The 50 most common remodeling questions answered Part 2
19. How can I create more storage space?
Here are four suggestions:
* The area above the toilet or towel rack is often neglected space; install a cabinet or shelving there.
* Replace a standard vanity cabinet with one that has drawers, or replace a single-door medicine chest with a double-size chest.
* Install cubbyholes or minidrawers into a narrow niche beside the tub or toilet, for rolled-up towels or toiletries.
* Add freestanding storage with a small tiered table, plant stand, rolling cart, or baskets.
20. Can I add sliding glass doors to my existing tub/shower without trouble?
Yes, providing you “accurately measure the opening, so the new unit will be sized properly,” says Martha Kerr, CBD, of Neil Kelly Designers/Remodelers in Portland, OR. Sliding doors can cost from $100 for a basic unit to $300 for a moderately priced, better-quality door to $1,000 for high-end trackless units.
21. What are the pros and cons of an all-in-one tub and shower versus a tiled tub and shower?
“Most all-in-one units are made of fiberglass or acrylic, which have an acceptable life span, but are not going to be as durable as a cast-iron tub and tile,” says Kerr. “Fiberglass can look haggard after ten years, while cast iron has a minimum fifty-year life span.” The advantage of an all-in-one unit is that its smooth surface is easier to clean and there aren’t any grout lines and seams that have to be recaulked. All-in-ones are also less expensive–about half the cost.
22. We rarely take baths. If we replaced our tub with a large shower, would it our home’s resale value?
“Ten years ago it would have been an issue, but today, a nicely designed shower is as appealing as a combined tub and shower,” Kerr believes. The trend is toward separate showers and bathtubs when space and budget permit, as long as there’s at least one tub in the house–perhaps in the master or family bath. But make the shower ample and luxurious; it should contain a bench as well as a handheld shower attachment for easy rinsing. A separate shower stall is also safer for children and older people, since it eliminates having to climb over the lip of a tub.
23. Some tiles in my bath are cracked and discolored. Is it possible to replace just those?
It depends on the tile, how it was set, and the condition of the substrate (the material it was applied to). You can often find tile to match yours, even if it’s old: Companies such as Ann Sacks Tile and Stone can match 1940’s, 1950’s, and Craftsman-era tiles. But cracked or crumbling tile often indicates a leak and rotting substrate; in that case, replacing it won’t solve the underlying problem. In houses built in the 1960’s and 1970’s, tile was often installed over waterproof wallboard, which is no longer considered an appropriate substrate. In older homes, tile may have been mud-set in concrete, which is so durable that tiles become impossible to extract and replace.
24. Can I have my tub and sink reglazed to change the color?
You can reglaze a porcelain bathtub if it’s in good condition. Typically, reglazing comes with a one- or two-year guarantee, so consider it a temporary measure in a busy family bath. Sinks are not worth reglazing, because they get a lot of wear and tear, plus they’re easier and less expensive to replace.
25. What about tile–can it be painted?
There are epoxy finishes that can be painted over old tile; again, though, it’s a quick fix that might work in a little-used powder room, but won’t last in a bath that gets constant use. Also, the epoxy is more complicated to apply than regular paint–a sloppy job will create only more of an eyesore.
26. How can I improve the lighting in my bathroom?
“Provide different zones of light for the variety of activities in the bath, whether it’s putting on makeup or reading in the tub,” advises De Luca. He recommends recessed compact fluorescents for general lighting and low-voltage halogens (specifically MR16 lights) for task and accent lighting. The combination provides good, accurate color; halogens and extra sparkle to metallic, glass, and glossy finishes.
27. What is the best flooring material for a bath?
Inexpensive; easy to ,clean; softer,underfoot than tile
Not as long-lasting; joint abutting tub should be recaulked every one to three years
$15/square yard plus $25/square yard installation
Completely water repellent; sanitary;durable
Cold underfoot;grout lines can be difficult to clean, although new sealants have improved this;expensive to install
$4 and up/square foot plus $12/square foot installation
Inexpensive; soft and warm underfoot
Difficult to keep clean and dry (consider using tile or vinyl around toilet); tends to get worn quickly in high-traffic areas
$20/square yard installed
Warm underfoot; attractive look; wears well; easiest
Challenging to repair; can be slippery
$54/square yard installed
Source: Martha Kerr, CBD Neil Kelly Designer/Remodelers in Portland, OR
28. What’s the best way to light a minor/medicine cabinet?
It’s important to have both down lighting and frontal illumination at mirrors, advises De Luca. Down lighting alone creates shadows around the eyes, upper lip, and neck, making shaving or applying makeup more difficult Adding sconces on either side of the mirror is a good way to provide more balanced illumination.
29. Would it be easy to install a recessed light in my shower?
The important thing is to check the local codes that govern electrical installation in areas exposed to water. As a rule, use “damp location listed” fixtures outfitted with a lens. Wiring is the same as that used for normal recessed fixtures.
30. We want to add another bathroom on the second floor. How do we determine where it could go and the cost for a new plumbing line?
Ideally, you want to locate ate the new bathroom where you can access the existing plumbing risers (usually next to or above an existing bath or kitchen), in order to minimize damage to adjacent rooms. The cost of running new plumbing depends on how much demolition you have to do, according to Kerr It may cost $1,000 to run new lines down to the basement and connect them to the existing plumbing, but if you have to rip up fancy crown molding and papered walls in your living room to do so, the cost could easily double. But within the context of the overall budget for a new bath, often about $20,000, it’s usually worth the extra investment to put the room where you want it.
31. How can we increase the water pressure in our shower?
You can do it by upgrading your water-supply line. A plumber can test the pressure where the water comes into the house and at each individual fixture to see if there’s an area where the supply line is faulty. Often, in houses built before 1900, the line from the water main to the house must be replaced. In other old houses, scale buildup in pipes has often reduced their diameters. If you’re remodeling, it’s usually worth putting new pipes in any accessible walls. Replacing the supply line can cost as little as $200 or as much as thousands, depending on how the pipes were run. But some communities simply lack good water pressure, and a plumber can tell you if that’s the case.
32. We don’t have the money right now for major remodeling. What are some quick bathroom fix-ups?
If you don’t like the tile around your tub, there are tub surrounds that are installed right over the tile, suggests Wrangen, “and you can get a new toilet, sink, and vanity for under a few hundred dollars each.” Paint the walls or change the wallpaper and invest in new light fixtures, and you’ve got an affordable cosmetic makeover.
Author Bio: My name is Minnie Scott, a blogger of cooldehumidifier.com. I love to share my experience and tips on home cleaning, especially make fresh air in home by using dehumidifier, humidifier and also purifier.