Refurbishing large or small bathrooms is a demanding job which requires a wise selection of items aimed at improving the aesthetics and the use of space available. All the work must be focused on the creation of a harmonious and highly functional environment, a goal that can be achieved by asking an architect or other professionals in this field for advice. In any case, before intervening, it is good to know these 10 useful things needed to carry out a renovation with no loose ends.
Planning the renovation with attention to every single detail
First, it is essential to start from a definite plan that considers all the changes to be made to the bathroom, from the replacement of the plumbing and heating systems to possible maintenance work on walls and ceilings, along with the installation of a bathtub, a shower stall and other bathroom furnishings or accessories.
Set up a hall
A renovation is a good opportunity to update the house and follow the house regulations imposed by some municipalities. Specifically, the local councils require that the bathroom in which the toilet is positioned must be far from the kitchen. In other words, there must be a hall between the two areas which serves as an anteroom, a corridor or a similar access area, delimited by doors and windows. If the room is big enough, you can raise a wall and build a dressing room, where you can place the washbasin or other furnishings.
Among other rules to obey, during the renovation work, there are those concerning the illumination. Municipal regulations require that, in the absence of windows, a mechanical ventilation system must be installed in the bathroom. It is important to be informed about this issue, if the room does not have a window or there is no possibility for opening a new one.
The city regulations on building and sanitation can also indicate the minimum size of the bathroom. Before starting any work, it is necessary to ask for clarification from the technical office of the municipality where the house is located. For example, in Milan, the bathroom must have at least one wall which is no less than 120 cm long.
The electrical system must be designed and built according to law in order to guarantee the safety of the environment. Specifically, if on the same wall there are both the electrical and the plumbing system, it is necessary to comply with CEI 64-8 standards, positioning the sockets at the required distance from the water supply.
When renovating the bathroom, it is better to opt for floor installation systems, in order to leave the walls free from technical components and to have a job done in accordance with current laws. Moreover, once the hydraulic and electrical systems have been laid, before proceeding with screeds and claddings, it is important to take a photo of the various pipes. This picture may be particularly useful in the future in case of malfunction or leaks.
Sanitary ware should be placed preferably side by side in the bathroom, in order to facilitate use but also for a pleasant visual impact. For this purpose, you must have at least 120 cm of space available on the wall, for a toilet and a bidet of standard dimensions. If the dimensions of the wall are smaller, you can opt for small, compact sanitary ware, such as those jutting out only 45 cm or 50 cm which are a viable alternative to the standard ones which protrude 55/57 cm. Otherwise, you can install the sanitary ware one in front of the other. In this case it must be considered that the bidet and the toilet drain pipes must be placed close together and that the waste pipe must have a correct slope.
Floor and wall tiles
Bathroom floor and wall tiles must not only be stylistically refined, but also made of waterproof, easy to clean and resistant materials. These features can be easily found in stoneware. Another noteworthy element is the wall tiling that must reach the height imposed by city regulations. In absence of any indication about this, it is recommended that the height should not exceed half of the entire wall. As regards the ceiling, it must be coated with a specific anti-mould paint.
Sanitary ware replacement
If the renovation of the bathroom does not include work on the pipes but only the replacement of sanitary ware, bathtubs, shower trays or taps, it is good to opt for bathroom equipment which is compatible with the existing connections. Before buying new sanitary ware, it is advisable to check the drainage system of the old sanitary ware in order to avoid the risk of further labour for the installation of the new ones.
Renovating a bathroom does not necessarily mean demolition; if you only want to change the tiles or claddings, you can resort to overlapping solutions. There are commercially available porcelain stoneware tiles with a thickness of 2-3 mm, which can be laid on the old tiles with the use of special glues.