Essential Guide to a Successful Bathroom Renovation: 8 Must-Know Tips

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A lot of thinking and planning goes into a bathroom reno. It’s usually a small room, but five skilled contractors are needed to pull a full bathroom renovation together: plumber, electrician, joiner, painter, and tiler. Make sure you have all the details clear before any of them begin their work.

It’s best to buy all of the things the contractor team will need to have on-site for their work before starting the project. Timing is tricky when they all have to work around each other in such a small space. You don’t want them downing tools while you run around looking for the perfect tap. Make a list using the following points.

  • Style
  • Colour
  • Finishes
  • Storage
  • Services
  • Fixtures
  • Lighting
  • Accessibility

Let’s explore each point so you can be confident before the bathroom renovation work begins:

1. A New Style For Your Bathroom

It’s best to keep the new bathroom to the style of the rest of your home. Are you going Classic or Modern? ‘Japandi’ or Farmhouse? Boho or Bauhaus? Whatever the style, there are so many finish and fixture options out there to pull it all together.

Don’t know what style you would like? Create a Pinterest board of bathrooms that you love the look of. The common elements amongst the interiors you’re looking at will clue you into your preferred style. When you’re shopping for your fixtures and such, check in with your Pinterest board to keep you on track.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels

2. Bathrooms Need Colour Too

One essential thing to consider is the colour scheme.

A bathroom is a mini escape from the outside world. We go there to cleanse and refresh our bodies, though it helps a lot if the room does the same for our minds and souls. Use soothing and serene colours in the bathroom for a blissful experience. Your new bathroom will be calm and inviting.

It’s best to keep to a neutral base palette for a bathroom. It allows for a calm and nurturing space. And keep to muted, natural tones. Even when your feature wall is a floral mosaic mural…

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels

Want to know more about choosing calming colours? Read 6 Colours To Improve Your Mood

3. Finishing Your Bathroom Renovation

There are so many great ideas out there for bathroom finishes. Tiles don’t have to be your last stop, but the gorgeous tiles we have on today’s market do leave you spoilt for choice. Porcelain tiles can be made to look like natural marble (as in the photo below), or natural wood (in the next pic).

But if you’re looking for a special feature, waterproof vinyl wallpapers are great for guest loos, and sintered porcelain slabs make amazing shower walls. Wood planks, such as those used in the photo above, add an earthy and sophisticated touch.

Super low-budget bathroom renovation? Instead of tiling the whole bathroom, keep tiles for wet areas and paint the rest of the wall space. Be brave – choose a colour that makes an impact. Remember to avoid ‘bright’ – pick something that will bring you tranquillity.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels

4. Bathroom Storage Is Essential

What do you need your bathroom storage to contain? Think about all the pesky bathroom things you have :

  • Towels
  • Hygiene products (all of the bottles)
  • Haircare products
  • Beauty products (so many small tubs and tubes)
  • Bath toys
  • Toilet paper (you don’t get stuck with it stored in the laundry)
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss & mouthwash
  • Pamper kit (from bath fizz balls to face masks)
  • Facecloths and shower scrunchies
  • Baby bath-time paraphernalia (tiny humans seem to accumulate a lot of things in a few short months)

What method of storage will you use? Open shelf space or vanity unit under the washbasins, or both? Is there a corner for a laundry basket (hamper)? Do you want to add wicker baskets somewhere?

You absolutely need a storage solution in a bathroom. You will lose that spa effect you worked so hard to achieve if toiletries litter the surfaces.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels

5. Positioning Services

Planning the layout for plumbing points and electrical sockets is vital. Decide whether services are to remain in their existing positions or if major fixtures will switch. Keep in mind that moving any plumbing and electrical point positions incur more costs than just connecting up the new fixtures – plumbers and electricians will charge a labour fee per point as well as for the materials.

Does your bathroom need to pull double-duty for laundry? Make sure your planning includes points for a machine or two. And don’t forget that heated towel rails need an electrical outlet. There’s no sense trying to put in a new plug point after you’ve already tiled the walls.

I spoke to a plumber and asked him all sorts of things to know about bathroom renovation and maintenance. You can read that interview here: Ask A Plumber

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels

6. Bathroom Fixtures Are Features Too

Everything that must be permanently installed requires careful planning. Once sanitaryware and cabinetry are in, they’re hard to move around or alter. Space planning will allow you to figure out where each item, big or small, will fit.

For consistency, select all your taps, shower head, and waste covers from one range (or at the least with the same finish). There may even be a matching set of accessories available. You will need to work out the placement of towel rails, hooks, and things like the toilet paper holder. If left as an afterthought, the contractor will put these accessories wherever.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels

7. Lighten Up Your Bathroom Renovation

Remember to add adequate lighting to your bathroom. Task lighting and mood lighting can be on separate switches (getting ready vs. relaxing in a bubble bath). Light fixtures can enhance the design style you have chosen. A bulkhead with up-lighting can be a great feature in a modern house with high ceilings.

A bathroom flooded with natural light is instantly welcoming. If your goal is a serene space, a sunny window with a beautiful view is a must.

Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels

8. Bathroom Accessibility

Don’t forget who the main user(s) of the bathroom will be. The elderly and the physically disabled require safety rails and possibly enough space for a wheelchair to move in and out. A bathroom for kids/babies will need a bathtub and a step stool to use the basin. Set the mirror height to suit the heights of the users.

If guests will be using the room, make sure extra toilet paper and towels can be easily found IN THE ROOM. Should your main en-suite have a door, or do you really want it to be open to the room? I personally want to close a door – for privacy, moisture, and Feng Shui reasons. Mostly for privacy, because my child and our dog will both come looking for me if I disappear from their sight for 2 minutes.

Make sure your bathroom accessibility suits the people living in the home.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

Bonus Point – Buck the Bathroom Renovation Trends

One trend I’ve never agreed with is putting a double vanity in a main en-suite. Do both partners use the bathroom basin at the exact same time? If that’s an everyday occurrence, then sure. But double the basins, taps, and water points = double the costs. It’s kind of expected in upmarket homes now, but don’t blow your en-suite’s budget on an unnecessary second basin.

If you must have a double vanity somewhere, put it in the bathroom that the kids share. No more fighting at teeth brushing time.

Rather add extra storage space on either side of a central basin in the en-suite for each partner to store their stuff – as per the bathroom below. Speaking of the image below… that matchy-matchy marble wall and floor trend is on its way out.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels

There is so much to consider for a bathroom renovation. One small thing can halt the whole project if all your rubber ducks are not in a row. Now, whether you plan to hire professionals to take care of the project, or you’re set to DIY, go create those beautiful bathrooms!

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Blessings, Chantal

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