Make your bathroom a showpiece in your home, after all, it’s one of the most used rooms in the house!
We usually forget just how important a bathroom is. We are more likely to focus on the time we spend with our family and friends in the living room or time we spend cooking in our kitchen than we are about taking a bath and brushing our teeth. The bathroom is the room in which we can relax, soak our troubles away and pamper ourselves most effectively. With the right designs, the right additions and even the right lighting, a bathroom can become a room we may be even more excited to spend time in than a living room, kitchen or bedroom. And when our renovations are complete, we’ll bask in our private, fully customized piece of paradise. Here’s how we can get started.
Our bathroom goes through a lot. From full sinks to toilet flushes, hot showers to lengthy baths, the plumbing necessary to keep this important room in the home running is under constant stress. We don’t need to be plumbing experts before starting a bathroom remodeling project, but it helps to understand some basics:
- Pipes. We are already ripping out flooring, tiles, and fixtures, so we should take this chance to review our pipes. It’s suggested to have ¾” supply pipes coming into the bathroom in order to have proper water flow to several outlets. Copper or plastic pipes are the best choice because they are more hygienic, easier to install and they last longer.
- Water pressure. Behind our extra-large showers and multiple shower heads is the plumbing and more importantly, the water supply that is required to support it. We should remember that a proper spray from a shower head requires a minimum supply of 40lbs of water pressure.
- Incorporating water saving techniques. A bathroom remodel can be a good chance to change the way our home consumes water. We can, for example, consider toilets that have lower water usage per flush. Incorporating such features into our bathroom design can be good for the environment but also for our household budget.
- Features for heating a bathroom. If we want to add some luxury to our bathroom, we can incorporate additional heating options such as underfloor heating or radiator style towel warmers.
Ventilation is very important in a wet room like the bathroom. Poor ventilation can leave our bathroom damp, mouldy, can cause cracking and peeling off wall paints and can even harm our health. We can get bathroom ventilation by two ways either by windows or by the mechanical ventilation system. In winters when windows are kept shut, we need mechanical ventilators such as exhaust fans. There are few types of these exhaust fans:
- ceiling mounted exhaust fans
- inline exhaust fans (installed between ducting)
- wall mounted exhaust fans
- combination exhaust fans (combination of units such as a heater, light and ventilating fan all in a single device)
- exterior mounted exhaust fans (installed outside the house)
Their mechanism is very simple – fans are set up by a timer and are activated when the shower is turned on and deactivated when the shower is turned off.
3. Bathroom window treatments
Windows give life to our bathrooms. They not only allow natural light, give the illusion of space but also give our eyes a place to wander outside of the small room. However, to achieve this nice visual effect, our windows should be dressed or decorated attractively.
It’s crucial to realize that bathroom window treatment is different from that relating other rooms in our home. Window treatments for bathrooms need to meet three basic requirements: durability, privacy, and light control. There are a lot of fabulous decorative elements we can choose from ranging from curtains, blinds, draperies, shutters, valances, and shades that are functional and can serve as a crowning touch to deliver a finished and polished look. And if we cannot decide what type of window treatments to choose, we can always mix and match styles to achieve a unique look. We can try drapery over faux wood blinds to add colour and soften up the space or shutters with a pretty valance.
Tip: We should use coordinating colors to the palette of the bathroom and avoid heavy and dark materials.
4. Medicine cabinets
Despite the name, medicine cabinets aren’t just for meds anymore. We put there all those bathroom necessities we want close at hand but still out of sight.
Depending on the way of installation there are two main types of medicine cabinets:
- Recessed cabinets. They save space and look great, but require more work. If we plan our cabinet for an existing wall, we need to first open up the wall to check what’s behind the surface. There shouldn’t be any obstructions behind a cabinet, such as plumbing supply lines or electrical wires.
- Wall-mounted cabinets. They are much easier to install because we don’t have to open up and dig into a wall. However, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as recessed cabinets and they take up much-valued space.
