With so much focus on kitchen design and renovation, bathroom design is often overlooked. After the kitchen, the bathroom is one of the places in your home that you’ll spend the most time. It’s important that the space both looks good and functions well— a balance that’s easier said than done.
What Do You Need?
Before you start thinking about what kind of tile you want, or what kind of shower head to buy, you need to consider some fundamental questions about how your bathroom will function:
- How many people will be using the bathroom?
- Will their needs change over time (e.g., kids getting older, aging adults)?
- Does it need to be accommodating to guests?
- How much counter space do you need?
- Do you need more than one sink?
- How much space do you need to hang towels and other items?
- Do you have a linen closet or other storage area nearby?
The answers to these questions will help you determine what you need to have in your new bathroom vs. what’s nice to have. You can then work with your contractor to develop a plan that meets your wants and needs.
By thinking through these things up front, you’ll avoid the “oh no” moment after the renovation is complete when you realize that the bathroom looks amazing but does not meet your basic needs.
Your contractor may also identify a few needs that you would never think of on your own. For example, you might be surprised to learn how much hair goes down a drain. To prevent clogs in a bathroom that’s heavily used, you might want to consider larger pipes that will not back up as often.
Or, if you live in New Jersey or other areas that are prone to below-freezing temperatures, make sure that your pipes are located away from exterior-facing walls to prevent freezing in the winter months. On the same token, if you live in a warm, humid climate, you will need to make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated to prevent mold and mildew build up.
What Do You Want?
Once you’ve identified the basics, you can focus on the things that you want in your updated bathroom. This can be everything from the types of fixtures to the color of the floor.
- Do you want a bathtub, a shower, or both?
- How much light do you want? Can you utilize natural light?
- What kind of toilet do you want?
- What type of flooring do you prefer?
Remember that these items are all extras, and that you are never going to be able to afford everything you want. Sacrifices are inevitable, but by thinking about your wants up front, you can prioritize the splurges and personal touches that really matter to you and your family.
There’s no “redo” button when it comes to home renovation, so getting it right the first time is essential. It’s a room that you’ll use several times per day and should be one that makes you feel comfortable and not annoyed because of a functional detail that was overlooked.
Making the Most of Your Space
Space is often an issue in bathrooms, whether it’s the size of the room or the location of existing plumbing and drains. These constraints are part of what makes bathrooms so tough to renovate, and why many homeowners choose to live with outdated tile and fixtures for the sake of convenience.
If you don’t like your bathroom layout, you will need to undertake some significant demolition to change it. This will add time and money to your renovation project. We only recommend making these major changes if you have another bathroom you can use while the demolition is going on.
If you do not want to change existing plumbing, there are still ways to make the most of a small or seemingly inadequate layout.
Pedestal sinks and glass shower doors can make a small bathroom seem larger and give the room a more open feeling. Turning dressers into bathroom vanities adds storage space while making a statement and creating a conversation piece.
Newer trends like wall-hung toilets and open showers can also help maximize your space and give the room a modern feeling. Be careful not to go too overboard on trends, though, because they tend to change more often than you’ll be able to update your bathroom.
Balancing Form and Function
Whether you plan to live in your house forever or are hoping to put it on the market, a well-done bathroom renovation will increase your home’s value and enhance the experience of everyone who uses it.
All Trades has decades of experience helping clients design the perfect bathroom that’s both stylish and functional. Contact us to learn more about how we can help with your bathroom design in NJ and beyond.