Low-flow toilets, which use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, are required by law in all new and remodeled baths. Pressure-assisted toilets effectively clear the bowl with one flush, but make considerable noise in the process. Gravity models sometimes require two flushes to clean the bowl properly. For maximum efficiency, choose a bowl with a large water surface. Make sure there's sufficient space around the toilet for comfortable access—ideally, at least 16 inches from the centerline of the toilet and walls or fixtures on either side. Also allow at least 30 inches from the front of the toilet to the nearest object.
Nowadays, walk-in showers have become a symbol of modern bathrooms. Last month my neighbor also renovated their bathroom and installed a walk-in shower to get more space, by hiring the services of walk in bathtub, which was made of glass, without rails and sometimes with a frameless look. After the overall renovation of their bathroom, it looks elegant and stylish.
If your would-be sanctuary is a major sore spot, you’re not alone. Bathrooms are second only to the kitchen on people’s wish lists of rooms to remodel, especially since the current economy-induced deferred maintenance has pushed so many past their 20-year lifespan. “At that age, bathrooms really start to get tired,” says Art Donnelly, president of Legacy Design Build in Mount Sinai, New York. “Leaky toilets, grimy grout, loose tiles—you name it, it’s probably an issue.”
Here’s a word of warning, though. It’s going to take more time than you think. Why? Your bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but you’re going to have to paint slowly and gently around the window, the tub or shower, the sink, the mirror, the toilet, the switchplates, the wall corners, and the floor. This takes time and patience (and a good supply of painter’s tape), so make sure you keep this in mind when planning your renovation.
How much should you spend on your master bathroom? A rule of thumb is that the total project—including materials and installation—should cost no more than 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) puts the national average at about $16,000. Another guide is Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value report, which compares the average cost of various renovation projects with the value they retain at resale. In 2011-2012, mid-range bathroom remodels cost an average of $16,552 and recouped 62 percent, while upscale bathroom remodels cost an average of $52,249 and recouped 56 percent. Here’s how the NKBA breaks down the budget for a typical bathroom remodel:
A full bath requires a minimum of 36 to 40 sq. ft. The finished room must measure at least 5 ft. in one direction to accommodate a tub. Building codes typically require 32x32 in. (finished dimensions) for a shower; if you have the space, larger is better. Just make sure the shower is large enough so you can comfortably raise your arms and bend over in the space.
Your creativity will show with adding or replacing floor tile and wall tile with a bathroom remodel. The choices of polished or textured, subtle or bold, patterned or solid and single- or multi-colored are just the beginning of your options. Modify the traditional brick pattern to install subway tile vertically, or consider a herringbone layout to add visual interest to simple tile designs.