“It’s a less efficient room to renovate than others in the house because it’s so tight,” Cameron Snyder, president of Roomscapes Luxury Design Center in Boston, and former president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association told HGTV. “You can normally get one trade in there at a time.”
Remodeling a bathroom can involve juggling electrical, plumbing, cabinetry and tile among other things. There are a few steps This Old House recommends you take before making over the powder room. Here are seven of them.
Think about the space
Along with considering local codes, you need to make sure you have ample space to move around in your bathroom. When replacing a vanity or installing a new tub, make sure you know the correct measurements. Houzz has a list of standard dimensions of fixtures and key measurements.
Recessed spaces for toiletries
Rather than taking up valuable bathroom real estate on shelves, installing a shower niche can provide an easy, semi-hidden space for your toiletries. HomedIt says ideally the niche is installed at eye level, which is 48-60 inches on average.
Proper accessory height
Knowing where to place towel hooks and a medicine cabinet is important. This Old House suggests mapping out where you’d typically reach for these items before installing them.
Give wiring a boost
This is particularly important in an older home. The National Electric Code requires that homeowners’ bathrooms have at least one 20-amp ground fault interrupter (GFCI) protected branch circuit for power receptacles, according to SFGate. This is required of newer homes, according to DenGarden. Also, make sure a 20 amp circuit has a 20 amp outlet.
Lighting the vanity properly
Part of lighting your bathroom right is placing fixtures in the correct spot.
“It’s important that there is some light between your face and the mirror,” Anne Sneed, owner of the Del Mar, California-based Anne Sneed Architectural Interiors told Architectural Digest. “If you’re just backlit, you wind up with your face in shadow.”
This Old House notes that fixtures should flank the mirror at around 66 inches. Ideally, space them 36 to 40 inches apart.
You may not want to try installing wallpaper in the bathroom. Moisture and humidity may cause it to peel off, which could cause problems, The Spruce said.
Insulate the pipes
Not only does pipe insulation help protect them from freezing during the colder months, but it also can help keep your home safer and increases its efficiency. Bob Villa has some tips on how to insulate them.