GHBA Remodelers Council: Give some thought to ins, outs of bathroom remodel

Remodeling a bathroom whether small or large can not only provide you comfort to last for years, but can add value to your home. Before starting any bathroom remodel it's a good idea to give some thought to the following:

Bathroom size: Consider whether you need to work within the existing footprint. Must you work within the existing footprint or are you able to do a redesign? If you have a tight budget and tight project timeframe, try to keep plumbing adjacent, above or below the existing plumbing in the house.

Space considerations: Often many of us need to make the space look and feel larger. Adding mirrors and skylights will visibly expand and brighten a room, while slim sinks and cabinetry can provide more floor space. Incorporate a corner shower or curbless shower with frameless glass doors.

You can add open shelving for additional storage, and install a pedestal or wall hung sink for a very small space or powder room.

Universal design: Think about your current and anticipated future needs. Incorporating universal design products can make a bathroom safer for both young and old. There are many elegant and functional products available such as grab bars, walk-in tubs, rubber flooring, slip-resistant tile and comfort-height toilets that can be included in a remodel.

Consider removing the tub to expand the shower area, whose opening can be widened to make it more accessible. If space permits, other useful amenities such as hand-held shower controls, rain heads and bench seating can be added.

Energy efficiency: Incorporate energy-efficient LED lighting products and water efficient fixtures such as faucets, shower heads and toilets.

Product selection: Choose products that are easy to take care of and that are durable. Include products that won't chip or stain such as solid-surface sinks.

Ventilation: It's a must-have - install a fan to prevent mold and mildew.

Unexpected costs: Budget for unexpected costs, planning for a cushion just in case problems arise such as plumbing issues, water damage or electrical problems. It's best to allow 10 percent, because no contractor can see behind the walls.

Keep in mind that the average master bath takes four to eight weeks. Assessing your needs and proper planning ahead of time will help to ensure a successful project outcome.

This article was provided by a member of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association. The Remodelers Council is dedicated to promoting professionalism and public awareness of the remodeling profession through education, certification and service to the Houston community.

For information on this article, please contact Lorraine Hart at To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit