Modern Bathroom Renovations
By Jerome Allen
Bathrooms are essential parts of our homes, so we want them to be functional, comfortable, and also to look good. Whether you are renovating an existing bathroom, or designing one for a new home, it is helpful to get expert advice on how best to use these relatively small spaces efficiently and with style. Keep in mind that in addition to creating a space that will make your life more enjoyable, you will also be adding value to your home.
“The walls, floor & counters set the tone for the look of the room”
As with any project you will need to set a budget, and experts say that it is best to focus on the cost of the essential elements first, and then add in the smaller things afterwards. This means looking into the cost of how you will cover the walls and floor, plus all of the equipment: sinks, shower, toilet, lights, heating, ventilation, etc..
When it comes to equipping your bathroom the first decision is whether you want a bath or a shower.
While the right cabinets and furnishings help to create the look of your bathroom, there’s no doubt that the walls, floors, and counter-tops are the first things that will catch people’s attention. These features set the tone for the entire space, and are the foundation of your bathroom’s overall aesthetic. But keep in mind that these surfaces must also be easy to clean and strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. The most popular choices for these surfaces are tiling, partial tiling and polished concrete. Porcelain tiles come in a dizzying array of sizes, shapes, colours and styles. You can do the entire room in tiles from floor to ceiling, or choose to have them cover only parts of the walls. Tiles made from marble or granite are very strong and a bit more expensive. Polished concrete gives the room a starkly modern feeling, and it is available in a variety of colours and textures. When properly installed it is extremely durable and easy to clean.
This depends on your personal preference as some people love to take a luxurious bath while others are perfectly happy with just a shower. If you prefer a bath then there are numerous choices from a standard bathtub, to an antique look, to a massive one with air jets and whirlpools. Showers also come in many styles, from a foot pad with a simple showerhead to expansive spaces with multiple water jets... and even “his & her” dual showerheads. To keep the shower water from going into the room you can use a shower curtain, a glass door, a short wall or a pre-made shower capsule. When choosing sinks and taps it is good to have plenty of surface area on the vanity to place your grooming products.
This can be created by building a counter top to fit your sink, or purchasing a ready-made sink unit that already has space on top and built-in drawers or shelves. Lighting is important as it can bring different layers of illumination into the room. A ceiling fixture is good for general lighting, and a smaller light over the mirror works well with the vanity.
Professional design advice can help you to choose from the numerous possibilities for taps and toilets, and it can also save you money on energy and water use. Showerheads, toilets, and faucets have all become more water-efficient in recent years, and this is especially important here on Ibiza where water is scarce and precious. Finding an efficient water heater is also a choice that has ecological impact, and of course there are solar hot water alternatives as well.
“Modern products keep a balance between comfort and preserving water”
Good ventilation is essential in the bathroom for both your immediate comfort and for the long-term condition of the room. Moisture not only breeds mould and mildew, but it can take a toll on finishes and painted surfaces. Possible solutions are an extractor fan, a window or a central ventilation system if your home has one. Of course your bathroom will also need to be heated in the winter. If you do not have a central heating system then a small infra-red heater works well, or you can install floor heating during the construction.
That covers most of the larger elements, but don’t forget about the accessories and decorative pieces that complete the bathroom’s look and give it a personal touch.
Cabinets and/or shelves set the tone, while floor mats, rugs, and bath towels can be used to enhance the colour scheme. Simple items like towel racks, toothbrush holders, soap dispensers, etc., will add to the feeling of the room. Your bathroom is the first room that you enter in the morning and the last room you spend time in before going to bed. It is the place where you prepare yourself for the day ahead... or for a night out. So when you have the opportunity to reshape that very personal space, take the time to do it in a way that will give you joy every day for years to come.