While we all may dream of renovating our bathroom from
top to bottom, it’s not always possible due to cost. Even on a budget, your bathroom update doesn’t have to become all about utility. Luxurious touches can be added throughout to give you a spa feeling while also adding practicality and ‘green’ eco-conscious touches where possible.
Countertops Count Big
Let’s start with your countertop – one of the more important parts of your bathroom. Countertops that are professionally installed can get pricey. Fortunately, there are some ways to save big in this area. First of all, if you’re in the process of renovating in your kitchen as well, you can save by using the same material on all countertops.
By choosing a neutral gray and white, for instance, you have some great foundation colors for either area of your home. By using the very same material for bathrooms and kitchen, you save big by selecting one slab versus many. And if your contractor can shop with you, you may be able to purchase ‘seconds’ where there is damage to some slabs. If your contractor determines that the damaged area will be cut out to accommodate your sink, you can save even more with these often-discounted pieces. Also, ask about remnants; there may be leftovers available large enough for smaller countertops.
If building or installing one long countertop, consider your drawers and shelves carefully so that they’ll meet your needs. You may want to have a drawer or cabinet installed with its own outlet inside just for your small appliances. These can be designed to conveniently hold your hair dryer, shaver, straight iron or electric toothbrush. Consider an open, vertical bank of shelves in the middle of the counter to provide easy access to bath towels and washcloths.
In addition, with most neutral-colored countertops, colorful accessories will accent the area beautifully. Using the gray and white example mentioned earlier, orange and red flowers would provide pops of color, as would matching or coordinating towels and bath rugs. You can easily switch these out to other colors as the seasons change, if you choose. If redoing a child’s bathroom, frame some artwork they’re proud of to hang on the wall where they’ll see it every morning.
Mike, owner and builder at D4 Construction, is the professional you want to partner with in your remodel or renovation project. Even if doing smaller projects in your bathroom, consult Mike for professional advice. You can reach him at +1 250-572-4812.
Use what you have!
Another option, depending on the style of your home, is renovating a piece of furniture into a countertop. You may already have a large dresser which can be transformed into your countertop and can save you a great deal of money if you choose to go this route. Installing rope-type lighting beneath the bottom edge of these pieces (or even built-in counters) provides beautiful, subtle downlighting at night, adding sophistication and safety to the space.
Choosing to replace ‘builder special’ mirrors with beautiful framed ones can make quick work of adding style. You may have pictures you no longer hang on the walls of your home that have great frames. Have a glass shop retrofit them with new mirrors for your bathroom.
On the lesser-expensive end of bathroom updates are paint and grout. Take a look at your grout with a critical eye. You may not have noticed its wear and tear over the years and, like paint, a fresh application is not only practical but goes a long way toward a fresh appearance. Relatively simple and inexpensive, this can be your starting point on a budget. And you may already have a paint color you love. If it’s enough to cover your bathroom walls and is suitable for the space, use what you have.
Floors, Walls and Windows
Tile on floors and in shower stalls is such a luxurious addition to your bathroom but can be a huge added expense. By choosing to limit expensive, accent tile in the shower to a horizontal or vertical stripe down an otherwise cost-effective basic tile for the rest, you get the best of both worlds – luxury on a budget. Or consider a beautiful tile on the floor alone. Larger tile often costs less than smaller, and the same can go for installation, so factor in size when you choose. And because tile is a big job to install and remove, be sure you choose a pattern, style and color that won’t feel dated in 10 years.
If you live in a cold weather area, consider ambient heating in your floors and towel racks. These are definitely jobs for a professional to install but, once done, can provide you with many years of added comfort on a daily basis when stepping out of the shower and drying off.
Don’t forget lighting in the bathroom! Lighting is arguably more important here than any other area of your home. If you’re fortunate enough to have a window in your bathroom, consider covering it with material that’s available in hardware stores. The clear film essentially turns it into a one-way window, allowing you to see out and enjoy nature while bathing or dressing, but not allowing anyone to see inside through the window.
For routine grooming purposes, good lighting is needed in the bathroom. If a woman uses the bathroom to apply makeup, she will ideally have a window with natural light situated near the bathroom sink and counter. But if you have no window in your bathroom, a combination of ambient lighting and sconces flanking the mirrors is the next best thing to avoid shadows while applying makeup. Bulbs today comes in different brightness levels so choose one with a daylight type of light output.
Sinks, Faucets and Tubs
In addition, take a hard look at your faucets. If they’re corroding or old and dull, replace with new – a matte black or gold is very dramatic while a satin or shiny silver or bronze is more traditional. Continue the same metal throughout the room for a unified look. Sinks themselves come in all shapes, sizes, depths and styles. An online search may yield dozens of sinks you may not have seen before. Prices range greatly so research is key.
In addition to grooming done at the sink, if you enjoy a soak in the tub, then you’ll want to add dimmer lights. By lowering the light, you can enjoy a relaxing bath while still providing enough light to see your way in and out of the tub safely. In addition, a dimmer light set to its lowest level serves as a useful night light. To further enhance the spa-like ambience, consider having a speaker wired into the bathroom to provide you with mood music.
Your shower or shower/tub combination is an essential and well-used part of most bathrooms. If you’re looking to replace yours, consider choosing one with a seat inside if that’s something you’d benefit from regularly. Women who shave their legs or anyone who uses many different bottles of shampoos, conditioners and body washes will appreciate the added storage space inside the shower.
Either way, be sure to consider the various styles and sizes of showerheads that are available on the market. The larger energy-efficient ones can mimic a rainforest summer rain while handheld options are helpful not just for yourself, but for showering children and pets, as well. Glass enclosures are more glamorous but if you’re all about the practicality, choose shower curtains that can be thrown into a washer and dryer and changed whenever the mood strikes.
Don’t Forget the Throne
There are even innovations in toilets you may not be aware of. Consider ‘adult’-height toilets in your master bathroom if you’re of taller than average height. Some bidet attachments can be added to toilets by the homeowner to achieve the European cleansing experience while cutting back on toilet paper use. Bidets that include a temperature-controlled feature should be installed by a pro. Water-saving (aka low-flow) toilets, sinks and showers are definitely the way to go if you’re environmentally conscious.
While many bathrooms have a fan in them, make sure yours is still working well and strong enough to avoid mold issues in the future. Additionally, you might want to consider one with an hour-long timer to make sure every bit of moisture is whisked away. Without a timer, we tend to just shut it off as we leave the bathroom, if not sooner. Often that’s just not enough time to rid your room of all its moisture. Just one mold remediation job can easily cost more than a good fan with timer.
Even something as simple as a toilet paper holder that allows you to slip the roll on and off easily can make life simpler – just check out the various options before you decide.
As for any remodeling project, spend time researching your options first. It always pays off. Visit your local hardware and home renovation stores for ideas. They often have mock setups of rooms for just that purpose. Speak to the professionals who work there about what trends they’re seeing. Take note of which colors appeal to you and carefully think about how you use your bathroom day to day. That way you can choose updates in features, fixtures and finishes based on what you like and need.
Finally, be sure to consult a professional for the jobs too big to handle yourself, as well as for consultation. Mike of D4 Construction has many years’ experience under his belt and is able to offer you suggestions that will help you achieve the new and improved bathroom you want. Easy to work with, Mike is available for jobs big and small. Why not call him today? You can reach him at +1 250-572-4812 and get your bathroom remodel done right.
Author: Tiiu Garrett