Renovating your bathroom can be very challenging.
There is much to think about and plan out before you think about getting the hammer out, its going to be a large investment therefore you do need to get it right from the planning stages. So are you planning to do all the work yourself ? what skills do you have? are you getting a designer in or buying off the shelf at your local DIY store ?
Have you got another toilet in the property you can use while the work is taking place ? this is one of my first questions I ask because if the answer in no then you have to keep a working toilet going,(i don’t think a port-a loo in the garden is going to cut it) please don’t let any of this put you off, you do need think about it.
keeping the layout as it was before is normally the cheapest and easiest option because all the services are in the right place.
Questions To Ask Yourself
1. Plan it out
4. Hot water
Plan It Out
This is the most important bit, remember to be realistic you have a certain amount of space to work with, draw it out so you can get into your head what your ideas are, don’t rush this stage, you can measure the room and pop down to your local DIY store they may have an in house designer that will plan it out for you for free and give you some ideas and price all the materials up for you, your local independent bathroom fitter will be able to do the same thing but they will come to your property and price up the whole job.
What i mean by upgrades is (pipe work, hot water supply, your boiler, your floor, heating that sort of thing, again if your unsure then a local fitter is your best bet. talking about your local fitter always ask about, your friends, neighbours to see if they have used a local person or have any recommendations, you may even ask if you can look at any work they have done locally to give you an idea of there work quality and experience.
So how are you going to heat your new bathroom ? there are a few options to think about firstly how is it heated now and are you happy with it, is it warm enough.
A quick note on towel warmers, they look great and do a good job of warming your towels but you need to remember when the towel warmer if full of towels theres no heat warming up your bathroom, i cant remember the amount of times i have been called back for that problem and it doesn’t matter how many time i mention it, my advice is what ever size (height) you think your going to need double it, yes double it, then half will warm your towels and the other half warms the space and if you’ve got the room the best option in my opinion is fit a radiator as well. This brings me onto underfloor heating either by electric or off your current wet hearting system, its a great system but probably a more costly investment, the electric system is easier to fit especially if you thinking of ceramic tiles on the floor
but in my experience can be a tad more expensive to run, also with underfloor your towel warmer will be good to just warm your towels as designed. your cheapest option is to keep the heating you have.
If your hot water supply is adequate now the chances are it will ok with your new bathroom, the only time you may have to upgrade is if you decide to change your shower or fit a shower extra to what you have now, so without getting to technical there a few different types of showers (i have covered this in another blog) briefly if you have an electric show at present and you want to upgrade to a power shower, well you first need to look at what heats you water now, if you still have an older gravity fed hot water system then you will need to add on a shower pump, if you have an unvented hot water cylinder you good to go the same as if you have a combination boiler (combi) as this also delivers mains pressure hot water. you will have to move the pipe work about what ever you go with. the other side of the coin if you want to get rid of your power shower or you just fancy going down the electric shower route then your going to need an electrical feed and thats a job for an electrician.
The cost of your renovation can run away with you if your not careful, remember the local fitters ? get some prices from 3 of them, there are a few ways you can price the job and i have worked in all situations, firstly you can get the price for the whole job labour and all the materials start to finish, (i’ve had customers go on holiday and leave me to it) or you can get a price (quote) on labour only this option puts you on control of buying all the materials, don’t worry too much about this the fitter you decide to go with will give you a shopping list.
Most fitters don’t get the time to go shopping about for the best price on materials so putting you in control of the buying gives you the opportunity to shop about and save some cash. One point to remember when getting prices (quotes) never never never get an estimate i’m sorry but this can lead to all sorts of arguments and 99 percent of the time you will end up paying more, get a fixed price, if the fitter will only give you an estimate then walk away an experienced fitter should be able to fix price the job and see any problems form the start. i’m on a rant now, the fitter you decide to go with ask this question “are you going to stay on my job from the start to the finish or have you got 30 other jobs running at the same time” sorry for the sarcasm but i’ve know fitters start a job on the Monday and you don’t see them for two days, this is not acceptable, get a start date and a finish date.
Lighting can make or break a bathroom, and this need to be thought about from the start don’t leave it till the last day as cables may need to be run, LED spot light are probably the most popular, they give out great natural light and you can add as many as you want to give you the best brightness, going down the LED route will also give you the cheapest running costs. There are regulations that you have to follow.
Zone 0 IP67 immersion proof
Zone 1 Above the bath or shower height of 2.25m from the floor. IP65 is the way to go
Zone 2 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. IP44 is required. Within a 60cm radius of any tap
IP = Ingress Protection
The above is a guide only. Remember you should always get expert advise before installing any lighting in a bathroom
Building regulations here in the UK require bathroom extraction but to be honest you would want it anyhow to remove any steam and smells, these are relatively easy to fit and its my recommendation to get advise by a qualified electrician as the electric extraction needs to be wired into your lighting so as you turn the bathroom light on the extractor fan automatically turns on and will stay on for a few minutes after you turn the light off, places of installation include ceiling mounted ducted to the outside or hole through the outside wall direct to the out side.
Large choice on this subject, cushion flooring, Ceramic Tiles, Carpet, Wooden Floor, Welded Floor, Laminate Floor and the list goes on, ok the easiest is going to be sand down your existing floor boards (if you have them) and thats it, next i would say cushion floor, normally a 6mm wooden ply is laid first to get a nice flat floor and the cushion floor laid on top, the sky is the limit with cost, solid oak is going to cost you but looks fantastic having said that a good quality cushion floor with oak effect can also look amazing. Bathrooms tend to be a small area to floor you can measure it your self for example if the floor measures 5 metres X 5 metres that would give you 25 square metres take this figure to the flooring stores and they will price this for you don’t forget to ask for fitting unless you decide to lay it your self.
So you fancy having a go your self, good for you, give your self a realistic time to complete the job, if you have estimated it will take you a week then add on 3 or 4 days extra and don’t put yourself under pressure, over the years i have helped with DIY installations for example i have isolated the water to the bathroom gone away and come back 2 weeks later to reconnect, this type of work is not uncommon remember you can do as much as you want just let your fitter know what your going to do and explain you reasons, it may be to save some cash or you just like to get involved.