A house isn’t a home without a bathroom, an oasis of running water and soothing sights and sounds, far away from the pressures associated with the average house. Then there are the practical sides of bathrooms; waste management and hygiene are essential for human life itself. So with that in mind, it’s hardly surprising homeowners want their bathrooms to be the best and most comfortable they can be, oftentimes being willing to go to great lengths to create their dream bathrooms. In fact, on average, the only other room in the house that gets more time, effort and money is the kitchen. With that in mind, how does one go about improving their bathroom to pinnacle condition?

new shower screens should be included in your bathroom renovation

The first step is planning. Ask yourself what you want to do in the bathroom. While some functions such as bathing and flushing go without saying, homeowners should be asking themselves exactly what they want their bathroom routine to be. If the bathroom is going to be the center of your dental hygiene routine, you’ll need space to store toothbrushes and toothpaste. If you want to read in the bathroom, a magazine rack may be helpful. If you find soft pink or baby blue more soothing than pristine white, you’ll want to consider paint and tile that calm your nerves best. Giving careful thought beforehand can save you time and money.

The second step is to consider your budget.

Bathroom renovations can get costly, fast, so you should know exactly what you want (decided in the first step) and then get themselves a realistic idea of how much all those luxurious improvements will cost. Comparing prices on parts such as fixtures and tiles can save you money, but by and large, a homeowner looking to improve their bathroom will want to set aside a very specific budget, lest their spending get out of hand. Knowing what you need is half the battle here. Tiles must be slip resistant for safety, cabinets must be durable since they’ll be opened every day and counter tops should be low maintenance as they will get dirty, and often. Plumbing fixtures are another kettle of fish; don’t skimp on quality when it comes to plumbing fixtures as they will take the most abuse of your daily routine. Appearance and functions are a matter of personal choice, but going for the cheapest ones of the market will not end well. Choose your materials carefully as well; research into how specific materials act will let you decide if you want them in your bathroom.

The next step is to decide who will actually do the work. Some projects are simple enough that any homeowner can do it themselves. This comes with the warning that one should be very aware of one’s actual skills; installing a new towel bar is a radically different task from adding a brand new toilet hooked up to the house’s plumbing. If you think you can handle the task yourself, it will still pay to research beforehand and consult expert sources, be they professionals or manuals. Then be prepared to a lot of hard work. If you don’t think you can handle the task, hiring a professional is the next task on your list. Recommendations from friends and neighbors can be invaluable, but it can also pay to get referrals from trade groups such as the National Kitchen and Bath Association and business organizations such as the Better Business Bureau. A little bit of research into a contractor or designer beforehand can also save you a lot of aggravation; make sure the professional is up to date on their licensing and don’t be afraid to get estimates from multiple contractors.

What follows will be a good bit of stress on the part of everybody involved, but the end result will astonish you. In fact, one trip to your newly renovated bathroom will wash all the stress away.