Bathroom contractors always provide you with a range of choices as you select materials and fixtures, but you can still expect to pay some markup on those materials. There is no better way to reduce costs than to do your research and look for discounted materials from online sources or local retailers who might be closing out last year's product lines. If you have the time and a place to store materials, buying everything you need to remodel your small bath well in advance will make your remodeling job much cheaper and much faster.
Glass block comes in 8-in. and 6-in. squares and 4 x 8-in. half-block rectangles. You’ll need to choose between real mortar grout joints and clear silicone–joined blocks. We chose the silicone system because we liked the clean, uninterrupted look. Whichever way you go, buy the panel preassembled and banded together as one unit, ready to set into the opening.
Bathroom remodels provide 60 to 70 percent resale returns as a home improvement project. However, this project isn’t cheap. It is essential to plan your remodeling ideas ahead of time. Then, hire a remodeling contractor for the job. Ask questions, set realistic expectations, get accurate cost estimates and budgeting from the start. Also spend time learning how to work with a bathroom contractor.
These compact spaces are often tucked into nooks in the home, such as converted pantry closets or the cavity beneath a staircase. They’re all about economy of space, though the best examples also emphasize design. “This is not a high-traffic room, so function is not as important as the wow factor,” says says Elizabeth Goltz, owner of Design by Orion in Kansas City.
For the most part, that means moving the GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) and other power outlets so that they line up with your new vanity and cabinets. After all, you don’t want to have to reach down next to the toilet in order to plug in your hair dryer. You should call in an electrician for this step, especially if you have never worked with home wiring before.
Planning. Both DIY and contractor remodeling jobs depend on good up-front planning in order to control costs and keep things speedy. Some of the key elements include drawing plans (essential if your remodel will involve layout changes to the bathroom), obtaining building permits, signing contracts with any pros you will use and scheduling their time, and sourcing and ordering materials. A general contractor will do most of this work for you (which is why he costs more), but to save money, you can do all the planning work yourself.
The choice of whether to do the work yourself or to hire pros (a general contractor or managing your own subcontractors) will, of course, depend on your assessment of your own skills, but also on your budget and your time schedule. If you have limited DIY skills and the small bathroom is the only bathroom you have, then getting the remodel done quickly and correctly is worth the extra cost of hiring pros—even if it means taking out a loan to do it.
The wall-hung toilet’s supply line must have a male adapter with a temporary galvanized cap. Check the instructions on the toilet to get the proper location. Routing water supply lines is different in every bathroom, so you’ll have to adapt runs to your situation. But run the plastic drain lines and vents before starting any supply work. It’s much easier to route water supply lines around drain lines than to route drains and vents around supply lines. The same thinking applies to electrical work: Wait until the water supply work is finished before wiring.
After removing your shower head and handle, cover your shower floor with newspaper. Take your hammer and chisel and start from the bottom corner. Gently place the chisel on the side of tile and use your hammer to push the tile out. Start gently. As you move on, you may have to use some real elbow grease to get these tiles out. Once all tile has been removed, chisel off any remaining mortar as well.
Fixture hookup. The final step is for the plumber and electrician to return to install the various fixtures and make the plumbing and wiring connections. There is an inherent hazard with any plumbing and wiring work, but when pros have run the plumbing and wiring inside the walls, the final hookups are well within the skill range of experienced DIYers. Make sure, though, that the final installation is inspected.