Friday, 24 October 2014

Remodeling the Family Bathroom

Every home has a family bathroom. It may be called the hallway bathroom, the main bathroom or something else. But it is the one place that is put to the most use and so it is the one that sees the most wear and tear. That means that it ages faster than the other bathrooms. Bathrooms are places we take for granted and since we use them so often, the signs of wear and aging are often not noticed until one day the depressing nature of the room becomes inescapable. That’s when you realize that it’s time to remodel the bathroom.

Bathroom remodeling is not cheap and because of the plumbing and electrical connections, any mistakes in the remodeling process will be hard and expensive to fix. To be sure of getting the best results from the remodel, you should plan it down to the last detail, keeping in mind the needs of all those who will be using it.

Questions to Ask Yourself

How many people will be using the bathroom? Are there any elderly folks with special needs? What about kids – can they reach everything they need to? These are the kinds of things that can derail a bathroom remodeling project. It’s good to look at home d├ęcor magazines and note down the features you like. And then to work with your contractor to create a stunning design. But the bathroom is, first and foremost, a functional room. Once those requirements have been met, all the other features can be layered on top. Do it the other way around and you will end up with a beautiful bathroom that no one wants to use because it’s way too uncomfortable.

Do you need to change the flooring? This one item can change the way a bathroom looks. Keep in mind the needs of the users when deciding on what type of flooring to put in – porcelain is the least slippery. The lack of adequate storage space is a common issue with most bathrooms. Plan to maximize the storage as far as possible. With a little careful planning, you will be surprised at the amount of extra cabinets, drawers and shelves that can be put in. It’s easy to underestimate how much storage you will really need so whatever you think of, increase it by 50%. If possible, double it.

If young children will be using the bathroom, check to see if the fittings are the right height for them. Make sure the sliding shower doors do not catch and badly pinch small fingers. You can also do something to minimize water splashing out of the tub.

One important feature is to check the condition of your plumbing system. There is no point in spending money on remodeling a bathroom only to have all the old pipes leak in a year or two. If there is any doubt about the condition of the plumbing, especially if the house is an old one, it makes sense to do the changes at the time of the remodel. Otherwise you may find yourself breaking up the bathroom after a year or spending a fortune on repairs.

Ask yourself questions like: Is more than one person going to be using the bathroom at a time? If so, do you need a double sink? What about a privacy wall for the toilet area? And is frosted glass for the shower stall a good idea?

The more you think about the family bathroom and the people who will be using it, the more questions there are to ask yourself. Keep noting everything down and talk to all those who will be using the room to get their answers and inputs. It may take time and involve a lot of discussions and even arguments. But in the end, you will have a bathroom that the whole family can use.

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