The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in any house, and with our practical tips and tricks, you will be able to turn yours into a basic but functional space without breaking the bank.
Can I re-design my bathroom's layout with a basic budget?
The main thing to remember for a basic bathroom makeover is that all your fixtures will stay where they are because moving them will involve extra, costly replumbing and rewiring. This means that the position of your shower, vanity, and toilet will remain the same. A budget of up to $30,000 is realistic, but you might even be able to get away with spending less if you only replace critical items such as the shower or vanity while keeping other items that are still in good working order.
If your home is an older house, your builders may discover water damaged timber or floorboards. Old pipework is another common problem. If your home has old, galvanised pipes, chances are you will need to replace them as they are often rusty on the inside. It pays to have a contingency budget of at least 15 to 20% aside for such unforeseen problems. Some very old plastic pipes and fittings may be due for replacement too to avoid leaks. Copper piping is usually fine and new pipes can be joined onto it. Some waste pipes also need replacing to conform to the new standard diameter requirement of 100 millimeters.
Even a straight swap of, for example, shower for shower, usually requires some extra work to alter the pipes and make the new item fit properly. Wall linings also need to be peeled off and replaces. If you would like to exchange an old floor standing vanity for a new wall hung model, the pipework needs to be reset to fit into the designed space within the drawer of the vanity.
What options do I have for showers, baths and toilets?
These days there is a whole host of different styles of bathroom fixtures available to match any budget. A basic choice is a shell box shower with a standard shower mixer and a sliding shower with no design features. A plumber will also need to disconnect and repipe your pipework.
For a small budget go for plastic instead of expensive copper piping. A carpenter will need to adjust the timber framing and reline your walls.
Shop around for deals on shower products for the cheapest option. As a space and money-saving tip, showers can be installed over baths, using a shower curtain on a rail or use a glass panel.
Opt for a plain PVC bath rather than high-end materials like marble, fibreglass and cast iron. Choose a basic-shaped single lever bath mixer, allowing in your budget for a plumber and carpenter to install it.
When shopping for toilets, make sure you opt for a model that can easily be retrofitted; look for a flexible wait and multiple water inlets. Prices for a basic back-to-wall model with soft-close seat start from around $400, plus installation costs. Older toilets use huge amounts of water, so it pays to choose a high-efficiency toilet that can save up to 50% on water. In a small bathroom, a wall-hung toilet works well as it creates a more open floor space.
What vanities and fittings should I go with if I have a tight budget?
Vanities are often the key design feature in a bathroom, so it pays to invest some time and money and find one that you really like. Keeping your vanity smaller, around the 600-millimetre mark, will help save money. You can choose between floor standing or wall hung models. Both varieties come in a range of styles and colours.
Working hand-in-hand with your vanity, a flat wall mirror is a much more affordable option than a mirror cabinet. The flat mirror will be fixed straight onto the wall, so installation costs are also minimal.
What lighting options do I have?
Recessed halogen or LED downlights are the standard, basic setup. A set of two or four, depending on the size of your bathroom should do the job. A heat-light-fan ceiling light is a cost-effective alternative as it combines three features in one (and an extractor fan is a definite must-have for bathrooms to get rid of moist air). However, if yours is a larger bathroom you may need extra lighting to illuminate it all.
How much does basic bathroom flooring cost?
Ceramic tiles are the most popular option for bathroom flooring, and they come in a huge range of styles and colours. Available from around $50 per square metre, ceramic tiles are durable and moisture-resistant. They are very easy to clean and require hardly any maintenance at all. It is however important that they are properly installed and grouted.
Vinyl and linoleum are affordable alternatives for your bathroom floor. Today’s technology means that they are no longer the tired products of the past. You can now get a range of luxury vinyl floor tiles with different patterns, and the material even comes in the form of planks that look like wood. No matter which material you choose though, make sure your flooring option is slip and water-proof.
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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.
Note: prices are rough approximations only, and Refresh Renovations cannot be held accountable for their accuracy. All prices in this article are exclusive of installation costs and any variations.
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