A new bathroom can make all the difference to your daily routine, but this high-maintenance utility area is one of the hardest to get right when it comes to renovating.
Function is as vital as form. There are endless decisions to make on everything from tap styles to floor tiles, and doing it yourself is fraught with danger unless you’re a professional.
So learn from the mistakes of others and get it right the first time (then wallow in a candlelit bubble bath when it’s all done).
All systems go
Nothing is more important in your bathroom than the plumbing. This may seem obvious, but it can be too easy to put style before function while planning that dream bathroom.
A power shower with body jets and multiple spray options might impress your guests, but it won’t work efficiently unless your water system is compatible.
Find out which water system you have by contacting a local plumber, which you can find quickly via Houzz, an online resource that allows you to find relevant home professionals working in your area.
If it ain’t broke …
Don’t fix it! In other words, reorganising the entire layout of your bathroom for the sake of it may not be worth the thousands of extra dollars.
For example, moving the toilet from its original location involves re-routing the water line and – hold your nose – the waste line too, so why not consider keeping toilet, sink and bath fixtures, well, fixed?
The grass is always greener, so it might help to scroll through Houzz’s infinite library of project photos to find bathrooms with the same layout for some new-found inspiration.
You might insist on tropical palm wallpaper and timber vanity, but how will your dream bathroom look in two years’ time?
Bubbling walls and warped wood will make you feel like you’re staying at a mouldy old holiday home, and a second renovation will be required sooner than you think.
Moisture is, obviously, a prerequisite of a bathroom and so materials used must take this into account.
Vinyl plank products can be a solution for a water-resistant, timber-look floor, and modern technology means water-resistant wallpaper options abound on Houzz.
It’s all in the details
You might be exhausted after searching high and low for the perfect tile, but don’t collapse yet as there is still work to be done.
The wrong shade of grey on your grout could spoil everything, and those taps might look a million times better in rose gold, if only you’d known that finish was available.
While your living space and bedrooms can be spruced up with art, textiles and ornaments for character, bathrooms rely on their fittings and schemes.
If you get everything else right but fail to install or update your ceiling fan, you may have made the biggest mistake of all.
At the very least, your current fan will need a thorough clean. Without proper ventilation, humidity builds up, paint can crack and peel, and you’ll be whipping out the mould-killer spray all too regularly.
For upkeep, vacuuming the vent helps, and if you’d like to determine whether the fan is due for a clean before getting down and dirty, turn it on and hold some toilet tissue up to the vent.
If it stays up on its own when you let go, the air is still flowing.
If not, it’s time for action. If you have no fan in your bathroom, promote this to the top of your to-do list pronto.