Bathroom Remodel

A significant room in anyone’s home is the bathroom. They come in all kinds of sizes & shapes. Let’s look at a basic bath remodel. bath-baypark

The first step will be the demolition. Make sure you know where the main water shut off is and that it’s working. There are usually two. One is at the street and one is at the house. Often when construction begins neither valve is operable. They are not used much and tend to freeze. Check the angle stops below the sink & toilet. These can be frozen as well. Once the water can be turned off the removal of the vanity, sink, faucet, & toilet begins, being careful not to damage the drywall. If the angle stops are inoperative, this would be a good time to change them. This way you can easily turn the water back on.

Next up, removing the tile and tub. These items can be tricky to take out. Cast iron tubs are very heavy and awkward to maneuver. Is there a shower valve? Replace it too. Even if it has been recently replaced, it would be better to do it now while the walls are already opened up. We like to use a Moen brand pressure balanced valve for the shower.

Now on to the bathroom remodel. A Kohler Villager tub costs about $230 and is a good choice. Black paper and cement backer board is installed around the tub. Ceramic tile can be glued to the backer board after which the tile is grouted. Silicone grout sealer is a popular option to protect the grout. At this point the drywall would be repaired and then painted.Now your new vanity can be installed. If you are using a tile countertop this can be done at the same time as the tub tile. There are 2 styles of sink to consider. First there is the “self rimming” or “drop in” type. This style is the easiest to install or replace. The other is the “undermount”. This style is considered more elegant, but harder to remove if repairs are necessary.

Faucets come in 2 styles as well. They are 4″ or 8″ spread. This refers to the distance between the handles. The 4″ is standard in most homes. The 8″ is used in more upscale settings. Countertops have several options. Some of these are solid surfaces like Corian, cultured marble, granite, & tile. Corian & cultured marble are both available with integrated sinks. Floor installation would be next. Using ceramic tile is popular with sheet vinyl running a close second. Tile costs more but lasts much longer.

The toilets can be installed once the floor is done. The Kohler Wellworth Lite is a good product. This is a low flow toilet that really functions efficiently. Toilets come in round or elongated bowls. Elongated are considered more elegant but take up more room. Don’t use tablet cleaners in the tank, they tend to ruin the flapper. But that’s another article.

At this point, the bath accessories can be installed. Mirrors & medicine cabinets come in many shapes & sizes. Surface mount medicine cabinets above the sink are popular now. Towels bars and paper holders come in all varieties. Lighting is usually placed above the sink on the wall. This is the best location because no shadows are created when looking directly into the mirror. Remember, “Lighting is everything”. The plugs should be changed to a GFI type when possible. City codes require a bathroom to have an exhaust fan or a window. I prefer both when possible.

Most full bath remodels cost between $10,000-$25,000. That number can vary tremendously with all the different choices out there. Pick up any home magazine and you’ll see there is no limit to what you can do…have fun with it!


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