Ready to smash out your bathroom renovation?
Bathroom renovations are usually thought about only when they're well past their original use by dates and have long ago seen better days.
The time will come when you'll find that it becomes harder to clean and sticking the odd tile back on starts to become a little too regular. By the time you decide to renovate, you're often ready to do the demolition yourself with the biggest sledge hammer you can find.
Before it gets to this point, I recommend you sit down and plan out what it is you really want.
Starting Your Plan
A lot of people attempt to Project Manage their own bathroom renovation. They will start by enlisting the various trades needed for the job. It's not long before they find themselves flying by the seat of their pants with the hundreds of big and small decisions that come their way.
By the time the renovation is finished I'm sure you'll be dreaming of enjoy a relaxing bath with some music and candles (does anyone still do this?). Chances are by this point though, you may find that you missed some things that should have been considered earlier on in the planning stages.
Mistakes or oversights can be harder to fix in a bathroom due to the fixed features of the room. It's the small details that really help with a successful update, here's some tips to help that process a little easier.
Tip #1 - Which lighting is best?
We all hear about how important lighting is in the bathroom but it's not something you consider in detail until the Sparky starts asking about it.
Some people might like the old Hollywood style lights along the mirror, and these are great for applying make up, brushing teeth, etc, however they don't really fit the popular trends of today.
A down-light placed above the wall mirror will eliminate those pesky shadows that appear across your face. An alternative or even in addition to this is strip LED lighting. This can be installed around the mirror.
Pendants lights will add some ambient light and can really give a room a touch of luxury. These are becoming quite trendy in the bathroom and come in many styles.
Tip #2 - Electrical Power Outlets
Think about the electric gadgets you use. There is not more annoying that realising after you've completed your bathroom renovation that you don't have enough power outlets, or that the ones you do have are poorly positioned.
You may not want to leave your appliances that need charging, such as an electric toothbrush or electric shaver out on the benchtop. An outlet placed inside a shaving cabinet or drawer can leave the vanity clear of clutter.
If this isn't an option, make sure your benchtop is large enough to accommodate these.
Tip #3 - Shelving and Fixed Hooks in the shower
Spare a second to think about the products you regularly use in the shower. A little forethought will make storing these both easier to keep clean, and easy on the eye.
Don't go with the cheap suction cup options. These tend to either slide down the wall or fall off completely under even a small amount of weight.
Shelving that allows excess water to drain work well. Pair these with some S-Hooks or strategically placed fixed hooks to hold sponges, loofahs, and face washers. This lets everything dry out between washes, and it looks better than many other options.
Tip #4 - Shower types
Spend some time looking at the different shower types available. Some will suit your bathroom circumstances, and some won't. Fully frame-less showers are easier to clean, but you can't use a big, fluffy bathmat outside the door. It gets caught and hooked on the door as you open and close. A lower, less fluffy towel-style bathmat will do the job here.
Some water will always escapes these types of showers onto the floor (or into the bathmat), so be prepared for this and you won't be disappointed.
Tip #5 - Improve the Air Quality
There are a few ways to improve the air quality in your home.
This option may sound a bit odd to some people but salt lamps claim to absorb water from the air. This is the perfect environment for the bathroom due to the humidity in here. This is a clever way to improve the air quality as well as provide a soft, amber light all the time.
Obviously you don' t want your salt lamp next to the bathtub, so consider it's location wisely. Planning for this now with an additional internal electrical outlet may give you the opportunity to place it somewhere you wouldn't normally consider.
House plants will also improve the air quality whilst adding indoor greenery. If you're a bit lazy with their care, place them in pots that retain and release water slowly.
Tip #6 - Shower configuration
Spare a thought for the tall people amongst us. Many shower heads are placed too low and these poor souls have to duck underneath it to wash and rinse their hair.
A hand shower fixed onto an adjustable rail is super handy as it can easily be adjusted to suit individuals. It lets you rinse any soap build up after your shower. A quick rinse after showering can save you lots of time scrubbing it clean later.
Tip #7 - Heat
If you live north you can probably skip this tip, but us Southerners need our heaters! There are many great options out there, consider a panel heater below your towel rail - 2 birds 1 stone! Warm toushie and towels! Underfloor heating is popular as well and may not be as expensive as you think.
Tip #8 - Thermostat controller
This has got to be one of the best inventions ever and I can't believe not every household has one. Install a thermostat, set your water temperature and you are good to go. This is fantastic for younger kids, it eliminates the chance of nasty scolds from hot water.
The technology here is improving rapidly so make sure you do some research to discover what's available.
Tip #9 - Storage
When selecting your vanities and cabinets make sure you maximise the storage available. A sleek wall hung vanity with 1 or 2 drawers look great but do they give you enough storage for all your things. You may have room to add a tall boy or other option - do your research.
Tip #10 - After Care
When you have your brand new bathroom all sparkly and clean it can quickly turn to disappointment when you start using the room with all the shower and bath products. They quickly leave a film and build up over time. Whatever you do, don't use harmful and toxic chemicals to clean them. They will eat into the grout in particular and undo all the hard work you have done to get here.
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Putting it all together for the perfect bathroom
This list of tips certainly doesn't cover every aspect of a bathroom renovation. It is meant as a guide to help you think of what's practical and what's important to you.
Don't forget that what is perfect for someone else, doesn't mean it is perfect for you!
A thoughtfully considered renovation will give you many years of pleasure, with no regrets. Write a list of your activities in the bathroom and research ways to overcome any obstacles. Hopefully this list of tips will help you with planning your new bathroom renovation.
Don't want to do the hard work with planning and research? Check out our e-decorating services and have someone do it for you.
Have I missed a tip that you think is a must have? Let me know in the comments.