Renovating your bathroom can be a costly and complicated affair. We speak to Kyle Turner from Luximo Design, local distributor of leading Spanish range of sanitaryware and tiles, Roca, to get a few tried and tested tips and tricks of the trade that you can apply during your next bathroom remodel.
A good bathroom can transform a dated room into something spectacular – adding one of the highest rated “wow” factors to any home. However, for a successful transformation, you need to involve many different trades for a cohesive end result, and this can make it one of the most complicated renovations of all. Kyle Turner from Luximo Design, local distributor of leading Spanish range of sanitaryware and tiles, Roca, offers some tips that will help you achieve a successful and beautiful bathroom renovation of your own:
DO: HIRE A BATHROOM SPECIALIST
“Plumbers are only qualified to run the pipework and install the fixtures, but a bathroom professional is able to understand the project from a holistic perspective, and organise the correct sequence of trades,” explains Kyle. He says that although many people are tempted to project-manage the job themselves, if they haven’t had any experience, the renovation can be very stressful and costly should mistakes be made. A specialist will know the best and most cost-effective ways to overcome any issues that may surface during the course of the project, or how to avoid them altogether.
DON’T: CONSIDER GOING THE DIY ROUTE
Kyle advises that it is imperative to select qualified individuals with the correct certifications to complete the various jobs: “So many people will see waterproofing materials at their local hardware, and be tempted to do it themselves. However, they don’t think of the fact that fixing a leak further down the line could be an astronomical setback financially. I can’t emphasize this enough – rather get a professional in to do it properly the first time. Choosing the right people for the job will ensure that all the necessary building regulations are met, and it will also give you peace of mind that you will get the best possible outcome.”
DO: SPLURGE ON A FEW HIGH-END FEATURES
Bathrooms are usually smaller than other rooms in the home, so splurging on a few high-end products or finishes can be a good investment, says Kyle: “A newly renovated bathroom should offer years of use, and so it is advisable to invest in the best one that you can afford. The beauty of the bathroom is that you don’t have to choose high-end products for the entire room – a few carefully selected items can stand as features in the space. For example, well-chosen premium tiles can really transform a space visually, as can a luxurious bath, vanity or tap for example.”
DON’T: IGNORE OLD PIPEWORK
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to renovations in general is that you often stumble across old problems that you never knew existed, and that need to be fixed, but weren’t included in the budget. One such problem with regards to bathroom renovations in particular, is the issue of antiquated pipework. Says Kyle: “Although you probably never planned to replace all the pipework in your bathroom, if your plumber points out to you that it is very old, it is really worth your while to replace all of them with new piping. Leaving the old piping in could lead to disastrous consequences down the line, such as burst pipes, leaks, and very low water pressure due to sediment forming in the pipes.”
DO: AVOID OVERCAPTALISING
When planning a bathroom renovation, Kyle notes that you should always be able to answer an affirmative “Yes!” to the question of whether you will be able to make your money back if you sell your house. He says: “When it comes to bathroom renovations, it is easy to overspend, but you really need to set a realistic budget, and stick to it. Also, when you are making your choices, it is always better to err on the side of selecting more mainstream styles and colours, as if you are to recoup the money you are investing, you need to understand that you are not just creating a bathroom for yourself, but you are also creating it for your home’s potential buyer as well. Lastly, remember to budget for the ‘what-ifs’ – try and have an extra 15% to 20% of your total budget on the side to cover unforeseen costs. You might not need it at all, but you will be relieved that you have it if you do.”
DON’T: MOVE THE PIPEWORK
You can save quite a lot of money by sticking to the same general layout in your bathroom, as your plumber won’t have to lay new pipes and reformat the room’s plumbing. Kyle explains: “You don’t have to put things exactly where they were, but by keeping them in a similar location can save you thousands in plumbing fees. Instead of relaying a whole new plumbing network, all you will need to do is to rework the water pipes to suit your new fixtures – such as replacing taps with a mixer, or installing a wall-hung vanity instead of an older floor-standing one.”
DO: CONSIDER INSTALLING A WALL-MOUNTED TOILET
Wall mounted toilets with recessed cisterns offer sleek, contemporary good looks, and they boast other advantages too, says Kyle: “One of their biggest advantages is that they take up minimal space, offer a cleaner look design-wise because water outlets and connections are concealed in the wall behind, and they are easier to clean as they are raised off the floor.”
DON’T: NEGLECT TO NOMINATE HEIGHTS
If you are taller or shorter than most, then it is highly advisable to notify the plumber of the installation heights that you would prefer for the various items being installed. Kyle explains that rectifying the issue of items being installed at incorrect heights can be a very costly affair: “In bathrooms, you usually need to drill through tiles in order to install cabinetry, sanitaryware and accessories, so to rectify the issue of them being installed at incorrect heights could cost a lot of money as it usually means replacing a few tiles in the process. Remember that plumbers and builders will install all your sanitaryware, fittings, accessories and fixtures at standard heights, unless you advise them otherwise,” advises Kyle.
DO: CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT
Unfortunately, often the water and electricity consumption in the bathroom far outweighs its modest size relative to the rest of the house. However, Kyle notes that this is a great room in which to go green: “Wherever possible choose energy- and water-efficient fittings – they might cost a little more from the onset, but the money they will save you on your utility bills over time will more than make up for this added expense. It is also good to know that you are doing your bit for the environment.”