From the Blog
20 Things to Consider Before Beginning Your Bathroom Remodel
There are various, sometimes unexpected, factors that go into bathroom remodeling planning. A bathroom remodeling project is no small undertaking in terms of both money and time spent on the job. The average mid-range bathroom remodel costs $19,134, according to the 2018 Cost vs. Value report. That’s a significant financial investment that requires thoughtful consideration and research before diving in.
Before you start your bathroom remodeling checklist, there are several aspects to consider: budget, design, plumbing, and contractor. Read over these 20 considerations before moving forward and taking the first step in building your dream bathroom.
1- Evaluate Your Finances
Although you can research the average bathroom remodeling cost for your area, every remodeling project is unique. How much a homeowner actually spends will vary depending on the size of the space, the intensity of the project, and the quality of materials used. Before starting your remodel, examine what you think you can spend and then ask for an estimate from several contractors. Set realistic expectations for yourself.
2- Consider The Essentials
A bathroom remodel price tag will range depending on what you plan to replace and what accessories you plan to include. If you want to design on a dime, cut the extras out of your renovation plan. The little luxuries are nice and really polish a space, but aren’t essential to the room’s functionality.
3- Add A Little More Than You Think You’ll Need
When it comes to plumbing, it often seems that what can go wrong, will go wrong. There’s lots of room for plumbing issues to arise and increase the cost of your bathroom renovation, so it’s smart to leave a cushion in your budget for any surprises.
There are many ways to foot the bill for a bathroom remodel. A home equity loan is a popular option because it can be tax deductible. Other options include refinancing, no-equity loans, Federal Housing Administration loans, personal loans, loans from retirement plans, borrowing against life insurance policies, and your personal savings.
5- Stay On Track
Once your budget has been finalized, keep up with remodeling costs in a spreadsheet to make sure you’re staying on track. You can keep yourself and your contractor accountable to the agreed upon budget by tracking actual spending against budgeted amounts.
6- Slip-Resistant Floor
The bathroom is a wet room. When picking a flooring for your bathroom remodel, it’s wise to choose a slip-resistant material to avoid falling when getting out of the shower. Small tile and wide grout lines in the shower create friction that makes it more difficult to slip. There are many beautiful and inexpensive flooring options that fit with any design style. If you live in a colder region, installing electric heated flooring under the tile can make your bathroom warm and relaxing year-round.
Storage in the bathroom is essential to keeping valuable counter space clear and clean. Invest in quality cabinetry that won’t warp in the humid, moist bathroom environment. These drawers and cabinets will be used daily, so quality materials and craftsmanship are important to maximizing the lifespan of these features.
A low-maintenance countertop option in the bathroom is granite. Although you might have to splurge a little on this material, it’s an easy way to make a statement and can really dress up any bathroom. Not only is the material easy to clean, but because bathroom counter space is typical less square footage, the investment is less pricey than what is typically spent on kitchen counters.
9- Paint vs. Tile
Depending on your bathroom remodel budget, you can either go with tile on the walls or a fresh coat of paint for a clean look. To save money, choose to tile a targeted space such as a vanity backsplash or shower walls. If you don’t have room in the budget to add tile, invest in high-quality paint that will keep out moisture and prevent mold and mildew from growing.
When choosing lighting for your bathroom remodeling checklist, opt for color-corrected “daylight’ fluorescent, LED, or halogen for a more natural white light. This softer lighting will make grooming and makeup application easier 一 as it is best done in more natural lighting! Consider layering your lighting with task lighting, ambient, accent, and decorative lighting that will dress up your bathroom and banish any unflattering shadows.
11- Shower and Tub Drain Size
Consider how large you want the diameter of your shower and tub drain to be. A 1.5-inch drain is the industry standard, and will typically be the first choice of most contractors. The problem with a drain this small however is that it quickly becomes clogged with hair, soap scum, and other debris. Although a larger drain is a bit more expensive up front, upgrading to a two-inch drain could save you money on maintenance in the long run.
