01 Oct Six tips for DIY bathroom renovators
Renovating: everyone thinks they know how to do it, almost everyone discovers it’s not as easy as it looks, and they have no idea what they’re doing.
For a small room, bathroom renovations cost a pretty penny, they also involve serious construction work. If you’re thinking about a DIY bathroom renovation, and you haven’t renovated before, my first piece of advice would be, make sure you have a good plumber on board, and possibly a cabinetmaker, or builder. If you’re new to the reno scene, don’t attempt to do everything yourself. Bathrooms can’t be updated every year. You need to take some key steps to ensure you create a successful space you will love for years to come. From seasoned ‘ren0spert’ (a renovation expert) to rookie renovators, here are six bathroom renovation tips I would advise any DIY-er consider.
1. Make a bathroom wish list
This might seem daggy, but I promise, when you have a clear idea of what you really want in your new bathroom, you won’t be regretting this step. My advice is write a couple of bathroom wish lists. Note down what you currently don’t like about your bathroom. List what fittings and fixtures you want in your new bathroom. Think about what you feel are top priority items, and try to forecast potential problems – oh, and of course make a list of design features and styles you like.
These lists will eventually form a design concept, timeline, shopping list and renovation budget.
2. Samples and mood boards
Don’t let professional designers have all the fun! Today, through sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Google + and Instagram you can access an incredible amount of design inspiration. Create a board on Pinterest to gather images, or dedicate a folder on your computer to your bathroom renovation. For the technically savvy renovator, use a creative program to bring your images together on one page. For those less across image editing software, there’s nothing wrong with printing images and gluing them onto paper. Magazines are perfect for this. Interior designers seeking inspiration actually follow this process, so if you think it sounds a little like glorified scrap booking, think again. Mood boards are significant styling tools, allowing you to determine what goes with what and an overall theme.
After your bathroom mood board is complete, collect as many paint, tile, and fabric samples as possible. For fittings and fixtures, make sure you get to showrooms and view each product in person before making any decisions. Remember, everything has the potential to look totally different in the flesh.
3. Tile planning
There is a reason tiling is a profession it its own right. A high level of skill required to getting tile configurations spot on. When tiling, you want to ensure you minimise wastage and tile pattern compromise. The best way to go about tile planning is to take the measurements of your walls and floors, along with your selected tile. Use these to grid in scale, each interior wall elevation, and the floor plan. Identify where wall features such as cupboards, hooks, rails and mirrors will be placed, and think about what percentage of the room you want tiled. I suggest always having a tile professional look over your plans to avoid disappointment. Pre-planning tile configurations is a cost effective way of trialling different designs, and great preparation if you do attempt to take this part of the renovation on yourself.
4. Plumbing position
Please, please, please, DIYers, keep your plumbing where it is. Save yourself a small fortune and many grey hairs, don’t move your existing pipes. Only if absolutely necessary (I’m talking, toilet literally in shower type scenario) would I suggest moving pipes.
If you have to move anything, call a plumber and don’t attempt it yourself. If you’re unhappy with your current bathroom, chances are the room falls short as a result of design and décor, not plumbing layout.
5. Test a tub
Just like a mattress for your bed, a bathtub needs to be lay in before purchasing. It’s important to get a feel for how it suits your body. A tub might look spacious and curvaceous, but this doesn’t mean you will find it comfortable. Don’t hold back when you’re walking around bathroom showrooms, kick off your shoes and test a tub!
6. Plan a ‘wow’ shower
It’s safe to assume we all use our shower at least once a day. If you’re going to the effort of re-modelling your bathroom, explore every opportunity to increase shower footprint and maximise luxury. A double shower would be my first recommendation, however if your floor plan doesn’t allow, use a frameless or semi-frameless glass shower screen to create the illusion of a larger shower cavity. For an extensive range of shower screens, visit Pivotech.