Anatomy of a Bathroom Renovation

You’ve probably wondered about the process for a bathroom renovation. It’s actually very complicated, as many components inter-relate in different ways. Cabinets, lighting, counter surfaces, fixtures, floor covering, paint, windows, trims, hardware and accessories, floor plan, function, moisture, ventilation, insulation, water sealing, heating, colours, tile and so forth. There are many considerations, which all impact the finished product, the enjoyment as well as functionality.

We have found that clients appreciate our ability to facilitate the complete renovation from start to finish. Often, when one goes from one supplier to the next, the individual suppliers will recommend a particular product, without understanding the full scope of the project, the lifestyle of the clients, or how their product will be either a hindrance or help in the clients home. The following is an example of the process our company uses:

1. We would normally start with exploring what your lifestyle needs and wants are. Having a discussion with all the adults in the household is helpful, as everyone sees things from a different perspective. What size of shower, floor plan, amount of usage, colors; many points are covered in our initial consultation.

2. We would next discuss the renovation budget, and future plans for the home. (For example, would it make sense to enlarge into an adjoining bedroom now that the kids are leaving, and the room will be vacant? Or, should we change all the old windows in the front of the house to match the new bathroom one?) We prefer to make recommendation for a budget range, which we feel would deliver the best solution to your needs, rather than just come back with a price that may or may not be relevant. For one person, a bathroom renovation budget could be $6,000 to $8,000; to another it could be $50,000 to $55,000. Like anything, you get what you pay for, and one bathroom may have $4000 or another $25,000 in materials alone. We have found that working with you to your budget is always the best solution.

3. Now that we have a budget in mind, we can work toward putting a package together with the best materials available. We bypass the solid teak floor and $5000 Corian countertop, and choose a linoleum floor and laminate counter for the $10,000 bathroom, but would perhaps include them in another budget category. At this point, we would discuss whether we would put together your layout and design, in which case, off we would go to pick out materials!

4. Should you really be ready for the bathroom of your dreams, we will introduce you to a professional award winning designer, who will spend a great deal of time sketching successive plans and details. We’ll normally get together with the designer four or five times, and each time you’ll come closer to seeing exactly how your dream bathroom will look. This process can be a real help, as a dimension drawing gives a real perspective of how it all fits together. The designer cost for a bathroom usually ranges from $1,000 to $1,500, and is a service that can double your satisfaction with your finished project. Never underestimate the importance and value of a great design! You’ll agree when you see the difference, that money spent here, is really a great asset!

5. We spent an afternoon looking at tile, flooring, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, lighting fixtures, trims and so forth. This is much easier than leaving you to fend for yourself! We would direct you to industry suppliers over “do-it yourself” centers. The products typically carried by many do it yourself centers are designed and supplied to a generally inexperienced market segment, and are produced with ease of installation being the primary consideration, rather than functional application, which is likely much more difficult to install, but performs much better. An example: A five-piece plastic tub surround is purchased from Home Depot, along with several tubes of adhesive and caulking. The homeowner installs the product, but it doesn’t go in as easily as the instructions or sales staff indicated of course. The problem? Unfortunately, there are “recommended” adhesives, but no “guaranteed” adhesives on the market, and the unit is not really secured to the wall. Another issue with the plastic kits is that silicone doesn’t stick to them. The day after the silicone is applied, you can run your finger over the joint, and it will start to separate; once the silicone starts separating from the joint, water damage will immediately occur. We use only the best materials, which are designed for longevity and function when installed by experienced professionals.