Planning Your Dream Bath

Does a well-lit, well-organized, well-appointed bathroom seem like a fantasy? With proper planning, it can become reality. Here's your guide.
Decide What You Need
Make your new bath as
useable as it is beautiful.

Bathrooms are small, but when you scrutinize yours for remodeling, you'll find it densely packed with potential projects. To narrow the list to what's most important, begin by asking yourself these questions about your current space and ideas for change:

  • Do you want privacy, or should two people be able to use the bathroom at the same time? In your current space, are there frequent traffic jams?
  • How do you want the bathroom to relate to adjacent rooms?
  • Do you want the basic ensemble of toilet, tub/shower, and sink, or would you like something extra, such as a spa, a double sink, or a luxury shower?
  • Do you want space to shave or apply makeup in the bathroom?
  • Do you need more light? If you have a window, is it in a place where water collects and causes problems?
  • Do you need better ventilation, another electrical outlet, or more counter space around the sink or at other places?
  • What do you like or dislike about the wall, ceiling, and floor materials in your current space?
  • Do you have enough towel racks and other storage room?
  • Is the shower or tub large enough?
  • Does anyone who will use the room have special needs, such as a child or a disabled person?

You may be surprised at how much of your present bathroom can be salvaged. If the basic layout works -- the fixtures are placed comfortably apart and there is enough room left for storage and towel racks -- then you can keep your basic plumbing and only replace fixtures. This is the least expensive remodeling option; moving plumbing or walls adds to the bottom line.

Continued on page 2:  Basic Planning Checklist