Renovating a Bathroom - Make Ready Residential
Bathroom remodel

Renovating a Bathroom

Posted on September 22, 2022 by Hunt Holdridge

Older homes that have not been remodeled are likely to have small bathrooms that reflect the age when they were built: a functional but plain—and wasteful—toilet. A vanity featuring a Formica countertop with a small sink, perhaps even two faucets, one for cold and a second one for hot water. A bathtub surrounded by square tiles lacking imagination.  Consider renovating your bathroom. 

Even bathrooms in houses built in the 1990s or 2000s might be dated already. 

Does this sound like your bathroom? It all works well, you figure. Yes, maybe it does, but perhaps it’s time to consider remodeling and bringing it up to a 21st century style for more comfort and better amenities. Having a renovated bathroom will also add value to your home.

Modernizing a bathroom

Although some companies offer the option of basically covering up your existing bathtub and other parts in a day or two for a low price, it isn’t quite a remodel. While convenient, other parts of the bathroom won’t get the facelift they need, and the work likely won’t add much value to your home. But this is a possibility if you want to save the expense of a full remodel.

A full bathroom renovation, on the other hand, will enable you to pick new accessories, countertops, vanities and much more to enhance your bathroom.

A designer could help you come up with a vision that will fit your goals—and they will help you choose materials and accessories to make it all work together. This could include flooring, which comes in many different materials, from ceramic to vinyl and even cork.

One thing to keep in mind for flooring, though, is to ensure that whatever material you choose is suitable for the wet environment and that it isn’t so slick that you would risk slipping and falling.

Another area that can improve the look of your bathroom is the tile you choose for the walls. White or lighter colors will make your bathroom shine, but you could select colorful tile or simply add some colorful ones for accent.

Glass tile can help add a unique style to your bathroom, as it comes in a wide variety of colors. More traditional materials are ceramic, which is more affordable, and porcelain. But if you have the funds, marble is a classic and elegant material—but keep in mind that it needs maintenance.

There is also natural stone for a distinctive look. But, like marble, it also needs to be maintained regularly and needs to be sealed because it can absorb soap and water minerals. 


Choose your fixtures

Your bathtub can also set your bathroom apart from the simple functionality that it serves. For a vintage look, consider a clawfoot tub. It might even make you feel like you’re in a 17th century castle in France while you soak in it.

A jetted tub or Jacuzzi can help you relax after a long day or week. Imagine sitting in such a tub with warm bubbles and air circulating around you as you say goodbye to the built-up stress.

Even though some people prefer to stay away from discussions about toilets, they are an integral part, obviously, of bathrooms. But that doesn’t mean they should be an afterthought. 

Modern toilets come with different features that enhance efficiency and save water. You can choose toilets with adjustable heights, heated seats and more. Some come loaded with electronics, such as motion detectors for automatic flushing, nozzles of all types to keep your privates clean and much more.

Sinks also have come a long way from the white porcelain styles of the past. 

Today, there are many different styles to choose from, including bowls, pedestals, consoles, drop-in, undermount, and others. The amount of space and style of bathroom you envision will likely dictate which one you pick. 

Bowls sit on top of your countertop and look modern and classy. Drop-ins and undermount sinks are the more traditional styles in that they are installed on a countertop or inside of it.  

Pedestal sinks are elegant and don’t take up a lot of space, but you will not have a cabinet or drawers underneath to keep your toiletries or other necessities. Consoles are minimalist and can give your bathroom an industrial look if that’s what you’re going for. But they don’t have storage areas, either. 

The type of faucets you choose for your bathtub and sink also set the tone for your newly renovated bathroom.

Nowadays, you can choose from the traditional center-set faucet with two attached handles on either side, a style that has been around for years. 

A widespread faucet has unattached handles for hot and cold water—three different parts to achieve the same effect as a center-set faucet. As the name implies, a widespread faucet would probably fit best with a wider sink.

A more contemporary type includes waterfall faucets, which have wide spouts where the water flows from the top onto your hands.

In addition to all the decisions you have to make about the look and style, think about the faucet handle or handles. 

Single-handle faucets are more streamlined and modern and take up less room than a center-set faucet. They are easier to use, as you only need one hand to determine water pressure and temperature, unlike a double-handled faucet that requires a little more effort on your part.

The material you choose can give your bathroom a very modern look—think polished chrome or brushed steel—or a more vintage style with bronze or brass. Whatever you pick, make sure the material matches the rest of the bathroom—you probably don’t want to have a brass faucet for your sink with a bronze one for your shower or bathtub. 

Prices for fixtures vary quite widely, so it is important to set a budget for your renovation. A few hundred additional dollars here and there for each fixture will add up quickly. Setting priorities for the look you want to achieve will help you stay within your budget.


Consider an en suite bathroom

If you have the space, patience and time, you could turn your bathroom into an en suite bathroom. While it might take a little more work, a contractor could achieve this result, which would add comfort to your lifestyle. 

By being attached to your main bedroom, an en suite bathroom gives you direct and easy access to your shower and toilet. No need to go out of the bedroom and into the hallway in the dark to look for the bathroom. 

An en suite gives you privacy from the rest of the house, providing an escape when you decide to take a long bath. Having an en suite also means you don’t have to share the bathroom with guests or your kids.

It is also very convenient because you will be close to your dresser and closet to get dressed without having to go from the bathroom to the bedroom after you shower. 

An en suite bathroom is a sought-after feature for buyers, so it adds value to your home if you decide to sell in the near future.

A bathroom renovation can be pretty daunting, especially if you are planning to move walls to expand the room. The work is messy and can be very inconvenient with water shutdowns and other similar issues.

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