Little things can become big, expensive problems in an old-house bathroom renovation. Subway wall tile and small black and white floor tiles are possible indicators of an older home. And when you talk about removing and replacing old tiles, you’re often talking “wet-bed”.
A wet-bed essentially means the tiles are sitting on a slab of concrete poured into the floor system – not how it’s done today. Wet-bed tiles are difficult and expensive to remove. Wall tiles may have several coats of concrete and maybe wire lath behind it – brutal. You might want to settle for these tiles and spend your time and money elsewhere. Good thing vintage is in.
Think carefully about fixtures and all the stuff that’s connected to them as you lay out the plumbing, electrical and framing, not the other way around. This will help you avoid mistakes and do tighter work.
You may choose to leave plumbing supply lines exposed, as in the bathroom here, for a more industrial or vintage look. Or you may choose to hide them behind the sink pedestal for a more modern look. Little things make big impressions.
Curbless showers are awesome, but for the water to flow into the drain, the floor has to be high enough to pitch the tile into the drain. When you add thickness to the floor, you then have to think about the transitions in the room.
One of the biggest layout control points for a bathroom renovation is the door threshold. When you add a heated floor this transition area is again affected, so consider the implications carefully. The thicker the floor, the bigger this transition. If someone needs to wheel into the room, accommodations must be made.
Consider privacy, as bathrooms tend to be shared. I’m a big fan of toilet rooms. They’re pretty easy to install, and they make a master bath much more accommodating for two people who use it at the same time.
For showers on outside walls with soap nooks (love them), tuck a piece of rigid foam insulation behind the backer board before you tile the nook to minimise a cold spot inside the home.
You bet. Side-by-side sinks are great for large master bathrooms. But for some couples, two small bathrooms work even better – each person gets a private area. This may make for a smaller “master”, but it can make for a more awesome experience every day.
Do you take a lot of baths? Do you like to luxuriate in the shower? Consider adding a 2cm supply line to the tub or shower for a more consistent, faster flow of water. It’s the opposite of a water-saving tip; this not-so-green idea would be a splurge.
Stand-alone showers are awesome features, but think about the bath mat that might abut it every day. And about traffic flow. There are no (or not many) mats that work with stalls that open at the corner, so you’re stuck with a bare floor on one side of the shower door and a bath mat on the other. And that means a puddle after every shower.
What did you learn from your own bathroom makeover? Let us know in the Comments section.