A bathroom renovation project is simpler than most people believe.

Clients think of bathroom renovations as a huge inconvenience. With sufficient planning, a team can complete a bathroom renovation in just over a week.

In many cases greater inconvenience is caused by incomplete decisions, design changes midway through the project or awaiting material, especially for customizations. These can all be avoided with proper research and planning prior to starting the project.

The first step would be to figure out what would be the present and future needs for your bathroom. For example, we have had several people who requested that we replace their bathtubs with 5 foot stand up shower stalls and a small seat. Again, this may be due to their present physical need or they may foresee future needs for this type of bathroom.

Shower stalls can either be bought as a kit, which includes the base, acrylic walls and door or be custom built with tiles. A lot of people prefer the look of the tiled walls and floor, which also allows better flexibility on the size and shape of the stall. Similar to shower enclosures, it is advisable to have the door rollers on the top. Stalls with rollers on top have a smooth finish on the bottom and no tracks to allow soap scum buildup.
When buying a tub, bigger is not always better. You may want to sit in the tub before buying it. For are a shorter person, a longer tub would only mean floating away when the tub is filled. A 5 foot tub is generally sufficient for most people of average height. If the tub is shorter a deeper tub may be desirable but ensure that you can step in and out easily. Seniors may sometimes find it difficult to step in and out of a deeper tub.

If your bathroom is large enough you should ask if it is possible to get a corner tub and a shower stall. Our team may be able to find opportunities that you did not know existed. A corner tub adds to the elegance, functionality and value of a home. Bubble and/or whirlpool jets are good enhancements to any bathtub but be aware that they do require additional time for cleaning around the jets. Therefore, if you are not going to use the feature it may be advisable to not include it.

Recently, the shower panel have become a popular complement to any bathroom. Yet these can be a bit pricey. Other considerations for the shower may be shower lights, wider shower heads, ceiling tiles, grab or slide bars and hand held units. A shower enclosure is generally preferable to rusting curtain rods, and is inexpensive. As previously noted, stay away from the enclosures with tracks on the bottom. They can easily become a cleaner’s nightmare.

The toilet may seem like the simplest decision, yet you would be amazed at the amount of choices available. An older person or someone who have physical difficulty getting up may want to consider a higher toilet. Normal seats are approximately 15 inches high but a 17 inch seat may be easier on the knees. If unsure, sit on the toilet in the store before buying. You would be surprised at how much difference a couple of inches can make when dealing with seat height. Other important design considerations would be round/oval or elongated.

There are also many different types of flushing mechanisms such as single flush, dual flush, gravity flush, assisted flush, siphonic or washdown, and each has its own benefits. If there are males in the house a soft close seat cover may help reduce noise. When replacing an existing toilet, it is essential to know the distance from the wall (not the baseboard) to the middle of the outlet pipe. This distance is known as the rough-in distance and typically varies between 10-14 inches for most installations. Review our Efficiency pages for more information on choosing the right toilet for water conservation.

The vanity is generally seen as the showcase piece in a washroom. With vanities, do not feel limited to those available on the store shelves. Our team can help to easily customize a vanity to suit your needs and style. The vessel top vanity is not everyone’s favourite but recently we have seen a lot of people using these, especially in the powder rooms. Vessels can be very decorative to suit any decor and can be a good showpiece to provide a discussion point with guests. Be aware that a vessel would add a few inches to the height of the vanity. Therefore a shorter cabinet would be needed, especially to allow accessibility for younger children and people with physical disabilities.

For most vanities, either the granite with under mount sink or marble tops are preferred. The marble top is the easiest for cleaning because it is all smooth. When choosing the top one should consider the floor tile design and color. Backsplash tiles around the toilet and vanity adds both elegance and functionality. The backsplash helps to keep water off the drywall around the sink and helps with the clean up process for males around the toilet. If the vanity is being installed on a corner of the bathroom an optional side splash may also be available. When buying a side splash it is advisable to try it in the store to ensure it lines up properly before purchasing.