12- Recessed Medicine Cabinets
A recessed medicine cabinet can create hidden storage space and look clean in a bathroom. If plumbing pipes run inside the wall behind the vanity, it means you cannot use that space for a recessed medicine cabinet. If you are emphatic about having a recessed medicine cabinet in your dream bathroom, plan in advance to reconfigure your pipes in that area.
13- Shower Flooring Optimized to Drain
If your shower floors aren’t installed by a professional, the slope might be tilted the wrong way, causing drainage issues. Water can accumulate and pool in your shower causing a potential slipping hazard and an optimal environment for mold and mildew.
14- Under Cabinet Plumbing
Depending on what style of sink fixture and cabinetry you choose, it could affect your plumbing. When installing a new vanity, decide if you’re willing to reconfigure the plumbing that connects to your sink. Bathroom remodels can quickly be derailed by pipes that protrude too far into a vanity’s undercarriage. During bathroom remodeling planning, make sure to plan around your existing plumbing or budget for plumbing reconfiguration.
15- Insulated Plumbing That Runs Along An Exterior Wall
If you live in an area that drops into freezing temperatures during winter months, your plumbing that runs along exterior walls could be at risk for bursting. Pipes that are inside an exterior wall are far more prone to being affected by the elements and need to be insulated.
16- Ask For References
Before you invite a crew to remodel your bathroom, do your homework. Collect references from friends and homeowners who previously had a bathroom remodel. Unbiased feedback and genuine reviews from people who have previously worked with the contractor you’re considering.
It’s important to ask any potential contractor for pictures of previous completed bathroom renovations. It’s worth finding out what percent of the work a contractor does is specifically bathroom remodeling. At Metropolitan Bath and Tile, we specialize in bathrooms and don’t work on any other remodeling jobs to ensure the highest quality craftsmanship.
17- Choose Someone You Can Trust In Your Home
Any contractor you choose to partner with on your bathroom remodel will be in your home for an extended period of time throughout the duration of the project. The professionals you choose to bring into your home should be individuals you can depend on. Make sure your contractor’s mission statement aligns with your personal values.
Don’t just choose any contractor that gives you an estimate. Make sure you can trust your contractor on a personal level. Anyone who handles your remodel should treat your home and your family with the same respect that they would have in their own household.
18- Insurance Coverage
Ask for proof of insurance from any potential contractor you hire for your bathroom renovation. Contractors should carry personal liability, workers’ compensation, and property damage coverage. Interview several contractors for your remodel and request written proposals, estimates, and a set start and end date for the job. Make sure every aspect of your remodel is covered by the contractor’s insurance. The burden to pay for materials or fixtures that arrive broken or are installed improperly should not be on the homeowner.
If you hire a general contractor that doesn’t complete all the work themselves, find out what subcontractors he or she will hire. Ask specifically what work will be completed by the contractor and what assurances there are about subcontractors finishing your remodel in a timely fashion. Research these subcontractors to make sure they have a solid track record and stellar reputation. You can also ask your local building department for feedback.
20- Licensed Professional
Any contractor you hire to work on your bathroom remodel should be a licensed professional. Consult with your local municipality’s building department to find out licensing requirements in your area, as they vary by city and state. Ask to see any potential contractor’s license and make sure it is up-to-date. Make sure to verify that any subcontractor the general contractor uses also has a valid license.
A Partner You Can Trust
When you choose Metropolitan Bath and Tile you work with talented bathroom designers who will create a look that will always exceed your expectations. Whether it’s a partial update or a full remodeling endeavor, we promise to help every step of the way 一 from your bathroom remodeling planning to finalizing the finishing touches. We have a policy that guarantees our prices will be equal or less than any other Qualified Contractor’s price on the same project.
The design, logistics, budget, and contractor choice are all major considerations that can either make or break your bathroom remodel. As you create your bathroom remodeling checklist, think about these considerations before you start to ensure your bathroom is everything you imagined it could be.