Do the homework and take the time to get the best bathroom for your budget
by Sita Simons
With thanks to our friends at Handyman Magazine for letting us reproduce this article in part.
A thought out bathroom is a pleasure to spend time in and since it’s a room that is used daily by every member of the family, it’s worth getting the design right. A full bathroom renovation is costly and mistakes can be difficult to live with. Saving money with DIY installation can be tempting, but if your skills are not up to it don’t risk a reno disaster and call in the pros. To get the best return on your reno investment, follow these 10 simple rules for designing a bathroom.
1. Go for a flush fit
Anything freestanding or fancy may look great when installed, but you have to remember that the bathroom is a space that needs regular cleaning. Select flush or floating vanities, toilets and sinks that make cleaning a lot easier as well as giving the impression of extra space.
2. Keep to a schedule
Being well prepared and doing all the research and planning before you start will cut the length of time the room will be out of commission. The average bathroom renovation takes between one and two weeks, so book contractors and ensure all fittings and fixtures are on site, if you can try and plan it during a time when there are less people in the house.
3. Be clever with cash
It’s important to be realistic about the amount of money you have to spend, allocating the most cash to quality upgrades that improve functionality rather than style.
4. Add enough storage
The bathroom gets cluttered when storage is scarce. Well-designed vanities and wall-mounted cabinets are good long-term investments that pay for themselves.
5. Get the light right
Natural light in the bathroom is always desirable. If you’re not lucky enough to have a large window, a skylight is a fantastic investment alternative. Wall-mounted task lighting is best around the mirror and vanity for grooming as overhead lights cast shadows on the face.
6. Materials matter
The materials must be moisture resistant and able to withstand high humidity. Unsealed timber may warp and stain over time, but stone, porcelain, laminates and vinyls work well. Consider paying a bit extra for superior quality that will look better and stand the test of time.
7. Room for two
In a family home there may often be more than one person using the bathroom at the same time. Create a functional space in even the tightest of spots by anticipating individual needs such as power points for appliances and extra storage.
8. Mind the view
Take the opportunity to consider the right location for the toilet if you can help it. It should be positioned out of the line of sight when the door is open and in the most private situation possible so that it’s not the first thing that people see when they enter the room.
9. Function over fashion
The proliferation of renovating blogs and reality TV shows means that ideas for home design and improvement have never been more plentiful. But translating those ideas to your own home won’t necessarily work if you are choosing them primarily for their appearance rather than performance or practicality. Over time, the user-friendliness and functionality of an appliance will become much more important than how it looks so try and think more of the functionality over the trend.
10. Plan for the future
If you are remodelling a bathroom in a home you anticipate staying in for the long term, planning a few elements for older age will serve you well. Think about eliminating steps, slopes, difficult angles and corners when renovating now and you’ll save yourself having to shell out for a redo further down the line.
The full article appears in the September Issue of Handyman Magazine. To subscribe to Handyman, call 1300 138 900 or go to handyman.net.au.