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Getting Personal

6 important things to consider before you renovate your bathroom I found myself sitting on the client’s master bathroom toilet with the contractor and client standing there. We were working toward getting all the towel bars and accessories placed in the master bath. “Right here,” I said as I reached down and showed the installer where to put the piece of blue tape as a mark to remember where to install the toilet paper holder.

One year earlier the client apologized for wanting to discuss the finances of our contract. He said, "I know this is a little uncomfortable, me asking all these financial questions." “Oh that’s nothing,” I said. “It’s going to get way more uncomfortable than that! We will be discussing where you’d like to put the toilet paper holder in your bathroom!” And so we did.

Building a house, or even renovating a space within your home takes answering hundreds of questions.

Here are 6 important things to consider before you renovate your bathroom.

The Layout, Plumbing, Heating, Vanity, Space Savers, and Installations.

  1. Layout: Calling on an architect and designer first is best to help answer; 'Are we keeping the fixtures in their existing location and just replacing them? Is there a way to increase the size of the bathroom and /or just the shower or vanity?' Redesigning the layout may provide a better use of the space.

  2. Plumbing: Another important person to discuss the project with early on is a plumber. The plumber can answer questions like; ‘Can we move the shower? Can we move the toilet? Can we move the vanity?'

  3. Heating: How is the bathroom heated now? Often in a bathroom there are a few ways to heat the space if you’ve taken out a clunky baseboard heater. Radiant floor heat, a toe kick heater & a towel warmer are a few ways to provide heat and gain floor space simultaneously.

  4. Vanities: Some vanities are designed like a chest of drawers or an antique cabinet, or a box of drawers that hang on the wall. Others are are creative versions where sinks sit on slabs of wood or stone. Or a porcelain sink sits on a metal frame called a console sink.

Here are some of our favorite vanity manufacturers;

@kohler @fairmontdesigns @strasserwoodenworks @duravit @nativetrails @dxvluxury @robern @thelinkasink @waterworks

5. Space Savers: We always find ourselves looking to save a few inches here and there to create a spacious feeling.

Here are a few ways we have done that;

-TOILET A wall mounted toilet may need a couple extra inches in the wall for the tank but the toilet's overall depth measurement is 10” less than a 28” deep conventional toilet.

-FAUCET: A wall mounted faucet for a vanity may project out from 6" to 8” and wall mounting it saves at least 3" or 4” which is the amount of space that a conventional installation has behind the faucet sitting on the counter.

-SINK: A slightly smaller sink, maybe 10” round for instance, will save another inch or so. This is more likely doable in a Powder Room.

-VANITY: A bathroom vanity is typically 21” deep, add to that a countertop overhang of at least an inch and you’re at 22. Pay attention to the specifications of the vanity, some manufacturers will design two versions of the same vanity, one is 18” deep the other is the more conventional 21”.

-BATHTUB: There are some skinny tubs out there at 29" or 30” wide. A great space saver and still allowing you to have your tub. Visit a Ferguson, Waterworks, Duravit or Grand Central showroom where you may be able to climb into a tub to know what’s best for you.

- SHOWER: A way to provide an open and spacious feeling in your bathroom is to have a glass wall separating your shower from the rest of the bathroom. Starfire glass has very low levels of iron, removing the green cast you otherwise get especially on the thicker 1/2” glass typically used for showers. If the green cast doesn’t interrupt your design you can save money on the cost of the glass. Starfire glass provides an ultra clear view into the shower otherwise.

6. The installations: Before the demolition, all the fixtures and tile will be on site. A contractor can keep a project moving if they have what they need. Designate where you will keep these things until they’re ready to be installed.

Be sure to have tear sheets of all the fixtures along with drawings of the space to convey the new design and the layout of the tile on all walls and floors, placement of plumbing pipes and electrical wires.

As you can see, there are many questions that need to be answered based on your desired objectives. We work with you every step of the way to gain the answers to questions you didn’t even know existed! All with the intent to create a space designed specifically for you.

As designers, we are your advocate to ensure that the work the trades people are doing provide you a finished space you love.

Need some professional guidance? Please contact us, we'd love to help.


Gretchen Reinheimer Design

Creating extraordinary spaces together


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