If you are a family of 4 with small children, your plans will obviously not be the same as a couple of empty nesters. It is important to think of both your present and future needs when considering bathroom remodel ideas. Consider functionality and your lifestyle as this will help you decide things like whether to keep a tub or expand the shower. If you are a Baby Boomer couple, for example, and plan staying in your home, consider making the bathroom as safe and as accessible as possible now, so you won’t have to remodel again if you become less mobile. If there will be small children around for some years, you can add a built in step so they can reach the basin.
2. THE MAGIC TRIANGLE
The magic work triangle is essential in the kitchen and is also worth thinking about in your bathroom remodle. Walk through your regular routine to assess where you would like things located so they are to hand when you need them.
Take care of the basics before jumping to choosing tiles and faucets. Make sure your drains are large enough and consider upgrading from 11/2 inch pipes to 2 inch pipes. This will better accommodate all the gunk and hair that will inevitably go down the drain. And remember, you shower drain doesn’t have to be that little circle in the center. There are different drain styles, corner drains and rectangular boxes that drain along one side.
Make sure you have plenty of outlets for all the appliances you use such as hairdryers, curling irons, electric razors and toothbrushes. Also make sure you never get a shocking surprise by installing outlets with GFCIs – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. These are inexpensive but potentially life saving devices that shut off an electrical power circuit when they detect that the current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person, instead of just through an appliance. Definitely worth the money!
5. DRAWERS NOT DOORS
I like drawers as I find it easier to see what is in them. I am always hunting for stuff at the back of cabinets with doors. You can have drawers of different sizes and depths. You can add separators to help organize your smaller items. Consider adding a toe kick drawer at the bottom of your bathroom cabinet to maximize storage.
6. PUT A SOCKET IN YOUR VANITY
I recently went to stay with a friend who had put an electrical socket inside her vanity so her hairdryer always stayed plugged in. It keeps it neat and out of sight. Just makes sure that this confirms to code in your area before going ahead.
7. PUTTING A SEAT IN THE SHOWER
I’d never really thought about a seat in the shower until I tried it. Now I realize what a good idea it is. Showering is more relaxing sitting down and perfect for older people and children. If you are considering replacing your shower as part of your bathroom remodel, consider a seat or shelf with an overhead shower and a handheld one.
Lighting is important in every room but is often neglected in the bathroom. Adding dimmers is one of the best bathroom remodel ideas. You won’t have to start your day in harsh bright light and can feel more relaxed in the evening. Adequate lighting is important next to the main mirror and cross illumination is best for applying makeup with side lights mounted at eye level. If your bathroom is dark, consider adding a skylight. Think of adding lights inside closets.
9. HEAT UP THE FLOOR
There is no better place to put heated floors than in a bathroom. So comforting on a chilly morning. Even in Southern California where the weather is so temperate, floor tiles get cold in winter. Warm floors will certainly make you want to linger longer in your new bathroom remodel.
10. CHOOSE THE RIGHT VANITY
Don’t just go with looks. Think carefully about the function and make sure you have enough storage. Take as much time as you would choosing kitchen cabinets.
And if you are not sure whether to keep the tub or expand the shower, read RUBBA-DUB-DUB, DOES EVERY BATHROOM NEED A TUB?