As a Houston bathroom remodeling contractor, I’ve talked with lots of homeowners. Below is a list of 31 Bathroom tips customers like yourself wish they knew before starting their remodel.
31 Tips You Should Know Before Your Bathroom Remodel
1. Choose mosaic tiles for your shower floor. They have more traction and flexibility when sloping to the drain. Large shower floor tiles are harder to slope to the drain, causing them to loosen and lift over time.
2. Expect unforeseen bathroom problems. Corroded, leaking or old galvanized pipes are common problems in older homes.
Water damage behind shower walls and floor. Usually caused by a leaky shower head, shower pan or cracked grout.
Which leads to dry rot on 2×4’s behind the wall. Or a plywood subfloor with rotten, warped or loose boards.
Another unforeseen problem is water damaged insulation or none at all on exterior bathroom walls. Also undetected holes behind walls from animals chewing through the exterior.
3. Plan a focal point. Stand in your bathroom doorway. What’s the 1st thing you see? If it’s not a vanity, bathtub or shower, I’d consider changing the layout.
Imagine finally being able to remodel, you spent thousands of dollars and the toilet is the star of the show. Let’s face it, they have come a long way, but at the end of the day it’s still a toilet. Your layout was an afterthought.
4. Tile selection. Stop following the masses and choosing a tile because it’s the hot trend or someone you know has it. Subway tile is timeless and beautiful, however if cleaning isn’t your thing, you’ll regret your choice when scrubbing grout lines is a regular routine.
5. Lighting. Install a dimmer on one of your light fixtures. It changes the mood from bright lighting when getting dressed to soft vibe when you want to relax. In addition to a recessed shower light designed for wet areas.
6. Ventilation is important. You need either a window or vent fan. A good vent fan will draw out moisture, humidity and bathroom odors. Steam from taking a shower creates moisture that will sit and cause mold and mildew to grow.
7. Install a shower niche. Will you be sharing the shower with someone? Do you use the same products, soaps or bath items? If not, install 2 niches. A recessed shower niche is a smart solution for bath products, without taking up extra space.
8. Where to wet hang towels shouldn’t be an afterthought. Many homeowners are opting for hooks, ladders or freestanding towels ranks over towel bars to hang their towels to dry.
9. Select easy to clean tiles and countertops if you hate cleaning. A Dark color vanity and tile will show more dirt than lighter colors.
10. Additional storage solution besides a vanity. Have you consider how you will store additional bathroom items that don’t fit in the vanity?
Most homeowners think their vanity will be enough storage. Wrong!
Built-ins or simple open shelving added to walls can create storage. Thinking outside of the box and using items like magazine holders or wine ranks for towels, toiletries in display jars offer creative storage and custom design touches.
11. Toilet tissue holder. Mounted to the vanity or free standing? An average small bathroom is 5×7. The floor space gets crowded and clutter very easy with poor planning.
12. Add more outlets. Considerate adding enough outlets and power wattage to accommodate 2 people getting ready in the bathroom at the same time.
13. Porcelain tile is better for wet areas. It’s denser than ceramic. It also absorbs less moisture than ceramic, making it a great waterproof choice for bathrooms.
14. Simple designs are not cheaper. They’re usually more. They require a skilled expert with a knowledge in simplistic design and attention to detail.
15. There’s a big difference between a tile installer and a Master tile installer. A master tiler will factor your tile size, layout, and the placement of smaller cut tiles into the design. A master installer levels each tile to ensure an even surface, neat grout lines and prevent leaks.
16. A bathroom renovation takes time. It’s not a 2 day job. The average bathroom gut from start to finish is 2 weeks. More detailed and custom designs can take up to 4 weeks.
17. Door Planning. Which direction does your bathroom door swing now? Does opening the door take up too much space?
A sliding or pocket door will fix this problem.
Sliding doors are more popular due to the installation process. They don’t require tearing up a wall like a pocket door.
18. Will you be aging in place? Showers without doors, walk-in curbless showers are perfect options.
Curbless showers save you money when you want to age in place.
The versatile designs are modern and stylist, yet practical as you age. If the need arises in the future they minimize falls because you’re not stepping over the shower.
And they are wheelchair accessible too.
19. Larger tiles in the shower will make it feel bigger. Less grout lines and less cleaning.
20. Raise your shower head height. The walls will be open. Taller people will appreciate not having to bend over to take a shower.
I can’t tell you how many times my customers have thanked me for this recommendation.
21. Remove that dated soffit (if you have one) will make your shower taller and more open.
22. Water and fingerprint resistant shower heads and faucets stay cleaner.
23. Frameless shower doors are worth the money. They don’t have trim, which means no mold, dirt build up or hard to slide doors like framed shower doors.
24. If your shower isn’t 3×5 considering enlarging it.
25. Bathroom mirrors should be part of your design and not an afterthought. Don’t toss your old long vanity mirror. Instead of throwing it in the trash, cut it into 2 mirrors and buy a decorative frame. Or have your carpenter build one with moulding.
26. Waterproof the shower with membrane. The applied liquid creates a water and steam barrier before installing tile. The waterproofing isolates cracks and future water damage from loose tiles or grout.
There are a couple different ways to waterproof a shower (this is the preferred method in Houston).
27. Decide what is most important to you and your family when getting ready in the bathroom. Then make a list of your top 5 must haves.
28. Choose slip resistant tile flooring in your bathroom. Many homeowners forget, steam and moisture will make the floor slippery. It’s easy to forget when you’re in a showroom full of beautiful tile.
Standard shower drain is 1 ½ inch. Upgrading to a 2 inch helps water drain faster and reduces clogs.
29. Hire a Skilled Contractor that is on the same page as you. They should communicate and patiently explain the project until you have a clear understanding.
30. Many homeowners make the mistake of hiring a contractor that doesn’t get their vision. The project starts and now you’re given excuses why your design choice isn’t doable.
So you call other bathroom companies to confirm your design is doable. Or you post your questions in a remodeling forum.
31. Manage your expectations. A Remodel is dusty. Covering furniture and building a wall barrier helps, but there will still be dust.
Hiring the cheapest contractor and expecting them to build your dream bathroom like you seen online or from a Pinterest photo… Good luck! You usually get what you pay for.
Lastly, be realistic with what you can get for your budget.
Looking for a Houston bathroom remodeling contractor? Contact me at 281-809-7554. Let’s discuss your project and see if we’re a good fit!
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