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.

Bathroom Appliances & Water Consumption

The bathroom is an area of extreme water consumption, a large amount of which is not used in the most efficient manner possible. The EPA estimates that the average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water per day, most of which results from the use of bathroom appliances. Even for those households that make an effort to limit shower time and sink usage, there is only so much that can be done with common appliances and techniques. An unnecessarily high amount of water usage is not only harmful for the environment, but it can cost a fortune in water and electricity bills. It’s becoming more common for people to seek a different approach to household water usage, especially as new conservation-minded appliances are becoming available.

Low-Flow Toilets

It’s estimated that toilets alone account for 30 percent of a household’s water usage. The average toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush; however, low-flow toilets use less than 1.3 gallons per flush. There is also the option of the dual-flush toilet, which offers two different flush settings, one for liquid waste, and the other for solid. These are both great alternatives to the common toilet, as well as some other new designs that use smaller tanks, bowls, and make use of gravity to conserve water. Since the average toilet uses the same amount of water for each flush, regardless of its use, this appliance can become a major source of wasted water in your household. These more water-friendly alternatives can make a tremendous difference in your household water usage over time.

Showerheads

Similarly, you can find low-flow showerheads that will use less water with each use. The shower accounts for up to 20 percent of water use in the average household, but you can cut that in half by installing a low-flow showerhead that won’t compromise your water pressure. There are plenty of low-flow showerhead options available today that use air to provide water pressure, rather than simply using more water. You can also buy a showerhead with adjustable settings, so that you get to decide how much water you use with each shower.

Others rely on the “bucket system” to cut down on overall water consumption. If you have a shower that also functions as a bathtub, use a ten-gallon bucket to gather the water underneath the bath spout while you wait for it to heat up. When it’s hot enough, simply remove the bucket, switch it to shower mode, and begin your shower. Then, you can use the water in the bucket for your garden or other irrigation purposes, rather than letting it go down the drain. Since the shower is a major source of wasted water, consider these appliances and methods as a means of saving a significant amount of water in your household.

Faucets

Sink faucets account for around 15-18 percent of household water usage. This appliance can easily be replaced with a more water-efficient option that will save up to 40 percent of water consumed by your faucets. You can simply install a low-flow aerator for around $5 and cut down your faucet’s water usage significantly. This is an easy, inexpensive, and painless improvement to cut back on the amount of water used by the common faucet, which won’t limit water pressure to an ineffective minimum. Low-flow faucet upgrades are quite possibly the most reasonable and affordable water-efficient solutions you can add to your home, and you’ll cut down your household’s water consumption drastically with this alternative.

These days, there’s no need to be wasting water in your home. With the availability of these eco-friendly alternatives, you can cut down your water usage dramatically and save yourself a great deal of money over time. So, if you’re tired of excessively high water bills or are concerned about the environment, consider these water-efficient appliances and start making a difference in your home today.

How to Remove a Vanity in Preparation of a Remodel

Remodeling a room in your home can be a challenging and complicated process. Usually, you’ll have to perform a significant amount of demolition before you can rebuild, and it’s important to know how to do this effectively so you won’t cause any unwanted damage. In regards to the bathroom, one of the most puzzling parts of the remolding process is how to remove a vanity. Typically, a bathroom vanity is sealed and secured to the actual structure of the bathroom, including the plumbing, which can make removal especially tricky. With these basic tips, you’ll be on the right track towards properly removing your vanity.

Water Supply

First and foremost, you’ll need to shut off the water supply before you can remove the vanity. In order to do this, you’ll need to reach underneath the sink and turn the hot and cold-water shut-off valves. Next, you’ll want to disconnect the water supply lines by using a wrench to remove the nut that holds the water supply line to the shutoff valve. This process can get somewhat messy, so it’ll help to have a bucket close by. Finally, you’re going to need to disconnect the waste drain. This can be done either by hand or by using a wrench or pliers, depending on the material of the waste drain, which will typically be either PVC pipe or chrome.

Remove From Wall

Now that you’ve taken care of the water supply, it’s time to remove the vanity from the wall. In some cases, you’ll need to start with the mirror. If the mirror rests on the vanity counter top, then removing the mirror first will be necessary, as it can crack when the vanity is removed from the wall. Once this has been addressed, you’ll want to detach the vanity counter top and cabinet by using a utility knife to cut through the caulk joint adhesive that holds the vanity to the wall. It’s important to be both cautious and patient during this process, as you’ll want to avoid cutting into the drywall. The goal here is to carefully undo the attachment between the vanity itself and the wall of your bathroom, as well as between the vanity top and cabinet.

Take Apart

At this point, all that’s left is the removal of the main components of the vanity from the room. First, you’ll remove the vanity top from the sink base. Usually, this will be a fairly easy process and the top will be removed smoothly with the adhesive cut. However, in some cases, the vanity top will be attached to the bottom by clips, which you’ll need to loosen before removal. Once the vanity top has been disconnected from the base, it’s time to remove the sink base cabinet. Check to see where the cabinet is attached to the wall, which is generally done with screws or nails, and carefully remove them. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to remove the sink base cabinet from the wall with ease.

Once you’ve hauled out the vanity top and bottom pieces, just plug up the drain pipes, scrape off any excess caulk, and you’ll be all set. With these tips, you can be well on your way to properly removing your bathroom vanity in time to begin your remodeling process. Good luck!

The Master Bathroom: A Guide

Your master bathroom should be different from the rest of the bathrooms in your home. After all, it’s a relaxing and accommodating attachment to your master bedroom. While it’s common for homeowners to crave an element of grandeur in their master bathroom, there are a number of ways to take a simple and budget-friendly approach to its design. Here are some tips for making a statement, while still creating a serene environment that you’ll get the most out of every day.

