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Top 10 Things to Look at Before Remodeling Your Bathroom

By Editorial Staff

Contributed by David Galassi, Info Guru

Ready to crawl out of your cracked porcelain bathtub? Has your single basin sink and tired chrome legs seen a better decade, not to mention century? Are the pink tile walls better suited to a pepto bismol commercial?

Even though the bathroom is a small room, it’s no small remodeling project. Go through this list of things you have to consider before you undertake the project.

Seriously. Stand there and LOOK. Write some notes, make some sketches. Don’t get caught with a project half-considered and impossible to finish on-time and on-budget.

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10. Subfloor

Is there a subfloor and what is it made of? Many floor coverings like ceramic, marble or stone require a solid two-layer subfloor. Be careful to adjust all heights when taking into consideration the new finished floor height with respect to other adjacent floors and fixtures.

9. Walls

Look at the walls. Are they backed with studs 16″ on center and are they plumb and square? If not take into consideration the time and effort it will take to straighten out the room prior to starting your finish work.

8. Electrical

Is there a dedicated electric circuit to the room to handle all your upgrades such as a new exhaust fan, whirlpool tub, additional lighting, tub shower lighting, and added outlets? Follow local codes with respect to ground fault protection.

7. Plumbing

Is the plumbing vented and wasted correctly and are the water supply lines sufficient to handle the amount of water needed to supply your tub, shower sink and toilet? Are all the drain lines the correct size and are local codes all being followed?

6. Exhaust

If there an exhaust fan and is it vented correctly? Be sure you vent your new fan following manufacturer’s instructions to an outside area. That could be a roof vent or eve/soffit vent. It could be a wall vent and damper door. Be sure the access is there to correctly vent your fan as you may need to build a chase to accommodate the duct work if there is occupied space above.

5. Actual floor space

Measure and layout any new floorplan to accept a new larger tub or shower, a window move, a linen closet, a larger vanity cabinet or pedestal sink. Also measure to be sure you have enough clearance for an elongated toilet or a plain round bowl.

4. Window

The window replacement must be measured and vented correctly. Is it going to be moved or stay as existing? What type? Glass block, double hung or casement. Opaque glass or clear? Will you need screens and storm attachments? Consider all the exterior trim that may be effected.

3. Door or doors

Will you be replacing the door? If so, consider the size and swing, the type, the trim and the work to done outside the bathroom in the hallway to match all existing finishes. Be sure the light switches agree with the door swing.

2. Accessories

What accessories will be added? Placement and size should be considered first. Items like towel bars, towel hooks, soap dishes, TP holders, magazine holders and medicine cabinets and mirrors all need to be decided first while doing your floor plan layout.

1. Finishes

Consider your colors and finishes. If all your fixtures are white, that lends itself to adjusting all other colors easily. However if you choose custom fixture colors — along with faucet and accessory trim that are not plain chrome — then you will have to coordinate all colors accordingly with all other finishes. Get samples and lay them out side by side. Tile, grout, trim, accessories, casework and cabinets, glass, light fixtures, fixture and counter top material all need to coordinate. Pick your paint last.

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Simple bathroom remodel? No such thing. Remember that every decision you make impacts another component of your bathroom. Don’t start swinging the sledgehammer until you have a clearly considered, carefully organized plan.


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