It seems like everywhere there are ideas for do-it-yourselves for every room in your house, but when it comes to remodeling your bathroom, people get a little more cautious. This is for good reason – messing with plumbing when you don’t really know what you are doing can be a recipe for disaster.
In fact, many of the calls that plumbers get are from mistakes people have made during DIY projects gone wrong. While some do-it-yourself projects are fine for amateurs to complete, when it comes to plumbing there are many renovations that are best left to the experts.
Here are some ways your plumber can help you to give your bathroom those much needed renovations without breaking your bank (or any pipes) in the process.
Give Your Bathroom that Spa Appeal with an Open Shower
Most bathrooms come custom-built with enclosed showers, or they have until recently. Doorless, or open, showers have become the latest in luxury bathroom décor.
Done right, these walk-in showers add an aura of sophistication to your bathroom and create an open expanse of area that makes the room seem bigger.
If you are going to add this type of shower, though, be sure you avoid making common errors. Splashing is inevitable, so you need to add a half-wall to protect against the water damage. Your plumber can help you determine the best way to strategically place this wall to limit splashing.
An open shower should have at least a 6-foot area on every side so that the rest of the room is not flooded with water. The half-wall can help in smaller areas by containing much of the moisture.
Location is important for multiple reasons. Placing your open shower in a corner of the room facing away from the other main parts of your bathroom is preferable to both keep your privacy and guard against water sprays.
This corner layout also helps limit the draft from your doorless shower, but regardless of where you place it you are going to feel some chill. You can help offset this by considering the installation of a heated towel rack, a heat lamp or radiant heat bathroom flooring.
Your shower-head is an important part of your open plan as well. You will need a shower-head that has a rain-style output, where water cascades downward, not angled. The right shower-head can also help ensure quick drainage without slipping. Angling your shower floor slightly towards the drain will also help avoid standing water, and your plumber can help you get all of the equipment and angles done so you don’t have problems later.
Distract Attention From the Toilet
A toilet is a necessary function of any bathroom, but it can be an eyesore in an otherwise beautiful space. If you have the room to hide your toilet and keep it discrete, that is always a great option.
Many people do not have the space to do this, however. This is when distracting the eye’s attention from the toilet comes into play.
There are a few ways to do this. You can create a low wall next to the toilet, separating the rest of the room. To make the most of your space, you can even install a magazine rack, towel holder, or shelves on the low wall.
Installing a wall in your bathroom is not too hard, but if you plan to incorporate plumbing into the wall you will want to consult an expert plumber to avoid costly mistakes.
If you are looking for less construction and more design, distract attention from the toilet with feature walls. You can use mosaic tiles to create a design in the shower, add splashes of color and texture, or create lines and shapes with your choice of paint to give your walls that “wow” factor that draws the eye away from the toilet.
For those intrepid home owners who want to showcase their unique style, adding an unusual design or setup to your bathroom can make those who enter it focus on what you’ve chosen to showcase rather than the toilet. Add a floating sink or vanity can be an impressive way to add flair, and the right professional plumber can install these appliances beautifully.
Choose Imaginative Surfaces
Another inexpensive way you can remodel your bathroom is to simply choose new surfaces for what already exists there now.
Your bathroom surfaces serve a dual purpose that most people don’t even think about. Not only are they there to make the room look nice, but they provide a function that ends up taking a lot of abuse over the years through wear and tear and moisture exposure.
Choose your surfaces based not only on aesthetics, but on how well the new material will stand up over time. This applies to your sink, countertops, and walls. When you work with your plumber to determine how you want to renovate your bathroom, he or she will help you choose the surfaces that are best for your needs.
Porcelain is one of the most popular sink choices, but if there is a lot of activity in your bathroom it is not likely going to hold up. There are also enamel-on-steel, stainless steel, and solid-surface sinks, all of which can be integrated with the vanity of your choice.
Countertops are often found in granite and quartz because of their durability and beauty. You can still find laminate and solid surface counters. These options are usually more cost-effective, but not quite as durable.
Renovating your bathroom wall surface is another way you can showcase your personality and be imaginative, but this is more extensive. When you are dealing with plumbing in your walls, it is always smart to call an expert.
If you decide to remodel your wall surfaces, be sure you choose a waterproof option. One of the cheapest ways to go is the single-sheet plastic. You can also choose tile, which can be strategically placed to form patterns and styles. Acrylic walls are common in surround tubs.
Laminate is another waterproof choice that is popular and can be easy to install and long lasting. If you are looking for a more sophisticated look, you may want to try stone. This design choice is becoming more popular with people looking for a relaxing but unique look in their bathrooms.
Take Your Bathroom to the Eco-Friendly Level
Doing your part to help save the environment is always a good choice, and many companies want to help by offering water-efficient toilets, shower-heads, and faucets. These appliances are championed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program.
Products that offer 20% or more efficiency than required by federal standards are given the WaterSense label. These products save the world water and save the user money. Professional plumbers are experts on the different types of appliances available and can guide you in the best ways to outfit your bathroom and still be eco-friendly.
Low-flow shower-heads can still allow for an enjoyable shower and only emit 2.5 gallons per minute. WaterSense toilets only use 1.28 gallons per flush. These savings combined can end up netting the average family of four over $100 per year in costs on their water bill, and over 16,000 gallons of water annually.
Of course, giving your bathroom an eco-friendly overhaul can be a little bit above the average do-it-yourselfers skill set. If you are simply replacing your old shower-head with a new WaterSense labeled one, you can handle it yourself.
But whether you are from Long Beach, California, or across the country in New York, installing a new toilet or sink is a job recommended for the professional plumbers.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling Your Bathroom
All of these renovations are exciting and can make you want to jump in right now and start planning your next DIY project, but it’s important to take a few minutes to think each step through. Learn from the mistakes other people make so you don’t make those same costly errors.
It’s important not to rush your project, from the beginning planning stages to the implementation. If you do it right the first time, you will save money, time and stress. The best way to get it right is to plan it carefully. Call a professional plumber when you decide to start planning your renovations. They will be able to help you every step of the way.
Don’t be stubborn. Ask for help if you need it, too. This may add to the overall expense of your new bathroom, but paying an expert to do something you are not skilled in can save you on calling them in later anyway when you realize it’s above your ability level.
Shop smart, but don’t be cheap. Choose your materials carefully. Listen to your plumber’s advice. Spending that little extra on items that have lifetime warranties can save you money in the long run. Durability matters, especially in the areas that are exposed to the most damage and moisture.
Things like light fixtures, sink faucets, and tiles are key items in your bathroom that you should not skimp on in your purchases.
Remodeling in Your Budget is Possible
Whether you want to create an exotic space in your bathroom by installing an open shower or simply draw attention away from your toilet with some extra art and style on your walls, it is possible to remodel your bathroom within your budget.
Remember to avoid the common mistakes that send many people to the phone to call in an emergency plumber. Ask for help from the experts when you are dealing with renovations that are above your skillset to keep you from having the added expenses of repairs, and be sure to choose options that showcase your unique style and flair.
You are in your bathroom every day, many times a day. Why should it be boring?
Want more information? Contact us to see what we can do for you!