The four major components of all bathrooms include plumbing, electrical, heating and lighting. These should all be installed by a licensed professional or General Contractor that is experienced with bathrooms and is capable of doing this work safely and affordably, while strictly adhering to the specific building codes of your locality.
Layout is the key to bathroom planning. Most older homes, pre-70's, usually do not have the luxury of bathroom space; and will require accurate planning and measuring to make sure all the usual bathroom stuff, like showers, sinks, commodes, bidets, tubs, and other fixtures and accessories fit comfortably in this space; and, without making the bathroom too small for anyone's comfort zone. Â These days, bathrooms are designed bigger for the needs of a demanding family, and their various personal electrical appliances; ideally, they should be around 10 x 8 feet, and nothing smaller. Those who bathe love a bigger tub, at least a foot bigger than the standard 5 foot long versions.
Remodeling is an easier option that can save you money, by replacing whatever faucets and fixtures you don't want with new ones of the same size or design. Gutting an existing bathroom to the studs and subfloor will give you the best opportunity to check all plumbing, wiring and heating; and upgrade as needed. Including, installing sub floor heating; special lighting in the shower area; or, even a towel warmer rack that keeps your towels toasty warm. Another important point to note, is that when you strip the walls, floors and ceilings, you get to see what kind of damage you have from if any, years of water or moisture penetration.
Bathrooms create constant moisture; as well as being the major source of accidents and water flooding incidents within a home. Sinks and tubs can get left on and forgotten about; toilets can over-flow; and interestingly enough, when this happens, water will fill the room and find a place to flow. And, if you have duct heating with a floor-level register, well, the water will flow down the ductwork and right into your furnace, burning it out and costing you perhaps thousands in the process! Simple solution, install sealed register above floor level or through a wall above the floor.
Speaking of heating, you have many more options to keep your bathroom comfy and cosy these days than ever before; you can consider using radiant heat, electrical heat, warmth coming from sub-floor hot water piping, and even electrical wire heating installed under your floor tiles. Choose the solution that works best and is the most affordable for your family's needs.
Presently, this moisture related issue is being handled by a slew of novel bathroom products and materials designed to address these problems and concerns. Moisture resistant drywall, paint, tile grout, and specially designed bathroom fans and vents can eliminate most of the moisture that is created within any bathroom; especially, one that is in constant demand.
With regard to any kind of electrical or heating work, please consider hiring a licensed professional as these types of upgrades need to be done correctly the first time, so that they are safe and problem free. Ripping-up tiles to get at the sub-floor heating underneath, and then repairing the problem by installing new tiles, can become a costly operation. Get a written warranty from a company on any damages resulting from their work.
Once you have the layout down pat and you know the stuff that will fit into your new bathroom, you can then begin to focus on the other ingredients that will make it say, LOOK! Tiles make a bathroom stand out and get noticed while making the walls and floors easy to clean and maintain. Choosing the right tile can be an overwhelming task; but, knowing the color scheme you have in mind for the walls and ceilings, will make selecting the tiles an easier task. Tile colours can be matched to the paint colours or they can be made to contrast, as in using black tiles against a white painted room. The size of the bathroom will usually determine the size of the tiles you will most likely use.
Bathrooms need light; and selecting the right lighting fixtures, or creating a natural source of light are your best options. Specially designed windows and customized skylights that automatically open and close, can also give your bathroom a direct source of fresh air, and the sun's rays during the daytime; instead of using fluorescent lighting that almost has an hypnotic effect.
In your final design, make room for storage space for towels and other things personal care body products, they all can't fit on the sink counter; insure there are enough electrical outlets for everyone's electrical appliances; and finally, make sure that your chosen fixtures and faucets are not just for show, but are also of a durable quality, as they will be in constant use.
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