|If you are thinking about remodeling or
redecorating your bathroom, the first thing to consider is
your plumbing layout. (See our article on
planning your bathroom
plumbing.) Lay out your bathroom so you have plenty
of storage and counter top room. If you are installing a tub
or spa, make sure your floor will support the weight of the
tub when it is full of water. If you are replacing your
vanity, check the floor for previous leaks and wood rot.
Your next consideration is materials. Ceramic tile is a
popular choice and comes in a variety of sizes and colors.
You will have to install cement board under the tile so be
sure to allow ½” extra when figuring out your wall space and
floor height. If your opt for tile, choose a grout that is a
neutral color. White grout is difficult to keep clean.
Marble and slate are elegant, but much more expensive.
Another option to consider when planning your bathroom is to
use heated wire under your tile to keep your floor warm. It
will add to your budget, but costs pennies to run and will
be worth it if you live in a cool climate in the winter.
Linoleum is an inexpensive alternative to tile or marble. Do
not use wood or laminate floors in a bathroom, as they are
not resistant to water.
When choosing your toilet, sink, and tub, choose mid priced
to top of the line items. A cheap toilet will cause you
headaches in the end with constant little repairs. Do you
want the clean look of a pedestal sink or would you rather
have the storage space a vanity affords? Another choice you
will have to make is if you want a tub and separate shower
or a tub-shower combo. It takes up more space, but a
separate shower is a great selling point. If you have the
space, an open shower with no door would be my choice. You
need a large space for this option; about 5x6 feet. The
benefit is no shower door or curtain to gum up and
constantly clean. It will also be enough space to allow a
wheelchair in should you ever become handicapped. If you are
worried about privacy, you can place the doorway away from
Before you cover your walls, figure out where you will be
hanging towel racks or any shelves, and reinforce these
areas with 2x4’s to hang these fixtures on. If you are
having a recessed medicine cabinet, you will also have to
plan that space out beforehand. A medicine cabinet is a
great storage unit, but if you are trying to cut corners,
buy a large mirror and have a storage closet instead. A
large mirror will give you the illusion of more space.
Another alternative to a medicine cabinet would be to use
the space between your studs. Line it with thin wood and put
a door or mirror on hinges. Open shelving for your towels is
another cheap alternative to a closet. If you cannot afford
doors for your storage unit, curtains make an inexpensive
You will want an electrical outlet over your vanity for
small appliances such as hair dryers and curling irons. This
must be a GFI (ground fault) outlet. This type of outlet
will automatically shut off if it falls into water or shorts
Another thing you may want to consider is installing a phone
in your bathroom. You can easily run phone wire through the
walls during your remodel. This may sound frivolous, but it
can also be a safety issue if you ever slip and fall when
you are alone in your home.
If you are indecisive about your color options, see our
article on choosing color for your home.
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