The ABC's of Bathroom Redos

by Alan Knight

Do you dream of having a luxurious master bathroom where you can escape the daily hustle and
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bustle to relax in your own private spa? Do you dream of a sanctuary, a quiet, pristine place where you perform your daily ablutions? Is your dream bathroom reminiscent of a grand hotel or does it have the aesthetic of a zen-like space? Does all this dreaming make you consider  some little changes to your bathroom or are you thinking of giving it a complete overhaul? Keep in mind, there is practicality in improving a master bathroom in your home. The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home, especially when it comes to resale value. An average bathroom remodel can yield a 75% return on the investment and make it more appealing to buyers. So let’s look at the ABC’s of remodeling.

A= APPEAL - AS IN "EYE-APPEAL"
When it comes to a redesign of your bathroom, this is your chance to express your personality through the bath’s design, colors, fixtures, and lighting. What are your priorities? Are you looking for more luxury, better lighting, or to update an 80’s looking bathroom? Do you want your tub or shower to be the focal point or do you prefer to put more emphasis on the vanity area?  Consider installing grab bars in your bathroom to prevent unnecessary accidents. If your plan is to sell your home, research the improvements that will “show” well by making your home stand out from the rest. New counter tops and flooring are visible improvements that will be noticed. A show-stopping tub can be all you need to make a big splash. A walk-in shower is a stand out addition with many safety features and will be a blessing to have in your elder years. Are you seeking a modern look or something more whimsical? You can find many great ideas by looking through design magazines, visiting home centers or showrooms and of course, doing your research on the internet.

THE “B” WORD - PLANNING YOUR BUDGET
Planning your budget is the most important factor when planning a remodel. The two factors to consider are materials and labor. Labor can account for approximately a third of the total remodel. The budget will guide your decision-making process and give you an idea of how much a makeover you will be able to afford. Don’t forget to leave a cushion, because you want to account for those little surprises that may be lurking behind the walls. Unexpected plumbing issues can be costly and require more time and money than originally planned. Remember that a luxurious master bathroom will increase the value of your home. If you are planning on selling in less than five years, then consider the remodel as an investment. If you plan on staying in your home, then the remodel is an investment in your comfort and serenity that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.

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COUNTING UP THE COMPONENTS
As you know, while the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, it’s also helpful to lessen the daunting task of putting it all together by looking at the bathroom as separate sections:  The bath and shower, the vanity area and the toilet, the floor. Think about where changes are most needed and start in that zone. If you’re doing a complete remodel, keep a notebook in order to stay consistent with the style as you progress.  But still remember to keep the big picture in mind. While you’re trying to make your bathroom your sanctuary, you must also keep in mind the functionality and practical considerations when doing your remodel. Space and layout will guide your decisions. When making major purchases, it’s important that you look for products that have features that are low-maintenance, lasting and safe.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS
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Deciding whether you want a bathtub, shower, or a combination of both will be guided by your personal preference, space and budget. This is the area where you may want to splurge a bit because this is where a spa-like environment can be created. Actually, you can create not only a spa-like environment but an actual spa. The possibilities are endless starting with steam showers, walk-in zero threshold showers or a whirlpool tub. Don’t forget that safety is a major consideration when remodeling.   This is particularly important when purchasing a tub or shower. You may not be thinking about it when you are in your 30’s and 40’s, but if this is the home you will live in when you retire, then built-in safety features should be a must. Keep in mind you can have still a spa-like environment and be safe at the same time.

A zero threshold shower allows you the ability to walk into a tub or shower without having to climb. Safety showers and walk-in tubs come with many features to give you best of both worlds: Safety and luxury.  If you want to add a whirlpool to your tub, many walk-in tubs come with these features built-in.   Best of all, adding these elements to your master bath will also add value to your home.

THE ESSENTIALS
You probably think this blog is only about the bathtub and shower. Well, it’s also about the vanity area too. Countertops and counter space are significant in the bathroom’s design and this is where you can make another statement. Since the space is relatively small (as compared to a kitchen for example), you can spend a bit more on higher quality materials to give you that luxury feel. Natural stone counters on your vanity are not only durable and easy to clean, but also add to the luxury you seek. Some of the most popular choices are marble, granite, limestone and soapstone. To give a more spacious feel, a vanity that looks like a piece of furniture can also include storage that helps avoid clutter. Are you seeing the possibilities yet?

A FRESH START FOR THE FLUSH
Is your toilet making your bathroom look a bit outdated? There are new models that provide comfort and efficiency and that fit the aesthetics of your newly remodeled bathroom. These include one and two piece models designed with your family in mind.  A one piece toilet has the bowl and tank in one piece. It saves space and is more aesthetically pleasing. A two piece is more universally used. The bowl and the tank are separate, making it easier to maintain and afford.

GOT IT?

Remodeling your bathroom can be a major endeavor and it really makes sense to break the project down into components. Focusing on your budget, style choices, space and personal preferences are the keys to ensuring that you get the luxury you crave at prices you can afford.

 Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.



Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com.