Remodeling Your Bathroom - Part 1

February 18, 2018
Bathrooms are more challenging and expensive than many other rooms of the home.  Why, you ask? They’re more challenging because you’re dealing with water and often issues of mold and leaks. They're more expensive for the same reasons and because you’re dealing with plumbers and plumbing fixtures… and water… and sometimes waste water.  Yuck!  Generally speaking, the two main causes of goofed up bathroom remodels is that people need to spent the time and money to reconstruct the bathroom properly, or they have inept or untrained workers doing the job.
Oldy and... Moldy
Always watch for signs of mold, the #1 problem in any bathroom during the deconstruction phase.  These can occur just above the baseboards, near the ceiling, on the ceiling or in patches occurring on the walls or floor.  The mold can be black, green or white, and sometimes is accompanied by a musty smell.  Locate a highly-rated mold remediation company to eliminate the problem before you start your remodel, or you’ll spread the mold spores throughout the rest of your house.  This is going to cost up to $4,000 for this service, but it’s worth every penny.
photo credit: Black mold in my shower via photopin (license)
Bathrooms are wet rooms, so one needs to consider water vulnerability in every aspect of the planning and construction of a bathroom.  It will account for 5-10% of the total bill, because you have to use high end materials, whether its shower pans, drywall, or plumbing pipes that are made to endure some exposure to moisture.
photo credit: So close to the end! via photopin (license)
Plumbing Problems
If you have leaky faucets when they’re completely turned off, if your taps deliver inconsistent water pressure, or you experience a knocking sound when you turn on the shower, then you probably have improperly installed plumbing.  You may need to have new plumbing installed to fix these problems.  Make certain you check the plumber’s license and insurance before you hire anyone.
photo credit: Suspense via photopin (license)
Shower/Tub Drainage Problems
Water should run directly to the drain and should not pool.  If 1/2” of water remains in the shower pan even for a few minutes after you’ve turned off the faucet, you likely have, or will have a problem with leakage.
photo credit: Suspense via photopin (license)
Venting All That Steam
Every bathroom, especially those in the middle of a house, needs an exhaust fan that vents outside.  Today they make very effective exhaust fans that are super quiet, so that a sleeping mate doesn’t hear it when their sleep schedule doesn’t match their partner’s.  Run the shower using all hot water, and then turn on the fan.  The mirrors shouldn’t fog and the drywall shouldn’t sweat if your fan is working properly.  Guidelines from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (of which I’m a member) recommend a ducted system that’s minimally 50 cubic feet per minute although you may need more if your space is bigger than 100 sq. ft.
In conclusion
Next week we will discuss bathroom floor plans, materials, lighting and more.  Questions?  Respond and we will try to assist you with some more answers. We would love to hear from you in writing about your design successes, (ideally with pictures) as well as your challenges!  Email us via this website at if you need professional help in designing your space.  Remember, we convert ordinary spaces into extraordinary places!

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