s important to speak to all the tradespeople who’ll be working on the project as soon as possible. If you leave making those appointments to the last minute, there’s a chance your preferred electrician or plumber won’t be free to do the work when it suits you. Be sure to show your finalised plan to any tradesmen you appoint so they can check for any issues that negatively affect or otherwise interfere with the work they need to do.
Think about the practical elements you want to include in your bathroom and then make a list of them. Knowing what you want in the room will make it easier to complete the plan. You can include items such as a bath, basin, shower, towel rail, storage, and a toilet.
When doing this, decide whether you want a freestanding bathtub, a spa bath, or a shower bath, a console or pedestal basin, and built-in cupboards or a freestanding cabinet.
Remodelling your bathroom doesn’t mean you need to rip absolutely everything out and replace it with new fixtures and fittings. If you already have good quality sanitaryware, salvage what you can for the remodelled room. Doing this is a great way to reduce the cost of the project.
If you need to purchase new sanitaryware, make your decisions before tiling or plastering. This can ensure that the cold and hot-water pipes are in the correct position and can prevent the need for alterations after the first-fix stage.
Check that your privacy will be protected in your newly remodelled bathroom. Do this by considering the position of the bath, shower and toilet in relation to the window. If you want to use clear glass in the window, consider installing blinds or hanging a net curtain. Alternatively, use frosted glass in the window or cover the window with laminated opaque film.
If your bathroom is small, there are several tricks you can implement to create a sense of space. If you're tiling with subway tiles, choose a pattern that enhances the feeling of depth, and if you’re painting, pick a lighter colour over a dark, as darker colours make rooms look smaller.
You can also use mirrors to make a room look larger. Do this by hanging a large mirror on a wall, placing a standing mirror against a wall or in a corner, or by covering an entire wall with a large frameless mirror.
If you’re worried about your mirrors misting up when you shower or bath, position heat pads behind the mirrors.
Not all flooring, paint, tiles and other materials are designed for bathrooms. The water, humidity, and steam can damage some materials, so check those you choose are suitable. For example, purchase sealed tiles and waterproof paints that can handle damp and condensation and steer clear of light fittings with metal that could rust, or wood that may warp.
As lovely as fixtures and fittings and decorative elements can be, style should never come at the expense of accessibility. Your newly remodelled bathroom should be easy to use, clean, and repair.
Check that your design offers plumbers easy access to water and soil pipes that can get blocked. The countertops and basin should be low enough for shorter people to use without discomfort, and the showerhead should be positioned high enough for taller people to use with ease.
You should also check that you can reach the towel rails from the shower and/or the bath, and that there’s at least 60cm of free space in front of the toilet and on either side.
Renovating a bathroom is an exciting opportunity to create a sanctuary for yourself. The pointers in this easy remodelling guide can help you set your project in motion to build the bathroom of your dreams.
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