A nicely framed or bevelled mirror would help finish the look of the vanity. This should be sized to match the width of the vanity and installed to line up properly. For smaller bathrooms, especially when an 18 inch vanity is being used, a medicine cabinet styled mirror may be beneficial. This would allow extra storage space for toothpaste, cosmetics etc. For the women in the house a wall mounted make up mirror can prove to be a very useful addition.

When buying a faucet, style must be combined with durability and comfort. Of course the faucet would need to match the design of the bathroom, yet if durability and comfort are not considered you would soon realise your mistake. For many newer faucets, manufacturers boast of their lifetime warranties. Yet some are now made with non-replaceable parts. Therefore, the lifetime warranty is not as useful a plumber has to be hired to remove the faucet to cash in on a warranty. It would be cheaper to replace simple parts on more durable faucets. For larger hands goosenecks or longer faucets tend to provide more comfortable room for washing.

A bathroom fan is a compulsory addition to your bathroom. Some older homes were built without fans in the bathrooms but had windows to allow for better air flow and to help remove moisture. Lack of a bathroom fan can result in a buildup of mold and mildew which can be adverse to your health. A bathroom fan that is not properly vented externally, can also lead to mold in your walls or ceiling. The major suppliers generally have fans on display so that you can hear the noise level prior to purchasing your fan. The sound level is measured in Sones and the lower number means less noise. One sone or lower would be the best choice.

A bathroom fan’s ability to move air is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). The higher numbers would help to faster remove moisture from the bathroom. In general the minimum requirement is 1 cfm for 1 square foot of bathroom space. Therefore, if the bathroom is 100 sq. ft. it should at a minimum have a 100 cfm fan. This would help prevent mold and mildew and reduce steamy mirrors after a bath. Excessive moisture in the bathroom can also cause paint to peel or the raising of wallpaper borders.

When installing a fan for the first time in an existing bathroom, you may want to purchase a fan with a light and install it in place of the existing light. This would allow the use existing wiring without having to worry about overloading a circuit, and ease the installation process. Fans are also available with nightlights for those who do not like to turn on the bright light late at night. If the kids are not turning on the fan when they take a shower, then consider purchasing a fan with a humidity sensing switch. These are set to turn themselves on as soon as enough moisture is detected and generally remains on for 20 minutes, which is the recommended amount of time required to remove all the moisture from a bathroom with the correct cfm sized fan. If the fan is not being replaced, then a humidity sensing switch can be installed in place of the fans’s on/off wall switch. This would almost provide similar functionality.

The bathroom should be painted with a mildew resistant paint. Generally a semi-gloss or at minimum a satin finish or eggshell paint should be used. These are much easier for wiping and does not stain as easy as a flat finish. Your paint colour should generally complement both the vanity colour and the tiles.
Most people generally use porcelain tiles for their bathroom floors. Yet many older homes may still have linoleum sheets or linoleum tiles. More upscale homes may have granite tiles. Marble tiles are also available and can be very decorative. The floor tiles should provide some contrast to the colour of your vanity and wall tiles. In general floor tiles are mostly square and wall tiles rectangular but you should not be confined to those choices. In addition, the mosaic look of decades ago has been replaced with much larger tiles, especially for bigger bathrooms. Grout can be chosen to match the colour of your tile to provide a very conservative look or to be bold and totally contrast your tile colour. There is no concrete rule on grouting colours and the final result is a reflection of your personality.

Lighting in a bathroom is very important, especially when using it for makeup or shaving. It is not desirable to have shadows on your face when looking in the mirror. The best type of lighting for bathrooms is on either side of the mirror. An overhead wall mount will help to provide light to the entire bathroom and will help with cleaning. If the bathroom is big enough, additional lighting should be placed directly over the shower.

Pot-lights can look really attractive in these areas and you can use a dimmer switch for mood lighting.
Take a look at our Design pages to get better ideas for your Bathroom renovation. New ideas would be added to our site periodically, so if you do not see what you are looking for please return at a later date for more options.

We can help design the perfect bathroom within your budget and with the space you have. Please let our Project Managers help you make your bathroom dreams a reality!!!!