8 Bathroom renovation mishaps to avoid
Bathrooms aren’t easy spaces to renovate—they are small, prone to water damage, and are constantly in use. If you are renovating, some extra thought can ensure a better process and a far better end result.
Sit down and plan your new bathroom. You have a limited space, so how do you make the best use of it? Think about:
- What do you see when you walk past an open bathroom door? Do you want it to be the toilet?
- Do you have space for a bath? While they aren’t essential, they are still useful.
- If you have limited space, make sure there’s room for cupboards and drawers to open fully
- It’s cheaper to leave all plumbing in its current configuration. If you move the toilet, you have to apply for resource consent.
- Water pressure is something you need to take into account. Waterfall showers don’t work if your water pressure is poor. Your plumber will be able to advise you about your situation and recommend appropriate products.
- Draw up a floor plan. What goes where? Consider having cut-outs of vanities, toilet, and shower and trying different configurations to see how everything will fit. There are lots of space-saving options for bathrooms, with toilets with hidden cisterns, wall mounted taps, and slim vanities.
- How tall are you? If you’re a giraffe, then you’ll need a higher mirror and shower. If you’re petite, the opposite. For the comfort of all, a shower slider and tall mirror helps to keep everyone happy.
- Heating is another important consideration. Underfloor heating, a towel rail, heat lamps or a wall fan heater?
While some simple bits and pieces you can do yourself, bathrooms renovations are fraught. Water ingress happens through the tiniest of gaps, and a small leak, over time, can become a massive nightmare. Hire a plumber for all piping. Places where water can leak around showers, baths and floors also will require a professional finish. If you want to DIY, work with your tradespeople to ascertain what you can safely do- a coat of paint or some joinery perhaps.
Using qualified electricians, builders and plumbers also means that you have some sort of guarantee on the work too. Doing it yourself can mean warranties on products is voided and any cost savings are lost.
Bathrooms need to be bright, and you need to be able to see the bathroom mirror clearly. Also think about the colour of the lighting, as sometimes makeup looks amazing in the bathroom but when you go outside, it’s too much or not enough. Amidst the shadow-removing bright light, if you are having a late-night bath and relaxing, you probably don’t want to feel like you’re facing the Spanish inquisition. Mood lighting could be good too.
According to NZ law, if you don’t have a window, you must have external ventilation. Underfloor heating, as well as keeping your toes toasty in winter, helps to dry the space out quickly.
Not thinking about storage
There are so many storage options for bathrooms, and it’s a space that often people forget about- yes, a pedestal sink looks elegant, but there’s no-where to put your towels. All those toiletries, toilet paper stores, makeup and cleaning products need a place to be. Also consider a hideaway laundry basket. Although your kids will still probably use it as something to throw things next to.
Also remember the need for counter space. You need to have somewhere to put your toothbrush, soap and makeup.
Bathrooms are small spaces and if you have a range of fixtures and fittings, it may quickly take on a chaotic and messy look. Also there are technical requirements also, which is why often fittings come in sets—some sinks require wall mounted taps, or a mixer-spout type.
Blowing your budget and over-capitalising
Bathrooms can be expensive rooms to renovate. While they will increase the value of your home, it’s not going to reap as many rewards as you think. Think about recycling some parts of your existing bathroom to save money, for instance the bath. Hold back on the design- a simple, clean, white bathroom looks amazing without having to buy expensive imported tiles.
Your budget should include 10-20% extra for problems. If you discover rotten joists or wall lining, or maybe find that the economical shower won’t fit with your existing plumbing and you need to buy another one, you need to have the funds there. Make sure that buffer is there and consider it a bonus if you don’t end up using it.
Not thinking ahead
Will you be in this house as you age? Think about if you’re going to be able to step into the bath as an elderly person. It’s worth considering walk-in showers and textured floors so there’s no risk of slipping. Have grab-handles installed. Lever taps are easier to operate than twisting knobs.
Avoid the errors by hiring professionals
With a bit of extra thought and planning, your bathroom renovation will be a success. If you want some professional guidance from the pros, contact us at Sika Homes. With years of experience and a range of highly qualified staff and contractors, we’ll make sure your new bathroom is a success.