Time for a Bathroom Makeover: The Definitive Guide

Bathrooms are one of the heaviest foot traffic rooms in a house and are under constant threat of moisture, soaps and chemicals getting into places they don't belong; it is a miracle the average bathroom as long as it does.

However, a bathroom renovation can be arduous and stressful, especially if going the DIY route. You'll want to have all your ducks in a row before you start disassembling fixtures and removing cabinets and tiles.

Read on for our definitive guide on making your bathroom makeover as streamlined and stress-free as possible.

Have a reason to renovate

While a nice new bathroom is always desirable, your renovation will run a lot smoother, and final decisions will be made easier if you have firm reasons to renovate.

Having clear reasons will make the process more streamlined, as you will know:

  • What needs prioritisation
  • What you are trying to achieve
  • What needs do you require that your current bathroom isn't providing
  • What are your "wants' over your "needs" and more

This is a discussion for the whole household. After everyone has had their say, you may be surprised how much your initial plans and designs shift.

Be prepared

If you perform a DIY bathroom renovation, ensure you have done your research, make a solid plan of action, and create an expected timeline, especially if this is your first bathroom renovation.

There are thousands of people in the online bathroom renovation communities, and there is no path that someone has not yet walked.

So, ensure you make a plan based on experience rather than desired outcome. 

There are bound to be unforeseen roadblocks and trip hazards, and the more pre-planning you do, the less chance your project will get derailed by avoidable pitfalls. This also includes your bathroom renovation budget.

Have a set budget

Knowing your budget is crucial in a bathroom renovation and will govern much of the project. Your set budget should be a part of your planning stage. Without a solid plan and budget, your costs can blow out exponentially.

It is also worth planning a buffer budget in your plans to leave space for unforeseen issues. This even happens with professional bathroom designers, which means if you are budgeting for a DIY bathroom renovation, you need to be on top of your game and take more time than you think you need to budget and plan.

Be clear on your design

Be it a small bathroom renovation or a significant makeover, one of the biggest mistakes people make when undertaking a bathroom renovation is making decisions as they go. Not only is this a great way to blow out a budget and start avoidable disputes, but it can also drag a bathroom renovation out well past its deadline.

Spend extra time online and in bathroom supply and hardware stores, and be crystal clear on your bathroom design. Then, once you have made a decision, stick to it! 

Of course, there will always be small things that don't go to plan and need revision; however, it is vital that all your main alterations and bathroom fixtures are solid before you start work.

Plumbing, lighting and electrical

Before beginning your bathroom makeover, you need to consider how many elements of your bathroom you want to change. For example, bathroom fixtures are not like bedroom furniture, which can be moved around on a whim.

You may prefer to open your shower space on the other side of the bathroom. While this may be your prefered use of the room, altering your plumbing will cost you considerably more in plumber fees than utilising your existing plumbing points.

While running electrical cables is not as labour intensive as changing plumbing, you will be charged more to move electrical points and light fittings.

These types of compromises can either save you money on your overall cost or allow you to invest more in other aspects of your bathroom renovation.

Fixtures

People often tend to look for fixtures that look nice and are at the right price. However, many things need to be considered when selecting new fixtures for your bathroom renovation.

When we are discussing bathroom fixtures, we are talking about the various utilities a bathroom needs, including:

  • Showers, showerheads and taps
  • Baths
  • Toilets and cisterns
  • Taps and faucets
  • Sinks
  • Mirrors
  • Cabinets 
  • Light fittings and other bathroom parts

While aesthetics are often the main appeal of these fixtures, there are other considerations that need to be addressed, such as:

  • Ease of cleaning and maintenance
  • Volume requirements of sinks and basins
  • Size to bathroom space ratios and more

You can discuss these things with your suppliers and hardware specialists, whose advice should not be overlooked.

Tiles and wall coverings

Even when people undertake DIY bathroom renovations, homeowners tend to hire professional tilers for their floors and walls. 

Tiling is an artform, and ensuring your surfaces are correctly waterproofed is essential, or you may be renovating more than just your bathroom if water finds its way into your walls, floors and foundations.

When selecting your tiling, you also need to question practicality over aesthetics. For example, small intricate tiling can look incredible; however, the extra grouting can make your tiles considerably harder to clean than large panel tiles.

Tiles will be one of the most expensive aspects of your bathroom renovation, and your choices can significantly impact not just your tile budget but how much work there is for your tiler, which should not come too cheap if they are worth hiring.

Renovation sensation

By this stage, you should have a clear plan of how your renovations will unfold and have solidified all the parts and fixtures within the confines of your budget. While many people have a dream bathroom design in their mind, what is achievable on a budget and practical in your property design may be significantly different.

Compromises can be made and are sometimes a better option than what you initially had in mind. The best advice for a smooth bathroom renovation is to be prepared, well planned and open to compromise.

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