Get The Most Out Of Your Bathroom Renovation

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Bathrooms are one of the most popular remodeling projects out there, and with good reason – a gorgeous new bathroom can transform your entire living experience. But in the excitement over choosing tiles and fixtures, it’s easy to fall into common traps that can mean hassle and expense down the line. And given that we already drop more cash on bathroom remodels than any other room in the house, it’s worth taking the following steps to ensure you get it right the first time.

“… The bathroom has leaped ahead of the kitchen as most common remodeling project. Prior to the great recession the kitchen was No. 1 … but right now, most homeowners are looking at remodeling a bathroom.”
— STEPHEN MELMAN Director of Economic Services National Association of Home Builders

Keep an eye on the realities of your project while you create your dream. Learn about your home’s plumbing system, and check compatibility before you buy.

Beware of potential plumbing disasters: The loveliest word in bathrooms is “options” — so many gorgeous toilets, bathtubs, and sinks to choose from. But that stunning spherical toilet with time-set heated seats may be compatible with European plumbing only, meaning you’ll lose time and cash swapping it out with something else. Just keep an eye on the realities while you create your dream. Learn about your home’s plumbing system, and check compatibility before you buy.

Weigh the practical against the fanciful: You’ll have your vision, and by all means don’t feel like you have to give it up. Just be sure to weigh logistics and practical limitations against that amazing rain shower or those giant floor tiles. Certain showers will be far more complicated given they all have different ways of piping to the showerhead – meaning that installation costs can go up exponentially. Plus, if you have a small space, you could waste a lot of time and effort cutting large tiles, and there’s a greater chance of the tiles cracking.

Make sure there’s enough space for your additions: If you’re pulling out a tub, be sure that the new one fits – tubs come in multiple sizes and materials, including cast iron, steel, and fiberglass. It’s important to understand what the difference is, and what they all mean once you try to fit them into your space. If your heart is set on a whirlpool, make sure you have enough space for the equipment plus an access panel to get to it, should you ever need to make repairs.

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Don’t forget about those pesky building codes: If you modify the bathroom and do anything to the plumbing, it has to conform to code, and will have to be filed. Granted, if you’re only replacing fixtures, those count as “repairs,” and don’t require a filing.

Make sure you’re using materials that will live up to wear and tear without ever putting you or your family at risk.

Remember safety! Bathrooms can be havens away from the pressures of modern life, but they can also be dangerous. Make sure you’re using materials that will live up to wear and tear without ever putting you or your family at risk.

Consider wear and tear when choosing your surfaces: Marble is always gorgeous, but it’s notoriously porous, making it more susceptible to stains from liquids. So if you’re installing marble counters or floors, be sure to treat them properly.