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Bathroom Upgrade: Getting the Most from your Remodel

•Discover how to create a bath that is easy to use.
•Learn how to make key upgrades for a fresh, new look.

"Out with the old, in with the new." Such is the mantra of a homeowner who's excited to remodel. But take a closer look, and you may decide that not everything has to go.

Before you begin your remodeling project, take time to identify the features you do and don't like in your current bathroom. Figure out where your bathroom falls short, and you'll go further toward planning a bathroom that meets all your needs.

   

First things first...

Determine who will be using the space, and how they will use it. A kid's bath may need different features than a bath used primarily for a retiree. Likewise, a bath used by the entire family will need to please everyone. The good news is that increasing popularity of universal design principals has ushered in a new era of bath products that are easy to use for all--and stylish, too.

Choosing features

Do your current faucets and fixtures reflect the preferences and abilities of those who will be using the bathroom? Is the sink too high for kids to reach? Or too low to allow for wheelchair access for elder family members?
   
Then consider a cantilevered dual vanity that accommodates the different abilities of each.

Is the guest bath toilet too low for resident grandparents? If so, upgrade to a Comfort Height® toilet to provide them that little bit of extra added assistance.

Similarly, if your existing bathtub presents challenges to any member of your household, young or old, consider a model with a lower threshold to make access easier. And for those with more limited mobility, accessible bath options that provide an authentic bathing experience can now be incorporated into existing bathrooms.

If you rarely take baths, you might consider upgrading to a luxury shower. If it's been awhile since your old shower was installed, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that showers have become far more efficient in the last few years, potentially saving you thousands of gallons of water a year. At the same time, showerhead technology has also advanced, with an ever-wider selection of spray options, and welcome versatility that allows you to easily direct water right where you want it.

   
Creating space

Does your bathroom make the most of the existing space? Measure the room's dimensions and decide what you want and what you need. Storage space is a necessity that might take precedence over excess floor space. If you're looking for more open space, remove large wall and floor storage and opt for a smaller solution, like a petite vanity or a mirrored medicine cabinet. If you have the time and budget, annex an adjacent closet or hallway to expand the space.

Easy to clean

Consider choosing products that help make cleanup a breeze, such as an undercounter sink and a sleekly designed toilet.

Ventilation

Assess your current ventilation system. Does the room feel damp after a shower or bath? Accumulated moisture can result not only in steamy mirrors, but also mildew on tile, loose wallpaper and blistering paint.
   

Lighting

Is the lighting sufficient for specific grooming tasks, overall ambience and safety? Would motion sensors or nightlights be helpful? Make sure your bathroom gives sufficient light where and when you need it.

Revise to renew

Not every bath remodel requires you to start from scratch. You'd be surprised how a few thoughtful changes can positively transform your bathroom into a place that both soothes your senses and makes life easier.

 

 

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