Bathroom Remodeling

The bathroom (especially the master bathroom) is a high-priority item for many homeowners. That’s why YOUR ideal bathroom should fit your personal needs, the style and design of the home, and your budget. Your bathroom should be an inviting space—a calming retreat—that gives you a place to unwind, relax, and refresh.

Kathi Fleck

“Whether it’s removing checkered shower tiles, or a furdown above the vanity; there are many reasons why homeowners choose to remodel their bathroom.”

Kathi FleckCo-Owner and Designer of Lonestar Design Build

The Most Popular Motivators Are:

Whatever your reason for remodeling, it is important to keep the investment of your bathroom remodel within the value of your home. Home values vary a great deal, and the updated bathroom will be determined by the location and value of the home.

The size of the room, the scope of the project, the design and products chosen, and the detail of the work all play a part in determining the investment a homeowner will make in updating their home. Following is a Cost vs. Value Chart to help you see how a bathroom remodel can impact your home’s value.

Here’s a Peek at Part of Our Process

Your bathroom remodel begins with an initial Meeting (The Brainstorm Session).The design of your new bathroom starts with your imagination, your lifestyle, and the design of your home. Variations of today’s trends can be adapted during a remodel. When planning for your new transformation, keep in mind how it will flow throughout your home. If your current space is traditional and you want to incorporate contemporary design features, you can mix the elements for an eclectic or transitional look. You will want to pay attention to the extremes and ask a designer for input.

During your subsequent brainstorming sessions I’ll show you dozens of materials, pick your brain, and throw out ideas to help you discover TRULY what you want. We go to great lengths to make sure you’re happy and comfortable before we begin your bathroom remodel.

Questions to consider when planning your bathroom remodel

  • Do you take a quick shower and spend little time in the bathroom, or do you like a luxurious bath with lots of pampering and candles?
  • Do you want to convert your shower into a steam shower?
  • How many will share the bathroom at the same time?
  • Is there ample space for individual cabinets and grooming?
  • Are the users right or left-handed? Placement of vanity top should be on the side of the main hand.

Common Bathroom Considerations

There is a trend moving away from the traditional bathroom to a more contemporary look. The modern lines with simple detail create a transitional appearance, combining both designs. This works well in keeping with other traditional rooms in the home. The mixture of styles, including the Asian influence, transcend to minimalist and practical. Homeowners want more of a “spa” look and feel with a place to decompress from the stress of their busy lifestyles.

Following are some the most commonly requested items for a bathroom remodel:

  • Neutral Paint Colors: Color is such a personal preference, and what is neutral for one may not fit for another. Today’s neutrals are warm tones in the tans, taupes, creams, and variations of grays and golden yellows.
  • Convert Bathtubs into Walk-In Showers: Many homes built in the 1980s through early 2000s have small Master Bath showers. Some of the newer homes have the large Jacuzzi tub space and little room to move around in the shower. The most frequent request for master bath updates is to enlarge the shower. If there is not enough room to enlarge the shower where it is located, the homeowner usually wants to relocate the shower into the space of the tub area. I convert many master bathtubs into showers as homeowners do away with their unused bathtubs.
  • Granite Countertops: A common request for an update is to replace the kitchen countertops. There are many choices, which can be overwhelming for the homeowner. Granite has become very popular and affordable. It also creates a “wow” factor for any kitchen and instantly draws the eye to the updated space.
  • Frameless Shower Door Units: Today’s look and feel is for the open, clean, and airy approach to living. The shower door units of the past have framed metal around the glass, usually in gold or chrome. Along with the small shower stalls, the framed shower door unit gives a closed in feel. After the installation of a newly designed and enlarged shower, a frameless shower door unit completes the look. The larger expanse of glass and limited metal make cleaning and upkeep easier for our busy lives.
  • Walls, Partial Walls, and Fur-Downs Walls: Partial walls, and fur-downs were once added as part of the new and updated home designs of the 1970s and 1980s. It was a way to separate the entry from the rest of the home, where there was not a distinction. Today, this gives the homeowner a feeling of being closed in or not having enough room for the furniture, which is close to the doorway.

Key bathroom design elements that appeal to today’s homeowners

Plumbing fixtures:

  • Energy saving plumbing fixtures: comfort height and dual-flush commodes
  • Hand-held shower heads in addition to the main shower head
  • Additional plumbing in the shower: multiple shower heads and additional body spray jets

Showers:

  • Frameless and doorless showers
  • Larger shower and smaller tub
  • Separate shower from tub
  • Eliminate the tub and enlarge the shower
  • Air Bubble or Whirlpool tub

Cabinets:

  • Custom vanity cabinets; additional storage and linen closets
  • Upgraded cabinets with 36” high vanities
  • Additional storage
  • Solid surface vanity tops
  • Accessibility and Universal Design: grab bars, seating, easy entry
  • Tile: decorative in shower and large floor tiles
  • Improved lighting

Safety First

Safety is an important aspect when designing a bathroom, and tile continues as the top shower flooring choice. A textured finish with small tiles and more grout lines on the shower floor creates a more slip-resistant surface. Additionally, curbless showers allow for wheel chairs and less tripping when entering the shower.

Tubs should have a seating platform for easy entry into the tub and controls on the outside of the tub, eliminating reaching across the tub. Lighting should eliminate shadows, and a bathroom can have multiple lighting sources: vanity light, recessed ceiling lights, and dimmer switches. Night lights at the cabinet toe-kick helps the homeowner with comfort and safety.

The bathroom should be comfortable as well as safe. Comfort height commodes are my suggestion when remodeling or replacing existing commodes. They are 17-19” high from the floor to the top of the seat, allowing for a higher, more comfortable seat. Lever style handles on commodes, doors, and faucets ease the use for seniors as well as all users.

Many of the products on the market assist with safety and comfort and are well designed. Benches and shampoo inserts in showers, hand-held shower heads on rods, grab bars with integrated accessories (such as toilet paper holders) all make the home safe, comfortable, and accessible for anyone.

Incorporating Universal Design principles into a bathroom takes the following into account:

Showers:

  • Low-curb or curbless
  • Hand-held shower units with glide bars to adjust height
  • Grab bars for stability
  • Bench for seating
  • Anti-scald thermostatic valves to regulate hot and cold water
  • Non-slip shower floor

Bathtubs:

  • Seating place for entering and exiting tub
  • Mounted handles on the front of the tub off to the side
  • Grab bars for easier entrance and exit

Sinks:

  • 36” height counters for men and women
  • Counter and storage space within easy reach
  • Lighting positioned for best visibility for all users

Commodes:

  • Comfort height commode for easier use
  • Elongated bowls for easier use
  • 18” from the wall for a centerline
  • Grab bars for stability

Bathroom Tip

Of course, there are just as many options for bathroom design as there are people in the world. And at times, the choices may seem overwhelming. The key is to understand your needs and wants, and then design with that in mind. The more you do, the happier you’ll be with the end product.