Apartment Bathroom Renovations – What You Need to Know


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Renovating a bathroom can be a fun project, but only if you are prepared for what lies ahead. When it comes to renovating an apartment bathroom, there are some specific rules you need to follow. It begins with knowing the rules of your building, includes setting a budget, creating a design plan, and ends with the finishing touches. Here’s what you need to know about an apartment bathroom renovation.

Know Your Building Rules

Renting an apartment is not the same thing as owning a home. As a homeowner, you have the right to remodel any room in your house, the way you want it to be. However, those rules do not necessarily apply to renovating an apartment, even if it is just a small bathroom. While it is possible that you will need a permit to begin hammering the walls or chiseling away the ugly lime green tile, getting a permit is not your first step. You will first need to find out what specific rules your building has for renovations. It is possible that a board or management company has guidelines that you need to follow. Surprisingly, this could include even painting the walls. You want to first speak with your building manager about the rules.

Determine Your Budget

Once you have spoken with your building manager and figured out all the rules, and applied and received any necessary permits, you can begin the next phase. You will want to determine your budget for the apartment bathroom renovation. Next, you will want to allocate different parts of your budget to the various aspects of the renovation. This will include a specific amount for labor, which will help determine how much you have leftover for granite countertops, tile flooring, fixtures, and lighting. If you have a contractor, which is always recommended, they will be able to provide you with a good estimate that can fit in your budget, while still allowing room for the elements you would like to have in the space.

Figure Out A Timeframe

In most apartments, you probably only have one bathroom. This means you are going to have to make alternative plans for showering, bathing, and using the restroom during the renovation. The length of time it will take for your renovation will depend on how many changes you plan to make. Again, a contractor who is experienced in renovating a bathroom can give you with a good sense of how long you can expect to be without a bathroom.

Plan A Design With Style and Functionality

The next step is figuring out what design you want. You will definitely want a bathroom that has style, but also one that functions well. For instance, if your toilet is next to the sink on one wall, it probably does not make sense to have the toilet paper holder on the far wall – no one will be able to reach it. In addition, you do not want to attempt to put a toilet and a shower on the smallest wall in bathroom, as this will make the room seem even smaller. It is important that you plan each element of the bathroom – toilet, shower, sink – first, and then bring in the smaller elements, such as shelving and accessories. This is also the stage where you will select flooring and vanity countertop material. The best options in a bathroom, particularly due to the moisture in the space, are tile flooring and granite countertop for the vanity. Sitting down with a designer or contractor is one of the best ways to ensure that your design has both style and functionality.

Determining Plumbing, Fixtures, & Features

Another step you will need to consider is what changes need to be made to the plumbing, fixtures, and what additional features you would like to have in the bathroom. When it comes to plumbing, you will need to check with the building supervisor or management company if anything needs to be altered, if that is even possible. In most instances, you will also have to determine if you are allowed to change the fixtures, such as the showerhead and the sink faucets. Once you have the permission from the building managers, you can make your selections. Remember to make sure you selections fit within your budget.

The final phase, which for many is the most fun, is adding the finishing touches. You can hang art on the walls, decorate with shower curtains, rugs, and towels, and add decorative lighting fixtures. Although the overall process of an apartment bathroom renovation is the same as a homeowner would experience, there are a few slight difference. The main concern when doing any renovation in an apartment building is the rules of the building. Once you have the go-ahead and know what you are allowed and not allowed to do, you are ready to start your renovation.

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