I’m sure all of us will be very happy to see the back of 2020. What a year it has been! Our lives have been challenged and we’re doing things differently, such as spending a lot more time in our homes. So, it’s not surprising that, Stats Canada recently revealed a 7% increase in building permits in Ontario – equating to approximately $6 billion dollars! That’s a lot of renovations. Generally speaking, kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects add value to your home. But what if you just haven’t had the time or the budget to do a full-scale bathroom renovation? What can you do to freshen up your tired bathroom?
There are a number of things you can do that don’t require a permit. If your tub and tiles are in good shape then a bathroom refresh can be done without too much effort. However, if you are thinking of moving your toilet, bathtub or changing the plumbing or electrical, then you will need permits and a professional to do the job.
No matter what route you take, here are some tips that can help you put new life into your bathroom for the New Year.
Tip #1 - Refresh Your Old Handrails, Towel Racks and Hardware
Updating your handrails, towel racks and hardware is a simple change that can completely transform the look of your bathroom. Update your towel racks, by adding new ones, or why not install a heated towel rack for some added luxury? Heated towel rack models are available in plug-in versions as well as hardwired models. So keep in mind that you may need to consult with an electrician depending on which model you choose.
Changing your cabinet door handles can completely change the look of the room too. Knobs or handles, glass, metal or ceramic – the choices are endless! There are no set rules but a combination of knobs for doors and handles for pull drawers is a practical option. Remember to choose a colour and finish that complements your other finishes for a cohesive look.
You might even want to consider switching out your main door handles as well – again, just remember to stay consistent with the other finishes in the space.
For all your bathroom renovations contact one of the many bathroom contractors and product showrooms at Improve Canada
Pendant lighting from Tubicen, Unit 282 &283
Tip #2 - Refresh Your Lighting
We use our bathrooms everyday and it’s essential we have enough lighting so we can see what we are doing! For a fully functional bathroom I always suggest a variety of lighting options for tasks as well as ambient lighting. Having a bath bar, vanity light, or wall scones on either side of a mirror will provide plenty of light, while overhead lighting can provide ambiance.
It’s also essential to consider the type of light. I prefer to have a light that is the closest to daylight. However, there are several options when it comes to the type of bulbs, from incandescent, fluorescent and LED’s – all have pros and cons – just pay close attention to the brightness that each bulb provides (which are measured in colour temperature, colour index or lumens).
For all your lighting needs contact the lighting specialists at Improve Canada.
A stunning variety of solid surface basins from Canaroma at Improve Canada, Unit 231 & 232
Tip #3 - Replace Your Sink or Basin
Replacing your sink is a relatively easy way to refresh the look of your entire bathroom. Things to consider would be whether or not you want to keep the same style of sink or change things up! Bathroom sinks come in a wide variety of styles, for example semi-recessed, solid-surface, undermount and vessel, as well as a variety of materials, like ceramic or glass.
If you are planning on the replacement sink being the same size and style but perhaps introducing a new colour or patterned basin the install should be fairly straightforward. However, if you planning for a completely new look then you will have to consider several other steps to accommodate the new sink!
There are some really unique sinks at Improve Canada – contact them today to find out more.
Builtwright Renovations, Unit 48 at Improve Canada provides all types of home renovations
Tip #4 - Replace Your Faucets
Many faucets today come with a coordinating sink, which makes it easy to find the perfect set to complement the space. If it’s a straight replacement you will have to use the same style so the holes match up. If you are thinking of switching from a three-hole to a single hole, then more work will be required.
No matter what style or price-point you choose just remember, to purchase a well-made model from solid brass, brass-based metal or corrosive-resistant metal. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the choices consider consulting with one of the many bathroom specialists at Improve Canada.
Bathroom and Kitchen Galleries, Unit 187 and 188 at Improve Canada offers many vanity options for your bathroom
Tip #5 - Update Your Vanity and Add Some Extra Storage
Updating your vanity could change the look of your bathroom and provide much needed additional storage. Again, it comes down to personal needs and the function of the bathroom. There are lots of ready-made vanity and sink sets available too, but you can also have a custom made vanity that can be built to your exact specifications. You should check out the custom craftspeople at Improve Canada for your next project. Another way to create some extra storage is to add several floating shelves or a cabinet above the toilet.
