Planning a bathroom remodel can be an exciting but overwhelming process. Before you begin working with an interior designer or design-build contractor, there are some important questions you should be asking to ensure the design and remodel process is a successful one, and that it will result in a beautiful and more functional bathroom you’ll love spending time in.
What are some questions I should be asking before starting a bathroom remodel?
- Where should I start with my bathroom remodel?
- Bathtub or walk-in shower? Which is better?
- What are the trending features in bathroom design that I should be aware of?
- How do I make my bathroom timeless?
- Which type of paint is the best choice for bathrooms, flat or semi-gloss?
- What is the best lighting solution for my bathroom?
- How important is it to add a second sink during our bathroom remodel?
- How do I maximize the storage in my bathroom?
- How do we expand our bathroom floor plan to include everything we want?
- Will a bathroom remodel increase the value of my home?
- What are the advantages of hiring a design-build contractor to design and complete our bathroom remodel?
1. Where should I start with my bathroom remodel?
The best place to start when planning a bathroom remodel is by establishing a clear vision of what you want to achieve with the project. This involves considering your needs, preferences, and budget. Some key questions to ask yourself include:
- What do I like and dislike about my current bathroom?
- What are my must-haves and nice-to-haves?
- What is my budget for this project?
- How long do I plan on living in the home?
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your bathroom remodel, the next step is to set a realistic budget. This involves not only considering the cost of materials and design-build remodel contractor but also any additional expenses such as permits and inspections.
The next step is to create a detailed plan for your remodel, with some rough sketches. This involves researching and selecting the right fixtures, finishes, and materials that will best suit your needs and preferences. It’s important to consider factors such as durability, ease of maintenance, and energy efficiency when selecting materials.
Another key consideration when planning your bathroom remodel is the layout. This involves considering factors such as the size and shape of the space, as well as the location of plumbing and electrical connections. Can you accomplish your vision in the space you have available, or will you need to move a wall or increase the space with a bump-out addition? A well-designed layout can not only improve the functionality of your bathroom but also enhance its aesthetic appeal.
Finally, it’s important to hire the right team of professionals to help you design and complete your bathroom remodel.
2. Bathtub or walk-in shower? Which is better?
A bathtub with a shower head is a classic choice and provides the option of taking a leisurely soak or a quick shower. However, a bathtub with a shower can take up a considerable amount of space in the bathroom, which could perhaps be better utilized if converted into a longer countertop with an additional sink, or perhaps additional storage.
A walk-in shower is a modern and elegant choice that provides a spacious and open feel to the bathroom. A walk-in shower can also be easier to clean than a bathtub with a shower as there are no hard-to-reach corners or crevices. Another advantage of a curbless walk-in shower is that it is a safer option for those with mobility issues as there are no high walls or ledges to climb over. A walk-in shower may not be as relaxing as soaking in a bathtub, and it may not be suitable for families with young children or pets who require frequent baths.
There’s a third option, if you have the available space. Having both a free-standing tub and a walk-in shower in the bathroom can add value to your home and enhance your daily routine. The free-standing tub provides a relaxing and luxurious space for soaking and unwinding after a long day, while the walk-in shower is a convenient and functional option for daily use.
Having both features in your bathroom also allows for more flexibility in terms of how you use the space, as you can switch between the two depending on your needs and preferences. It can create a spa-like atmosphere that can increase the overall appeal and value of your home.
3. What are the trending features in bathroom design that I should be aware of?
Bold and colourful tiles are – especially in the shower or on a feature wall – one of the hottest design trends this year. These tiles can add personality and visual interest to an otherwise neutral space and can be paired with complementary colours and textures for a cohesive look.
Another popular trend in bathroom design is the use of freestanding bathtubs, which can create a spa-like atmosphere and add a touch of luxury to any bathroom. These tubs come in a variety of styles, from modern and minimalist to ornate and traditional, and can be made from materials such as acrylic, cast iron, or natural stone.
Smart technology is becoming increasingly popular in bathroom design. Features such as smart toilets with heated seats, automatic lid opening and closing, and self-cleaning functions are gaining popularity. Fans can turn off automatically when the humidity drops sufficiently after a shower. Voice-activated lighting, temperature control, and sound systems are also becoming more common in modern bathroom design.
