Follow These Steps For The Best Bathroom Remodeling Results
Why do you need this information?
To help you:
Avoid confusion and frustration
Make great decisions
Create a safe, functional, and beautiful area for you, your family and/or your guests
Stay within a reasonable budget
There’s so much that you can include in your remodeled master or guest bathroom, so many details to think about. It can be confusing and frustrating! Do you know that remodeling a master bathroom can be a higher investment per square foot than remodeling a kitchen? That’s why it’s important to follow my suggestions, so you make informed decisions about everything, and avoid expensive mistakes!
A standard bathroom is 5 feet by 8 feet, and includes a toilet, a lavatory sink or two, a tub and/or shower, faucets, etc., cabinetry, and finishes (countertop/backsplash, floors, walls, ceiling). Each of these categories requires many decisions, many opportunities to make mistakes.
What’s the first mistake that homeowners often make after they decide to remodel their bathroom?
Homeowners’ first inclination is to look at countertop materials and tile immediately. This is okay, but it may lead to confusion and it may delay other more important decisions like plumbing, cabinetry, and lighting.
Where do you start? Hire a professional bathroom designer
If you want to achieve all of the four goals I listed above, your first and most important decision is to hire a professional who specializes in designing bathrooms. The National Kitchen and Bath Association has a great article about the importance of hiring a design specialist. I wrote a blog about how to find and hire a professional designer that’s listed at the bottom of this blog.
Step #2: Hire a remodeling contractor
If you don’t have a contractor, it’s possible that your designer can refer you to someone who’s worked on her/his projects. There are several resources available to you, to find a qualified, experienced local contractor. Local building/remodeling organizations affiliated with national organizations that have excellent websites:
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
National Organization of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)
National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)
In a previous blog, I’ve written all the details about how to find and hire a contractor; you can see the link at the bottom of this blog.
What’s the next step in your bathroom remodel?
Step 3 helps you answer this question: What style bathroom do you want? Houzz.com has over 1.5 million pictures! You can select which style appeals to you:
Contemporary * Modern * Traditional * Mid-century Modern * Farmhouse * Transitional * Industrial * Scandinavian * Coastal
There are other filters, too, besides style:
Wall tile color
You can easily share this information with your designer by setting up a project folder on Houzz.
Step #4: Determine a realisting bathroom remodeling budget
With help from your designer and contractor, establish a realistic budget. There’s an excellent resource to help you, the Cost vs. Value Report, where you can obtain up-to-date, local information for a bathroom remodeling project to help you decide how much you want to invest.
Step #5: Select ALL your plumbing!
Your designer may send links to plumbing manufacturers’ sites so you can pre-select what appeals to you. Next, visit a local plumbing supply showroom, not a “big box” store* with your designer to see (and feel) everything. There, you’ll see:
Tubs and/or shower bases
Valves and diverters
Grab bars (they’re very important for safety!)
Get an estimate for all the plumbing you’ve selected and see how it fits into your budget. Make necessary adjustments to your choices.
*Why not a “big box” store?
The employees may or may not have all the knowledge to really help you; they’re just there to take your order.
The quality and selection of products is more limited than a specialty showroom; they show and sell only what’s most popular and profitable.
Bathroom cabinet decisions: Step #6
Your designer can help you define how you will store all of your personal-care equipment and products, towels, and toiletries. S/he should help you make final decisions about the style and color, using Virtual Reality Perspectives. Your designer and contractor will also help find the right cabinet manufacturer to supply what you want for your bathroom remodeling project.
Step #7: Finally (!) select your bathroom surface finishes
Visit a showroom with your designer, not a “big box” store* to select everything that will make your remodeled bathroom special:
Backsplash (may be tile or the same material as your countertop)
Floor tile — think about radiant heating as a necessity not a luxury
Engineered stone countertop**
** If you prefer natural stone, visit a showroom that specializes in this material
Get an estimate for all the products you’ve selected and see how the numbers fit into your established budget. Make adjustments to what you’ve selected, if necessary.
