Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

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staubio
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Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by staubio » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:54 am

I'm ready to dig into a total renovation of my bathroom and I really don't know where to start. I've got some general to sorta specific ideas on elements I'd like, but I need some design help to bring it all together. From then, I need someone to do the work, in a condo environment. I know other folks have done projects like this, so I thought I'd ask for pointers.

The room is roughly 5'x10'

My scope will be:
-demo existing bathrub and replace with tiled walk-in shower, probably including some plumbing work and new fixtures
-new vanity, potentially custom built, oriented differently than existing
-floor and wall tile
-all new lighting fixtures. Potentially some drywall work to recess indirect lights along the perimeter of the ceiling
-new dual-flush toilet
-replace existing giant door with a smaller pocket door

So, any:

-Recommendations for designers? Are there specialists for this sort of thing? Are their design-build contractors at the household project level? Should I just try hashing out concepts in SketchUp and hand over a design?

-Hints on what this sort of thing costs? I have no idea! I want to some fancy-schmancy fixtures and finishes.

-Ideas on breaking the work up and project managing? I've heard a lot of "I know a guy" or had friends offer to do specific elements of the project, but in this context, it seems like hiring on company to do it all would work best.

-Ideas on next steps?

Sorry for the all-about-me off-topic post, but I knew the Rag could help. Thanks!

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by mlind » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:52 am

Get recommendations from people who have done a remodel.  And check references.  Using a licensed contractor is good because you do have some remedies if things go wrong.  But, having a license doesn't mean a good job will be done.

And talk with people who've been though a bathroom remodel.  Ask them about their mistakes and what they would have done differently. We all screw up.

If you get a bid from someone to do the whole job, ask about 'change orders'.  This can be a budget killer because you get charged for every one.

Also, look through some design magazines, etc. to get ideas. 

And, look at the cost return.  Don't over-improve.  I'm a HGTV junkie.  The show 'Bang for Your Buck' or something like that shows home improvements & designers/realtors comment on them from a design & resale point of view. 

The people who bought my house probably spent $200,000 on improvements.  Given what they paid, they'll never get it back if they sell. 

But, on the other hand, if it makes you happy, don't worry about it.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by staubio » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:07 pm

mlind wrote:
But, on the other hand, if it makes you happy, don't worry about it.
Thanks for the advice!

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get everything back out of the improvement and that is fine with me. In this market, my space is small (750 square feet). I've already torn out a bedroom wall to turn it into a studio, so I'm doing it all wrong for KC anyway. I'd like to have a small, well finished space and hope there is a niche for it. I know that if a buyer has more cash, they'll probably go for more space before they'll go for a really nice vessel sink and walk-in shower. That's fine. I like my space and if I get half of my investment back and get to enjoy a new bathroom in the meantime, it works for me. Over-improving is kinda the plan. :)

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by mlind » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:54 pm

Since storage is probably an issue, avoid a pedestal sink.  Go for something with cabinet space underneath.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by PumpkinStalker » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:57 pm

My tidbits:

While I like historic stuff, I also really like modern things and glass/metal tiles are really in.  I think the tiny 3/4" square mosaic tiles are getting over-used these days, and I prefer the 3X5 subway tiles.  When I was re-doing the kitchen I considered them from http://www.modwalls.com/ but went with porcelain instad.  I really like the long skinny tiles as they aren't quite as overused.  The bigger (not tiny squares) glass tiles are great for small bathrooms as well because they have depth and make the space feel larger.  I think I still have my samples I ordered from them in lemon lime yellow, a pale sky blue, and maybe a black if you want them.  Modwalls has some really awesome photos and ideas on their site too

Delta is a good name in plumbing products.  If you're going for quality stay away from Price Pfister (my uncle calls it Fischer Price to be funny)

I sometimes wish I had a house from every decade just so I can play around with the designs.  I love this stuff, wish I could have had a sweet modern bathroom but it doesn't quite go with English/Tudor style houses!  

Might also consider metal tiles, not sure about how they hold up to cleansers but the brushed stainless subway tiles look pretty awesome as well.  Modwalls has those too.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by FangKC » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:02 pm

I'm a big fan of the subway tile because they never look dated.
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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by PumpkinStalker » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:07 pm

Modwalls also has some green options like cork and recycled glass.  Would be an interesting conversation piece as well.  Cork might feel kinda nice on the feet  :wink:

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by staubio » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:28 pm

PumpkinStalker wrote: Modwalls also has some green options like cork and recycled glass.  Would be an interesting conversation piece as well.  Cork might feel kinda nice on the feet  :wink:
Well, if you get bored, you can build me an ultra-modern bathroom!

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:48 pm

Is it in an older building?  If so check to make sure the flooring is level, even if it isn't older.  May have to go down to the floor joists to level it out.

You could go with a pedestal sink if you want to and build storage over the toilet.  Have that in two of our bathrooms and there is more storage there than what would be below the sink.
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by jdubwaldo » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:19 pm

I'm not an expert here, but we are thinking of doing the same thing.

I've seen "one week baths" around by Schloegel, who I've heard really good recommendations for from multiple places.  I always thought it was one of those cheesy companies that sprays some junk over your old tub to make it "look new."  But - there was a nice writeup a few months ago in KCH&G about the company.  They specialize in - well total bath renos in one week.  They stock a variety of things, they help with the whole deal, from design to all of the work.  Not sure if this is helpful, but for our project I'm going to give them a call.  I spoke with Debby Almon at the home show, and she has some great ideas.....

Good luck. :)

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by staubio » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:36 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote: Is it in an older building?  If so check to make sure the flooring is level, even if it isn't older.  May have to go down to the floor joists to level it out.