Prioritize the Shower

When it comes to your master bathroom, the shower should be one of your top priorities. You’ll either be starting or ending your daily routine with a shower, so you’ll want to make it something to look forward to. With this in mind, you should look for a fairly large shower head that allows for consistent water flow and a wide range of temperatures. If you’d like, you can search for a shower head with adjustable settings or a detachable handheld component. Regardless of the type of shower head you choose, the result should be a thorough and relaxing shower each and every time. Additionally, you can look into adding a bench or some easy-to-reach shelves so you can conveniently place everything you need in the shower.

The Other Bathing Option...

While a shower may be a more practical and efficient way of getting clean, sometimes you want a different way to unwind. This is why you should consider a spacious and comfortable bathtub in your master bathroom. Having the option to sit back in a hot bath after a long day can be extremely peaceful and stress-relieving. Look into adding or designing a bathtub with some depth, and make sure that it provides consistent and easily adjustable temperatures so that the water always feels just right. Similar to your shower, your bathtub should have enough surface or counter space to place all of your bathing products close by. Your master bathroom should be functional, but it can also be your place of solace, and if you enjoy a hot bath on occasion, then make sure your bathtub is the perfect fit.

Sink(s) and Mirror

Since you’ll be using your master bathroom to get ready every day, a decently-sized and well-lit mirror is sure to be appreciated. If you’re sharing your master bathroom with your partner, then you might benefit from having a dual-sink vanity so that each of you can go about your morning routine with plenty of space. Consider a bathroom vanity that has a large mirror and plenty of lighting so that you can have a detailed view when you’re shaving, putting on makeup, or brushing your teeth. You’ll want to make sure your master bathroom is well-ventilated, that way you aren’t looking at a foggy mirror after a hot shower or bath. Remember to keep your toiletries close by in baskets or drawers, so all your favorite products will be within an arms’ reach.

Floors

Finally, you’ll want to make sure your master bathroom’s flooring can handle your day-to-day life. Tile floors that can withstand the moisture from water and steam are incredibly important, as mold can grow quickly in this kind of atmosphere. In order to avoid slipping on a slick surface, you’ll want to place absorbent and firm mats outside of your bathtub and shower. Look for mats that will feel good on your feet and won’t slide on your tile floor. Not only should they be aesthetically pleasing, but these mats should be able to handle moisture and provide some traction so you’re not slipping around on the floor in your master bathroom.

Your master bathroom should be set apart from the ‘ordinary’ bathrooms in your home, as it’s meant to accommodate your day-to-day life in the most comfortable and relaxing way possible. While it should be functional, you’ll be very pleased if you put some effort into making it your own little luxurious getaway within your home. With these tips, you’ll create the idea master bathroom that you’ll look forward to using each and every day.

How to Match Your Bathroom to Your Personality

Since the bathroom is one of the few places where you can relax without interruption, it’s important that it reflects your personality and unique style. Studies show that if you’re comfortable with your surroundings, you’ll be happier and healthier while spending time in your home. By decorating your bathroom according to your personality, you’ll feel at ease while taking a bath or energized while getting ready in the morning. With all the wall color, vanity, and tub options available on the market, why not match your bathroom to your personality? If you’re curious about how, here’s our guide for bringing your personality into your bathroom.

Start with Color

Adding color to your bathroom is perhaps the easiest way to breathe some life into your bathroom. Whether you like to relax in your sunken tub after a long day at the office or prefer an energized space when getting ready in the morning, there’s a color for that. While white is a popular choice for minimalists, bright bathrooms are all the rage. In fact, some of the most beautiful bathrooms pair striking accents with muted backdrop: purple against white, sea foam green against grey, or a vivid yellow against natural wood. If you prefer a more neutral bathroom, consider keeping things light – light brown, light greys, or light tans. Darker tones, such as deep reds and browns, are perfect for those interested in bringing feelings of warmth and comfort into their bathroom.

Choose a Vanity

Before choosing a vanity style or color, it’s important to decide on a type. If you have the extra square footage, most experts recommend purchasing a double vanity – potential homebuyers will see it as a perk, and you’ll enjoy the extra counter space in the meantime. If you consider yourself to be light-hearted and easygoing, a vanity made of teak wood may be the perfect choice for you. Since teak contains hints of yellow and tends to reflect light better than other types of vanities, a calming or soothing effect will take over your bathroom. If you’re more of an introvert, a vanity made of mahogany wood will bring class and formality into your bathroom.

Faucets and Door Handles

It may sound silly, but different faucet finishes can evoke various styles and personalities. If you consider yourself to be traditional or classy, easy-going finishes such as polished silver or white porcelain are a great way to bring a bit of sophistication into your bathroom. If your friends would describe you as being adventurous or daring, head to your local antique store – you’re sure to find a great selection of antique and vintage door handles and cabinet knobs. And, if you’re feeling especially crafty, you can make your own cabinet knobs using just about anything, including wine corks, broken jewelry, pebbles from the garden, bent spoons, and rulers.

Do-It-Yourself

One of the best ways to match your bathroom to your personality is to create a one-of-a-kind DIY piece. If you love to travel, create a collage using old map books – just be sure to frame the piece in a humidity-resistant frame. Since bathrooms are one of the most humid rooms, special care needs to be taken when choosing artwork to display. For more information, click here. Other fun projects can include using an old ladder as a display area for plants, making your own homemade soap in unique designs and colors, or painting your doors with chalkboard paint and writing inspirational quotes or music lyrics on the inside or outside of your bathroom door. When it comes to these projects, don’t be shy – your bathroom can never have too much personality.

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