Step #8: Tie up your bathroom remodeling details
The last step before you actually start construction is several steps:
Verify all information on the plans that your designer has prepared, especially all of your product decisions
Obtain a preliminary-final estimate from the contractor that includes:
Fees and expenses
Compare the estimate to your budget, and make final adjustments to your choices, as needed, especially if you’ve got a limited budget.
Step #9: Get your bathroom remodeling started!
You’ve made it this far! In eight weeks (or less), you’ll be able to enjoy your newly-remodeled bathroom! Congratulations!
Questions about your bathroom remodeling project? I will help you! I’m only one phone call or one email message away! Contact me today!
Blogs to help you with your bathroom remodeling project:
Great home products is a subject I love to talk and write about. This week’s blog features 11 of the over 20 great home products I discovered in the past several weeks. Some of them are meant for remodeling and new construction, while others don’t require major changes to your existing home. A couple of the products easily qualify for D-I-Y projects. Of course, I’ll let you know, and I’ll include the suggested retail price if I have it. We’ll complete the journey of product discovery next week.
UNIQUE BATHROOM INVENTION (#1)
Do you have a “groaty” glass in your bathroom? Think about all the germs that build up if you don’t sanitize the glass in your dishwasher frequently. Yuck! Have you ever taken a pill only to discover that you can’t find the [BLEEP] glass? Now there’s a great product for you: It’s a bathroom faucet that turns into a water fountain! The Nasoni “Fontain” won the “best of show” award at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. It’s got graceful, minimalist lines to complement all bathroom styles, and it’s available in brushed nickel or blackl, as well as chrome. A perfect retrofit for your bathroom, whether you have a 4” centerset faucet or an 8” widespread faucet. One thing I really like about this faucet: It has an aerator, preventing water from splashing on your mirror and clothes. https://nasoni.com/
STATE-OF-THE-ART SMART-HOME PRODUCT(#2)
If you’re building a new home, remodeling your existing home, or want to make your home smarter, a WIFI-enabled circuit breaker is a great product to include! It’s manufactured by Leviton, one of my favorite brands for outlets and switches. They have many models to choose from. I love the fact that this is a great-looking white circuit box, with a glass door. No more industrial tan, hiding in the garage or mechanical room! View real time energy consumption and trends, including total energy cost per month. Get alerts when a circuit breaker trips, or even trip one remotely. It’s the only residential circuit breaker on the market today that exceeds UL requirements for ground-fault protection. It prevents you from resetting the circuit breaker if ground-fault protection is lost. This important safety feature helps protect against electric shock and electrocution for a safer living environment. Of course, the circuit breaker panel must be installed with appropriate permits by a licensed electrician. https://www.leviton.com/en/products/residential/load-centers
FANTASTIC HOME LIGHTING DEVICE (#3)
I started touting LED lighting way back in 2004, when I was the co-host of a local talk show. It’s come a long way, and prices have dropped significantly, so everyone can afford LED lighting. Tresco Lighting has over 25 years of “Innovation Through Illumination.” The company proudly designs and manufactures a full line of superior quality L.E.D. lighting options that are UL listed. One of their fixtures recently caught my eye for its flexible installation: It’s a 12×12 panel that can be broken into 3×3 pieces. This will help you light dark areas in your home, including pantries, closets, cabinets, storage areas under stairways. You need only 1″ – 2″ separation between the front of the fixture and whatever it’s lighting. The possibilities are unlimited! The dimmable panels are available in four different color temperatures. I’ve requested more detailed information and will share it with you when I get it. https://www.trescolighting.com/
DIFFERENT HOME TREND REFINEMENT (#4)
