7 Key Tips For DIY Bathroom Remodels

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The bathroom is, along with the kitchen, one of the two most often remodeled rooms of the home, and yet, it is also one of the most complex and difficult rooms to renovate right.

Why? Because there are so many elements to a full bath, many of them highly diverse and requiring specific skills. Plumbing, wiring, structural improvements, lighting, tile shower stalls, natural stone counters, and more are combined in one small room.

There are a host of general home decorating tips available online, but here, we want to focus on bathroom-specific tips.

And our focus here will be on basic principles to follow when remodeling your bathroom rather than on particular trends and ideas – as great as articles on those topics can be as well!

Here are 5 key tips to follow when upgrading the most private room in your house and integrating it into your home’s overall ambiance:

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1. Know Your Limitations

The first thing you need to do is plan out realistically what you can and cannot tackle safely and efficiently. Electrical wiring work, for example, isn’t for everyone.

And neither is a large portion of plumbing work – but if and when you choose a plumber, be sure you get an experienced contractor with a solid, local reputation and someone who offers 24/7 emergency service “just in case.”

Make a list of which tasks you will handle on a DIY basis (like installing the toilet and tiling) and which ones you will “outsource” to trained professionals (like electrical and plumbing work.)

2. Budget But Don’t Scrimp

The second principle with a bathroom remodels job to strike a good balance between affordability and getting the enjoyable, durable results you and your family are hoping for.

Labor costs are generally as high as the costs of materials so you can save around 50% on everything you do yourself. You may also feel tempted to scrimp on materials to save even more, but don’t sacrifice quality and durability to save a few dollars now, or you’ll likely spend more on early repairs down the road.

But finally, don’t be afraid to splurge on a few high-end materials that really matter a lot to you. It’s a well-known designer “secret” that you can get away with adding a little luxury to a bathroom without busting the budget simply because of the relatively small size of the room.

3. Use Space-saving Techniques

Most bathrooms are already challenged for space, so anything you do (even small things) to save a few inches here, and there really makes a difference.

One classic way to save space is by combining your tub and shower unit, or by choosing one over the other. Another one is by putting in a corner sink, or by putting in a high ceiling and using light-colored paint and full-wall mirrors, to make the whole room “feel bigger.”

4. Don’t Get Fooled On Tile Size

Realize that actual tile size is smaller than the number you’ll see on the box. So 12 x 12 tiles might only be 11 ⅜ by 11 ⅜. The reason is to allow for grout lines and because some tiles from Europe are actually measured out in millimeters, not inches.

Not only will miscalculating your tile size result in being short of tiles and wasting time/money on reordering, but it can also mess things up when you go to cut around appliances and fixtures. So don’t fall into this common bathroom remodeling pitfall.

5. Allow For Plenty Of Ventilation

Finally, another mistake to avoid is that of providing too little ventilation for your bathroom. This is one of the most mold and mildew prone rooms of the house, and it’s also a room that needs constant ventilation for “aromatic reasons.”

Don’t rely on just one ventilation method. Install a fan and vent that vents out of doors (not into the attic), install a good ceiling fan, and also have one or more operable windows.

Before tackling your bathroom renovation project, take into account these 5 and other important tips and tricks, and it will save you time and money, and help you achieve a stunning result at an optimal price.

Christen Tung

Christen is a freelance writer residing in Mount Holly, N.J. She writes for several online magazines, and she also helps her clients improve their marketing efforts by writing newsletters, brochures, content, press releases, etc. When she's not working on improving the environment, Christen enjoys visiting her local farmer's market, reading, traveling and gardening.

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