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Prepare for Next Year’s Bathroom Remodel Now

Of course I don’t mean forgo the holidays and immerse yourself in bathroom stuff, but if you are planning on redoing a bathroom as a winter project use any downtime in the next few weeks for bathroom design homework.  Remember how right before Thanksgiving I suggested snooping?  Well, visit bathrooms with a different eye.  Look for things you like and don’t like, use your phone and snap a picture. This was a bathroom from a hotel I stayed in.  I wanted to remember the set up, because it was very functional.

To create a great bathroom you need two things aside from a great (never the cheapest) contractor.

  1. Through understanding of how the space will be used.
  2. Know exact fixtures and plumbing items you want before the hammering begins.

If you’ve been collecting ideas or pictures in a project file, pull them all out and look at them again.  Does it work for your space?  Does it work for your lifestyle?

Here is the truth, unless you are someone who takes a bath at least weekly those super size spa tubs are a huge waste of money and they often serve nothing more than as a date stamp on your bathroom.  Gone are the days where every bathroom requires a tub, often a good sized shower is more appropriate.  Maybe a TV in the vanity mirror is more useful for your family.  Design the space for your family.

Faucets coming out of the wall are a hot trend right now.  Sometimes they make for a better use of space, and sometimes in a remodel they aren’t feasible.  Pick the faucet for each location and the right one for the sink.

Sinks are a whole new world, with all the options available there is a lot to think about.  Do you want one or two, trough style, undermount, vessel or a combination?  Some choices are led by the location but others are purely yours for the choosing.  Height is a consideration, especially with a vessel.  With an undermount sink one can lose storage space in the vanity.  There are lots of items to figure out when choosing your bathroom sink.


Speaking of vanities, here is a whole new topic for discovery.  What do you need to store and how do you like to store it?  Does someone shave or do make-up at the sink?  Do you like a place for everything or just toss it in a drawer or cupboard?

After falling in love with  shower drain grates last spring at the KBIS show, I now have to design those into a bathroom design – they can’t be an afterthought.  Bob Borson has a informative post on how to build a shower that won’t leak and he uses a drain grate in the shower.Of course this isn’t everything but these are some of the first items one has to know before they begin to plan a new bathroom or bathroom remodel.  Next one can think about the lighting, floors, and surfaces.  If you’ve read any of my other posts on bathrooms you know a heated floor is a must do, like putting in a toilet.

In closing I’m going to throw a bit of a wrench into your plan with the one thing people say they wish they would have thought of… cleanabilityTip: the main reason for hand-held shower units, in addition to a showerhead, are for cleaning the shower?  Unless you have daily maid service, dark sinks will make you crazy.  One of my clients insisted we select a darkish floor for her bathroom because her husband “sheds.”  Hey, these are legitimate things to think about.  I’m just here to help.

Know yourself, decide what will work for your family’s needs and you’ll be well on your way to your dream bathroom. 🙂

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