Advice for a Successful Bathroom Renovation

If basic infrastructure requirements are not met, the most aesthetically ornate reno will in time, be transformed into a shambles. This especially applies when it comes to renovating a bathroom.

Moisture is arguably the most insidious thing, when it comes to damaging a building. Since the bathroom is constantly subjected to it, it should be seen as the most physically abused room in your home.

Therefore, every precaution should be addressed to ensure the bathroom is as moisture resistant as possible.

NAK Cabinetry and Tile in Orangeville has an impressive array of fixtures, cabinets and tile to make any bathroom a beautiful sight to behold. Yet, proprietor Oliver Muhs and his staff are more than aware that what is underneath is every bit as, if not more so, important than that which is visible to the eye.

“Small details make a big difference in the success of a renovation,” says Oliver. “A construction flaw may take a while to surface, but, with time, it will raise its ugly head.”

Therefore, NAK and other professional contractors will promote the proper membranes and application technologies during the renovation process. These go a long way to prevent, and even eliminate, moisture damage to walls; as well as prohibit the growth of mold.

“In a bathroom, the biggest risk factors are in the walls,” explains Oliver. “It’s not the water that’s dangerous. It’s the steam.”

As innocuous as it may seem when you are stepping out of a shower, it should be known that steam is capable of asserting up to 2,000 psi of pressure. If you have a hard time seeing steam as being that powerful, consider that it was steam that powered the Industrial Revolution and steam turbines still generate around 80 per cent of the world’s electricity.

Barriers are needed for protection and there are construction systems out there that provide them, as well as provide the adequate cover for gaps and seams. NAK deploys products from Schluter Systems to achieve the best results.

Kerdi by Schluter is a sheet-applied polyethylene waterproofing membrane and vapor retarder. Each roll covers 54 square feet. and is ideal for waterproofing tiled tub surrounds and showers. This membrane features an anchoring fleece on both sides to anchor it in thin-set mortar, and hugely inhibits water damage which can lead to mold and mildew.

Schluter’s Ditra line features a polyethylene uncoupling membrane. It has a grid structure of square cutback cavities with an anchoring fleece laminated to the underside. The open rib structure allows for in-plane movement, which effectively neutralizes the movement stresses between the substrate and the tile to prevent cracking.

Kerdi Band is a waterproofing strip used to seal butt joints and floor/wall connections with the Kerdi and Ditra matting. It is also used with Kerdi Shower Kit. Installs with unmodified thin-set. It is used to waterproof seams of Kerdi membrane.

As for trimming the edges of floors and walls, the Schiene profile is designed to finish and protect tile edges on floors and walls. It is ideal for creating floor transitions between tile and another surface of the same height such as carpet or wood. The ½-inch aluminum edge trim has an integrated joint spacer which ensures a uniform grout joint between the tile and profile.

These products will increase the materials cost of a bathroom renovation, on the other hand, they are relatively easy to install and should cut down on labour costs. Also, take their protection properties into account and understand the risk of future problems, and ensuing repair costs, are greatly reduced.

Once the basics have been covered, it is time to concentrate on the aesthetic and cosmetic side of a renovation. This is where the designer steps in, to both impart his/her expertise and communicate with clients to achieve the custom look they desire.

There are things to consider when choosing that special look. One of which is to incorporate your particular tastes, yet still take into account the tastes of others; especially those who are potential buyers should you wish to sell your house.

To illustrate this, conjure up a hypothetical scenario where a flamboyant client envisions the ideal bathroom as having crimson toilet, bath enclosure and sink, with contrasting black wall tile and gold-plated fixtures.

While this suits the client to a tee, prospective buyers are likely to find it garish and might walk away from the purchase, rather than buy the home and take on the additional expense of another renovation.

With this in mind, Oliver notes that grey/white tile combinations are popular, since they generate a clean look and have a broad range of appeal. Browns and earth tones are also sought after, for the same reason.

Tile has, in Oliver’s estimation, “a fashion shelf-life of about a decade.”  Thus, the four-by-four to 12-by-12-inch tiles which were once the norm could be more difficult to find today.

Tiles that are two square feet, and larger, in size are becoming more preferred and the reasons are more than visual appeal.  For example, the larger they are means less tiles are needed and there are less lines of grout to maintain and keep clean.

When it comes to a successful bathroom renovation, it is wise to pay attention to measures that will halt mold issues and make it easier to maintain that clean look.

Written by: Dan Pelton

Author: Living Spaces

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