There’s plenty to consider when tackling a bathroom remodel. Every small decision—from toilet choice to finish selection—can impact the end result. Examine the functionality of the space first then start looking at toilets, vanity, faucets and finishes, and accessories.
Vanity height must not be neglected. “The bathrooms I do have at least 36-inch vanities,” says Quintin. The higher counter/sink serves a functional purpose, requiring less bend from the user to access the faucet and perform routine bathroom tasks like shaving and washing. “A lot of older bathrooms have 30 to 31-inch countertop levels,” Quintin adds.
Storage—whether in a cabinet below the sink, behind a mirror or in a separate piece of furniture—must be included in the remodel. “When you plan for organization, organization can happen,” says Quintin. With all the activities that can take place in the bathroom, there must be storage for the items needed for those activities. When designing the new bathroom space, homeowners should consider all the functions that the bathroom will serve, list the items used in this functions and plan on ample storage to accommodate those items.
1.0 gpm Moen Vivid Waterfall Faucet. Photo courtesy of Moen.
Faucets and Finishes Faucets serve a function, but they can also serve as aesthetic focal points of the vanity and the bathroom at large. Faucet manufacturers emerge with new designs every year, so the list of options is extensive. It is wise to choose a finish option that will match or complement the finishes in the rest of the bathroom. “The finishes don’t necessarily have to match,” says Quintin. “You can choose complementary finishes, like a brushed and a polished.” Finish options are abundant and will vary by manufacturer but can include white, chrome, bronze, polished and brushed. The stainless finish look is timeless, and can be found in many of the modern faucet designs. Homeowners can also choose single- or double-handled design.
Faucets can also be chosen based on their water-efficient attributes. Flow limiters and newer designs account for water-efficient standards put forth by legislature, like in the state of California, and by federal programs like the EPA’s WaterSense program. Moen’s Destiny and Vivid lines of faucets are designed to use a scant 1.0 gallons per minute (gpm), more than half the 2.2 gpm common in older designs, and even less than the 1.5 gpm standard required for WaterSense certification. “The Vivid line is a waterfall design, so even though it looks like it is using a lot of water, it’s actually using a lot less,” says Kim.
Electronic faucets, or motion-activated faucets, are a good solution for households with children, the disabled or conservation-minded homeowners. The hands-free e-Flow line of electronic faucets from Delta Faucets also features an adjustable high temperature limiter to prevent scalding and heat-related accidents.
Accessories Accessorizing the new bathroom space can be fun, but remodelers should always be mindful again of the space and the big picture. Artwork, tiling, accent pieces and additional furniture can be brought in to add to the spa feel or customized look but never at the expense of a unified look or sufficient space to perform bathroom tasks.
Incorporating technology into the bathroom continues to be a growing trend. Aromatherapy, chromatherapy and entertainment features like plasma televisions all add to the luxuriousness of the bathroom space. Introducing a television is a great way for the working homeowner to catch up on the happenings of the world while getting ready for the day.
Homeowners can’t go wrong by consulting or hiring a professional designer. When hiring a pro, consider going with a certified bathroom designers (CBD). Whether going with a pro or not, it is important to remember that the bathroom serves a function first and any makeover to the space should be done with the overall flow of the house in mind.