Renovating your bathroom – 6 essential questions to consider before you start
Renovating a bathroom but don’t know what’s involved? Here are six questions to answer before you start your bathroom reno.
The following questions will help you determine your needs and develop an actionable renovation plan for your space to ensure your bathroom renovation is as stress free as possible.
1. What do you want to achieve from your bathroom renovation?
- Is the space out-dated or not functional for your family anymore?
- Do you have enough storage space in the current design or do you need more storage (e.g. do you need drawers in the vanity unit, shaving cabinets or even floating shelving)?
- Are there things in the bathroom that you no longer use that are taking up valuable space?
- What is the quality of the materials in your current bathroom? Are you happy to use similar materials in the renovation or do you require something different?
- Are there must haves you would like to add (for example, would you like a freestanding bath, heated towel rail or double shower)?
2. What is your budget?
- Have you set a budget to work within?
When setting your budget, consider whether you are renovating with the view to sell or do you want to enjoy the space for years to come?
Tip: In any case, it’s best to budget a contingency of about 15% for unforseen items that come up (e.g. dealing with plumbing or lifting tiles can expose some real nasties!)
3. Are you hiring tradies or is it a DIY job?
Bathroom renovations may look simple, but there is a laundry list of things to consider when renovating your bathroom space. Tiling, plumbing, electricals, waterproofing, painting – are just some of the things that need to be considered. If not done properly these are also things that can either compromise your look or cause potential problems down the track.
So how do you decide which way to go?
First look at the size of your job and your budget – are you planning a total renovation, gutting the space and starting from scratch? Or are you revamping what you have?
Create a list of the jobs to be done before you start, including:
DIY can be a rewarding and more cost effective option, but it’s really important that if you’re going to undertake any of these jobs yourself that you know how things like waterproofing and tiling are done before you start. You don’t want to start a job and then have to get a professional in to fix something later! In some cases (like electrical work) only a licensed trade can perform the work.
Hiring a designer and trades professionals is a bigger expense, however often worth the investment. When you consider the project management, organising and extra stress involved, it may be worthwhile investing in people who can take care of it for you – particularly, if you have an unusual shaped space.
4. Who is going to use the bathroom?
- Is it the main bathroom for your kids – the space where young children or adolescents will be spending a considerable amount of time?
- Do you want to renovate an ensuite that is only used by you and your partner?
Identifying who’s using the space will help you to determine the best materials to use. Natural stone and timber veneers look beautiful but do not fare well against messy little fingers, makeup and soaps. Hardier options include engineered stone benchtops like Essastone or hard wearing, easy to clean Laminex products.
Tip: Consider using a palette of premium materials for your ensuite and powder room and choose durable, cost effective options in the same colours for the secondary bathrooms. This will help you to stay in budget.
What style are you? Take our quiz to find out.
5. What’s your style?
What design style do you want to reflect in the space? Knowing the style you’re going for at the outset is important so you can narrow down materials selection and choices quickly. Classic Hamptons, Scandinavian or the more homely coastal styles all make beautiful bathroom spaces, but if you’re not sure what you like, take our style quiz to help find a style that really suits you.
Also try looking at display homes, showrooms or recently renovated open-for-inspections to get some inspiration.
6. The flow factor?
When creating a home, interior designers focus on a harmonious overall impression, called “flow” and the best way to achieve flow is by designing all of your rooms in a consistent design style.
When thinking about your new bathroom style look at whether it will work with the period of your home: will it tie into your other rooms or are you planning to update them, too?
Don’t worry if you are not ready or not planning to renovate more than one space. There are other ways to create good flow – simply choose one recurring design theme (for example a colour, timber or other material) that can be featured throughout your space.
Look at the materials currently used in your home – is there a timber, a wall colour or flooring that you love? Are these something you would like to feature in your bathroom? Consider integrating these into your bathroom design to continue flow throughout your home.
Tip: Keeping the base palette simple will effectively create flow from one room to the other. To let your personality shine through, decorate your rooms with towels, candles or other items you like. That way, if you decide you don’t like navy anymore, it’s only a towel you have to remove, not your tiles.