Monday, December 3, 2012

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How to Renovate a Small Bathroom for Home Improvement Project

Well-designed home improvement projects such as renovating a small bathroom can potentially add comfort, convenience and value to a home. The first step is to determine the size of the project and set a budget. When major fixtures are in good condition and just a bit of redecorating and updating the bathroom is needed, it should not be very expensive. The cost will depend largely on the materials selected and whether the homeowner can do some of the work without hiring professional help.

Walls and Ceiling
The most important factor in any project is to begin with a plan. Know exactly what will change and what will remain the same. Start by completely emptying the room of everything that can be moved. Give everything a good cleaning and then assess the condition of the room. If walls are tight and smooth, perhaps they will just need a coat of paint or textured wallpaper. A small bathroom is a good place to experiment with color. It would not be a disaster to repaint if the color does not look right after painting one wall. Many stores will exchange paint if the color is not as envisioned.

Also consider wallpapering one wall and painting the other three. Another idea is to panel the top half of the walls and install wainscoting on the lower half. Manufacturers are constantly improving materials and the newer ones resist color fade and moisture. Painting the walls and ceiling in a monochromatic color such as all white or light tones also works well in a really small bathroom and makes it appear larger. Splashes of color can be added with accessories and towels.

Safety should also be a consideration when choosing flooring. A shiny floor can be appealing but some materials such as glossy tile and polished stone may be slippery and unsafe. These floors would be much more expensive as well. Carpeting is not the best choice for a bathroom floor since it may retain moisture and develop mold. An excellent material for the bathroom is linoleum flooring which is popular for its durability, ease of cleaning, and availability of styles and colors. It is easy to install and is always a good choice.

When the lighting is updated in any room it can make a big difference in appearance, ambiance, and the way color displays. However, it is essential to have proper lighting in a bathroom for safety issues as well. Good ceiling lighting is important and there should be no dark areas in any bathroom, especially near the shower and bathtub. Wall sconces or light bars can be added or updated with new fixtures on either side or above the mirror over the sink. Many choices exist in lighting fixtures in various styles and finishes to match or complement any d├ęcor.

Only a licensed electrician should install new lighting or update wiring. In most areas wiring must be inspected when finished and pass local code requirements. This is a very important safety issue and cannot be stressed enough, especially in a bathroom or any area where water is involved.

Image by Bentley Smith