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Tips for Small Bathroom Remodeling

Small bathroom remodeling can be more stressful than renovating the larger ones because fitting all the important fixtures into such a confined space takes more than a bit of juggling. For example, most homeowners want an in-swing door to a bathroom but this may push the toilet too far toward the wall or shower making navigation difficult.

However, poor planning might have the homeowner buying an in-swinging door on sale and an oversized vanity only to find that the space won't allow it. Most good sale items are non-returnable so they might end up having to sell $2,000 worth of fixtures on Craig's List at half the price.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

  • Graph Paper: Before pulling out a wallet the first order of business is a pad of paper and a pencil. Graph paper is the best for this job because even a novice can provide a professional-looking floor plan if the scale is detailed. This will aid greatly when going out to purchase a shower, sink, tub and toilet. Not only that the door size and swing can be drawn in accurately. So if larger fixtures are important then it may not be a big deal if the door swings outward and out of the way of the space rather than needing a large area for the swing arc.
  • Tracing: If there is already a bathroom in place use the present fixtures as a starting point. Draw them in to scale. Now, this can be used as a template and then tracing paper can be overlayed and different ideas and types of units can be superimposed.
  • Cut-Outs: For those who want a designer's touch can cut out scale drawings of the desired fixtures and move them around the base plan.
  • Computer-Program: Free graphic software can also be downloaded but this might lead to spam. For less than $50 a decent graphic software can be purchased.

2. Bath, Toilet and Shower

If you have a bathtub taking up a large part of the space and its something you only ever use for taking a shower in, then this is often the biggest space saving idea when it comes to remodeling small bathrooms. Take out the bathtub and replace it with a shower stall that will usually only occupy half the space the tub took up.

3. Bathroom Mirrors, Lights, Skylights and Glossy Things

  • Lighting: The proper lighting will make any small space seem larger, whether it comes from natural sources or good interior fixtures. For bathrooms without a portal to the outdoors having long, wall lighting, such as sconces will make the ceiling seem higher. These can be used in addition to work lights around the vanity.
  • Mirrors: Nothing expands the space and takes away the smallest of claustrophobic feelings like properly-placed mirrors. Two or three walls with mirrors will can make the bathroom seem immense.
  • Windows and Skylights: Large windows with opaque finishes will fill the room with natural light during the day. Skylights can open up the room and give it more height, both physically and incidentally.
  • Glossy Tiles: Another space enlarging idea is to have glossy tiles on the walls and into the shower area. Not only do they reflect light back into the room they make clean-up easier. In addition having a border of patterned tiles around the room can break up the lines of the small bathroom and make it bigger. In addition installing a narrow ceiling-to-floor tile pattern gives the room height.

4. Color

Most paint stores have a designer that will be glad to share his or her knowledge of color and how it affects the perception of size in a room. Bring along the plan and photographs of the space.

Rules for Small Bathroom Remodeling

  • 1. Value: Make sure that any changes made to the bathroom will translate into gains in the total house value.
  • 2. Plumbing: If possible, keep the pipes and drains close to where they are now situated. Moving pipe is expensive so the less they have to be repositioned the better.
  • 3. Bathroom Showrooms: Visiting a bathroom boutique will help get a clear idea of what will work in the small space at home. Not only will the placement of the fixtures become clear new product lines might have different dimensions that make them easier to fit the space. For example, toilets have evolved into sleek units with lower tanks. This means an increase in the space overhead for shelving.
  • 4. Fittings: Browsing the bathroom displays in home stores will not only give the homeowner a better idea of what fits but what will fit, be stylish and inexpensive all at the same time. Also, resist the urge to splurge on expensive fixtures. Follow the budget and keep searching until the right fixtures are found at a price that is affordable.

For more information on new renovation trends consult our Contractor Directory or simply post your project online.

Posted by: kim
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