Bathroom Tips – Modern Bathroom Blog | Modern Bathroom

From design ideas to cleaning best practices, the Modern Bathroom Blog provides tips and tricks for creating or maintaining a beautiful bathroom.

Setting Ground Rules for a Bathroom Remodel

Starting a bathroom remodel can seem like a daunting project. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to make some costly mistakes. As such, it’s important to know the necessary demolition and renovation steps so that you can build a new and improved bathroom With these basic tips, you can begin your remodeling project with the confidence that you’re taking the proper steps in order to complete the process.

Strip It Down

Before beginning your bathroom remodel, you’ll need to clear out your current bathroom. This will require some demolition and removal of large appliances on your part. For example, you’ll need to remove the bathroom vanity, which will require you to turn off the water supply, disconnect any drain pipes, and cut the seal of the caulk holding the vanity to the wall so that you can remove it piece by piece. Removing a vanity can seem like a project in itself, and it’s one of the more important parts of any bathroom remodel. You’ll also need to remove the toilet, which you can do by hitting the base of the tank and the bottom of the toilet with a hammer just hard enough so that you crack the porcelain around the bolts. Once you’ve created some separation, you can haul the toilet out along with the wax ring and you’re all set. You’re also going to need to remove the shower pipe, any remaining insulation, and the tile before you can begin making any additions.

Know Your Home

Once you’ve stripped your bathroom, you can begin to apply your vision of your new and improved bathroom layout. However, make sure to keep it realistic for your home and its function. For example, you’ll want to address questions such as whether or not you’ll need no-slip floors or child-friendly features. If you’re renovating the master bath and you’d like separate sinks and mirrors for you and your spouse, then you’ll need to work this into your floorplan. Make sure you have enough room if you’re going to add a large tub or vanity. It’s important to focus on the parts that you have room for and that you’ll get the most use out of. Make sure to come up with a remodel plan that allows for some walk-around space that will still provide you with everything you need on a daily basis, as your bathroom will surely need to accommodate you comfortably every day.

Know When to Bring in the Professionals

While we’d all like to consider ourselves DIY experts, there are certain jobs that are better left to the professionals. If you don’t feel completely comfortable removing the vanity, then perhaps you should look for some extra assistance, as this is not a task you’ll want to take lightly. The same holds true for installing a new toiler or bathtub. If you’re not experienced or confident in setting these items firmly in their place, then you may want to hire an expert. It’s good to do as much as you can on your own, and nobody wants to spend extra, but there are certain parts of a bathroom remodel that are just better when done by the experts. So, if you’re uncertain on how to install an appliance or secure a certain fixture in your bathroom, then it might be best to do some research on local, experienced professionals.

A bathroom remodel can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Hopefully these tips have been helpful in giving you some perspective on the work that lies ahead. Keep these steps in mind and you’ll be on your way to completing a bathroom remodel.

How to Find the Perfect Plumber

Finding the right plumber might not seem like a top priority, but it’s something you’ll be glad to have in case of an emergency. Although it’s common to neglect this necessity until it’s too late, finding a plumber ahead of time will give you plenty of time to conduct proper research and find the plumber that’s right for you. It’s important to have a trustworthy plumber who can solve any problems with your toilet, shower, or sinks, whenever you need him or her to do so, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you’re receiving top-of-the-line assistance without being overcharged. These are a few basic guidelines you can follow when searching for a plumber, so that if a problem does arise, you can count on a professional to deliver the best possible service.

Reputation

These days, you can find online reviews for almost anything. This holds true for plumbing services, so if you’re searching online for a plumber, it’s wise to look into the reviews people have written about them. As with anything, you’ll want to look for services that have a decent amount of detailed reviews that are mostly positive. Of course there will be the occasional negative review, but look into the nature of that review and evaluate the severity of the complaint. Also, in the case of a negative review, look into how that plumbing service responded to the complaint. A company that responds to a negative review with an apology is demonstrating that they value their reputation, and a company that feels this way will be less likely to send out a careless plumber.

References

If you’re unconvinced by a plumbing company’s advertising or online presentation, then you can ask around to see if any neighbors or friends have used this same plumbing service. If the area in which you live offers an online forum intended to keep neighbors in the loop, ask if anyone knows of a dependable plumber. This way, you’re not taking a shot in the dark at finding someone you can count on. Similar to the “reputation” section, you can also look into some online postings about certain plumbing services and see if anyone has had a similar job done by them. This will provide you with some background on a plumber before hiring them. Word of mouth can be a very effective means of confirming the reliability of this type of service, so look for people who can attest to the quality of service delivered by a plumber before hiring one.

