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Bathroom Remodel and Reorganizing Clutter

Updated on December 18, 2011
1950's Bathroom Remodel
1950's Bathroom Remodel

1950's Bath Update

All bathroom remodels require attention to detail. This is especially important if your home is older. Some food for thought when tying in and the old with the new. You don't know what is behind the walls when you start to take things off the wall. (Always be prepared for the worst.) Also know it may be costly even to do a simple repair.

The idea of a remodel to some can be overwhelming. This is because they do not not know what is current. They do not enjoy shopping & researching products. It is out of their realm. I want to strongly suggest you do the homework. A contractor knows about many things, but what they do not know is every detail of every vanity, fixture or toilet. It is best to read as much as a you can of bathroom remodels so that you are aware of the pitfalls. Go to your local library and get books and magazines on remodeling. It would be wise to visit a bathroom/plumbing showroom to see what is out there. The showroom sales associates would be able to answer many of your questions. They may also have a list of plumbing contractors that they work with who are also very reputable.

Many homeowners do not even consider measuring their original height and width of their bath current vanity and toilet. Many vanities of the 1950s were much lower in height. The average height was about 30 inches. Toilets were also lower and about 16 inches in height. It is a surprise for many when they realize that vanities are taller. It is more comfortable to stand a taller vanity. The height of today's vanity is kitchen cabinet height 33 1/2 plus your counter top. When it comes to toilets, more home owners are choosing the," right height " which is 18 inches tall. "It is a good idea to examine how you live day to day in your bathroom."

Please, think about this for a moment. "If you are going to spend the money to improve and update,"How do you want want your new bathroom to improve your daily living? Only you will know your daily habits. Write down those ideas and compare what you have now and what you want in the new bathroom. Yes, make that wish list."

In this particular bungalow the home owner forgot to do some really important things. These are things that we can all forget.

1. Take measurements of her current vanity height.

2. Measure the space surrounding her vanity so that the mirror would hang between the vanity light and vanity top.

3. Measure the distance of space bwteen the original curtain rod and vanity

4. Examine, count and measure all the items that she uses and stores under her sink.

5. I honestly do not think many home owners think of those things because it is natural inclination to think, that you just replacing a vanity and mirror. It looks simple. So measure, measure and measure.

6. You should pictures of the old bath, make a several prints and keep them handy as you shop for vanities and mirrors. Unless you do bathroom remodeling for a living and work as a designer, you will forget space planning details.

7. Make a folder of all your discoveries. Make a list with the items you want and the pricing. When you have narrowed down what you want, call several contractors. Try to get at least 3 quotes. Have the contractor put in writing what he will do and not do in your bathroom. Above all get references and make sure the contractor is license and bonded. Then, if possible do a "go see." of his work. Just because a contractor says he can do the job does not guarantee quality work.

8. Just for your own memory, have pictures of the look and the things you want. Jot down the make and manufacturer. This will help when you are hunting down things and deciding your remodel budget.

No clearance to use built in toothbrush dispenser in wall. This is because the vanity is taller and the  faucet fixture also is much taller.
No clearance to use built in toothbrush dispenser in wall. This is because the vanity is taller and the faucet fixture also is much taller.

Mistakes Discovered That You Can't Afford To Change

In a small bath, every inch counts. My Chicago homeowner learned during her remodel that:

1. The matching mirror that came with her vanity could not fit in her current wall space. She had to find a substitute.

2. She learned that her lav fixtures and the taller vanity all affected her ability to use the built in toothbrush dispenser.

3. Her old vanity had a bottom pullout drawer and her new vanity has no drawer. So she has to find storage stackables because her storage if wasted and not functional for her.

4. She also learned that her granite vanity top was not sealed. Her daughter put a wet bar of soap on the counter and it stained the granite top. A new soap dish and toothbrush holder were immediately purchased afterwards. The website at Lowes where she got her bath vanity needs to state on the website that the granite vanity tops are not sealed.

5. When she replaced the shower fixtures, she did not know she needed new valves. She thought she only needed the external pieces like the new handle and shower head. She purchased her fixtures online at Lowes and the bath fixture page did not at the time include the shower valve pieces. (Ask your plumber if you do not know what you need.)

6. The arched, shower rod provides more elbow room when taking a shower, but what she did not consider was how close the shower curtain would hang. The curtain is up against the vanity.

7. The newly sprayed wall tile that is white makes the original floor tile look too old.

Know your storage needs. This cabinet did not come with drawers. I think she needs stackable  storage for easy access.
Know your storage needs. This cabinet did not come with drawers. I think she needs stackable storage for easy access.

Alpha girl says:

I had previously written a hub about a bathroom redo fits her budget. This hub is a conclusion to what homeowners encounter while doing a remodel. Click here to read previous hub.This friend of mine did not measure her space. She did not know to do it. I did advise her as best as I could. But not living in the same state, I could only advise over the phone.. When it is a good friend, sometimes you assume they have done the research and it is hard to know exactly what someone else knows. I thought the bathroom came out just fine. She would have had to spend more money to remove and retile the built in toothbrush dispenser. Her choice for not tearing out tile was an economical. She spent within her budget. She got a beautiful updated bath.

The Container Store is offering free shipping this week. Take advantage of it while you can.!

Original floor tile looks old when compared to sprayed wall tile.
Original floor tile looks old when compared to sprayed wall tile.


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    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      You have supplied excellent ideas and tips for remodeling and organizing a bathroom. Mine is tiny and I found your tips so useful. Voted UP!


    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 6 years ago from USA

      I think there are so many little details that unless you actually have a notepad, you forget what you just measured. There are so many products that one can choose it is daunting. "Measure twice and buy once!" Thanks for stopping by.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      A very interesting hub to me. I have written many ho-to hubs on home improvement, but only once about the designer end of the task.

      You're right that many people don't do the research necessary in measuring and fitting - as a result lots find that the new item won't fit into the space. It is a primary concern that needs to be addressed several times.

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for voting up. you comments are so appreciated.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      There is so many great tips here! To make mistakes when remodel a bathroom can be so expensive. I especially like the tips to take photos and bring them to the shop! I know from experience that the memory isn't always so good and it is easy to misjudge how it really looks like at home. Thanks for the awesome tips and also for telling about the mistakes! Voted up, useful