Finally, traditional natural materials such as wood, stone, and marble are also trending in bathroom design. These materials can add warmth and texture to the space and can be incorporated in a variety of ways, from countertops and flooring to shower walls and accent pieces.
4. How do I make my bathroom timeless?
To make your bathroom timeless, start by selecting neutral colours such as white, beige, or grey for your tiles, walls, and fixtures. These colours never go out of style and can be paired with almost any other colour or pattern.
Next, focus on the materials and textures in your bathroom. Opt for natural materials like marble, granite, or wood to give your bathroom a timeless and elegant look. Consider adding in classic elements like a clawfoot bathtub or pedestal sink, as these have been popular for generations and are unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.
Another way to make your bathroom timeless is by investing in high-quality fixtures and finishes. Choose faucets, shower heads, and towel racks that have a classic and simple design, rather than trendy or overly decorative styles.
Lastly, be sure your bathroom has plenty of natural light and storage space. A bright and airy space will always feel fresh and inviting, while ample storage will help keep clutter at bay and maintain a clean and organized look.
It’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. Trendy features like floating vanities, or adding bold and colourful tiles, need not date your bathroom, with a little future-proofing. For example, the cabinet company could include a slide-in base for your floating vanity, filling the space beneath with a horizontal row of drawers at a future date, if “floating” goes out of style. Your tile setter could leave additional neutral tiles to replace those brilliant accent tiles, should they become dated in a few years.
5. Which type of paint is the best choice for bathrooms, flat or semi-gloss?
When it comes to choosing the best type of paint for a bathroom, it is generally recommended to use a semi-gloss finish rather than a flat finish. Semi-gloss paint is more resistant to moisture, which is particularly important in a bathroom where humidity and condensation are common.
Semi-gloss paint has a slightly shiny finish that reflects light, giving the room a brighter and more open feel. Increased reflection can be especially beneficial in small bathrooms that don’t receive much natural light. Additionally, semi-gloss paint is more durable than a flat paint, making it more resistant to wear and tear over time.
In contrast, flat paint has a matte finish that absorbs light, creating a more muted and subdued look. While flat paint may be suitable for other areas of the home, it is not ideal for a bathroom where moisture and humidity can lead to mould and mildew growth on the walls.
6. What is the best lighting solution for my bathroom?
A good rule of thumb is to have at least one overhead light, such as a flush mount or a pendant, and one or more task lights, such as sconces or vanity lights, for optimal lighting coverage. One of the most important factors to consider when selecting lighting for a bathroom is the size of the space. Smaller bathrooms typically benefit from brighter lighting to make the space feel larger and more open, while larger bathrooms may require a combination of different types of lighting to provide sufficient coverage.
Another consideration when choosing lighting for your bathroom is the colour scheme of the space. Neutral colours and cool tones tend to work well with bright white lighting, while warmer tones may work better with softer, warmer lights. It’s important to choose lighting fixtures that match the colour scheme of the room and complement the other materials in the room, such as the tile and fixtures.
7. How important is it to add a second sink during our bathroom remodel?
Adding a second sink to a bathroom can offer several benefits, particularly in households with multiple people. Having two sinks allows for more efficient use of the space, as two people can get ready simultaneously without getting in each other’s way. This can save time in the morning rush and can also help reduce arguments over bathroom time. Additionally, a second sink can add value to your home, as it is seen as an essential feature by many buyers.
If a bathroom doesn’t currently have space for a second sink, there are several ways to create room. One option is to switch out a bathtub for a stand-up shower. This can free up a significant amount of floor space, allowing for the installation of a second sink. Additionally, removing a large vanity and replacing it with two smaller vanities or sinks can also create space for a second sink. If there is enough wall space, installing a second sink opposite the existing sink might also be an option.
Another way to create space for a second sink is by installing a corner sink. These sinks are designed to fit into corners, which can be a great space-saving solution in smaller bathrooms. Additionally, installing a wall-mounted sink or a pedestal sink can free up floor space and create room for a second sink. It’s important to consider the placement of the second sink in relation to the existing plumbing and electrical work, as this can affect the cost and complexity of the installation.