Have you fallen for the shiplap trend that Joanna Gaines started? Some experts in remodeling and decorating say that it’s still popular, while others say that the “shiplap trend has sailed.” I’ve not been a fan of this product, but do admit that it has its place. This week, while doing research for the “Today’s Home” podcast, I discovered a very interesting shiplap product. It offers you flexibility of choice, and better installation than gluing old wood to your walls. Artis Wall gathers authentic reclaimed wood from old barns and other structures around the US and crafts them into planks. Their patented installation system allows the planks to be easily installed, removed, and reused in any room. One of the things that I really like about this product is the configuration, like the picture I’ve shown (right), which is from a real installation. There appears to be at least five different woods and colors mixed into a great geometric pattern. Yes, it could enhance even our Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home! https://www.artiswall.com/
BEST HOME INSULATION PRODUCT(#5)
Do you have old insulation, or no insulation in your home? Another product I discovered has received accolades from the International Builders’ Show for best spray foam insulation: Demilec. Its branding is really catchy, “No Status Quo,” and they mean it. You can insulate with an air barrier in one application. The foam fills all cracks, gaps, and voids. With insulation, you save money on energy. This foam contains no chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), formaldehyde, or fibrous materials. We’ve heard about radon, how dangerous it is and how it can get into our homes. Heatlok HFO High Lift and Heatlok Pro are produced in the U.S. from 12.5% post-consumer recycled products. To date, Demilec has recycled more than 360 million large plastic bottles. The installation of this insulation generates no waste, no jobsite trash. There is no packaging. The product is sold in liquid form in returnable recycled containers. It’s recognized by the National Association of Home Builders as a green product. If you’re building a home or remodeling your existing home, tell your contractor about Demilec spray foam products. https://nostatusquo.info/ Demilec
STUPENDOUS HOME LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT (#6)
Are you thinking about replacing your washer and dryer? I was pleasantly surprised, being a relatively new fan of Samsung appliances, to learn about the Samsung Flex-wash and Flex-dry laundry equipment. FlexWash combines a 5 cu.ft. lower with a 1 cu.ft. upper washer. The “super speed” cycle can power through laundry in just 30 minutes. You can use the power of steam to remove stains without pre-treating. Innovative design reduces vibration, so heavy loads stay balanced and quiet even at high speeds.
The FlexDry is also two dryers in one, letting you dry delicates and everyday garments at the same time, or independently. It uses the power of steam to freshen and sanitize garments, reduce odors and static, and relax wrinkles, so you spend less time ironing. Sensor dry automatically optimizes the time and temperature of the drying cycle so clothes are always thoroughly dry without being damaged, and you avoid excessive energy use.
You can remotely control your Samsung washer and dryer from anywhere using your mobile devices. You can monitor the remaining cycle time, receive alerts when the cycle is complete, and schedule cycles. Eco-friendly and energy-efficient, the washer and dryer meet the strict EPA standards for EnergyStar® certification. https://www.samsung.com/us/explore/flex-wash/
Over the years, I’ve talked with homeowners who want to do a quick facelift to an existing bathroom. One of the problems is their outdated, plain-Jane bathroom mirrors. One company, Precision Frameworks, has come up with an elegant solution, frames that you can attach to the face of your mirror to update your bathroom. There are 28 different frame styles from which to choose, available in a plethora of different colors and finishes. Updating your bathroom mirror will probably lead to updating the over-mirror light fixture, but the good news is that there is a great selection of these fixtures. Precision Frameworks offers more than instant frames for bathroom mirrors, including custom framed mirrors and mirrors that have integrated LED lighting. Check out their website to learn more. https://www.precisionframeworks.com/
DESIRABLE TUB AND SHOWER DOOR ADVANCEMENT (#8)
This next product caught my attention! We’ve been living with shower curtains for almost 11 years, and I’m really tired of it! If you’re in the same position, check out the products from Maglev Glide. Imagine, no more ugly tub and shower door tracks that are hard to clean! No more tracks that prevent you from sitting on the edge of your tub to get in, or leaning on the edge of your tub while you bathe your children! Here are some of the features and benefits of the MagLev Gliding shower doors: The gliding (not sliding!) door floats in the air without supporting rollers or hinges. There’s no friction, no noise, no moving or mechanical parts. It’s no surprise that this product got top honors in the International Builders’ Show. https://maglevglide.com/
