Want To Gut Your Bathroom? Here's What You Need To Know.
Is it time to renovate?
If you have small black and white mosaic tiles on the floor, or some type of small, square yellow, pink or green tiles on the wall (with a matching tub), it might be time!
Hiring a contractor to demolish your bathroom is, admittedly, an expensive and time consuming process. That being said, if it's necessary for important reasons like problems with waterproofing, bad plumbing or mould, then you may need to go ahead with this drastic measure.
Readers should be sure to take these questions into consideration before they decide whether or not they need to renovate their bathrooms.
Ask yourself whether or not you're happy with the current state of the bathroom, and whether or not it's worth investing money to fix. Living with mold spores as part of your daily shower routine is a bummer.
The decision to gut your bathroom can be difficult, but there are many benefits of doing so. For example, you get a brand new space that is easy to maintain and upgrade the style and layout to suit your tastes. This is a great way to modernize your home with advanced finishes like heated floors, LED mirrors and wall niches. Some homeowners find that this renovation can have the highest return on investment.
While some might think it's more economical to only do patch-work as a renovation, it's often far more valuable to remove everything, or "gut" the room and start fresh than it is to "apply makeup".
To Gut Or Not To Gut
If you're not sure whether or not you need to gut your bathroom to start renovations, here are some things you might want to consider.
Is there mold?
If there's mold, you should demolish the bathroom. Mold is born when water is introduced to organic material. It feeds off of the organic material and multiplies. Why is it so prominent in bathrooms? There are many reasons.
If the waterproofing in your tiles is failing, water may be compromising the mortar that hold your tiles in place, and attacking the wood structure behind. The same goes for slow leaks in plumbing.
If there's no exhaust fan, the humidity in the air, mixed with the comparatively small size of a bathroom is a recipe for the "sauna effect", where the room becomes oversaturated with airborne water vapour and water condenses on the walls, attacking the paint and plaster below.
With the potential health implications related to mold, the best bet is always remove the contaminated material, treat with a specialized mold killer and start with new material.
Is the plumbing healthy?
Suffering from low water pressure or constantly blocked drains? Old piping was made from ferrous metals (galvanized steel for water lines, cast iron for drains). Over time, the rough interiors of these pipe catch debris, rust, and suffer from a painful reduction in their interior diameter. This process is similar to a clogged artery in a human. It's a dangerous situation in both cases, If you're investing money into your bathroom, the last thing you'd want is to have to tear it all out in a few years to fix the pipes.
Is the structure dry and sound?
If water can reach your studs and floor joists, there's a chance they may be compromised. Wood becomes flexible when wet, and spongy and soft when rotten from water damage. If you've had a leak for a long time, your framing may need to be addressed for structural integrity. This is usually a breeze when the bathroom has been demolished, but impossible if not.
Does it work for how I live my life?
A bathroom renovation needn't always be an altruistic endeavour. It can be pragmatic.
Simply put, old bathrooms were designed for utilitarian purposes, and really don't reflect modern life. In the same sense, you may purchase a home with a bathroom that's in great shape from a structural standpoint, but terrible design from a daily routine standpoint. Sometimes, gutting the bathroom may be necessary to achieve your specific goals.
What Are The Benefits Of Gutting Your Bathroom?
If you live in an older home, it's possible that your bathroom hasn't been renovated since the 1970s. We frequently work on bathrooms that are original to the home from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Modern bathrooms are not simply large closets in which to make use of the facilities and occasionally bathe. They are designed to make their inhabitants feel rejuvenated and refreshed after using them. After starting over, you can install a spa-like atmosphere to help you get back that bounce in your step.
You'll get to customize the floorplan. In older homes, rooms were often smaller and laid out poorly. You have an opportunity to change the layout of its floor space to match what's popular today and most importantly, what works for your life. (Double vanity, anyone?)
Bathrooms are notorious for antiquated plumbing. Gutting your bathroom includes replacing old plumbing and electrical systems with modern models that will save on long-term costs like maintenance and energy bills.
Why You Should Hire A Contractor For Your Renovation
You are not expected to know everything that's involved in the process of gutting your bathroom, so it's important that you hire a contractor with experience. The right contractor can often save you money by using their expertise to avoid surprises, like finding out that you live electrical wires hidden in the wall or floor cavity near leaky plumbing! Sadly, this happens all the time!
Hiring a licensed general contractor for your bathroom renovation can put you in the best position to succeed. By ensuring that your bathroom is code compliant, waterproof and properly designed, you're not only adding value to your home; you're adding value to your daily life.
A lot goes on when you remodel your bathroom: Design, Preparation, Demolition, Framing, Sheathing, Rough Plumbing, Rough Electrical, Insulation, Shower Board, Water Proofing, Drywall, Plaster, Paint, Trim Carpentry, Finish Electrical, Finish Plumbing and a HUGE clean up.
A good reason to gut? These are the same steps that need to take place if you don't gut the bathroom! Repairing vs Gutting is pennywise but pound-foolish.
Gutting your bathroom is a definitely a major renovation, but it can be worth the time and investment if you want to create an updated space that will make you feel refreshed.
You'll also have some freedom in deciding where things go because of how open the floorplan becomes after gutting your bathroom.
Before you spend the time and money on gutting your bathroom, make sure that it's something you need to do. If your floor plan, waterproofing, plumbing and electrical are all fine and the only thing standing in the way of a nice bathroom is an out-of-date set of cabinets and fixtures, then it might not be worth gutting everything else around them.
On the other hand, if you're experiencing anything like cracked tiles, a leaking shower or tub, drains that are always blocked or mould and mildew, then it might be time to go ahead and gut your bathroom.
Gutting your bathroom can turn a dingy, outdated room into a fresh and updated space that's just what you need to start feeling more refreshed in your daily routine. If you're not sure if you need to gut or not, drop a comment below, reach out to us on Instagram ("about your blog post 👀") or fill out a contact form. We'd be happy to help!
Montreal Contractors is a qualified company, holding an active bonded license as a General Contractor and Specialized Contractor with the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ License: 5767-5480-01), ASP Health & Safety Certification and a $2M liability policy. Our employees have all passed background checks, are registered with CNESST and have their ASP Health and Safety certification.