How do we get started with planning my bathroom remodel?

We start the process of bathroom remodeling with our design phase where we will get to know your wishes and overall home style. From there we will help you navigate through the multitude of details involved with updating your bathroom’s floor plan, cabinet style, counter-top options, tile flooring options, lighting ideas and much more.

How long will it take to remodel my bathroom?

It will depend on the details of your design and the availability of materials and fixtures. Most bathroom remodels include removing the bathtub and/or shower plus replacing the toilet, vanity, and flooring. If the bathroom remodel is more extensive, the entire room may be rearranged and/or enlarged involving concrete floor cutting, removing and rearranging walls and the ceiling.

Can my shower be re-tiled without redoing the bathroom floor?

We have successfully replaced tubs and showers without redoing the bathroom flooring. Tubs can be challenging if the edge of the bathtub has a unique shape. The best situation is when the homeowner has extra tiles from the last bathroom remodel to repair the floor as necessary after the tub replacement.

Is it necessary to have a bathroom exhaust fan?

The building code does not require exhaust fans if the bathroom has a window. We recommend that every bathroom should have an exhaust fan to remove humidity from the bathroom during baths and showers. Humidity that builds up in your bathroom will damage everything it comes into contact with. Many homeowners will notice issues with the walls, ceiling, and fixtures only after it has reached the point of needing repair. The humidity will be removed if you run your fan during your bath or shower. You will notice the mirror will not fog over, nor will anything else in the bathroom suffer from the moisture.

How can I avoid forgetting to turn off the bathroom exhaust fan?

The loss of electricity and conditioned air that you paid to cool or heat can be frustrating. The simplest cure is to install a timer switch. There are various options. The best ones will have several buttons for time options from a few minutes to half an hour. Be sure that the timer switch is rated for twenty amps in order to match your exhaust fan’s requirements.

How do I choose a new toilet?

Toilets can be challenging to pick out for your new bathroom. They are not like cars that can be taken for a test ride. In fact, most big box stores have them displayed on high shelves making it even harder to decide. Go online to narrow your choices and then visit a plumbing showroom. Most showrooms will have toilets where you can inspect them and they will also have experts on staff to explain your options.

What are WaterSense bathroom fixtures?

The EPA set up the WaterSense program to help preserve the nation’s water supply. WaterSense fixtures have been third-party verified to perform as well or better than conventional bathroom and kitchen fixtures because they use 20% less water. These fixtures are the state-of-the-art in water features. We recommend that you consider WaterSense fixtures for your bathroom remodel. Click Here to learn more about WaterSense.

How long does a double sink vanity need to be?

A double sink bathroom vanity cabinet needs to be at least five feet wide to provide enough space for two people to use the area at one time.

What is frame-less glass?

Frame-less glass refers to the various shower enclosures made with either 3/8″ or 1/2″ glass. This thicker glass is tempered and safe for bathroom remodeling use. It is strong enough to be used to make dividing walls and doors. The glass comes in many variations to satisfy different design options. Frameless glass shower doors and enclosures are customizable, enabling you total freedom in your bathroom shower designs.

What type of tile can I use on my bathroom floor and shower?

Traditionally, bath showers were built with ceramic tile made specifically for bathrooms and kitchen back-splashes. Today the choices are limitless. Bathrooms are being remodeled using numerous types of stone, ceramic, porcelain, metal and glass tile depending on the design’s style.

What does it take to rearrange my bathroom floor plan?

The original layout in some bathrooms is so bad that the only cure is to start over with a new floor plan. Before demolishing the bathroom that has irritated you for so long, be sure to work out all the details of your new layout and design. A bathroom layout needs to be a balanced mix of practicality and style. Arranging the features so that you are showing off a beautiful shower or a vanity with its unique faucets, counter-tops and mirror will create both style and function. If budgeting is a concern during your bathroom remodeling planning stage, be sure to consider plumbing placement. Arranging your new bathroom floor plan to require minimum plumbing changes will have a positive effect on the cost of your bathroom remodel.

Why does my shower smell?

If your shower has an odor, it may be a water leak causing a mold problem. If it is leaking, there is no way to fix it other than to tear out and replace the shower. Hire a professional to inspect your shower to determine the extent of the problem and take care of it as soon as possible. Mold can be a serious health risk for you and your family and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Mold spreads easily when it is disturbed. Don’t attempt to deal with it yourself.

Why is a tile shower expensive to replace?

Most people are surprised to find out how much it costs to replace a bathroom shower. The only thing more expensive is to replace a poorly installed shower that has failed shortly after it was installed. Before the shower tile is installed, there is a major amount of work that goes into ensuring that the new shower will stay watertight and drain properly for many years. Taking shortcuts, using inferior materials or workmanship will only lead to disaster and more costs down the road.

Is it better to replace or refinish my bathtub and shower tile?

