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Top 10 Anne Arundel Bathroom Remodeling Tips

When you walk into your bathroom, do you look around and daydream about how you would improve it? Perhaps the colors are a bit outdated, the fixtures don’t really suit your style anymore, or the tiling has seen better days?

Maybe you’ve moved into a new house and want to update the bathroom. Or perhaps you’ve lived in your home for a while, and the space no longer appeals to your tastes. Bathrooms also receive a lot of foot traffic; over time, countertops chip, wood cupboards warp, and the vinyl floors that were the height of fashion 20 years ago suddenly look out of place.

As your needs change, sometimes the bathroom no longer works for you. As an aging couple, you might need the bathtub-shower hybrid converted to a more accessible space. Or maybe you’re finally empty-nesters and the bathroom that was once your children’s domain can be converted into a sleek space for guests.

Remodeling your bathroom is an excellent way to update both its function and aesthetic. Yet, many Anne Arundel County homeowners feel daunted at the thought of a renovation.

Updating your bathroom doesn’t have to be stressful. With these 10 tips under your belt, you’ll be able to efficiently plan and execute a bathroom remodeling project. Bring your dream bathroom to life—without breaking the bank.

1. Map Out a Plan

Having an organized plan for your bathroom remodeling project will help you stay on track. It will also be a key communicative tool for your contractors to reference, and be instrumental in creating the bathroom you envision. When outlining your plan, center your research around your vision and budget.

What’s Your Vision?

If you’re ready to renovate your bathroom, it’s probably because you have an idea of what you want to change. Although you have the “big picture” in mind, it’s integral to map out the details. The more specific your plan is, the easier the entire remodeling process will be. Gathering inspiration is a great starting point. Look at interior design magazines and Pinterest for ideas. Put photos you like on your own Pinterest Board, on a file on your computer, or physically print-out designs you like. Inspiration in-hand, create a list and answer the following questions:

  • What areas of the bathroom will stay the same?

  • What will be changed/replaced?

  • Are you moving key fixtures, like the toilet or bathtub/shower?

  • Are you installing additional features, like an extra sink?

  • Does the electrical system need to be adjusted for more outlets or additional lighting?

  • Will you be tearing down/building walls?

  • Are you replacing or adding tile? If so, what type?

  • Are you replacing the counter or vanity?

  • Do you have sufficient storage space? If not, how will you add more storage?

  • What color palette appeals to you?

  • What kind of accents (faucets, cabinet knobs, etc.) will you add?

Once you’ve mapped out what will be changed during the remodel, you’ll have a better picture of what the project will involve. To be really thorough, you could go one step further and draw out a blueprint of what your ideal bathroom will look like. If design isn’t your skill, you can always hire a professional interior designer to take care of the logistics on your behalf.

Budgeting a Bathroom Remodel

Once you have a sense of what will be changing in the bathroom, you’ll also have a sense of what home service providers you’ll need to hire (for instance, is a contractor sufficient or do you also need an electrician and plumber?), and the materials you need. Then, it’s time to create the budget. Your budget will influence each choice you make. Before allocating funds for labor and materials, it’s important to save between 10% and 20% of your total budget for emergencies. Renovations have a tendency to go over budget—despite your best intentions. It’s wise to have a little extra put away for unforeseen expenses, luxury splurges, and if the work takes longer than anticipated.

 

The next biggest portions of your budget will be labor, followed by materials. Research is an important step here as well. Be sure that any contractor you choose is licensed, bonded and insured. It’s a good idea to read reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau. Do research on the cost of materials you like. Your research should be detailed enough that it gives you a clear idea of how much the renovation will be. Use your bathroom remodeling inspiration pickings to help choose what materials, fixtures, and features you need for your space.

2. Don’t Change Your Plumbing

Unless you’re planning a significant remodel or are transforming a powder room into a full bath, try to leave your plumbing alone. By not adjusting your plumbing, you’ll save significant labor costs. With your savings, you could treat yourself to buying quality materials, luxury fixtures, or better lighting. Or, you could renovate on a smaller budget and save for a rainy day.

3. Revamp Your Mirror

An easy way to update your bathroom is to highlight the mirror. The vanity is the focal point of a bathroom. Stunning cabinets, quality countertops, and unique fixtures all contribute toward a beautiful vanity—but the mirror shouldn’t be neglected. You don’t need to buy a high-end model to invigorate the space. Rather, re-frame your current mirror. A frame draws the eye to the vanity and adds an elevated detail that can really bring the bathroom together. As a bonus, putting a new frame on your old mirror can hide age-related wear like flaking, small cracks, and chips along the edge.

4. Update Your Toilet

Debating whether you should replace or keep your toilet? Even low-end toilets aren’t inexpensive, and luxury models can run for thousands of dollars. So, if your porcelain throne functions perfectly well and you’re content with its style, give it a boost by replacing the seat and lid. Although a professional handyman will be able to do this for you with ease, replacing toilet lids/seats are also an easy DIY. Your toilet will look like new, without the expense of a new one. As an added bonus, if you or a family member has increasing accessibility requirements you can choose a seat that adds a little height—making it easier to sit on.

5. Hunt for Antique Treasures

Unique details make your bathroom stand out. Often, these distinct items and accessories are found at flea markets, antique stores, and through scrolling online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Craigslist. Daydreaming about mid-century modern light fixtures? Or perhaps a Victorian soap dish that would add the perfect touch of femininity? Out of the box, handcrafted, retro and antique treasures will be the perfect finishing touches for your bathroom.