UNIQUE HOME CONCEALED DOOR (#9)
Several months ago, I had clients who wanted to hide the door to their “safe” room where they keep their guns, ammunition, valuables, and important papers. I designed a custom bookcase on concealed casters that attached to the outside of the solid-core door, but the estimate from the cabinet maker was more than my clients were willing to pay. Too bad that I didn’t know about the Murphy Door Company, which has doors that are disguised. The doors can look like decorative shelving, bookcases, cabinets with drawers, a cue rack, a wine rack, a shoe rack, or a pantry! It’s a big investment, a higher price than a regular 6-panel solid wood door. It gives you a feeling of security, knowing that your possessions are hidden from everyone’s view, yet there’s something great to look at that functions beautifully. They make units for single doors, french doors, and bifold doors, in a wide variety of woods and finishes. They even provide kits for D-I-Yers! https://murphydoor.com/
FANTASTIC CUTTING-EDGE GROUT (#10)
Two grout manufacturers have introduced translucent grout that picks up the color of the tile. Over the years, my clients have labored over the decision about grout colors. From here on, I’m going to recommend the translucent epoxy-based grout that is stain- and mold-resistant. It’s a definite advantage for showers and tubs, and kitchen backsplashes. It is not a D-I-Y product, because the amount of time you have to work with it is limited. Additionally, it must be installed within a specific temperature range. I’ve seen many botched tile installations that homeowners attempted. It takes a lot of skill to learn how to apply grout successfully. But once epoxy-based grout is installed, you’ll never have to get down on your hands and knees, or lean on your countertops, to clean your grout with a toothbrush! I’m particularly intrigued with the grout from Laticrete that offers grout that can glow in the dark, or sparkle! The only requirement is that the tile setter must add the proprietary product, “Dazzle” to the grout before applying it to the joints. Translucent grout: https://www.flooranddecor.com/site-articles/mapei-flexcolor-cq-innovative-new-grout-product.html
The next product is in the very expensive category, approximately $1,300 per linear foot for the folding doors. But if you’re interested in a totally open, uninterrupted feeling of inside-out in your home, I recommend the folding doors and windows from Nana Wall. They have a new product that’s particularly interesting. It creates a pass-through from your kitchen countertops to an adjacent deck or patio, in addition to opening up the space between the inside and outside. Transform fixed walls into flexible openings that invite the outside in and remove visual and physical barriers. Enjoy the expanded sense of space, yet stay comfortable with a transparent barrier that protects you no matter what the climate or seasonal extreme. I believe that they hit a home run with the new product. Check out their website to see details! https://www.nanawall.com/home-owners
TO SUMMARIZE: GREAT HOME PRODUCTS ENHANCE OUR LIVES
I believe that it’s human nature in all capitalist societies like ours to want the best and to be the best, however each of us defines “best.” It’s my quest, to do my best in some way, every day. When deciding whether or not to re-launch my podcast and create this series of correlating blogs, my objective was — and is — to bring the best, most honest and relevant home remodeling information to my audience. Researching all of these products was a labor of love, and I hope you’ve discovered at least one great home product that will enhance your life for years. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for listening to my podcasts and reading my blogs, for recommending both to everyone you know. Next week, our journey of discovery will continue. For now, enjoy your week!
THE “TODAY’S HOME” PODCAST: GREAT HOME PRODUCTS
Remember, I’m available to:
Help you find the best products for your home building or remodeling projects.
Work with you to achieve the living environment that fits your lifestyle and your budget.
Prepare detailed plans that are the building and remodeling GPS from the beginning to the end of your project.