You could go with a pedestal sink if you want to and build storage over the toilet.  Have that in two of our bathrooms and there is more storage there than what would be below the sink.
Yes, it is. However, at only about 107, it was one of the first buildings in the city built with concrete. The concrete floors do slope a bit close the brick walls but the bathroom is on the opposite side and is pretty level.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by mlind » Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:43 am

Be careful not to be too trendy.  Tastes change and a 'timeless' look might be preferable.  I recently toured a rehabbed house in my neighborhood.  They used a very busy colorful tile in the shower and on the floor.  The minute you walked in, you thought 'acid flashback'.  I'm wondering if that's one of the reasons it hasn't sold.

When I bought the house I used to own (1917 craftsman), someone had fixed up the kitchen in the 1950's.  It was all turquoise, pink, gray, & white.  It sounds cool and retro, but it was just ugly. Remember harvest gold and avocado green?

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by LindseyLohan » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:30 pm

Make sure if you are having a mud shower pan installed for a completely tiled walk in that they have plenty of experience making them...one of my friends just payed a fortune for a large walk in and I was able to point out several mistakes such as not presloping before applying the membrane which creates a leaky moldy disaster. It's amazing that some people that do this day after day still have no idea what they are doing.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by DaveKCMO » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:29 am

mlind wrote: Since storage is probably an issue, avoid a pedestal sink.  Go for something with cabinet space underneath.
but make sure you select something that sits off the ground. that way it won't appear to dominate the room.

i have a wall-mount sink with integrated towel bars, but have a tall cabinet that sits on 4" legs next to it that provides all my needed storage.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by KC0KEK » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:39 am

For light fixtures, I highly recommend Rensen, particularly their Independence location, which is now an outlet store.

For toilet, tub, etc., try Dorfman Plumbing at 18th and Cherry. Ask for Jill. They have several toilets hooked up, and that's important because not all dual-flush models are alike, such as in terms of the sound made when flushing. I just bought two dual-flush Totos from them that will be installed this week. PM me if you want to discuss how they -- ahem -- handle a No. 2.

For towel bars, etc., visit Restoration Hardware's Web site. They've had a bath sale going the past few weeks. I ordered a bunch of stuff from there at deep discount. Not sure if the sale is still on, though. You also might be able to get some deals at the local stores.

Cost? The answer depends partly on whether you uncover problems such as leaks that have rotted subflooring. The final tab could be $10K-$20K.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by staubio » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:41 pm

KC0KEK wrote: For light fixtures, I highly recommend Rensen, particularly their Independence location, which is now an outlet store.

For toilet, tub, etc., try Dorfman Plumbing at 18th and Cherry. Ask for Jill. They have several toilets hooked up, and that's important because not all dual-flush models are alike, such as in terms of the sound made when flushing. I just bought two dual-flush Totos from them that will be installed this week. PM me if you want to discuss how they -- ahem -- handle a No. 2.

For towel bars, etc., visit Restoration Hardware's Web site. They've had a bath sale going the past few weeks. I ordered a bunch of stuff from there at deep discount. Not sure if the sale is still on, though. You also might be able to get some deals at the local stores.

Cost? The answer depends partly on whether you uncover problems such as leaks that have rotted subflooring. The final tab could be $10K-$20K.

Hope that helps.
Great suggestions, thanks!

No chance of rotting subflooring. The floors are concrete and I'm sure my neighbors below would fill me on on any leaks.

Starting to think I'm just going to call some folks from Angie's List to give me estimates. I'm naturally pretty indecisive so making decisions as permanent as the makeup of a room is torture.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by mlind » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:53 pm

If you don't have a clear idea of how you want it to look, I suggest looking at design magazines, books, websites, etc.  That's going to be cheaper than hiring a designer right off the bat.  And think about what you don't want - personally, I've never seen the appeal of clear glass shower doors. Zero privacy (you just never know) and you have to clean them daily to avoid water spots. 

My current house has 12x12 tiles in the shower.  The owner cut tiles to make corner shelves for shampoo, etc. Quite convenient. 

Since it's a small space, be sure the tile, flooring, etc. are subtle.  You don't want to overwhelm the space. 

I like the idea of the store that has the toilets hooked up.  Some of 1.6 gallon ones are not well designed and large loads hit above the water line.

Don't overspend - you want it to fit your needs and look great, but think about how much time you actually spend in the bathroom.  Maybe the excess money would be better spent on other things. 

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by KC0KEK » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:34 pm

mlind wrote: Some of 1.6 gallon ones are not well designed and large loads hit above the water line.  
Yup. Google all of the models you're considering to see what other owners say. I went with Toto because a lot of people said that the dual-flush Kohlers have such a small amount of water in the bowl that doo-doo sticks to the sides, requiring a second flush that wastes water or leaving unsightly hash marks.

In the shower, if you're going to gut down to the studs in order to put in Durock behind the title, consider building a couple of pockets in the stud bays, one small one for soap and another, larger one for shampoo bottles. Beats having to glue in shelves or have bottles around the edge of the tub.

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by mlind » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:11 am

KC0KEK wrote:

In the shower, if you're going to gut down to the studs in order to put in Durock behind the title, consider building a couple of pockets in the stud bays, one small one for soap and another, larger one for shampoo bottles.
Excellent idea. 

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Re: Bathroom Renovation Recommendations?

Post by staubio » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:17 pm

I don't think I can do this. I'd have to build in some dead space, or do it on just one side. 2 of the 3 shower walls are dividing walls between my condo and the neighbor, so I can't dig into those walls as they are shared elements. I really do like the idea of spaces like this, though, so I'll have to find a way to make it work.

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