A Bath to Fit Any Budget
By: Danny Lipford
Bathroom renovation is one of the most popular projects with homeowners, but not everyone has the same needs or budget. Renovating your bathroom can be as simple and inexpensive as a fresh coat of paint and new hardware, or as complicated and costly as knocking out walls and replacing fixtures.
Types of Bathroom Renovation
There are three basic types of bathroom renovation:
- Cosmetic Upgrade: New paint, wallpaper, hardware, faucets, or mirrors. Cost: inexpensive to moderate.
- Renovation: Gut existing bathroom and replace fixtures, cabinets, countertops, and flooring. Cost: moderate to expensive.
- Expansion: Renovate existing bathroom while adding additional space by taking in an adjoining room or closet. Cost: expensive to very expensive.
Small Bathroom Renovation
The walls and fixtures in this small bath were removed so remodeling work could start from scratch. After new drywall had been installed, the walls were covered with ¼” bead board paneling and painted white to brighten up the room.
The floor was covered with diagonally laid tile and a mirror installed along one wall. Working with large mirrors is best left to the pros, since they are heavy and can be dangerous if broken.
Larger Bathroom Renovation
As this all pink bath illustrates, styles come and go.
While it’s fine to make a bold statement or try out the latest trend when remodeling your bathroom, it’s a good idea to choose white fixtures and countertops since they never go out of style. That way if tastes change or you decide to sell your home, it’s less costly to update.
The size of master baths has grown in recent years. While it’s easy to incorporate a spacious bath into the layout of a new house, older homes often require the removal or rearrangement of interior walls, which can be both difficult and expensive.
Bathroom Amenities and Considerations
With the growing popularity of showers today, many homeowners choose not to include a traditional tub in the master bath, opting for a walk-in shower instead. The creation of a custom tiled shower starts with a flexible waterproof membrane on the floor which is extended several inches up the walls to prevent leaking.
The walls are then covered with cement backer board followed by a thick bed of mortar on the floor to allow water to flow to the drain. Tile is then applied to the walls and floor.
The joints are grouted and the excess sponged off.
For the look and feel of stone on a limited budget, consider cultured marble. Composed of marble dust and polyester resin, the mixture is poured into a waxed form and allowed to harden. Cultured marble can be molded into panels for showers and walls, as well as more complex shapes like countertops and sinks. Trim molding is also available to give edges and corners a finished look. While durable, cultured marble can chip and develop burn marks from hot curling irons.
Since they eliminate the floor space needed for the swing of a traditional door, pocket doors are an effective way to save space in a small bath.
When installing a new vanity, consider raising the height of the sink to 36”. This is a much more comfortable height for most people than lower sinks and allows more room in the vanity for storage.
Since bathrooms often also serve as dressing rooms, a window seat along one wall can be a great addition. Not only does it provide a place for clothes and to sit while dressing, but it contains additional storage space inside as well.
Toilet Top Cabinet
A 10” to 12” deep cabinet mounted above the toilet is another good way to increase storage in a bathroom.
Other Tips From This Episode
When caulking around a tub, start by lining both sides of the joint with masking tape. After applying a bead of caulk, run the rounded edge of an expired plastic gift card along the joint to wipe off any excess caulking. Carefully remove the tape before the caulking hardens.
If you’re tired of watching water go down the drain while waiting for it to heat up, the Watts Instant Hot Water Recirculating System may be just what you need. The pump attaches to the hot water line at the water heater to circulate hot water throughout the home. A programmable timer can be set to turn the pump on only during the hours when hot water is typically used. The kit comes with everything you need and can be installed in under two hours. The Watts Recirculating Pump is available from The Home Depot for around $200.00.
Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Low-Flow Faucet Aerator
One way to save water is to install low-flow aerators on kitchen and bathroom faucets. They can be installed in minutes by screwing them into the end of faucets. While most aerators limit water to three gallons per minute, low-flow models are available for around $5 that can reduce the flow to as little as one GPM. This can reduce faucet water usage by almost 60%. Aerators can save energy as well, since they use less hot water.
Power tools used on Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford® are provided by Ryobi.