Home remodeling projects can elevate the look and feel of your living space, adding joy to your home while increasing its value.
In 2023, updated bathrooms are among the most popular home improvement projects. When done right, remodeled bathrooms blend style, functionality and tranquility, creating a relaxing escape in your home. And thanks to new technology and product innovations, today’s updated bathrooms can also be safer, more comfortable, therapeutic and easier to keep clean and organized.
Why remodel your bathroom?
Whether you’re considering updating a primary bathroom, guest bathroom or powder room, there are many upsides to a bathroom remodel.
Improved comfort and relaxation.
No matter its size, a well-designed bathroom provides a place to relax and rejuvenate.
Increased home value.
An updated bathroom adds value to your home. According to the RenoFi Renovation Index, on average, you can recoup approximately 64% of the project’s cost for a mid-range remodel and 56.6% of the price for a more upscale remodel.
Beyond resale value, renovating your bathroom lets you customize the space to suit your lifestyle and everyday needs.
Personalized living space.
By nature, bathrooms are uniquely personal—use the remodeling process to make your area reflect your personality and design aesthetic.
What you need to know before remodeling your bathroom
From planning for proper bathroom ventilation and clever storage solutions to selecting the ideal lighting, we walk through the design and build process with five elements to keep in mind for a successful bathroom remodel.
1. Understand the remodeling process
Hiring a professional to manage your bathroom remodel is an advisable first step. A full bathroom remodel—at a minimum—requires interior design, electrical and plumbing work, product and fixture installation, carpentry and paint or wallpaper. Sometimes, bathroom remodels also require structural engineering and complex demolition with construction expertise required.
To ensure that your bathroom remodeling project meets local building code standards, that products and fixtures are installed per manufacturer specifications and to get what you want out of your newly remodeled space, going with a professional is a wise investment.
PRO TIP: Before you meet with a contractor, do your homework! Check them out on BBB, Houzz, and Angi. Research to see examples of their work and review their references to ensure you work with a reputable organization.
Depending on the contractor you’re working with, the process can look slightly different. But generally, here’s the remodeling project workflow you can expect:
Step 1: Project consultation. For the initial project meeting, be prepared to discuss your vision and goals for your project. Do you want a shower and tub combo or a shower only? Are you happy with the existing footprint, or will you borrow space from an adjoining room? Defining project parameters and priorities—including photos for inspiration, materials and a general budget—helps formulate a project plan.
Step 2: Design concept. Based on your direction and input, the contractor will work on sketches, CAD designs and specifications for your new bathroom and then present them for your review.
Step 3: Project quote and contract. After reviewing the final plans, be sure your contractor provides a written quote for the job and a contract with dates and deadlines. Based on your approval, the contractor will move ahead with securing permits.
Step 4: Materials selection. Making final selections for products and fixtures keeps the project on time and within budget. Planning makes perfect, so use resources like Dover Floor & Tile Center to shop for product finishes, surfaces and get ideas.
Step 5: Field meeting. A pre-construction field meeting allows you to ask final questions, provide directions for how workers should access your home, etc. Be sure to address any pets in the home as well.
Step 6: Construction. Build-out is managed based on project plans and time frame.
Step 7: Inspections and walk-through. After construction, your contractor will secure all inspections and give you a final walk-through of the finished space to ensure your approval.
2. Don’t overlook bathroom lighting
Proper bathroom lighting is essential to the room’s function and form, so it’s a critical element in bathroom design. Planning makes perfect: First, consider if you have the benefit of natural light in your space, and then build your bathroom lighting plan from there.
Designers advise layering lighting in rooms—and the bathroom is no exception. Your bathroom lighting plan should include primary lighting source(s), which might be an overhead fixture, can lights or both (consider adding dimmer switches for more versatility). Next is task lighting for shaving, makeup application, hairy styling, etc., usually surrounding the vanity area. And don’t forget accent or ambient lighting to create the desired mood in your bathroom, whether relaxing or invigorating.
Houzz offers these bathroom-specific lighting tips: “Placing lights strategically is a way to make a compact master bathroom feel bigger. Use LED strip lighting to bathe entire walls and floors with a soft, diffused light that resembles daylight. Add lighting to the top of a concealed bulkhead or beneath a vanity, so the vanity appears to float. These are very effective methods of lighting a small ensuite.”