6. All About Tiling

Tiles are a fundamental part of any bathroom. Whether in the shower, on the backsplash, on the counter, or on the floor—the aesthetic of your tile can make or break the room. Yet, there are so many options; where to begin? Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons for some of the most popular tile options:

Ceramic

There’s a reason why ceramic tiles are such a popular choice for Anne Arundel County homeowners. Inexpensive, easy to clean, and highly durable, ceramic tiles are available in a range of sizes and colors. The only “con” for ceramic tiles is that they can be cold and hard underfoot, and like most smooth surfaces, a bit slippery when wet.

Porcelain

Similar to ceramic, porcelain tiles are man-made. However, this material is made from a denser clay and fired at a higher temperature than ceramic—making it exceptionally strong. The trade-off for porcelain’s increased strength is that it’s more expensive than its counterpart ceramic. Porcelain is also available in a range of sizes and colors, and very easy to clean.

Glass

Glass tiles are truly a show-stopper, and work best as a feature within the bathroom—as opposed to providing a utilitarian function, like being on the floor. Glass tiles are relatively strong, but like any glass surface will show each little fingerprint, smudge, and streak. For this reason, glass is high maintenance and requires constant cleaning. Glass tiles are also considered a luxury item, and cost more than porcelain or tile.

Natural Stone

There are many types of natural stone tiles, but the most common are: marble, granite, limestone, and slate. Granite and slate are highly durable and scratch resistant. Limestone has a medium durability. As far as stones go, marble is considered to be quite soft. Natural stone tiles range aesthetically and are very beautiful. Since they need to be sourced, generally from a quarry, natural stone tiles are more expensive than man-made materials.

Vinyl

Vinyl is made out of a type of plastic called PVC. Compared to other materials, vinyl is inexpensive. Historically a popular choice for bathroom floors, vinyl is waterproof and scratch resistant. However, vinyl can sometimes look dated.

Laminate

Laminate is made out of layers of fiber board or melamine resin. The top layer is a photographic applique resembling wood or ceramic tiles. A fantastic product, laminate is water resistant, scratch resistant, and durable. Although laminate is a great option for the floor, it’s not well suited to backsplash or shower tiling. While water resistant, laminate should not get soaking wet.

7. Try Open Shelving

Conventional bathrooms are typically designed with cabinets, drawers, and linen closets for storage. Since these storage varieties are closed, they hide personal items that often reside in the bathroom. Closed-storage is also a great way to keep the space looking clean and organized, especially if you have children who might be messy.

But, open shelving has its own appeal. Open shelves create space and can make small bathrooms seem bigger than they are. Shelves are also an opportunity to incorporate interesting details, like colorful towels, decorative items, pretty soaps, and plants. Since you still need storage that hides private items, along with the shelves you can include a few drawers and covered baskets.

8. Layer Lighting

Do you want to know every interior designers’ best kept secret? Layered lighting. There are three kinds of lighting: ambient, accent, and task. Together, these three sources will beautifully illuminate your bathroom while adding warmth and depth—creating a pleasant ambience.

Ambient Lighting

Essentially general lighting, ambient lighting often takes the form of an overhead lamp. Its role is to illuminate the entire room so you can see. Ambient light can take the form of ceiling fan lights, semi-flush/flush mount ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, and pendants. Although it brightens the entire space, ambient light is also generally flat and dull.

Accent Lighting

Accent light is considered the decorative layer. It highlights areas of interest in the room. As a secondary light source, it elevates ambient light by adding depth to the room. Accent lights can include wall sconces, track lighting, and even rope or fairy lights.

Task Lighting

As the name implies, task lighting highlights areas of a room that are used for a specific purpose—or task. In the bathroom, task lights draw attention to the vanity. Since vanities are the area of the bathroom used for self-care and grooming, it’s important they are well-lit. Mirror lights, twin-light fixtures, and track lights can all function as vanity task lighting.

9. Pop of Color

Bathrooms are often decorated in neutral colors like tan, gray, or white. But, a pop of color can go a long way in elevating the space and helping your bathroom stand-out. Choose one wall to feature a splash of color. Perhaps you can also put up floating shelves with plants, towels, or attractive amenities to give the wall a purpose. To choose your feature color, look at the other design elements in the bathroom. Do you have a coral soap dispenser? Or perhaps your shower tile is in different shades of blue? Use your feature wall to accentuate these little details.

10. Know What to Splurge On

When it comes to knowing what areas of your bathroom to invest in, think about how you use the space. At the end of a long day, do you settle in for a dip in your bubble bath? If so, why not spend a little extra on a soaking or whirlpool tub? Or, maybe you’re a makeup aficionado and need significant storage space for all your products. Why not splurge on a stunning, mirrored vanity and chair?

Not all splurges have to be inspired by decadence, either. For instance, if you have small children, you might want to invest in materials that are highly durable. Opt for porcelain instead of ceramic tiles, granite counters rather than marble, or fans that automatically engage when the light turns on.

Bonus Tip: Hire the Pros at Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG

During a bathroom remodeling project, you need trustworthy, reliable, and experienced contractors. The team at Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG have decades of experience working on home improvement projects. We are accountable, hardworking, honest, and always treat our clients with respect. Not only are we dedicated to consistent, quality craftsmanship, but we also put our customers first in every project. Your experience with our company is our top priority. When you work with our contractors, we’ll listen to what you need, answer any questions you may have, and bring a positive attitude to each job.

If you’re planning a bathroom remodeling project for your Anne Arundel County home, we invite you to give our friendly customer service representatives a call at 410-593-1456 or request a service online to get started today.