Refinishing a bathroom tub and/or shower can be a good option in some situations. Professionally done, it can add years to the life of your tub or shower without the major expense of removal or replacement. Your bathtub must not have rust in it if you expect the new finish to last for an extended time. Minor scuffs or cracks in the existing tub or tile can be repaired prior to refinishing so that your updated bathroom features will look like new. The grout lines will be refinished along with the tile. Everything will be monochromatic. If you have larger grout lines, this may look artificial.

Is it necessary to replace the shower valve for my new shower?

Technically it’s not necessary, but it is considered the wise thing to do considering the expense of creating the new bathroom shower and what it would take to replace the old shower head after the new shower is installed. There may be occasions when the existing shower valves were built so that they could have their internal components replaced without starting over. This would be the exception to the rule.

What is involved with replacing a bathroom shower?

In order to replace a bathroom shower, you need to start by setting up protection for the bathroom itself and the floors and walls leading from the bathroom to outside to remove the old shower. It will also be necessary to set up dust containment walls as necessary to protect the rest of your home from the demolition dust.

If your home was built in 1978 or prior be sure to follow the EPA guidelines for lead-safe work practices. You can download a booklet on the EPA lead-safe work practices on the EPA website.

Removing the existing bath tile can go quickly or come off one chip at a time depending on the original installation. The resulting tile and mortar tear out will be very heavy. The weight will exceed the ability of most city garbage trucks to lift the bucket in your alley, so never throw the old tile away in the alley.

After the old bathroom shower is removed repairs can be made to the walls, floor, and plumbing as necessary. You will want these things to be perfect prior to closing up the walls and installing the tile.

The next step involves installing the new bathroom shower walls and floor. The walls need to be backed with a concrete board for long life any drywall product will decompose if it is exposed to moisture over time. The floor will need to be built to slope at least 1/4 inch per foot for proper water drainage. Both the walls and the floor will need to be waterproofed prior to installing the tile. There are several methods to waterproof the shower depending on the situation. The main thing is that the shower must be waterproof without the tile. If you depend on the tile to hold back the water it will fail sooner or later.

The final stage is installing the tile, grout, and sealer afterward. Depending on the situation the tile may be applied directly to the cement backer board, or a mortar backing may be applied by the installer to create the perfect shower wall. The sealer will need to be applied after the bathroom shower has had ample time to dry.

Are there ways to make my small bathroom feel larger?

The look and feel of a small bathroom can be affected by a number of design choices. A complete remodel of the bathroom allows you to move bathroom features in order to maximize the space you have available. If you are not rearranging your bathroom there are still a number of design choices that will improve your bathroom.

Your existing bathroom vanity may be taking up a lot of visual space. Depending on the available storage for your bathroom, you have several choices.

If the vanity is your only storage available to your bathroom, you may want to replace the vanity with a cabinet and countertop in a lighter color. You could also refinish the existing cabinet if it is in good shape. A lighter color will take up less visual space and help your bath feel larger.

If storage is not a problem you may want to consider a pedestal sink. They come in a wide variety of designs and colors. Many of today’s pedestal sinks have features such as towel bars and or shelving below them. A pedestal sink will take up much less space than any vanity cabinet and can add a great deal of style and spaciousness to your bath.

Another way to gain space in your small bathroom is by choosing a compact toilet. There are hundreds of choices in toilet models. the two major styles are in the bowl shape. A round bowl toilet will not stick out as far into the room and save you more space.

Bathroom lighting is another thing that affects how spacious your bathroom may feel. Windows, skylights, and light fixtures all can contribute to a more spacious feel to your bathroom. If your bathroom is poorly lit it will be sure to feel like a cave. Sometimes existing bathroom windows are being overly shaded by bushes or trees and can be brightened by simple pruning of the landscaping. Windows can be added in a more major bathroom remodel or a tubular skylight can be added any time to brighten your bathroom without breaking the bank.

The final consideration will be color. To make a small bathroom feel larger avoid large areas of dark color. Dark color tends to move forward in your field of view, causing things to appear closer causing your bathroom to feel smaller.

Will a wood floor work in my bathroom?

Wood flooring can be a beautiful addition to bathrooms that don’t have a lot of moisture in them on a daily basis such as a guest bathroom or powder room. There is always the chance that you may still have water issues in these bathrooms, but no more so than other areas exposed to dishwashers, water heaters, and laundry equipment.

In my own home, I installed wood flooring in both my guest bathroom and kitchen. We have a tub shower combination in the guest bathroom that does get used on occasion. We have not had any wood floor issues in either area. We came close to damaging the floor in my walk-in closet due to an overflowing washing machine in the adjacent laundry room not long after the wood floor installation.

After taking care of the flood, I invested in a low-cost moisture sensor that shuts off the water to the washing machine if water reaches the floor under the machine. These leak detectors with emergency shut-off valves can be used in other areas of the home such as under the kitchen sink, dish-washing machine, and hot water heater.


As a full-service design, build, remodeling contractor, Homework Remodels can update your home the way you want it!

Please feel free to contact us for answers to your questions.  We’d be happy to come by your home to talk about your upcoming remodeling project and answer any questions you may have. 

[email protected]

For more Remodeling Ideas & Solutions visit our blog site.