Where do we begin with bathroom remodels?

jkoebnickMay 31, 2012

Both of our bathrooms in our home need remodeling. Our basement bathroom is partially gutted already so we will do that one first.

Our main floor bath is 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 with a tub/shower combo that is very, very small - 29 in wide. We would like a bigger shower so we were thinking of changing it to just a shower - like a tiled shower.

So then, in our basement bath, we should either do a tub/shower combo or what we would prefer is a separate tub and shower. I love the look of a free-standing tub but since it's our basement and guests wouldn't use it, that may be silly.

How can we do a nice tiled bathroom without going over the top on $$$$?

What brands are good as far as toilet, sink, faucet?

I've read tile floors leak and we should do cultured marble for the base of the shower - where do we find that?

We want to do most of the work ourselves to keep costs down. We've done a kitchen, but never a bathroom.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Or should we do a huge shower in our basement and a free-standing tub in our main floor bath since that is also our guest bath (or powder room since we don't have one)?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:12AM
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I personally see nothing at all wrong with going with the bigger shower instead of the tub in your main floor bath. You don't say if you still have children or your ages, but would consider those factors and future plans for staying, and eventually re-selling your home. Tubs are important to future buyers with children so definitely one in the house somewhere would be a plus. If you go with the shower, you can consider the walk-in type (or a slight step-over) with a wide door that will accommodate you well into older age and install a rail on the side without sacrificing much space.

I personally have had great mileage out of Kohler products (toilets, faucets) plus Delta faucets in a 2nd bath, but also know from this site that many have used other brands of toilets and been happy. Will leave your other questions on shower flooring and remodeling to someone more expert than me!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Sophie Wheeler

As with a kitchen, the first place you start is with a layout. A toilet will need 36" of space, a shower only will also need 36" of width, the vanity can be variable, etc. Lay out the existing space on graph paper and then start shifting things around. You have a much more restrictive spatial environment in a bath, and a lot of things simply cannot be done correctly without enough space.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We wanted to keep our house small and all our conversations with people who had them just used their jetted tubs maybe once a year. So we decided to go with the larger shower upstairs and put the air jet tub with the separate shower stall downstairs in the guest room where we had more space. We are happy with that choice. We can still use it if we want, but appreciate the larger shower which is used so much more often.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 1:04PM
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We have no kids at home anymore. Someday, hopefully, there will be grandchildren.

I love baths so a tub is a must for me. My husband is tall so wants a bigger shower.

I will have to draw something up on graph paper and post it for suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 6:59PM
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How can we do a nice tiled bathroom without going over the top on $$$$?

Buy what's available in stock at Lowes or Home Depot. They have a lot of nice choices in tiles, with coordinating sets so you can have one size for the shower floor, another for the shower walls, another for the bathroom floor, plus accent pieces and edge pieces.

I've read tile floors leak and we should do cultured marble for the base of the shower - where do we find that?

That's not true at all. First of all, the shower will need to be waterproofed. Here in California, they do tar. You would call for that service. After the tar is set, there is a water test that gets done to make sure it is watertight. (This is done by an inspector if you are doing this with permits.) I like using smaller tile on the floor of the shower - smaller is better for a slip-proof floor.

If you are DIYing most of this and pulling permits, get a copy of the local codes from your town. That will help you in how to design the shower properly, with curbs etc.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 7:06PM
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