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Design and Installation Tips for Your Ensuite Bathroom Remodeling Project

Sep 17 2011 - Posted by
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Design and Installation Tips for Your Ensuite Bathroom Remodeling Project

An ensuite bathroom is a valuable addition to your home. For resale value and to make your daily living more comfortable, a bathroom attached and dedicated to the master bedroom is luxurious and convenient. Your ensuite bathroom remodeling project should be well planned and include high quality fixtures, intelligent design and basic conveniences.

Planning For an Ensuite Bathroom Renovation

Perhaps you already have an ensuite bath and are simply remodeling the room. Many people turn large closets and small, attached bedrooms into an ensuite once space and budget permits. Every homeowner should be aware that this bathroom renovation presents unique challenges in terms of use, layout and finishing.

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How large does an ensuite need to be? Typically this bathroom is as large as the main bathroom, although quite often the space is allocated differently. Instead of a larger window or door, an ensuite may include a glass shower and soaker tub tucked into the corner. A good size to aim for is at least 64 square feet (or 8 foot by 8 foot) — this is only a basic number and many master bathrooms are much larger. Work with what you have.

Plumbing Considerations

Master bathrooms often include both a large tub and a shower stall. Brighter than a standard tub-shower combination, this layout is also better for a bathroom dedicated to couples who may have unique bathing preferences.

This design will require an extended amount of plumbing, with drains and pipes that are large enough for the extra fixtures. Dual sinks are also common in an ensuite bathroom remodeling project. That means two faucets and drains, but both can be run from a single incoming water source.

In some cases a master bathroom will include a bidet and toilet. This provides a spa-like experience and, when coupled with high-end shower fixtures and cozy bathroom furniture, will create the ideal master bathroom retreat. This set up will also require extra plumbing in the form of a water supply and two drains.

Room For Two

The biggest concern in an ensuite bathroom is having enough space for two. The bathtub should be a soaker style, which is deeper and wider than the average tub. It comes in curved shapes and may include built in seating, jets and specialty fixtures that contribute to a luxurious bathing experience.

Floor space should be open and incorporate easy traffic flow. Think about how the door opens (both into the bedroom and into the bathroom), as well as where the toilet and vanity are situated. The layout will dictate the plumbing and, when remodeling an existing bathroom, may need to stay in the same location. Be sure to leave plenty of space just outside of the shower and tub, as well as enough room for two people to pass each other at the doorway.

Safety and Sanity

All of the textures and finishes in your new ensuite should be designed for easy cleaning and safety. That means hard surfaces that can be scrubbed down and disinfected when necessary, as well as non-slip surfaces in areas where wet feet will travel.

Tiling is a popular choice for the flooring and shower stall, as well as on the walls and in the tub surround. Choose something you can live with for years — tiling is an extensive project with outstanding durability. Marble and natural stone tiles are popular, while colorful ceramic tiles are affordable and available in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Glass walls allow for a bright shower, which is safer and easier to use than a shadowy space. But glass can be difficult to keep clean unless it is carefully maintained. Be sure that you understand the maintenance levels of all the materials you install. Cleaning the bathroom is a necessary job, but not one that you will want to do more often than required.

Lighting and Decor

A bathroom remodeling project often involves electrical work as well as plumbing. Lighting is important in this space and should be both functional and attractive. Think about where your lights would be best located and how the windows create natural light during the day. Other additions like skylights and transoms will add brightness to the room.

Wall mount light fixtures work well in a bathroom, saving space and creating fewer shadows. Install both soft and harsh lighting or put in a dimmer switch to allow for easy mood shifts. When you are relaxing in the bath, a harsh white light will be unwelcome. But that type of task lighting is helpful while dressing or putting on makeup.

The decor will be personalized to your own tastes and in keeping with the theme of your master bedroom. Simple is often better. Busy patterns and bold colors can be overpowering in a smaller space. But it is always a good idea to use bright and unusual colors as accents and around focal points.

Bathroom Furniture

Placing furniture in your bathroom can add to the convenience and comfort of the room. A casual chair gives you a place to rest while combing your hair. And a large ottoman or chest can be used to store extra towels and toiletries. Think about installing an antique cabinet for use as a medicine chest and look for an unusual frame for the mirror.

Furniture is a simple way to dress up this space and coordinate with the master bedroom. Make it romantic, retro or chic by strategically placing furniture in the room.

An ensuite bathroom remodeling project can make your personal space much more comfortable, while adding significant value to your home. Be sure to plan the area well and have the plumbing done correctly by a professional. Invest in high quality fixtures for luxury and leave enough room for two in this special bathroom space. Your master bath can be personalized and made cozy with good lighting, tasteful decor and a selection of bathroom furniture.

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