Seven clever bathroom renovation tips

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Whether you’re making small upgrades or going for a complete overhaul, a bathroom renovation can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your home. And there’s no time like the present—scroll to the end of the article for a special offer you’ll want to snap up!

Once seen as purely practical or even bland, bathrooms have evolved to become sanctuaries to escape the day. Think rainwater showers and claw foot tubs, right down to soothing accessories like candles and plants. Whether you’re making small upgrades or going for a complete overhaul, a bathroom renovation can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your home.

Australians have certainly never been more in the mood to refresh their spaces, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing renovators poured a massive $12.3 billion into renovating their homes last year, up 33 per cent from 2020. But given wet areas can be the most expensive rooms to renovate, it helps to be organised first. We spoke with two of Canberra’s renovation experts for their tips on how to best add oomph to your bathroom.

1. BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR BUDGET

It may sound obvious, but budget blowouts can be one of the most common mistakes when it comes to renovating a wet area, says David Geelan, Director of Canberra construction and renovation company Kora.

“Bathrooms are small but they come with many hidden costs—sinks, vanities, lighting, mirrors and plumbing for instance. Bathrooms can also tend to blow out in cost because there are so many items on the market and the prices vary so much. Having a concrete budget in place and narrowing down the necessities will help you monitor your choices of items.”

2. PINTEREST IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

Given there are so many exciting new trends in bathrooms, picking your materials can be an overwhelming process. Mood boards will help narrow down the “must haves” vs “lust haves”, creating a clear sense of your style and needs.

Interior designer Maria Cerne of Studio Black Interiors says when it comes to bathroom requests for her clients, Canberrans have the perfect blend of style and practicality.

“Current trends we’ve seen a lot of include luxury stone, like marble, calming shades of sage green and tactile finishes including hand-made tiles. We’ve also had a lot of clients after a spa aesthetic for their bathrooms, to really create a retreat from their busy lives.”

Interior design: Studio Black Interiors, Build: REP Building, Photography: Hcreations

3. PLANNING MATTERS

It’s vital to understand the space you have to work with before picking products, says David.

“Measure up key areas before you do your product selections so you can filter out any products that won’t be right for you. For example, you may have sourced a tile with the perfect pattern, but tile prices vary so if you haven’t already understood roughly how much tiling you will require, each square metre will add to your costs on top of general building costs.”

All going smoothly, David says the actual building process should take four or five weeks. “There is a lot of planning and design involved before you get to that stage, so allow two months for your renovation from start to finish.”

4. MAKE SURE YOUR BUILDER CHECKS THE LAYOUT

Once you’ve drafted plans, ensure your builder checks the existing layout and whether it can work with the revamped bathroom.

“If you need to change the location of the pipework, you need to know whether you can access below the floor line and how that might affect what’s below,” says David.

“Always be aware that codes, standards and certificates apply and will be required upon completion.”

A specialised bathroom builder like Kora will have a clear sense of what’s going to work and what’s not.

5. ADD SOME PIZZAZZ

Bathrooms may be small but they’re the perfect place to let your personality shine, says Maria.

“In recent years we’ve really seen bathrooms as an opportunity to inject a bit of individuality, while still creating a space that’s inviting and serene.”

If you’re not sure where to start, look to tiling.

“Investing in statement tiling is a great way to add impact to your bathroom space,” Maria says.

“If you choose to go bold with the flooring for example, add in neutral pieces to make it the focal point of the room. The bathroom vanity is another space you can inject colour, whether that be a bold tone or something calming like sage or blue.”

Interior design: Studio Black Interiors, Build: REP Building, Photography: Hcreations

6. LIGHT IT UP   

“Light is such an important element in bathroom design,” says Maria. “It really adds ambience and mood.

“A beautiful set of understated wall sconces or a pendant light can really elevate the overall look and feel of your bathroom. If your budget permits, I would definitely recommend a feature light.”

7. USE A PROFESSIONAL

While it may be tempting to DIY, a specialised bathroom builder will have a clear sense of what’s going to work and what’s not, says David.

“At Kora our attention to detail is at a level home renovators won’t be able to achieve, and we understand what mistakes to avoid. Tackling a bathroom renovation yourself may sound cheaper in theory, but it’s actually going to prove more costly if you then need to call in the professionals to redo any mistakes.”

Looking to renovate? Kora is currently offering a 15 per cent discount on your tile selection when you book a bathroom renovation. Call 1800 005 672.



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