Whether you have a simple powder room or a master en suite, functionality should be at the heart of your bathroom remodel. Read on to learn tricks for gaining storage, improving lighting and drainage, and more to ensure that your renovated bathroom stands the test of time.
Plumbing. Residential plumbing typically uses 1½-inch pipes for drains. You’d be surprised how much gunk and hair goes down that drain. The larger the drain, the less likely it is to clog. The cost difference to upgrade to a 2-inch drain is practically negligible, and unless your framing doesn’t allow for it, you should consider increasing the drain in your shower to 2 inches. Also, If you live in a region where temperatures drop below freezing during the winter, it’s important that your water supply lines don’t get routed through an exterior wall.
Consider recessed light fixtures throughout your ceiling to brighten up the room. Include one (or two) in your shower with the proper shower trim. Install a dimmer switch so you can adjust the mood in your bathroom. You’ll want to consider how you’ll be using the mirror in your bathroom and whether you want aesthetic or functional lighting. Whether you’ll be applying make-up or shaving, bright light fixtures properly placed go a long way to help you see what you’re doing close up.
Medicine cabinets. Do you have the space to recess your medicine cabinet? Oftentimes this is a great way to save a few inches of space over a shallow vanity, and the additional framing typically isn’t going to break the budget. If that’s not an option, ensure that you have enough room at your vanity to have your medicine cabinet protrude by 4 to 5 inches.
They have become popular for a great place to set shampoo and body was bottles. Like the windowsill, what’s important here is that it is sloped properly into the shower. Try to choose a material that is solid, like stone or quartz. If you tile your shower curb, water can sit on the grout lines and eventually seep through to the framing.
Shower floors. Larger tiles are typically more difficult to slope properly, and unless they’re textured, they’ll be slipperier because the grout lines are further apart. Smaller tiles, whether textured or not, offer more traction and are typically the norm for shower floors — though the options are nearly limitless.
Shower bases. Gone are the days of boring beige prefabricated shower bases. More and more, I’ve been using shower systems that have modern, clean bases made out of acrylic or porcelain. Don’t overlook other options for your shower floor.
All You Need to Know About Walk-in Showers
Converting an old bathtub to a walk-in shower—be it a prefab unit or custom job—is high on many a homeowner’s remodeling wish list. A walk-in shower can create the illusion of more space and give the bathroom a clean-lined look. And for folks that prefer a quick shower to long soak, this conversion is sure to suit your active lifestyle.
Tub to Shower Conversion
If you live in an older house that hasn't yet been updated or need to convert a standard bath, you're likely facing a 5x8-foot space with a toilet, a small vanity, and a tub, which doesn't leave room to add a shower to the existing plan without blowing out some walls or reconfiguring the existing tub.
To convert your tub, consider these two options to make the best decision.
Tear out the tub and build a new shower.
This is not a small job, so call a professional contractor to help you assess the space and potential solutions. In the footprint where the tub stands, you will have plenty of room to build a shower, but you'll want a tile or solid surface curb to keep the water from spilling out into the bathroom.
A top selling point for walk-in showers is their space-saving benefits. Even if the stall has the same footprint as a tub-shower combo, removing the tub creates more standing space inside. The walk-in shower also creates the illusion of more space in a small bathroom, particularly when it has glass doors.
Another popular reason for considering a walk-in shower is easy accessibility. There's no need to lift your leg over a tub ledge to enter, a design that reduces slip-and-fall accidents and is ideal for people of all ages.
Walk-in showers are generally more expensive than shower-tub combination units, though prefabricated models can be quite affordable. The look of prefab walk-in showers has come a long way in recent years. Styles and sizes are still limited and don't offer the same degree of personalization as a custom enclosure, but you can find units that include shelving and seating.