3. Plan for bathroom utilities
When building a safe and functional bathroom, managing all electrical wiring and plumbing according to industry code standards is a must. Again, working with a professional contractor can help ensure that your bathroom remodel is built to code. Here are three essential elements to consider as part of your remodeling plan:
Electricity. Because bathrooms are inherently wet environments, special electrical rules apply. According to the National Electric Code (NEC), it requires a minimum of one GFCI-protected outlet per bathroom.
Ventilation. Humidity control is essential to keeping a bathroom sanitary, healthy and attractive. Your contractor should plan accordingly to ensure proper venting and electrical circuitry. For example, if your vent fan has a built-in heater, it must have its own dedicated 20-amp circuit to support operation. Or, if you’re installing a steam shower as part of your bathroom remodel, you need to understand the specific ventilation requirements before you start.
Plumbing. Better Homes & Gardens tags plumbing as the most complicated aspect of most bathroom remodeling projects. “To prevent dangerous and unhealthy conditions, plumbing must conform to building codes…You must also follow local codes, which could be more stringent.”
Generally, your plumbing plan for bathroom fixtures and access points includes toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs. A professional plumbing plan and installation helps ensure proper water flow, drainage and ventilation—along with required emergency shutoff points—for safe and healthy bathroom functionality.
4. Create bathroom storage
From toiletries and towels to cleaning supplies and first aid products, there’s a lot to manage in a bathroom that requires unique storage solutions. To maximize your storage space, inventory what you have and need to store before your bathroom remodel. Then, plan your storage elements accordingly. Cabinets and closets with roll-out shelves and multi-function storage benches are ideal for maximizing space in your bathroom.
Better Homes & Gardens offers these storage suggestions: “To boost bathroom organization, incorporate a mix of open and closed storage. This allows you to tuck away frequently used items like toiletries while displaying houseplants and small accessories. Closed doors also conveniently hide hygiene items, plungers, and laundry. For a small storage update, incorporate a mix of baskets and bins to divide vanity drawers and cabinets.”
For smart bathroom storage ideas and inspiration, check out this article from House Beautiful: 31 Best Bathroom Storage Ideas in 2023.
5. Select the ideal materials and colors for your bathroom
According to Forbes Home, “Key bathroom trends include the nature-inspired trend that incorporates tactile textures like natural stone and woods, as well as leafy green hues that bring the calming feeling of the outdoors inside.” Regardless of whether the organic aesthetic suits your design style, choose materials and colors for your bathroom remodel that complement the rest of your home for a clean, seamless look. Here are some things to keep in mind as you make your selections:
Flooring. “Switching up the shape, size, design, or color of tiles can improve both function and style in a bathroom. To get the most bang for your buck, consider materials that are durable and water/heat resistant.” (Better Homes & Gardens)
And because safety is important in bathrooms, choose textured flooring products that can help prevent slips and falls, such as porcelain tile or luxury vinyl plank.
Shower and bath tile. Porcelain tile is ideal for showers and bathtub enclosures because of its diversity (available in various sizes, shapes, textures, and colors), durability, and water resistance. Unlike other tile materials like natural stone, porcelain has no pores, preventing the buildup of mildew and soap scum.
Read more about how to choose the best tile for your bathroom application in our blog:
Countertop materials. When choosing a material for bathroom countertops, invest in a durable and stain-resistant product for this high-traffic area of your home. While your budget and personal taste will influence your selection, quartz remains a popular choice because it’s non-porous and doesn’t require sealing to become resistant to water or other liquids, so it offers easy-case maintenance.
Read all about the pros and cons of bathroom countertop surfaces before making your final selection.
Color scheme. While your design style should dictate the color scheme for your bathroom remodel, modern blue, light green and warmer neutral bathroom color schemes are popular right now. According to designers, the all-white bathroom design never goes out of style and has the added advantage of making the room look bigger, as white reflects light better than any other color.
Your Northeast Ohio bathroom remodeler
If you live in the Cleveland area and are looking for a reputable contractor to manage your bathroom remodeling project, view our portfolio and contact our Dover Home Remodelers team to start the discussion.
Or, to get inspiration for an aesthetic reboot of your bathroom, visit Dover Floor & Tile Center in North Olmsted to compare product samples and get help from our designers.
The Best is Yet to Come,