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Whether going with a floor-covered or floating model, make sure it works with existing plumbing
Is a bathroom a worthwhile renovation to add value to your home? I think so. While you’ll see more value by adding a new bathroom, you can still notice some return on your investment if you upgrade an existing bathroom. It can really help motivate buyers to make an offer, too.
Basically, if the bones of your bathroom are already good (as in, good ventilation, and watertight), by making a few smaller cosmetic changes, you may find it worth your while when it comes time to selling your home.
For a lot of us, that would mean changing out the plumbing fixtures, or using a new paint colour. For others, it might mean replacing the vanity with something new and a little flashier.
In my experience, I’ve noticed that a lot of homeowners think that replacing a bathroom vanity can be a DIY project. But when done incorrectly, you could have a big mess on your hands. Even if you’re a handy homeowner, before you start ripping up your old vanity and putting in a new one yourself, here are a few things to think about.
A vanity project
Vanities come in a wide range of shapes, styles and prices. Usually, you’ll select individual pieces (the faucets, taps, sink and cabinets) and they all need to go together. It’s easy to overlook, but if you’re trying to salvage parts of your old vanity, it will need to work with your new selections.
Most vanities you’d see at a hardware store are either 61 centimetres or 121 cm wide and 61 cm deep. Of course, you also need to adjust for activity space in front of the vanity, so measure carefully before you lug your new vanity home.
Remember, unless you’re doing a full bathroom gutting, the location of your vanity is almost set in stone. The new vanity needs to work in tandem with the existing plumbing. If it doesn’t, and you’ve got your heart set on that vanity, it means making a call to your plumber to rework your configuration — and that’s a much bigger job.
Instead of choosing a model that extends all the way to the floor, you could opt to install a floating vanity. This comes with a couple additional benefits. While most mounted units will be specced for a person of average height, floating units can be set at the height you need to accommodate. This is great for homeowners who want to create an accessible bathroom for a family member who uses a wheelchair or walker. By floating your vanity, and extending the flooring all the way to the wall, it makes a smaller washroom look bigger. A few inches off the ground can make a big difference.
Of course, that could be a big drawback to going with a floating vanity. If your bathroom floor wasn’t tiled all the way through, you better have some extra tiles on hand to fill in the gap. If you weren’t planning to put down new flooring, you may want to stick with a model that covers the floor.
Double your vanity, double your fun
Is it hard to convert a single vanity into a double unit for you and your partner? This is definitely a case where I’d recommend using a licensed plumber over trying to do a DIY install. First, make sure you have enough space to add to your vanity. A double vanity won’t make getting ready any easier in the morning if it’s blocking traffic. You’ll need at minimum about 121 cm of space to accommodate the extra vanity.
Of course, it also makes sense that double the sinks, double the plumbing, right?
Your single vanity should already have two shut-off valves, as well as a drain trap, and one hot and cold water supply — but you’ll need to add extra drain and water lines. And ensure that you’ve got proper venting for the drain lines.
This is why I’d recommend hiring a plumber. When done correctly, you won’t see any drop in the water pressure to either of your faucets.
Mike has been making it right for homeowners for over 15 years on television. To learn more, visit makeitright.ca
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