Residential bathrooms may be small in terms of square footage, but they present several unique challenges when it comes time to renovate.
Yes, there’s the challenge of maximizing the functionality of a small space while creating an inviting, aesthetically pleasing environment.
Beyond that, however, “bathrooms are hard-working spaces and among the most complicated areas of the home – it’s kind of like a 3-D puzzle,” notes Terri-Jo Geddes, a designer specializing in kitchens and bathrooms for design-build firm MAC Renovations, in Saanich, B.C. “A bathroom involves every trade – it’s a very complicated area, for the square-footage involved.”
Because of both points, pre-planning is crucial, and typically begins with several key questions, including, ‘Why are you doing the renovation?’ and ‘What problem or pain point are you trying to solve?’
“Design is always a good place to start, and it’s not only about making it pretty. You have to slow down and talk about how you’re going to use the site.”
For example, in an ensuite for a couple, is a walk-in shower sufficient – or even preferred – versus a tub and shower combination, or stand-alone shower and soaker tub? “We tend to pull out a lot of tubs in favour of walk-in showers,” Geddes says.
Perhaps storage for a growing family has been a challenge, so new vanities and built-in cabinetry might be essential.
Or, perhaps you’re eyeing ways to make your home safer or more functional as you age. In fact, regardless of clients’ current accessibility needs, Geddes always recommends building with that day in mind.
“When we pull spaces apart, we always add the backing for future bench seats and grab bars. Even if the homeowners don’t need it today, this kind of forward planning ensures it’s there when they do.”
Geddes recommends homeowners start gathering images of spaces they like from magazines, and websites like Houzz, Pinterest and Instagram, to help their designer pinpoint the design and feature elements they have in mind. It also helps launch discussions about potential features – and drawbacks – they may not be aware of.
A raincan showerhead looks wonderful, for example, but will it provide the pressure they want, or is a secondary showerhead needed?
With new flooring planned, is in-floor heating a good idea? (The answer may depend on the type of home, Geddes explains)
“One of the responsibilities of a good designer is to be knowledgeable about the products available as they’re always changing, but just because something is the newest, doesn’t mean it’s the best for your space,” she says.
To learn how MAC Renovations can create a fabulous – and functional – bathroom in your home, visit macreno.com, call them today at