With the coronavirus raging and most of the world in a panicked state of sheltering in place, many homeowners are looking for positive ways to use the idle hours spent indoors. Naturally, an obvious candidate is tending to that home renovation project that you’ve been putting off for so long.
When it comes to the bathroom, each house has its own unique needs that are dictated by the physical space you’re working in, the time you have to put into the project, available funds, and so on.
However, here are a few renovation tips that transcend the individual spaces and apply to every bathroom.
Creating a more sustainable home is a common theme these days. While this is often seen in the light of inefficient vehicles or wasteful heating and cooling systems, a bathroom is actually an area where a great deal of inefficiency can take place.
This can take place by wasting electricity through unnecessary lighting or using too much heated water. Even more waste can occur simply through the overuse of H2O.
Conserving water is a critical way that you can reduce the waste within your own home. For instance, an old toilet can use 5 gallons of water with each flush. Purchasing a newer model — and not even an expensive one at that — can reduce that water usage to a single gallon or even less.
There are also many showerheads that can provide impressive water pressure while using significantly smaller amounts of overall water.
You can also save on your bathroom electricity usage by:
- Including more natural light into your aesthetics.
- Swapping out old light bulbs for LED alternatives.
- Using heavier blinds to keep out the heat during the warmer months.
- Replacing old windows with energy-efficient alternatives.
Whether it’s through reduced water usage, lower electricity consumption, using recycled materials, or anything else, it’s always worth addressing your bathroom’s inefficiencies when you remodel. This can both help the environment and save you money over time.
Remain User Friendly
Every bathroom is different. There are numerous factors that affect this. The size, the floor plan, a full bathroom versus a half bath, the number of sinks, the size of the mirror, or the presence or lack of a window can all make a difference.
With that said, it’s always important to remain as user friendly as possible as you redesign your bathroom. In the same way that cell phone and website designers must consider the end-user, you should always think about who will be using your bathroom as you go about coming up with an inspired new design.
While some of this can revolve around the actual decorative decisions — e.g. you choose Mickey Mouse wallpaper for a kids bathroom — most of the important user-friendly considerations don’t apply to aesthetics as much as functionality.
For instance, it’s important to make sure that you have a properly thought-out shower and bathroom floor plan to enable easy access. This should be done with the same consideration that a nurse must use with patient handling as they assist the elderly or disabled who may struggle to move on their own. If you have any current or potential home caregiving needs or you’re even looking to include age-in-place supports for yourself or a family member in the future, you’re going to want to have these in mind from the beginning.
In the same mindset, if you’re remodeling a family bathroom, it’s important to remember the heavy usage that a lavatory of that nature can go through. Particularly if it’s a full bathroom that is used for showering and toilet needs on a regular basis, make sure you’ve included everything from durable water fixtures that are ready for constant use to functional built-in or free-standing storage.
Mind the Maintenance
Finally, don’t forget maintenance as you go about overhauling your bathroom. For instance, if you’re replacing the sink, make sure that the water lines running to the faucet have shut-off valves in the bathroom so that you don’t have to turn off the water for the entire house if you need to work on something in the future.
In addition, if you’re going to use a shower often, and especially if it’s going to be used for things like bathing pets, make sure you include a way to trap all of the hair so that you don’t have to take more extreme measures to unclog the drains in the future.
While these are just a couple of examples, it’s important to think about long term maintenance with everything from easy-access cleaning of the linen closet to replacing light bulbs.
Renovating Your Bathroom This Spring
Spring is a great time to work on your bathroom. It’s still cold enough to keep you from fully engaging in outdoor activity, but it’s warm enough to allow you to open the window and let in the fresh air — and let out the dust and paint fumes — while you work.
As you create the bathroom of your dreams, remember to keep sustainability, maintenance, and user-experience in mind as you go along. If you can couple this trio with your decorative aspirations, you’ll be able to design a bathroom that is equal parts thoughtful, functional, and beautiful all at the same time.
SmartReno can help you find the right contractor for your Bathroom project