Bathrooms need to transform into an oasis of peace and calm. In 2022, people are still seeking the comfort of their homes as shelter from the threatening world. Functional spaces have received greater scrutiny and most need a practical refresh. Health and happiness can be found in a simple bathroom remodel.
The cost of a bathroom remodel is dependent on which bathroom is being addressed. A guest bathroom is less expensive than a full master bath. A full master bath will have a separate shower and bathtub, double vanities, cabinets, and granite countertops. Luxury items like jetted tubs will be more costly than soaking tubs. The size of the room, floor plan, number of fixtures, and quality of material will affect the final price.
The most expensive part of a bathroom remodel is labor. Tile work is labor intensive and subordinate to the area in square feet. Dependent on size and material, porcelain and acrylic are cheaper than stone and hand-crafted ceramic tile. Plumbing can be expensive if changes to connections and layout are planned. Fixtures and flooring should make up 15 percent of the budget and painting less than 5 percent. All bathroom remodeling projects fall under three price points:
- Good $8,000 to $15,000 Replacing existing fixtures in the same location with modest finishes.
- Better $18,000 to $24,000 Install new luxury fixtures, change vanity with marble top, install tall toilet, refinish cabinets, refresh paint and floor, install bathtub overlay.
- Best $26,000 to $35,000 Redesign bathroom layout adding walk-in shower, large soaking tub, tall toilet, bidet, relocating fixtures, high end materials, and swanky tiles.
Once the budget is set and the basic layout is designed, then specific features can be considered.
Easy to clean hard surfaces such as glazed ceramic tile and marble countertops naturally repel bacteria to limit the spread of germs. Copper and brass surfaces, like on faucets, are naturally antimicrobial. No-touch technology on faucets increase home automation and reduce frequently touched surfaces around the home.
Natural light is in demand since people are staying home. Huge windows and skylights brighten the room and save energy costs. Adding plants to the bathroom enhances the organic feeling. Earthy greens and watery blues blended into monochromatic applications are preferred over bold, contrasting uses of color.
Homes have limited space, so the desire for multipurpose storage has skyrocketed in popularity. Adapting storage solutions from tiny homes and yachts, has fed the desire for better functioning spaces. Built in closet solutions are in demand. Linen closets are being relocated into bathrooms. Washers and dryers are being relocated next to bedrooms. Dressing rooms and closets are being made accessible to bathrooms.
Modern influences have infiltrated the eclectic style in 2022. Adding a dynamic modern lighting fixture is a fun surprise in a bathroom. Minimalist, uncluttered look is most popular. Vanities that store clutter but still provide ease of access are in high demand.
Technology has been integrated into smart toilets and touchless faucets. A smart toilet has intelligent controls and bidet cleansing. Digital, wall mounted interfaces increase comfort and efficiency by interfacing with shower controls, heated flooring, steam-sensing exhaust fans, scales, and defogging mirrors.
Aesthetically, black and gold finishes continue to provide stylish accents to the bathroom. Eighty-two percent of homeowners plan to upgrade their light fixtures in 2022. Brighter bathrooms with white glass, sustainable LED bulbs instead of vintage filament bulbs is a popular choice. Self- lit vanity mirrors are in demand.
Universal design principles
Universal design principles refer to designing to specific recipients who will use the features. Specific recipients include the group using the facilities like the elderly, handicap, children under 5, or teenagers. Inclusive designs are becoming more mainstream. Spa-inspired showers with rainfall showerheads, body sprayers, and mood lighting are popular with Millennials. Baby Boomers prefer curbless shower entries, handheld shower heads, and incorporated shower seats. Accessible showers are so popular, that builders are adding them as standard in new construction.
More than 20 percent of the visits to an emergency room are related to bathroom falls and injuries. When remodeling the bathroom consider features that enhance the safety of everyone. Textured floors to prevent falls will improve safety. Other features like walk-in tubs, walk-in showers, grab bars, and hands-free faucets enable the elderly and disabled to remain in their homes. Baby Boomers that are remodeling should incorporate these features as a long-term investment in their own safety.
Mold and Mildew
Bathrooms that lack proper ventilation are in danger of developing mold and mildew. Water leaks can seep into walls and flooring causing wood rot, tiles to break, and paint to peel. Costly repairs may be structural requiring replacement of walls, sub-floor, finished floor, and tiles. Depending on the severity, breathing impaired and allergy sensitive people may develop difficulties. Mold removal must be treated before construction can begin. Moisture barriers must be placed before showers are installed.
Neglected and outdated plumbing systems cause back-ups, leaks, clogs, mold, and mildew. Plumbing products have a limited life span. The home needs an upgrade when the life span limits are reached. Brass, cast iron, and galvanized steel have a life span of 80 to 100 years, copper lasts 70 to 80 years, and PVC piping only survives for 24 to 50 years. In remodeling the bathroom, consider replacing plumbing pipes rather than connecting new fixtures to old pipes. A professional is required when moving the location of the toilet in the remodel because sewer lines depend on slope to drain well. Lastly, the home’s foundation is important when moving or replacing pipes. A raised foundation is cheaper because a concrete slab requires drilling into the slab.
Colors and fashions change every decade or so. Inexpensively changing a bathroom with new paint and fixtures will refresh the appearance. Using a professional to lay out features like jetted tubs, heated floors, and steam showers will turn your master bath into a spa oasis.
Americans use an average of 82 gallons of water a day at home. Water saving features are growing in popularity. A New Jersey homeowner water bill is $53.45 per month and wastewater bills of about $58.70. This creates a combined monthly water bill of about $112 per household. The average family spends $1,100 per year in water costs but can save $350 from retrofitting with WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances. Good for the homeowner and good for the environment.
According to the Housing Industry Association, it takes an average of between 13 and 25 days to complete a full bathroom installation as part of a renovation. Those days may not be consecutive, there could be a day or two where no one is on site to allow drying of adhesives or paint.
In between the holidays and summer vacation, will be challenging to hire a contractor. Contractors are often more available during the early part of the year in winter and products are more likely to be in stock and easier to procure.