Six Questions as You Consider Remodeling Your Bathroom

So, you're considering updating or remodeling your bathroom? I bet you have lots of questions!

  • How do I start the process?
  • Can I do it myself and save money?
  • Where do I find a contractor?
  • Where do I find the products and fixtures I will need?
  • How much can I expect to spend?
  • Should I do a full renovation, or just update some fixtures?

The answers to these questions can depend on many factors, but I'll answer based on my experience renovating many bathrooms over the years.

How do I start the process?

First off, try to pin down your style with visual references. Do you have a theme you’d like to follow? Modern farmhouse style? Beachy? Sleek and minimal? Pull images from magazines or from sites around the internet like Pinterest or Houzz.

Then start thinking about what features your new bathroom will have. Will it have a tub, shower, or both? Double sinks? Pedestal sinks? Visit local plumbing supply, bath, and tile showrooms to get some ideas. Big-box stores are another option, but smaller, local stores are your best bet if you want to talk to employees with a little more expertise. 

Can I do it myself and save money?

The short answer is yes, especially with so many DIY websites and video tutorials available, but it's no easy task! It helps if you are very skilled, have someone with a strong back who can assist you, and have the time to complete the project in a timeframe that isn’t disruptive to your household. The skills needed are:

  • Ability to perform demolition on an entire bathroom.
  • Ability to perform electrical work that conforms to current building code.
  • Ability to perform plumbing work that conforms to current building code.
  • Ability to install and finish drywall.
  • Ability to install floor and wall tile.
  • If doing a custom shower, ability to build and tile a waterproof shower pan.
  • Ability to do finish carpentry (trim work).
  • Ability to paint entire bathroom.
  • And last but not least, the ability to finish the project in a timely manner so as to minimize disruption to your household as much as possible.

Where do I find a contractor?

  • Ask friends and family if they know of any reputable contractors who specialize in bathrooms.
  • Check the local newspaper’s classified ads.
  • Search online to find a local contractor.

Where do I find the products and fixtures that I will need?

We prefer referring our customers to trusted local specialty retailers as opposed to big-box stores. In Connecticut, we have several stores that can supply the plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, and tile for your new bathroom.  These stores all have highly qualified sales associates who can assist you with your choices.

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How much can I expect to spend?

This is a very difficult question, and depends in large part on your personal tastes.  However, a simple bathroom with a cast-iron tub, tile surround, tile floor, 3-4’ vanity will start at about $10,000.  

Please note: Whenever tiled tub walls are specified, we always use cast-iron bathtubs. You can’t argue with the longevity of these tubs.  We have even occasionally reused cast-iron bathtubs that were over 60 years old because they were in perfect condition!

A shower bath with a typical 4’ tiled shower stall will start at about $12,000.

These are just rough estimates. Occasionally, we have done jobs for less, and more often than not for more depending on the choices of the customer.

Should I do a full renovation, or just update some fixtures?

Our typical bathroom project is a complete “gut to the studs” renovation. There are rare cases where we have just replaced a vanity/sink & toilet and freshened up the paint, but only in cases where the tub and/or shower is in excellent condition. Replacing a tub/shower usually results in completely gutting the bathroom.

Even though it's a small space, a bathroom remodel can be a big project! Not sure where to start? Contact us and we will be glad to meet with you and discuss your options!