Things to consider before undertaking a bathroom remodeling project.

A renovated bathroom is no small undertaking. It could be a large investment for you and it makes sense to get it right the first time. So, before you start tearing up your tiles and ripping out your vanity, here is a list of some things to consider:

  • Tile Flooring - If you want an easy to clean tile, go with porcelain or glazed and avoid porous stone such as limestone. Porous tile will absorb water and stain over time. If you are looking for a more slip resistant surface, think about going with smaller tiles with lots of grout lines, textured surfaces, or matte finishes.
  • Caulking - Make sure your contractor uses a good quality caulk that contains mildewcide as this will help prevent mildew in those hard to reach areas.
  • Half-Bath Considerations - If you are thinking about putting in a half-bath, consider this: Theoretically you can fit a toilet and vanity in an 11 square foot spot and still meet national building codes. Many homes built in the late 1960's and early 1970's around the Tampa Bay Area have half-baths located generally in the garage area and they are extremely small. For comforts sake, look to build a space that is at least 3-4 feet wide by 6-8 feet long. 
  • Wiring - If you have a home that was built in the mid part of the last century or earlier or doesn't have dedicated circuits, you are going to have to consider the fact that you are more than likely going to have to upgrade that tired 15 amp line to a more powerful and dedicated 20 amp circuit.
  • The Right Height - Your contractor will generally mount items on walls such as medicine cabinets at standard heights.  If you are thinking about adding items to your bathroom after you are done with a remodel, there is nothing wrong in asking your contractor to install extra blocking in the walls before they are sealed.
  • Whats the Niche - It might be a good idea, if not a necessity, to add some niches in your walls for various toiletries. If a niche is not necessarily in your budget, consider a small marble shelf.
  • Toilet - Don't go cheap here. If you are going through the trouble of remodeling your bathroom, make sure you purchase a low consumption, high-efficiency model. Look for models with a MaP score of over 500.
  • Sinks and Storage - A traditional vanity will offer you as much storage as the size of it will hold, but if you want a clean look, you might want to consider a stand-alone pedestal sink.  The trade-off is obviously the loss of storage.
  • Vessel Sinks - Though this new trend looks really neat and might suit you needs just fine, the bowl on the counter has its drawbacks. Though you will pick up storage space with an extra possible drawer, you will loose functional counter space.
  • The Right Countertop - While natural stone like marble look fantastic, they really are for the homeowner that is diligent with cleaning. Marble must be sealed regularly and even with this will show stains if certain hygiene products aren't cleaned up immediately. New composite counters are great if you are dealing with an odd shaped room and they come in all sorts of colors, they just might not give you that top-notch feel. Laminate is a good entry level countertop that is good for the budget, easy to work with, and is somewhat scratch resistant. Cons with a laminate is they can de-laminate over time.
  • Lighting is Key - The look today is for side mounted lights on either side of your mirror or vanity. If you don't have room for side sconces, make sure your lighting fully spans the distance of the width of the mirror.
  • The Right Grout - This is an area we suggest leaving to your contractor to decide. There are the obvious two different type of grout, sanded and non-sanded, which are used in different areas depending on the traction needed. There are various colors available in both. Choose a color that will work for you but let your contractor use what he knows.
  • Getting in Hot Water - If you are upgrading your bath to a soaker tub or something larger than what you are used to, you might want to consider a larger water heater or tankless.
  • A Room for Two - If you and your significant other are planning on using the same bathroom at the same time, take these options into consideration. A water closet to close off the toilet from the rest of the room. A separate shower stall from the bathtub so they can be used at the same time. A dual-sink vanity so you can both do your daily hygiene at the same time; this might include dual mirrors or vanities. And the last thing would be wide passages, if you have a room that is going to have traffic from two individuals, you will want to consider hallways at least 36" wide.
  • Skip the Wallpaper - Besides being outdated, wallpaper in the bathroom isn't always the best idea. Think about a smooth painted finish with wainscoting instead.
  • Proper Ventilation - We understand that a lot of homes in this area were built without proper ventilation.  Now its time to upgrade. Splurge on this. Consider a quiet running unit that won't make a lot of noise in the middle of the night.

Now that you have these crucial things in mind, it is time to start planning your renovation. We at DCI Home Improvements are dedicated to giving you the right job at the right price. We help our clients during the entire process suggesting things as we have outlined above.  Don't let this be a scary process, enjoy it.