The first thing that you must do when you choose to remodel your bathroom is decide if you want to change the layout or keep it the same. This will depend on whether or not you have specific new ideas you would like to incorporate into your new bathroom or if you simply just want to give it a fresh, updated appeal. Choosing to incorporate new ideas such as larger showers or bathtubs, additional sinks and counter spaces or even televisions will determine if you have to change the plumbing and electricity setup that is currently in your bathroom. Due to all of these issues, changing the layout of your bathroom can get quite costly. You will want to make sure that you have the funding available to complete this type of bathroom remodeling project because you do not want to start this and find that you have run out of funds.
Local Ordinances and Permits
You will need to contact your local ordinance board to find out if there are any special permits or laws in your area that you should know about before you begin your bathroom remodeling project. Most areas require that you purchase a building permit and have the area inspected by the area building inspector. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the information that they are providing to you. It is possible to get very large fines and penalties if you do not follow their guidelines. Some people have even reported having to tear out all of the new work that has been accomplished as it does not follow certain codes required in the area.
Bathtubs and Shower Units
Your bathtub and shower units are one of the main focus points of your bathroom. When remodeling you have three options that you can basically choose from. You can opt to leave your bathtub and shower unit in place. This is the most cost efficient choice. Another alternative is to have your current bathtub or shower unit refinished to match your new décor. This is an option that you would want to chose also if your bathtub or shower is in poor condition, as a poor shower or tub unit will take away from the appeal of all of the work you are doing to remodel your bathroom. The third option is to take out your current bathtub or shower unit and replace it with a new unit altogether. This may involve needing to take out walls, replace plumbing, and could even require you to cut a whole in the side of your home to get a large model bathtub or shower unit in if it will not fit through your home’s entryways or hallways. This can get quite costly so make sure that you do all of your investigating before selecting this option.
If you do decide to have a new bathtub or shower unit installed you will need to take out the old bathtub or shower unit. If your unit is a multiple piece unit, meaning that there is either just a bathtub with a separate back wall that is pieced together you can easily remove this through the doorway with assistance. If you have a single unit that is the bathtub with walling that is attached you will need to break these apart before they can be removed in most cases. Prior to removing the bathtub or shower unit you will need to remove all hardware, faucets, handles spigots, drain and shower head before you can remove the old tub or shower unit. Prior to installing your new unit, inspect the plumbing for any leaks or bad areas that may need some repair. If possible, make sure that you also inspect the pipes behind your tub and shower units for rust or cracking. This can save you from costly repairs after installing your new bathtub or shower unit as new hardware that is in top operational order will place more strain on older pipes.
Sinks and Counter/ Storage Spaces
Whether you are planning to keep your existing sink or are planning on installing a new model, you may have to still plan on taking it out if you are going to redo the walls or incorporate a new cabinet for this area. However, this is not a difficult task to do. To do this, you will need to turn off the water supply to your sink. Disconnect your sinks plumbing underneath. You will need to remove all hardware from the sink including the handles, faucet and drain. If it is difficult to undo the bolts and nuts holding these items in place, you will need to treat them with a lubricating spray such as WD-30. Allow this to set on the area for ten to fifteen minutes and then retry. Use a razor knife to cut away the caulking around the sink and pull the sink out.
Before you redo your walls or cabinets in this area inspect the plumbing pipes for the sink. Try to inspect the pipes that also go into the wall, because just as with the bathtub and shower unit, replace problem piping now will save you more costly repairs later.
If you are planning on keeping your existing toilet you will not have to do much with this appliance. If it is in the way for replacing walls you may have to remove it. Although in most cases you can work around it.
If you do want to replace your toilet, you will need to turn off the water supply to your toilet. Drain any water that is in the toilet bowl and tank. Undo the bolts that connect the toilet to the floor. Use WD-30 lubricating spray if these bolts are difficult to remove. You may need to use a little force or get assistance to remove the toilet from the bathroom. One rule of thumb is that whenever you remove your toilet, whether you plan to use the same model or get a new model, always replace the O-ring that sits between your toilet and the floor. Some people say that this is okay to reuse, however, in most cases this will lose the sealing power and cause leaking.
Some extra amenities that you may want to consider when remodeling your bathroom is to incorporate closet space within your bathroom for towels and linens. There are some very small cabinets that can be purchase for less then a hundred dollars and can really add some organization to your home.
If you are looking for ways to add more space without adding on, you can add an additional sink. Many homeowners report great results with having two bathroom sinks and extra counter space.
If you plan on tiling your bathroom, there are tile spacers that are now available. These products are sold in a pack and are some are quite inexpensive. They can save you a lot of time and money when you need that exact spacing when placing your bathroom tiles in place. These spacers work on floor tiles, wall tiles and even when you want to tile the countertops.