The special-order fixtures, fittings, shower pan, tile and glass block panel can take weeks to get in hand, so do the necessary legwork and ordering well in advance. Before gutting the bathroom, check to make sure that there are shutoffs for all the fixtures or a master shutoff for the entire bathroom. If not, buy ball valve shutoffs sized to fit your pipes. Then turn off the main water supply line where it comes into the house from outside, cut the pipes feeding the bathroom and install the new shutoffs right away (see Photo 7).
The tank is concealed within a 2×6 wall that’s built in front of the existing plumbing wall. It does require some plumbing rerouting because the waste line runs through the wall instead of the basic floor-mounted toilet flange (see Photos 8 – 12). The toilet can be ordered with a wall-mounted access panel/flush button like ours or with the panel mounted on top of a half wall. A ‘chair carrier’ (Photo 11) comes with the toilet. This steel framework contains the toilet and operating mechanisms and is designed to support the weight of the toilet.
Wall and Floor Tile: Ceramic, porcelain and natural stone are popular picks for floor tile in bathrooms. Materials will be the deciding factor here, but natural stone often costs more to install because it is difficult to cut and place. From natural stone and classic ceramic to glass and mosaic styles that mimic natural materials, wall tile options vary.
Be adventurous. Design treatments that would look over the top in other parts of the home are fine in the powder room. Deep dark hues, such as burgundy and eggplant, play well in these small spaces. Not that adventurous? Limit dark hues or unusual colors to wall paint. Pricey materials such as vessel sinks, custom floor patterns, and stone counters won’t be as hard on your budget because you won’t need as much as you would in a larger bath.
Powder room: Larger homes often have a powder room, or half-bath, that has little more than a sink, toilet, and a door for privacy. It is a convenience bathroom used by family members and guests when they have no need for the amenities of a full bathroom. The small size and a limited number of fixtures mean that a powder room can be remodeled fairly quickly, but because it is a secondary bathroom, it also means that you can take your time since there is at least one other bathroom that can fill during remodeling.
The “Gorilla Style” Method: Bend a metal coat hanger so that the hanger portion forms a hook. This is a great way to fish out any clumps of slimy hair that might be clogging your shower drain. With an old plastic grocery bag acting as your catch-all for the mess, quickly tie the bag shut when all the gunk is gone to contain the odor. Pour baking soda down the shower drain. Then, add vinegar and immediately plug the shower drain with the rag. Wait 20 minutes for tougher clogs.
With just a few affordable changes, this powder room got an elegant new look. A slender pedestal sink adds a graceful shape to the room without taking up much space. The easy-to-clean wainscoting behind the sink adds a pretty architectural element in this small bath. Installing the painted beaded board just past the midpoint of the wall draws the eye up and lends a sense of height and a layer of charm.
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.
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.