Trustworthy

Finally, you should check to see that the work the plumber does is guaranteed. This implies that if something should happen, the job you paid for will be finished. For example, if the original plumber is unable to finish the job, a guarantee will ensure that they will send somebody else to complete the task. This can also mean that they’ll guarantee an effective job, so that you don’t pay for a plumbing service without actually getting a solution. In many cases, a plumbing company or an individual plumber will belong to a larger organization that implements a code of service and can ensure quality service. Also, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t overpaying. In order to avoid this, do some research to see how much the job you’re requesting ordinarily costs. Then, when you go to get a quote, see if the price matches or comes close. A trustworthy plumber won’t try to make a profit by charging you thousands for what should have been an inexpensive job. When you find a plumber you can rely on, both for quality service and reasonable pricing, you have found your go-to plumber.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful in guiding you in the direction of the perfect plumber. While you may not have the opportunity to do extensive research before hiring a plumber, ideally you’ll have a little time to look into some of these details in the case of a plumbing emergency. However, it’s best to not wait until you’re in a panic, so if you have some spare time, get to searching and track down a dependable professional today!

The Risks of DIY Bathroom Renovations

While a DIY bathroom renovation is a cost-effective way to drastically improve the look of an outdated room and increase the overall value of your home, sometimes it’s worth spending the extra cash on a contractor who knows exactly what they’re doing. In the end, poor materials and shoddy construction processes can cost you more money to repair than you would have spent on hiring a professional the first time around. From improper installation to failing to budget properly, here are the top risks of a DIY bathroom renovation.

Poor Materials

One of the most common DIY mistakes is selecting poor-quality materials in an effort to save money. While a professional contractor can determine the quality of a product just by looking at it, it’s much harder for novice DIYers to evaluate the value of products or materials. Purchasing cheaper materials isn’t always the best way to go, as wear will show more quickly and they could even be hazardous, depending on who installed them. Not only will a contractor give you the expertise you need to choose the best products for the job, but they’ll ensure that everything in your bathroom is constructed to be safe and withstand the test of time.

No Fallback Option

If you work with a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor, you’re guaranteed a cushion in case some sort of catastrophe occurs. If a pipe breaks or any other damage occurs, the insurance of your contractor will likely cover all damages. On the contrary, if you’re doing the work yourself and damage occurs, many homeowners’ insurance companies won’t cover operator error. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, if you’re not willing to risk shelling out cash for the materials and any potential damages your bathroom will incur as a result of your limited knowledge, you should consider hiring a professional, licensed contractor to take over the job.

Design Limitations

If you’re choosing to handle a bathroom renovation on your own, you’ll be limited to the current layout of the toilet, sink, and tub. Some DIY jobs, such as replacing a toilet or installing a new vanity, are relatively easy for those with little experience to complete. Unfortunately, half the fun of a bathroom remodel is changing the layout and general look and feel of the room. Unless you have a contractor’s license and understand the intricacies of disrupting the plumbing and electrical lines, you should hire a contractor to take care of the details.

Budgeting Improperly

Like many home improvement projects, there’s a tendency for unforeseen expenses to pop up. Many DIYers will find that their pipes need updating only after they’ve ripped open the floor and, in most cases, such a circumstance hasn’t even crossed their mind. Since contractors have been remodeling bathrooms for years or, in some cases, even decades, they’ll likely budget for the most common problems they’ve come across while working as a contractor. All of the risks associated with a DIY project can ultimately increase the cost of a project so, depending on the magnitude of the project, hiring a contractor may be a good idea.

Improper Installation

Plumbing installation can be tricky since every component must be watertight. If a fixture isn’t watertight, it can cause water damage, mold, and mildew. While installing a new sink faucet may not be difficult, installing a new bathtub or shower takes a certain amount of skill. If improperly installed, not only can these fixtures drain your finances, but they can pose a danger to your family. If you’re not sure how to properly install a faucet or showerhead, you may want to think twice about installing something as large and dangerous as a bathtub.

Five Budgeting Tips for Your Bathroom Remodel

So, you want to remodel your bathroom but don’t want to break the bank? Join the club. Although the cost of a bathroom remodel varies depending on location, materials, age of the house, and what kind of renovations have already been done, a typical bathroom remodel can set homeowners back by an average of $15,000+. With that type of investment, it’s important to stick to a budget the best you can. Here are some budgeting tips to help you minimize the costs associated with a bathroom renovation.

Purchase Items Yourself

When it comes to bathroom fixtures, like bathtubs and vanities, you can save some cash by purchasing these items on your own. While it might be easier to hire someone to purchase these items for you, you can save thousands of dollars on your bathroom renovation by finding your own deals. Online retailers are a great place to start – in many cases, purchasing directly from the factory can save you up to 70 percent and includes free shipping. If you’re going for a vintage look, try estate sales, auctions, and Craigslist – you never know what treasure you’ll be able to find until you take the time to look.

