A bathroom remodel can be a large and expensive undertaking, but understanding all the components is helpful. Here is a breakdown of all the considerations for a bathroom renovation.
In March 2018 the toilet in the kids’ bathroom overflowed all night long while we slept; resulting in almost 1,000 gallons of water running throughout our home. Needless to say this bathroom had to be totally demolished and built back from the ground up as well as our kitchen and other areas of our home. We learned a lot during this time of home repairs and remodeling and while I would not want to go through the man-made (or rather child-made) home flood process again; it was a blessing in disguise.
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This hallway bathroom, as well as all the other baths in our home, were original from 1996. They all needed updating and this space was no difference. The tile on the floor was cracked and coming up, the cabinet was peeling and the tile in the shower was laid unevenly.
This hall bath serves as the space for our two kids so we set out for form and function not high-end luxury. Although to me this is a much nicer bathroom than I had as a kid and my nine-year old self would have found this to be a luxury bathroom.
How Much Does It Cost for a Bathroom Remodel?
The cost…always is the first question and rightfully so. Money doesn’t grow on most people’s tree so we have to budget and spend wisely. A bathroom remodel is not quite as costly as a kitchen remodel, but it does have a higher price tag than other home projects.
On average, bathroom remodels cost about $10,000. The most budget-friendly remodel can be done for $2,500, while high-end projects can be upwards of $30,000. The cost will vary depending on the scope.Forbes.com
If you are not doing a full renovation your cost could be much less, especially if you can do most or all of the work yourself. Replacing a bathroom vanity cabinet, repainting the walls and changing out a toilet would be minimal cost. A full bathroom remodel is a total gut job and runs higher in price.
Items to Consider for a Complete Bathroom Remodel
If you are doing a complete bathroom remodel there are a lot of elements that go into a full on bathroom renovation such as tile, moving walls or plumbing, bathroom cabinets, toilet and so on.
For our full bathroom renovation these were the items we had to consider:
We did not move any walls or plumbing and stuck to the same layout of the previous bathroom which helped a lot with the overall cost.
DIY Bathroom Remodel or Hire a Professional?
I would say only you can answer this question. You may have the time and the skill to completely renovate a bathroom or you may have some of the skill and need to hire someone to complete certain tasks.
We acted as our own General Contractor for every element of our home repairs and remodel. This saved us a TON of money in the long run. It is a lot more stressful, time consuming and can be confusion if you are struggling with overall design or placement of items.
If you can’t fully DIY your bathroom remodel do the things you can do. For me it was acting as our own GC and hiring out professionals I found to do the work. Perhaps you just need someone to install tile but you can install the toilet, cabinet, lighting and paint the walls.
Let’s get down to all the items to consider in a bathroom remodel.
Whatever bathroom in your home you are remodeling; functionality should be at the top of the list. More than what color you paint the walls, your tile selection, to picking the faucets what you select needs to be functional for those using the space. Since this is our kids’ shared bath we opted for nice quality selections; not luxury.
Select elements that are classic, quality and stand the test of time.
Good design should be functional as well as timeless.
Think long term…for example; our kids don’t take baths anymore and we considered just adding a shower, but we would likely sell this home and another family would move in and have a need for a tub if they have younger children. While I don’t think you should necessarily remodel a space for “who will move in next” it’s good to make wise decisions for potential resale.
Design Considerations for Your Bathroom Remodel
It’s obvious that the bathroom is a wet room and when selecting bathroom flooring take this into consideration. Also consider bathroom flooring that is durable. There are many different flooring options for bathrooms that range in a variety of price points. Some are easy to install yourself, but whatever you select ensure that is is safe to step on when getting out of the bath.
Perhaps you need a tub/shower combo or just a shower. When considering a bathtub or a shower-only option, ask yourself how many baths you take a year and if just adding a shower is sufficient. Consider the bathroom location in the house and who will be using this space and make your decision from there.
The drawers and cabinets on a bathroom vanity will be used daily, so quality materials and are essential to maximize the lifespan of the cabinet. Since adequate storage in the bathroom is also essential; consider installing a vanity with drawer storage rather than all cabinet doors. Drawers are easier to access and easier to organize. This cabinet came with sinks, marble countertop and mirror and it’s been a great choice for this bath. Our children have 3 drawers and one cabinet each. It keeps the bathroom space tidy (as long as my daughter remembers to put her belongings away).
Granite is a great option for a bathroom cabinet due to its low-maintenance countertop feature and it really dresses up the bathroom. Granite is easy to clean and less expensive than marble or quartz. Our Bathroom vanity came with the marble countertop already or I would have opted for granite if I had to purchase a separate piece.
Once again our cabinet came with the sink as well as the countertop, but when considering a bathroom sink use something that is durable and will last.
We did not move any plumbing or walls for the remodel; however, you still need to take into consideration the plumbing when installing a new bathroom vanity. Depending on what style of cabinetry you choose could affect your plumbing. Before you drop down all the cash for a bathroom vanity cabinet ensure to plan around your existing plumbing or budget for plumbing reconfiguration. It may or may not be necessary but think ahead on this one. A bathroom remodel can quickly be derailed by pipes that protrude too far into a bathroom cabinet.
This is rather a no-brainer, but buy a nice mid to high-range toilet. You want what you install to last and work efficiently. Our entire house flooded due to a faulty toilet so invest in a good bathroom toilet and consider the best placement if reconfiguring your bathroom layout.
Depending on the size of the space; consider recessed light fixtures. We included one in the shower and purchased two individual light fixtures for above the mirror. The window adds great natural light during the day. The space is well lit and bright!
Storage in any space is always essential and a necessity. We have a linen closet in the bathroom and it offers more than enough storage. If you don not have a linen closet consider the bathroom cabinet you purchase that it has maxed out storage options or if you have room consider purchasing a free-standing bathroom linen closet cabinet.
Bathroom Finishes and Fixtures
Remember functionality? Once again, while selecting all the elements for the bathroom we had functionality on our minds. That is why we selected subway tile for the shower and the hexagon floor tiles with light gray grout. It feels updated and timeless at the same time! Matching Brushed Nickel fixtures were added to complete the overall design.
When painting a bathroom it is best to use a paint that is not a flat finish. A bathroom holds a lot of moisture and painting the bathroom walls a Satin or even Semi-Gloss is best. It comes down to what level of shine you want, who will be using the bathroom and how much you will need to wipe down the walls. Selecting the right paint finish for this space is a good idea.
Consider Decor for Your Bathroom Remodel
Now that all the technical items are out of the way we can focus on all the pretty decor touches. We painted the walls Sherwin Williams Passive Gray to play off the white tile giving the space a clean slate to add some soft turkish striped towels. Little elements of decor are nice too, but I kept it minimal in this space. A small basket tray keeps the soap and striped hand towel tidy while also adding texture. A little real or faux plant or topiary adds color and the sense of life in the space.
Final Thoughts on a Complete Bathroom Remodel
While it was stressful having our home flood it did end up being a blessing in disguise. We had never remodeled a bathroom before so this was the first for us. We learned a lot and feel we have more knowledge to tackle other projects whether they be DIY or hiring out help.
Since this bathroom remodel we have remodeled our guest bathroom, added wood floors to the master bedroom, remodeled a kitchen and sanded and stained our wood floors. By no means experts in the world of home remodeling but I feel confident we can tackle other large home projects and serve as our own contractor too.