Successful bathroom remodeling starts with an honest assessment of priorities for the bathroom. The first step is to look carefully at the bathroom and decide what you like and what you don't like. Some key questions to ask yourself are:
- Is anything in this bathroom broken or otherwise in need of repair?
- Can I find any stains around the bath or shower?
- Is there any mold or mildew?
- Is there any water damage?
- Is the bathroom difficult to use because someone in the home has limited mobility?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then the first priority really needs to be focused on solving the problems. The problems above are related to access and maintenance. Correct remodeling will solve these problems, and create the foundation for a beautiful finished bathroom that will last at lifetime.
The next set of questions have to do with a secondary set of priorities. These are related to “use of space” and “colors and styles.”
- Is the bathroom cramped and too full of “stuff” to easily use?
- Is there a lot of empty wall space?
- Does the bathroom lack storage space, for example, does the vanity have enough drawers and shelves, or is it just an open box?
- Is the shower or bath too big or too small?
- Do you have ideas for colors and styles?
Do you like bright and clean colors, or dark and elegant colors, or earth tones, or is there a functional element to color where you want a look that is: “open” or “elegant” or “modern” or “cool” or “warm?” Color and style can contribute to a long term sense of enjoyment and personalization.
Our founder, Alan Hansen, said: “Lot's of customers start thinking about remodeling and immediately jump to colors and styles. Years of experience have taught us that our most satisfied customers start by recognizing and solving problems, and then build color and style choices on that foundation. Simply follow this order:
- Solve the problem
- Design ergonomically
- Consider the use of space
- Choose colors and styles.
This is a proven process that will give you an awesome result.
Most jurisdictions (cities and counties) require a building permit for bathroom remodeling. If we are modifying plumbing or electric, this is especially important. USA Bath can provide a full service permit administration process, or a customer can handle their own permit.
Permits are opened with the local building department. There are certain requirements for keeping bathroom remodels aligned with local building codes. There are requirements for clearances around toilets, for electricity in and near water fixtures, for waterproof materials around baths and showers and more. Our consultants are familiar with the requirements for compliance in jurisdictions where we work, but as cities and counties adopt new elements of the building code, they may add requirements or additional inspections. We are able to work with building inspectors on emerging requirements, and make sure the bathroom remodel passes its inspections, and permits are completed and closed.
This is a common problem for baths and showers. Usually, a bath or shower requiring extra maintenance is made of flawed materials, or has been installed without taking the correct waterproofing precautions and steps. Your consultant can show you options with modern materials and construction methods that largely solve the maintenance issues.
ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act. This a law that is meant to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. Part of the law requires commercial buildings with showers, such as hotels or public pools, to have showers that are accessible to individuals in wheelchairs. The ADA shower is defined here. (see section 608.2.)
Our experience is that the actual ADA shower is designed to meet certain government requirements.
Most of our customers prefer a shower that is more personalized to their specific needs. We are able to improve on the ADA design in almost every case, but we can easily install ADA showers when required or desired by our customers.
We believe the criteria for toilet selection should be prioritized as follows:
- Size and shape (height and bowl size)
- Flush capacity
- Water saving features
- Color and style
We recommend a variety of “solid core” flooring, and we carry samples when we visit your home. Solid core flooring can be installed with or without grout, is extremely “hard” and easy to clean. It is also the most waterproof floor covering material available, so it works well in an area which will frequently get wet.
Lighting selections should be made as follows:
- Bathroom lighting must be compliant with the building code. Some jurisdictions require LED lights or waterproof housing. Please ask your consultant for details.
- Style and brightness should be aligned with your tastes. We have a selection of lights, but can install just about any light that is compliant with the building code.
We recommend a high quality vanity. Our vanities feature solid plywood, dado and recessed anchor construction. These are more solid and reliable than vanities made of other materials.
Vanities can add extra value in a bathroom when you select certain upgrades. Here are some ideas:
- Extra tall
- Extra drawers
- Tilt out trays
- Soft close doors and hinges
- Bottom drawer
Ask you consultant to review these and other options, including matching mirrors, medicine cabinets and other bathroom storage options.
Countertops have a variety of value added features. Consider:
- Drip free edge
- Integral sink
- Solid surface (acrylic molecule)
- Variety of colors and styles
Be sure to ask your consultant for the very best recommendations based on cost efficiency, function and style.