Renovating a bathroom is a daunting task for most people. If you want to get it right, make sure you hire professionals. There is a process you can follow at every stage of the renovation to make sure you don’t make expensive mistakes and the end result is just what you envisioned. Our experienced designers at smarterBATHROOMS+ give you their top tips.
Each person has a vision of what they want their bathroom to look like. Also, they have a functional wish-list. A specialist bathroom designer will ensure the space is custom designed for you. They may have ideas and solutions you have not considered. Also, the designer will ensure that the design, scale and finish all fit in well together. Once the basic design is ready, take it further.
The adage of “spend an hour planning and save yourself 200 hours of project time later on,” applies in spades to the bathroom. Most bathrooms pack a lot of functionality into a small space. So while you make the wish-list, have your designer do full plans and elevations with each of the fittings drawn into the space so you can see that they all work together well and don’t look disproportionate. This is a good time to put down some other details, for instance:
The Smart Bathroom
The internet of things is here. There is a mindboggling range of technical gadgets for the bathroom you may want to consider. For instance,
Heating is about comfort. Build it into the plans.
Often this is not thought about until the last minute, but while you are in the planning stage, consider your options with heating and ventilation. Under-tile heating has become a popular choice and can be incorporated in your renovation. Opening windows for fresh air is a good way to increase the longevity of your renovation as they help to dry out the room.
Lighting can create great ambience.
Good lighting is a must in a modern bathroom. Ensure that the lighting makes it easy to apply make-up and shave. Feature lighting can be added for ambience or as a striking effect. If you need to make special provisions for the electrical wiring, put it in the specifications now.
Use hidden space and be smart with storage.
There are many ways of using dead space in the bathroom. Use niches in the walls for shampoos in the shower and near the bath. Recess your mirrored cabinet into the wall, and hide the toilet cistern. Drawers work better than cupboards for storage of small items like make-up and medicines.
The devil is in the details
Think about the detail of how each item will interact with the next and how the edges are to be finished. How will the vanity top interact with the shower screen, and what will it look like at the exposed front edge. How will the tiles finish on the end of the nib wall? We don’t want to see ugly globs of silicone used to cover up the design faults later on.
Spend some time on this step to avoid problems in execution.
Bathrooms are known in the building industry as the most problematic and difficult rooms to construct. 80% of Home Owners Warranty claims are for leaking showers, so it makes sense to use a bathroom specialist to handle your renovation.Check out their portfolio and customer testimonials. Choosing a full service company that offers design and build is a good idea. That way everyone is on the same page and nothing is lost in translation.
Many of the items in the bathroom have a long lead time, such as custom made vanities and mirrored cabinetry. Make sure you order them well in advance, as the last thing you need is to have your one and only bathroom lying idle while you wait for fittings to arrive.For instance, mixers are required to be on site very early in the process, so having them on hand will speed the process of installation. While you are ordering the functional stuff, start thinking about your accents:
Add drama with a feature piece
“Consider a ‘rock star’ piece,” says Vanessa Cook – Design Manager at smarterBATHROOMS+. As it’s a small room, one standout piece is all you need. It could be a decorative mirror, a sculptural element or a striking fixture. It’s easy to get caught up in the budget, so let rip on one or two special things.
Less is more
It’s easy to get carried away adding in feature after feature. As it’s a small room, one or two eye-catching design features will usually suffice.
The design is ready, the products have arrived, you are ready to start the build.But before the new bathroom starts to take shape, make sure the prep work is done well.
Let’s face it; no matter how you look at it, this renovation is going to make a dent in your wallet. You might as well do it right, and make sure it’s going to last. A cheap makeover will last 2-3 years, but then you’ll need to invest again. Make sure your renovator is planning to strip the room back to the structure and rebuild from there to ensure longevity. Address all of the structural issues that could cause major problems in future. Here are some we consider important:
Good waterproofing is critical.
We used to say, if you want your bathroom to last, don’t shower in it. One of the reasons bathrooms actually age is when water wreaks havoc with the tiles, grout and the wooden substrates, rather than the tiles going out of fashion. smarterBATHROOMS+ has developed a 5-layer waterproofing system that ensures that no water leaves the bathroom except via the drain. Ask your bathroom renovator how their waterproofing system works and make sure you are confident with their answer.
Plan around the time frames agreed with the contractor.
A standard bathroom renovation will take 3-4 weeks, and the shower screen will be installed approximately two weeks after that. Plan around the bathroom being out of action for that time. Renovators can supply you with temporary showers and toilets. Ask your renovator for a fully detailed schedule with dates and milestones prior to signing up.
Check every step of the build.
Good foundations mean a perfect finish. Right from the beginning, the preparation of the studs and floor joists need to be straight to ensure the next stage can be perfect. A good tiling job starts with the preparation of the surface to be tiled. Make sure all your trades’ work is checked by an industry professional before moving on to the next stage. Mistakes on mistakes compound and make a perfect finish impossible.
The bathroom should be a sanctuary for you to relax in. So get your wish-list incorporated in the design, don’t cut corners either with expense or time and get it right the first time. It is a significant investment, after all.
At smarterBATHROOMS+ our designers have created spaces that have delighted our clients. They can walk you through the process, so call us on 1300 662 838 today to book your free in-home consultation.