Once we decide whether to recess or wall-mount our cabinet, we will need to select a style. The most popular are modern mirrored medicine cabinets. Mirrors can create the optical illusion, making our bathroom seem more spacious. But, it would be really a shame if we only chose a simple mirror. Interior designers suggest installing a mirrored medicine cabinet, so we could have an additional space to store our stuff behind the mirror.
5. Bathroom lighting
When it comes to interior lighting, a bathroom is probably given the least consideration of all the rooms in our house. A single ceiling fixture is not enough. An ideal lighting plan is a series of layers:
- Task lighting. This type of lighting has a specific purpose; it’s the best for shaving or putting on makeup. Lights around a mirror, or the spotlights in our ceiling, will help us to achieve just the right level of light.
- Ambient lighting. It’s usually supplied by a central fixture, most often a surface-mounted ceiling light. However, we can be more creative in our choices and choose a pendant lamp or gorgeous chandelier instead.
- Accent lighting. It’s a small recessed spotlight directed at a piece of decorative art or some other interesting element in our bathroom design.
Tip: Think about dimmers because they grant absolute control over the lighting, and thus the mood, of the room.
6. Wall hung toilets
What is this wall hung toilet and what makes it so special? As the name suggests, it’s attached to the wall of our bathroom. The bowl is mounted to the wall and the plumbing is connected to the water tank which is concealed behind the wall. While there are many pros, there are also cons associated with having a wall mounted toilet in your bathroom.
Advantages of wall hung toilets:
- they provide a bathroom with clean lines, keeping the space simple and easier to coordinate with the rest of the home
- they take up very little space
- cleaning the space underneath is considerably easier
Disadvantages of wall hung toilets:
- they are more expensive than the floor mounted toilets
- they need to be installed by a professional
- they may require constant adjustment and rehanging due to the pressure exerted
- we may experience more leaking from these toilets in comparison to the conventional toilets
These pros and cons should be weighed very carefully before we decide to install a wall hung toilet in our home.
7. Shower or bathtub?
Anyone who’s ever refurbished a bathroom has come across this dilemma: shower or bathtub? Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of these both.
- ideal for relaxing our sore muscles
- great for small children
- available in a wide variety of sizes and design choices
- a lot of special features available including whirlpool versions, air jets, etc.
- takes up a lot of space
- consumes a lot of water
- can be difficult for older people or people with some disabilities to get in and out
- quick and convenient
- requires less water than the bathtub
- easy access for older people and those with mobility issues
- not practical if we have children
- leaks can be a pain to fix
- shower doors require proper cleaning and maintenance to keep them from getting visible lime and calcium stains
8. Walls and flooring
In fact, any material can be used to surface floors and walls in our bathroom. There is only one crucial condition – it has to be waterproof. Depending on our style and budget, granite, ceramic, and marble tiles make beautiful and durable wall surfaces and flooring. Tiles are not the only option for our walls, we can consider even wallpaper (of course water-resistant). For flooring, additional options may include sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles which look better than used to and are inexpensive. Whatever our choice is, we just need to remember about other key criteria for choosing our bathroom flooring: durability and of course slip-resistance.
9. Storage ideas
There are so many little odds and ends – hairbrushes, razors, cosmetics, toilet paper, towels – that we just have to have, but where in the world can we put all that stuff? In fact, our bathroom (even the small one) can store more than we can imagine. With a bit of creativity, the options for finding inexpensive storage solutions are plentiful. Let’s take a look at few of them:
- A shelf above the sink is a good idea. It gives us access to the things we use every day.
- We shouldn’t neglect the space above our toilet. It can be a perfect spot for some shelves, a cabinet or simple basket for toiletries.
- If we don’t have space for a towel rack, we can hang our towels on the back of the door.
- We can add a shelf above the door. It’s a hard-to-reach place, but can be perfect for storing some chemical cleaners we want to keep away from our children.
- Drawers inside our cabinets can be a very useful solution. They will maximize storage space and make it a lot easier to find small items.
- We can find storage potential beneath our bathtub. One of the most popular solutions is to incorporate our bathtub with a pull-down drawer system.
Is your home in need of a bathroom remodel? Give your bathroom design a boost with our inspirational bathroom remodel ideas.