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Bathroom Renovations Do's and Dont's

Bathroom Renovations Do's and Dont's

After kitchens, bathrooms are the rooms where a renovation can raise the value of your home the most. In our previous blogs on bathrooms (3 Tips For An Awesome Bathroom Renovation and other renovations (9 Tips For Basement Renovation Success, 7 Renovation Tips For An Exciting Kitchen, we mentioned the importance of:

  • budgets,
  • building codes and inspections, and
  • developing a detailed renovation plan based on your needs and goals, including:
    • layout, and,
    • materials.

These are critical elements to your successful bathroom renovation, so do check out our previous blogs for further information on those topics. This time we would like to look at a few do’s and don’ts specific to bathroom renovations.

DO expect the possibility of structural damage in the walls surrounding tubs and shower stalls.

If tub and stall surrounds and materials have deteriorated, water may have soaked in behind, causing rot and mildew. Damage can range from minor to serious, and you won’t know the extent until the old tiles or surrounds are ripped out. But, cross your fingers, perhaps there will be none. However, you should factor the possibility of this into your budget.

DO expect that plumbing may need replacing.

Especially if your home is old or if you are changing the layout of tubs, toilets, showers and sinks to any great extent.

DO build new powder rooms (or “half baths”) near existing plumbing lines and sewer connections.

For this reason, try to share a wall with an existing bathroom. This will save you money by decreasing your construction and plumbing costs.

DON’T do plumbing and electrical work yourself unless you are a professional.

You’ll need to have it up to code for safety reasons. Save yourself the kind of heartache (and repair costs) in the future that come from a job not expertly done.

DO get flooring that is waterproof, durable and easy to clean.

A lot of moisture and splashing hit those floors over the course of a bathroom’s lifetime.

DON’T put carpet down in the bathroom.

It traps mold and mildew, and can stay soggy for a long time.

DO think about storage for medications and medical supplies, toiletries, towels, kids’ bath toys, bathroom tissue, cleaning supplies etc.

Options abound in terms of vanities, closets, racks, and cabinets. There are a lot items that need to be in a bathroom, and it can often be a small space.

DON’T forget ventilation.

A bathroom needs to have an openable window, an external vent, or both.

DO consider the degree of natural lighting in your bathroom in your planning.

You need a fair amount of brightness in a bathroom for grooming, first aid, and makeup purposes. For the same reason, lighting is also important around mirrors. Bright but not harsh lighting that fits the lighting of the most common indoors settings is useful. Other soft, spa-like, mood lighting can go around tubs and showers to aid relaxation.

DON’T forget to consider where you are going to put facecloths and soaps/shampoos in your new tub or shower set.

Are there built-in shelves and hanging bars? How many people live in your house and will be using this bathroom? If you have one bathroom and five people, you need a few more shelves than if there is another bathroom.

DO use paint that is specially developed for moist environments and wipes clean easily.

Specialized bathroom paint is mildew-resistant, holds up well to constant cleaning, and comes in a variety of finishes.

DO test out your paint colours in the room itself before deciding.

Bathrooms can be tricky because often they are dark, or have strong overhead artificial lighting which can change how a colour looks. The trick of looking at large swatches of paint colours in the room itself becomes very important for a bathroom. Whether you want a colour scheme that invokes serenity or liveliness, use colours that leave an impression of cleanliness.

DON’T be afraid to be creative.

It’s your bathroom after all, and there are many ideas to be found on line and in magazines. Here’s an extreme example.

However, DO stick to classic bathroom design, products, colours and finishes if resale is your goal. Once again, neutral colours fit into a classic design scheme.

Finally, DO seek input from professional contractors, renovators, and interior designers.

If resale is in your near future, maybe bring in your real estate agent for advice on current resale trends in popular bathroom touches.

There are very many possibilities for layouts, bathtub and shower models, finishes, sinks, faucets, colours, flooring and other products. Guidance from professionals can help narrow down possibilities and coordinate your choices into a harmonious, relaxing whole.

Happy Renovating!


What the Ottawa renovation professionals at McArthur Construction can do for you:

We can assist with:

  • Free evaluations and estimates for renovation services
  • Building permit applications and inspections
  • Design suggestions
  • Coordination of electrical and plumbing services
  • Flooring, walls, cabinetry, countertops, lighting, sink and hardware installation. repair, installation, and base boards
  • Walls (drywall installation, plastering, sanding, and painting)
  • And much more.

Whether you are looking at a big or small renovation, let us help.  For more information, please contact us.

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