Ditch the Professional Painter

Whether you’re a DIYer or not, performing some of the work yourself is a great way to save on labor. When it comes to painting, it’s a time-consuming (and expensive!) act that most people can do themselves. Once you’re in DIY mode, think about what other parts of the renovation you can do on your own: demolition, removal of popcorn ceiling, and installation of smaller fixtures often top the list of bathroom renovation projects that are suitable for even the least-experienced individuals.

Don’t Relocate Fixtures

One of the major costs in a remodel is moving fixtures. Not only does repositioning fixtures require a lot of extra materials and plumbing expertise, but it’s a time-consuming act and you’ll be shelling out extra on labor costs as a result. If you keep the same floor plan, you’ll save up to $2,000 on plumbing costs alone. Then, there’s the cost of the fixtures themselves: if that exquisite glass vessel sink is a must-have, then pick a standard no-frills toilet or tub to make up the difference. While it’s certainly acceptable to splurge, don’t splurge on everything- especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget.

Donate Your Trash

While this won’t save you money right off the bat, donating your “trash” will give you a little bit extra come tax season. Before you begin a remodeling job, invite the local Habitat for Humanity chapter to remove materials and fixtures for later resale. About 85 percent of a home is reusable, so you’ll save space in the landfill, collect a charitable tax credit for the donation, and help a good cause. The average cost of trashing bathroom fixtures is about $100, and the cost to donate is nothing and includes a tax deduction – so why wouldn’t you donate?

Make Decisions Early

Start walking the aisles at the hardware store or home improvement center months before you call a contractor for an estimate. This way, you’ll get a good feeling for what you want in terms of fixtures, design, and appliances. Additionally, you’ll know their cost and have an idea of what number the contractor will throw your way. If the number seems too high or low, let the contractor know. If you’re absolutely clear about what you want from the get-go, your contractor will be able to give you a better estimate and, once the demolition and remodel gets started, you’ll be able to better stay within budget.

Avoid These Mistakes During Your Bathroom Renovation

When it comes to home improvement projects, transforming an old bathroom from an eyesore into the bathroom of your dreams can add significant value to your home – but only if done correctly. From the tub and shower to the sink and vanity, there’s a lot to think about during a bathroom renovation. Save yourself time, money, and headaches by avoiding these easily preventable renovation mistakes.

Budget Wisely

According to Remodeling Magazine, the average cost of a bathroom remodel is $16,634. Although this is the average, you’d be wise to budget more, especially if you’re remodeling in an older home. The bathroom is unique in that there’s hidden problem areas which you won’t find out about until you start ripping the room apart. Dealing with mold, water damage, dry rot, and plumbing issues can take a serious chunk out of your remolding budget. If you’re not prepared with emergency funds to address these issues, you may have to temporarily put your bathroom remodeling project on hold.

Get Help, If Needed

While it’s fun to take on a new DIY project, perhaps taking on a bathroom renovation isn’t the best idea. Although the bathroom is relatively small, all the skills needed to build a house come together in the bathroom – electrical, plumbing, construction, flooring, and wall covering or painting. If you don’t have the experience, tools, and skills required to take on a bathroom renovation project, hire a contractor or handyman to help you through the process. Before beginning a bathroom remodel, make sure you understand all the different elements you’ll need to know and decide who you need to hire from there.

Avoid Being Too Trendy

If you’ve ever shopped for a new home, we’re sure you’ve come across once-trendy bathrooms that now seem outdated: whether it was the bathroom with pink tile from the 50s, avocado green tile from the 70s, or massive Jacuzzi tubs that were popular in the 80s, these bathrooms may have looked great at one time, but now they’re nothing but an outdated mess. Instead of going with the latest design fad in your bathroom, consider sticking with something classic. Neutral colors, simple tiles, and a clean, fresh look will never go out of style.

Don’t Cheap Out

If you’re purchasing bathroom fixtures that seem “too good to be true”, be advised – they probably are. By surrendering quality for cost, you’ll likely have to do another renovation in less than a decade. It’s especially important not to skimp on paying for a quality contractor; the person who gives you a quote that’s far cheaper than their competitors probably isn’t the right person for the job. Although initially you might be hesitant about spending more money on better quality fixtures, you’ll save in the long run as these items are built to last.

Be Smart with Contractors

One of the biggest complaints against contractors during a bathroom remodel is that the final bill is far larger than what was estimated. Obtaining a properly written bid at the beginning of the project is one of the biggest protections you have. Even if your contractor seems like the most trustworthy person in the world, never hire them without a written proposal. Make sure basic terms are laid out in the bid. At the very least the bid should include the total price, specific description of the work to be performed, estimated completion date, and warranties. If the contractor refuses to leave you with a written bid, then choose another contractor.


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