5 Things To Consider Before Starting A Bathroom Renovation

Before you get started on a bathroom renovation there are five things that you should consider.  The biggest factor for most people will be how much a new bathroom costs and how to keep to the budget.  Another would be how to plan and design a new bathroom and choose the right look so that it functions for their current and future situation.  But let’s start with, is it worth renovating the entire bathroom?

1. Why renovate?

As with any interior design project it is important to establish why you want to make the change.  For some, there may be a bugging issue like a dripping tap, that would bug me too, or a cracked tile.  Whilst these can be annoying, unsightly and potentially dangerous, they wouldn’t necessarily require a complete remodel.  Or it could be that the bathroom always looks messy due to a lack of storage.  For others it may be that the bathroom no longer fits in with the style of the rest of the house.  Either way, you should figure out the motivation behind the change and that will help you to work out what changes to actually make.  Essentially, if the issues you have with your current bathroom cannot be resolved quickly with new accessories or two days DIY, then I would suggest a complete renovation is the right thing for you.

2. Layout

Accurately measure your existing space to determine what design is possible.  It is important to calculate an accurate number of tiles, as ordering more tiles later may have evident discrepancies from a different batch.  Keeping the existing layout will keep the plumbing costs down, but if the layout isn’t efficient, this is the perfect time to rectify it.  The extra cost to alleviate the issue will improve the efficiency and could add value to your home.

Standard East London bathroom before renovation

Leyton bathroom needed to be renovated due to the client wanting to upgrade and have a power shower and screen. The ceiling had tiles and was bowing.

Smart Interior Design recently transformed a bathroom in Leyton, East London.  The client wanted to upgrade his shower hose, to a rain shower and to have a bath screen instead of a curtain.  This required changing the layout of the bathroom for two reasons.  Firstly, the bath faced a window, so water would escape around it.  And secondly, there was not enough wall space to hold a power shower.  We therefore made the decision to switch the position of bath with the sink, whilst leaving the toilet in its original position to keep the cost of the renovation in budget.

3. Design and plan

This is where you can get creative and have fun choosing fittings, tiles and colours.  Change all the elements in your current bathroom that don’t work for you and ensure that you have enough space to function at each station and that equipment is at the right height for you and your family.  At the very least, waterproof materials must be used for the wet areas in your bathroom, but if your budget allows you can consider complete coverage.  During this stage you should also consider if you have enough water pressure, which will largely depend on what type of boiler you have.  There are many decisions and visions that need to be be made at this stage and would all benefit from hiring an interior designer.

In Leyton there were pipes boxed into the corner of a wall next to the sink, which would soon house the new bath.  By losing the 10cm wall depth along the entire wall we were not only able to have a straight wall, but also create a niche for storage as well as recessed cabinetry above the sink.  The new wall tiles are Marfil Grey from Topps Tiles.  The flooring may look like solid oak, but they are actually anti-slip tiles, which add warmth and a homely feel.

After bathroom renovation

This is the same bathroom in Leyton.  The changes included moving the bath and vanity unit.

4. Contractors

An interior designer can do more than just design the layout.  Even if you are having the same layout, it is worth getting an interior designer to make sure you get the best results from your new bathroom.  There is a false belief that an interior designer will make the process more expensive.  On the contrary, the less time it takes sourcing products and making considered decisions the more economic the project is, plus they can add value from their experience to bring it all together smoothly.

Carrying out a bathroom installation can be even more complex than it looks.  To save yourself time and stress it would be beneficial to hire a contractor instead of making it a DIY job.  You will also need a qualified electrician and Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out any gas installation work.  I would also recommend using a specialist tiler.

For this bathroom in Leyton I designed and project managed the whole process from the start to ensure the client got the best value for money.  This included taking accurate measurements, drawing plans, evaluating quotes, comparing a detailed list of products from a range of suppliers, purchasing all the items and accessories and making sure they were delivered when they are needed as well as project managing all elements including budget and regular site visits.

Smart Interior Design bathroom renovation

Power shower and storage niche

5. Budget

The average cost of a new bathroom in London is around £5,500.  This can vary significantly depending on location, contractors fees, design fees and the quality of the fixtures and fittings chosen.  Having a designer to project manage the project can ensure that the design is installed as planned, delivered to budget as well as reducing the stress along the way.

It’s important to remember that if there are only minor issues with your existing bathroom, you could do a quick bathroom makeover by updating accessories and small amounts of DIY.  Plan ahead – adding things during the project or changing your mind can be very costly and timely.  Have a realistic budget and stick to it, but remember to build into that a contingency for any hidden problems.

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