"a practical hands-on
   guide to bathroom

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The purpose of this site is to offer hands-on information on updating/remodeling an existing bathroom.  This site is not the biggest or the best, but offers the most practical information.  If you are planning a wall-to-wall gut job and only want to spend $100 - this site is NOT FOR YOU.

People today are rethinking about their real needs in bathroom remodeling - focusing on quality, not quantity.  Payback is not as important as keeping up the home value and serving the needs of the homeowner.  The items that most people focus on in their bathrooms are showers and tubs, vanities, toilets and floors.  Senior citizens today are interested in tub to stall shower conversions, grab bars, personal showers, high vanities and high toilets (see for ideas).

This site serves two purposes:                                                                                                                            

1.  It gives practical hands-on advice for the person who wants to do the work themselves.
It is written with the assumption that the person doing the actual work has a working knowledge of construction, plumbing, soldering, etc. 

2.  If you don't want to do the actual work but are going to hire someone to do it, this will give you knowledge about the subject before retaining a contractor.

Also, we will focus on "remove and replace" bathroom remodeling.  We do not talk about moving a wall 10 feet, moving a bathtub or toilet from one side of the room to the other, etc.  We talk about replacing items in the same space the original items were. 

All information is based on our experience - we have 30 years of bathroom remodeling experience.  The site focuses on the most important areas - showers, vanities, toilets and floorsThese four items can frequently be done "piece meal" and over a course of time as finances or the need arises (for example - shower this year, vanity and
floor next year, etc.)
Usually there is very little or no linkage between them.  There is also a section for  "Other
Stuff" (fans, safety items, cleaners, etc).  We will discuss what to think about when deciding what materials to purchase and how to install it once you've purchased it.  All local building
codes should be
followed or qualified contractors should be retained for some of the work
This site is written post 2008 recession.  Even though home values have
gone down in most parts of the country, one should still reasonably maintain the property to make it safe and pleasant to be in (this does not mean installing a $1200 toilet seat or $5000 vanity).  Property values will eventually stabilize although probably not rocket in value for quite some time, so it is important to make sensible improvements using good quality materials and workmanship.  Cheap materials and shoddy workmanship never saves money and, in the long run, always costs more.

The following are the first steps to take before doing any type of remodeling: 

1.   Safety first:  Personal protection with correct clothing for the job - gloves,
protective eyeware, proper shoes (no flip-flops).  The job site should be examined for dangerous structural issues such as rotted floors, exposed electrical wiring, loose ceiling materials, etc.  Know the location of the main water shut-off valve and the main electrical box.  Keep a 10 lb. or larger fire extinguisher available when working with a
torch.  Have a first aid kit available.  Be aware of the Federal lead paint laws prior to remodeling by going to

Plan ahead:  No matter how simple the task or how experienced the mechanic, plan ahead the tasks to be done.  Expect surprises as part of the job.  Determine the impact/inconveniences that may affect the building occupants and alert them to the
construction work to be done/being done.  Examine all surrounding walls outside the work

  area to remove pictures, mirrors and loose plaster that may fall or break (especially if
working with common walls as in a condo or townhouse).  To avoid mistakes, don't rush the
job.  Measure twice and cut once.  Consider all applicable building codes as they apply.

3.  Quality materials:   Always purchase the best tools and materials that you can afford and buy them from reputable companies.  Purchase materials for which you can get parts for possible future servicing.  Examine all materials before installation to make sure all parts are included. 

The author has a degree in construction with extensive experience in the remodeling industry.  All pictures in this website are taken from the actual jobs we worked on.

Disclaimer:  By using this site you agree to not hold and all those associated with it responsible for any and all claims, damages, losses and causes of action arising from your use of this website.  It is the responsibility of the reader to follow

 permit laws and building codes.