Top 20 Tips When Renovating a Bathroom


Great ideas and quick fixes to help transform your bathroom into a luxurious sanctuary…

Design details


1. Compile a list of must-haves and “lust”-haves when revamping the bathroom.  The essentials – such as a good-sized bath and extensive storage – need to be in the budget breakdown, while splurges – like a rainshower or underfloor heating – need to be adjusted when the final costings are completed.


2. Less is more – a pristine, uncluttered layout utilising clever storage will make your bathroom appear spacious and inviting.  Make the most of every centimetre by adding recessed niches (great to store shampoo) and mirror-fronted wall cabinets.


3. A white, off-white or neutral colour scheme gives the illusion of more space in the tiniest bathroom.  For a pop of colour, introduce vibrant accessories and bath towels which can be updated every few years for a new look.


4. Treat accessories and cosmetics as a work of art.  An exquisitely grouped selection of perfume bottles or an array of bathroom towels on an open shelf adds colour and interest.


Building basics


5. When choosing the builder and his team, the cheapest isn’t always the best.  A person’s workmanship, dedication, management skills, availability and communication skills are the main priorities when making up your mind.  Asking for the builder’s references is definitely worthwhile – seeing his previous work and hearing the owners’ opinions can help make up your mind.


6. When renovating, moving out may be inevitable for a few weeks if you don’t have a second working bathroom.  For gung-ho renovators, a Port-a-loo and a shower in the office or at the gym can make do, but for the rest of us, it may be necessary to move in with friends or family for a few weeks. You’ll need to build this into your budget when planning your renovation project –and be aware of any unexpected costs, such as takeaway food and laundromat costs.


7. Work sites are usually dusty and dirty so make sure you block all doorways to adjacent rooms with plastic so dust doesn’t sneak into other areas of your home.


Bathware choices


8. An array of shower systems are now on the market, so do some research before you buy. Various options include showers on rail, hand showers, fixed showers or overhead rainshowers.


9. To make your bathroom feel more spacious, a clear shower screen is a winner.  It’s also worth considering a frameless shower screen or – if you prefer the hotel-style ‘wet room’ look – no screen at all.


10. The latest freestanding bath tubs blend old-world charm with high-tech materials.  Once rare or over-priced, the latest ranges at Masters Home Improvement are really affordable.


11. A streamlined wall-hung toilet suite can be positioned below the vanity, maximising valuable floor space. Since it’s built out from the wall, there’s no need to modify the existing wall structure.  The only visible features are the designer buttons and pan.


12. In a compact ensuite, a wall-mounted basin instead of a vanity is a real space saver.  And a mirror-fronted cabinet above the basin is ideal to store toiletries.


13. Look for a vanity with contemporary storage systems. It may come with wire racks mounted inside the doors, rubbish bins, towel racks, and tilt-out drawers – all designed to help you access toiletries and appliances quickly.


14. To speed up your morning routine, a heated and illuminated mirror resist fogging up, so there’s no waiting time when doing make-up or shaving.


Technical tips


15. The classic shower drain has come a long way.  Once a simple hole in the middle of the shower area, the latest stainless-steel floor grates are extremely effective at draining away the water flow.  Positioned in the centre of the shower recess or down one end, these grates generally run the full width of the shower stall.  A plumber and tiler are required for installation and the floor has to be sloped towards the grate.  Available in various widths, a contemporary shower grate adds an architectural edge at a reasonable price.


16. In a small bathroom, a normal hinged door can be a real space invader.  During the renovation, consider a sliding door that’s hidden in an in-wall cavity, creating a clean, designer look.


17. To prevent mould build-up, ventilation is key. To ensure adequate ventilation, make sure windows can cross-ventilate and install an exhaust fan.  The exhaust fan needs to vent the moist air to the outside of the home; otherwise it could cause problems in the roof space.


Decisions, decisions


18. While cosmetics and skin-care products can be kept in drawers, there are larger items that can’t quite fit. To store away hairdryers and hairsprays, it’s worth selecting a vanity that has a deep drawer or shelf.


19. After selecting all the bathware items, it’s worth confirming that all fittings and fixtures will be available when the renovation begins.


20. When selecting paint, make sure it’s able to handle the moisture levels. Semi-gloss or gloss paints with a mould inhibitor are a good choice.

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