Be sure to check out the custom bathroom renovators at Improve Canada for your next project.
Tip #6 - Update Your Old Toilet
Consider installing a new low-flo or dual flush toilet – you will save on water consumption. New toilets have come along way from 20 years ago and they use far less water - anywhere from 3-6 litres per flush versus 16-20 litres per flush with the old models. That’s a lot less water consumption.
Did you also know that there are two kinds of toilets base on the flush? Gravity flow toilets rely on the gravitational pull of the earth to empty the toilet, whereas a pressure-assisted toilet use a tank-in-tank design to propel additional water into the bowl per flush. Pressure-assisted toilets also tend to use less water and typically average about 4 litres per flush which is slightly less or comparable to dual-flush or single-flush models.
And if you want to add a bidet but don’t have space, check out this bidet from Eko-Technologies Canada at Improve Canada. It’s a bidet unit that attaches to your existing toilet!
Check out the Eco-Jet Wave at Unit 48 at Improve Canada.
If it’s a simple update and no plumbing changes are required a seasoned DIYer should be able to do the job. However, if you decide to move your toilet then you will need to consult with a plumber and you will also be required to get a plumbing permit from your local building authority.
Sosna at Improve Canada (Unit 372) can help with all your bathroom renovation needs.
Tip #7 - Create an Accent Wall with a Splash of Colour or Texture
A splash of colour can do wonders to transforming a bathroom. Consider painting the walls or add wallpaper to create an accent wall. If your house is older, the old paint could be oil-based.
How do you know if the paint on the wall is oil-based? Do the simple alcohol-test. After cleaning a small area of the wall with mild detergent and water and pat dry with a clean cloth, rub the area with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. If the paint rubs off, the paint it is latex-based, if it doesn’t, the paint is oil-based. If it’s oil-based and you want to use latex paint you will need to paint the surface with a bonding primer before you apply your new paint.
I’d always recommend exploring the many low and no VOC paint options available. There are many natural, minerals, and no-VOC paints that are mold and mildew resistant too! Choosing, low and no-VOC paint is a smart choice as there will be minimal off-gassing, which means your indoor air quality will stay healthy.
If you decide to do wallpaper make sure you do this after you’ve painted the wall, as you don’t want to risk getting paint on your wallpaper. Fill-in imperfections and sand the wall so you start with a smooth, clean surface.
There are also many different kinds of materials that can be used to create a truly unique accent wall. If you are looking for a customized finished carpentry, moulding, lattice-work, fabric panels, wallpaper and high end coating and finishes check out Feature Surface, or ombre-gradient walls to semi-precious and Swarovski crystals finishes check out Galaxy Décor; your imagination is the only limit!
House of Interior Design at Improve Canada (Unit 81) can help you with any of your design, art or accessory needs.
Tip #8 - Add Some Artwork or Accessories
Depending on how big your bathroom is adding artwork or accessories can help create a completely unique space. Consider adding an accent piece of furniture, like a stool or towel ladder, a shelving unit, a chest of drawers, a chair, or a large vase.
If you have space, have some fun by adding a piece of art to your bathroom. It will not only become a focal point of the room but it can really bring the entire space together with colour and style. But be mindful of what type of art you choose. Remember, bathrooms have a lot of humidity. However, if you have the proper ventilation and use your exhaust fan properly you shouldn’t have any issues with mildew or warping. Don’t stop at photographs or prints consider using ceramic or glass plates, or a piece of sculpture - all interesting objects to complement your space.
If you are searching for that perfect piece to finish off your bathroom, or you need inspiration check out the many art and accessory vendors at Improve Canada.
Tip #9 - Add a Quick Change of Colour
And, finally a quick change-up of colour can always be achieved by changing your shower curtain, towels and bath rugs. This is a quick and simple thing to do and can really make a difference!
Some of the ideas I’ve mentioned are quick and easy solutions that any homeowner can do, but for others, you will need to consult with a professional. Understand the scope of the project and watch videos and learn as much as you can before starting any home improvement project. Having an electric drill and a well-equipped toolbox is a must for every homeowner and make sure you take all the necessary safety precautions when doing any improvement project. And finally, if you think you are over your head call in the professionals. Be safe and have fun, and let’s hope that 2021 will be a much better year for all of us!