By Gene And Katie Hamilton
You'll get the best value from working with a bathroom contractor or designer after you've devoted some time to think through the project. Analyze your present bathroom to decide what works and what elements you'd like to change. Start a clipping file of magazine pictures and keep notes about what you like to document your ideas. While you're going through this process, step back and distill all the ideas and features to fit your lifestyle and budget. You want to do this once and do it right, so allow plenty of time to re-examine all the aspects of the project.
Most bathroom remodeling projects fall into three categories:
- a makeover that involves replacing fixtures and making cosmetic improvements
- changing the layout that can involve moving walls and fixtures and consequently mechanical work
- an expansion that opens up adjacent space to enlarge the bathroom and broaden its usability that can involve moving walls and fixtures and new mechanical work
The scope of the project can be as straightforward as sprucing up a powder room with a pedestal sink and wallpaper or as extensive as creating a new multi-function bathroom with laundry facilities, fitness equipment or as an extension of a master bedroom suite. Once you clarify your goals for the new space you can translate your ideas to a contractor or design pro who will implement them.
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When you're planning a new bathroom, there are a staggering number of decisions to make so do some preliminary leg work and visit showrooms where you can see all the materials you'll have to choose from. Look at the myriad of cabinet styles, materials and see how they are constructed. You'll find countertop materials, plumbing faucets and fixtures, shower environments, whirlpool tubs, lighting elements and flooring materials, not to mention windows and doors.
If you're remodeling a bathroom, use these guidelines to create a bathroom with comfort and efficiency.
- Around the toilet allow a 3-feet-by-3-feet space in front of the toilet and about 1 1/2 feet from the center of the fixture to walls or other fixtures.
- For an enclosed toilet, plan the space at least 3-feet wide by 5 1/2-feet deep.
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