Homeownership 101: How To Create A Lovely Loo

June 18, 2015 | DIY & Home Improvement | Bathrooms
Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog

So, how expensive can it possibly cost to renovate the smallest room in your home, right? You will be surprised to find that even the most modest estimation for a bathroom overhaul can be costlier than you think!
Time spent in the bathroom is as personal as anything can ever get. That's the main reason why you need to put some thought into planning and organizing everything that goes into making a perfect bathroom. So that once you get it up running, you can spend less time worrying and more time pampering yourself. We will get through this in five simple steps!

1. Planning

Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog

Get your thinking cap on: Think about how you want this space to be! It isn't just the flush toilet bowl, basin, mirror and toilet paper holder. This little space is one that will possibly push your creativity to the limits. First thing to consider is whether you need a major overhaul, or simply just switching out some stuff to refresh the space a little.

Theme: Next thing on your list should be a theme. While it does not have to be anything pompously descriptive like "Victorian Public Latrine", you should have a rough idea on how you want your bathroom to look like. For instance, resort-styled bathroom is an all-time favorite, although getting the fixtures and accessories to fit that look can fall on the pricey side.

Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog

Measure: Now, measure everything! Of course, if you intend to hire a handy interior designer to get your bathroom going, feel free to skip this step. For the rest of us, make sure you have accurate measurements of every corner of the bathroom. That means you should know the distance between the water outlet to the wall, or how much space there is between the toilet bowl and the door. Stuff like these.

Budget: Finally, budgeting. Sure, this isn't all the fireworks and excitement, but this part brings you back to the reality. Consider how much (out of your overall home renovation budget) you want to spend on the bathrooms. They may be small spaces, but they don't cost little! Factor in the manpower, material, accessories and fixture costs.

2. Fixed equipments

Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog

Now, there are three broad categories of things to consider: Water management, tiling, and storage.

Water management: Some predictable essentials parts of a bathroom includes the faucet, flush toilet bowl, auxiliary water outlet point (for bathroom washing).
If you need a little inspiration, take a walk down Jalan Besar, Geylang, or Changi, where you will find plenty of bathroom equipment retailers. Not only will you find attractive prices for the equipments there, you can also give the items a try! Just not the toilet bowl. Don't give those a waste management test in the shops.

Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog
Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog

Tiling: This is where the costs can rack up, as there is little chance for you to DIY the hacking of existing tiles, and installation of the new ones. While you don't need an interior designer to get this done, consider hiring a contractor or a home renovation specialist to replace your tilings.
If you'd diligently chosen a theme as we advised earlier, choosing the right type of tiling for your bathroom should be a walk in the park. Typically your tiling option is limited to non-slip tiles or ceramic tiles, so its down to choosing the right texture and colors.

Storage: You've the option of fixed or modular furnishing for bathroom storage. The benefits of going modular is that you can potentially refresh the look of your bathroom every now and then by moving the cabinets here and there (less the faucet, sink and toilet bowl).
Fixed furnishing lends a "finished" look to your bathroom, however there are certain themes that cannot be accomplished with modular furnishing. Storage is pretty easy to DIY, simply grab the desired carpentry (here's one of the reasons why you need accurate measurements!).
Spend some time to decide on the items to get. Once you've done that, move on to appliances!

3. Appliances

Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog

Frills, or no frills? This one's a toughie, as frills can mean a considerably higher budget! We are talking about things like a hotel-esque wall-mounted hair dryer, or a water heater. The first thing that you got to decide is whether you want instantaneous heating or storage-based heating solutions.

Instantaneous water heaters: Instantaneous water heaters are portable, easy to install, and use only as much water as you turn on the valve in the bathroom. But they often provide only moderate water pressure, which shuts you out fancier shower options like the Rain Shower systems. You will also need to install multiple heaters if you've more than one bathroom in your apartment.

Storage heaters: Storage heaters on the other hand allows you to supply nice warm water to multiple users in multiple bathrooms simultaneously! They work by heating up a certain volume of water and store them inside its heat-insulated tank. While you got to wait for a couple of minutes before the water gets sufficiently heated for a warm bath, you gain access to most if not all fancy shower frills. These heaters also allow you supply warm water to other outlets such as water mixers in the kitchen.

Electric or gas?: Next decision is whether to go electric or gas. Electricity-powered water heaters are part and parcel of our lives. They are everywhere and so easy to purchase that even NTUC FairPrice sells them.
Gas-powered water heaters on the other hand are a novelty, but quickly gaining in popularity these days due to their reportedly lower costs. HDB BTO flats owners will be glad to know that all new flats come retrofitted with the necessary gas piping to facilitate easy installation of a gas-powered water heater in the kitchen. As the piping is part of a central water piping system, all you need is one heater to pump nice warm water to all bathrooms in the flat! That simple.

4. Lighting

Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog

HDB flatowners: For HDB flatowners, chances are you’ve pretty limited natural lighting. Fret not, that just means you’ve more control of the ambiance with fixed lighting! As bathrooms are high-moisture environments, make sure you get those with the appropriate sealing and safety features. Consult your friendly hardware store assistant for these.

Asthetics: For the fancier bunch out there, how about some vanity lighting options? If you want a resort-style bathroom going, or maybe even a Victorian classic look, consider fixed lighting options that mimic the 19th century feel. To top it off, how about some bathroom mirror lighting?

Lighting is probably one of the best tools to customize the ambiance of the space.

5. Accessories

Homeownership 101 Create a Lovely Loo - The HipVan Blog

Finally, we are putting the finishing touches to the bathroom!
Things like bath mat, odor eliminator, toilet roll holder, bathroom kit, bath towels, tissue container, and perhaps a scented candle too! As most of these items have limited shelf life, there is little harm to trying out new and wilder options than your typical bathroom favorites. You do have sometime to ponder over these items after you’ve gotten the brick and mortar stuffs out of the way. Besides, you can easily get these items off online stores, and have them handily delivered to your doorstep!

Other points to note: If you’re redoing the bathroom of a resale unit , make sure you’d assessed the structural integrity and extent of water damage of the space. Consider hiring a specialist to make that assessment. If needed, you might have to perform a full overhaul, which may include retiling and piping replacements.