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Bathroom Remodeling Tips

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 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 view.

Before you cover your walls, figure out where you will be hanging towel racks or any shelves, and reinforce these areas with 2x4s 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 option.

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 out.

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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