8. How do I maximize the storage in my bathroom?
Maximizing the storage in a bathroom can be a challenge, particularly if the space is small. With some creative thinking and strategic planning, it’s usually possible to increase the amount of storage in your bathroom and keep the space organized and clutter-free.
One of the most effective ways to maximize bathroom storage is choosing vertical space. This can be achieved by installing shelving units or adding floating shelves above the toilet or bathtub. These spaces can be used to store towels, toiletries, and other bathroom essentials, and can help free up counter space. If it doesn’t already have one, installing a medicine cabinet above the sink can provide extra storage space for toiletries and personal items.
Another way to maximize your bathroom’s storage is by using multi-functional furniture. For example, a vanity with drawers or shelves can provide storage for towels, toiletries, and other bathroom essentials, while also serving as a sink and countertop. Similarly, a stool or ottoman with storage can provide a place to sit while also providing additional storage space for towels or other items.
It’s important to be mindful of the space under the sink. Installing a vanity with a built-in storage unit or adding a set of drawers can help make the most of this space. Additionally, using storage containers or baskets to organize items under the sink can help keep the space tidy and prevent clutter.
9. How do we expand our bathroom floor plan to include everything we want?
Expanding a bathroom floor plan can make a huge difference, resulting in a more spacious, functional and aesthetically pleasing room. There are several ways to achieve this, and one of the most common options is moving a wall. By moving a wall, you can create more space for your bathroom without adding square footage. This is particularly useful if you have an adjacent room or hallway that can spare some space. Moving a wall can also allow you to redesign the layout of your bathroom entirely. For instance, you could move the shower or tub to a different location or add more storage.
Another option for expanding your bathroom floor plan is a bump-out addition. This involves adding an extension to your existing bathroom, which protrudes outwards from the house. A bump-out addition can add square footage to your bathroom, creating more space for a larger shower, bathtub, or vanity. It can also allow for more natural light to enter your bathroom, which can create a brighter and more inviting space. A bump-out addition typically requires more extensive construction work and can be more expensive than moving a wall.
You could also consider combining multiple rooms to create a larger bathroom. For example, you could combine a small bathroom with a nearby closet or hallway to create a spacious master bathroom. This option allows you to maximize the space you already have and create a more functional and luxurious bathroom.
10. Will a bathroom remodel increase the value of my home?
The short answer is yes, the value of your home will increase. However, the resale value isn’t likely to increase enough to recoup the cost of the remodelling project. The ‘joy’ score of a bathroom remodel is 9.6 out of 10, according to National Association of Realtors. Therefore, a full bathroom remodel should be a project you embark upon to improve the functionality, aesthetics and enjoyment of the room; not as a means to increase the value of your property.
Based on the NAR’s 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, a bathroom renovation is the most popular of all home improvements. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value report, homeowners can expect to recoup 46.0% of a typical bathroom remodel and 36.7% of an upscale bathroom remodel.
11. What are the advantages of hiring a design-build contractor to design and complete our bathroom remodel?
One of the most significant benefits is that a design-build contractor can handle the entire project, from the initial design phase to the completion. This can save you time and money because you won’t have to coordinate with multiple contractors or worry about communication breakdowns between the design and construction phases. Instead, you’ll work with one key contact and that contractor’s team can manage the entire project from start to finish.
Another advantage of hiring a design-build remodelling contractor is that they can provide a more cohesive and integrated approach to your bathroom remodel project. Because the design and construction phases are handled by the same team, the contractor can ensure that the design is feasible and can be constructed efficiently.
A bathroom remodel is a major undertaking, and many homeowners have questions before they begin the process. We hope that these FAQs answer most of your questions. If you have any additional questions, please post them as a comment below.
Reid Madiuk's been putting on a toolbelt since he was twelve years old, alongside his father, one of Whistler's first residential builders. As a third-generation Squamish and Whistler builder, Reid brings over 20 years of carpentry expertise to designing and constructing exceptional homes.