Go Big and Spend Small: Three DIY Bathroom Renovation Tips

Your bathroom is one of the most frequently visited rooms in your home, but it’s also likely one of the smallest. If you’re feeling cramped or struggling with an inefficient design, it may be time for you to consider a renovation. Whether you’re looking for more space, improved functionality or simply a fresh look, we can help you get the job done with these three DIY bathroom renovation tips.

Tip 1: Prioritize Project Preparation

Before undertaking any DIY project, the best practice is to have a plan and a budget in place. Determine what changes you want to make and how much you can afford to spend.

Here are some elements you should keep in mind from the onset:

  • Design – Don’t just start making major changes, like knocking down walls and removing fixtures, until you have a plan in place for the design of your new bathroom.
    • Consider your personal style and preferences, as well as the overall look and feel of your home. Create a rough sketch or have an expert use a design software tool to map out your desired layout. If you plan to tear down walls or move or add plumbing and electrical, you’ll want an expert assessment of what is possible and how much it will cost before you start. Keep in mind that relocating plumbing can be very expensive, and is not a DIY job, so if cost is an issue, you’ll want to avoid having to do so. Depending on the extent of your project, your town may require permits and inspections to ensure renovations are up to code.
  • Materials Once you settle on a rough design, make a list of all the materials you will need and research prices to ensure you stay within your budget. Make sure you have everything you need before you start, so you don’t have to stop midway to make additional purchases. Find a middle ground with your purchases—shop around for the best deals, but don’t compromise on quality to save a few bucks.
  • Tools – With a little creativity and a few basic tools, you can transform your old bathroom into a space you love. Common bathroom renovation tools include power drills, saws, tile cutters and levels to name a few. Consider renting tools to save money, but make sure you know how to use them properly to avoid accidents or damage to your home.

Tip 2: Maximize Limited Space

Now that you’ve done the prep work, it’s time to consider how to get the most out of the space you have.

Here are a few ideas to increase storage or create visual space:

  • Think vertically – When floor space is at a premium, try to elevate your thinking. Consider incorporating vertical solutions like shelves and cabinets that extend from the floor to the ceiling. You could also mount floating shelves above the toilet or other available wall space. Ideally, by going vertical, you will create as much floor space as possible for you and your guests to move around.
  • Creative storage solutions – When it comes to storage in a small bathroom, get creative. Use baskets, jars and trays on your shelves, countertops or windowsills to help keep your items organized and easily accessible. Hang rails and hooks on the walls or the backs of doors to hang towels or other items, or consider hanging baskets that double as storage and décor. Choose items that incorporate storage space, such as a sink with a cabinet vanity, as opposed to a pedestal sink.
  • Create an illusion – Sometimes the illusion of space is enough to make a big difference. Try a new coat of paint. Opting for light, bright colors can effectively bounce off light and create an effect of a more spacious, airy environment. Mirrors can be a great way to make a small bathroom feel larger—a wall-length mirror can reflect light and essentially double the visual space within the room without any changes to the square footage.
  • Consider new door options – Does your current door open into your bathroom? You may want to consider changing to a door that opens out into the hallway instead. Or, if the space is exceptionally tight, install a pocket door, which slides parallel into the wall, taking up less space than a traditional swinging door.

Tip 3: Improve Functionality

When it comes to design, functionality is the natural partner of space; a bathroom that’s intelligently designed with elements that serve multiple purposes will naturally free up more area to move around. A mirrored medicine cabinet is the perfect example of this concept. It only sticks a few inches out from the wall (using otherwise unoccupied space) and opens up more storage space for other items, while adding beauty and depth to the room.

We already mentioned the possibility of shelves above your toilet, but you can also use the toilet. The back is an ideal location for a storage basket containing useful items like a spare roll of toilet paper, tissues or room spray. Or, if you’re working with a full bathroom, add functional shelves inside the tub or shower.

Similar to how a new coat of paint or a mirror can “increase” space, bright lighting can improve functionality for detail-oriented tasks that you perform in the bathroom. Good lighting is essential, but it can be especially important when you’re shaving or applying makeup. Consider replacing your current lighting with brighter, energy-efficient options. You can

compound this effect by adding task lighting around your vanity. Not only is the light useful, but it brightens the appearance of the room, giving it a naturally spacious look.

Need Assistance? We’ve Got Your Back

Bathrooms come in various shapes, sizes and layouts, and typically remain unchanged during a remodel. However, it’s wise to explore all options before finalizing ideas, as an experienced interior designer may suggest possibilities that were overlooked.

Still not sure how to get started? Our design team can help you dream up a great layout with beautiful sinks, vanities and related fixtures. If you can’t visit us, one of our designers will even come to your home and use state-of-the-art 3D CAD design software to help create your dream space.

Our design staff attends yearly training courses to keep up with the latest in ever-evolving design trends. With superior knowledge of color schemes and bathroom design, we have all the answers you need for your renovation.

To get started, contact us or visit one of our Kitchen & Bath Design Centers.

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