The bathroom remodeling considerations you didn’t think of

Phantom Screens / May 1, 2015

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Every home renovation comes with a list of details to consider, and your bathroom is no exception. Many homeowners make the mistake of glossing over a few very important details and skipping ahead to the building process. Here are some of the more surprising things you’ll want to contemplate before you begin:

Is the space private enough?

A bathroom is a very personal space, so it’s important that you preserve your privacy. Whether you have large picture windows or a small window situated high on the wall, you should consider installing retractable screens. The screens will maintain your view while preventing peering eyes from peeking into the bathroom. You can even opt to get motorized retractable screens, which will give you control over light and privacy at the a touch of a button.

Do you have the right toilet?

Building codes require that your toilet be a certain distance from walls or counters. There must be at least 21 inches of clearance in front of the toilet and 15 inches from the middle of the seat out to the sides. If you plan on adding more counter space inside your bathroom, be sure it doesn’t cause you to break the toilet code.

There’s more than one style of toilet out there, and you should pick a design that saves water. Most of these models feature two buttons, one for solid waste and one for liquid. By flushing with the appropriate button, you’ll only use the amount of water that you need.

While you’re thinking about toilets, consider placing it in a separate room. Your toilet room can be a walled-off area accessible through the sink and shower room, or it can be its own unit. Many homeowners like this option because they don’t have to wait to use the toilet when their spouse is showering or brushing his or her teeth.

How much storage is there?

Makeup, clean towels, hair products, cleaning supplies and bathrobes all need a space inside your bathroom. Many homeowners fail to consider storage when designing their remodel, which is a huge mistake. Avoid pedestal-style sinks and opt for counters that contain drawers and cabinets. Install several towel racks and hooks on the wall as well.

Don’t just add storage, add smart appliances. For example, you may want a towel warmer rather than a traditional rack. These products plug in to an outlet and generate heat through radiation (a process where warmth is transferred off objects). When you get out of the bath or shower, your towel will feel as though it’s just been removed from the dryer.

Can the materials handle moisture?

Wood, porous stone, wallpaper and textiles don’t always hold up well in a bathroom environment. When you take a shower, you produce steam, and this atmospheric change can warp wood. Be smart when choosing the materials in your bathroom remodel by inspecting various products. Items designed for bathrooms were likely made to withstand the changing environment. If you have any doubts, ask your contractor for an opinion.

Do you need a bath?

Most people choose to shower rather than bathe because it’s quick. If you rarely hop in the bathtub, or find you don’t care to lounge in the water, you may want to remove the bath entirely when you remodel. You can install a luxury shower instead. Some models are large and have several shower heads, while others act as part sauna. However, if you do enjoy the occasional dip, hang on to that tub.

Is the lighting adequate?

Because you may use the bathroom as a place to do your hair or makeup in the morning, you should have good lighting. Furthermore, puddles of water can become hazardous if you can’t see them. Be sure your fixtures use high-wattage bulbs and that you get plenty of natural light.