Picking Materials for a Bath Remodel

Learn how to shop for everything from vanities and fixtures to countertops and lighting

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Before you shop for vanities and choose the material for your countertops, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your bathroom renovation. You should identify goals and priorities, with the help of your completed Day in the Life of Your Bathroom Questionnaire and Bathroom Goals Worksheet. You also should have a clear vision of what your new bathroom will look like, after exploring various bathroom designs and layouts.

Now it’s time to drill down to the details of your bathroom remodel. It’s best to choose all of the fixtures, materials and finishes down to the hardware before the project begins. That way, you will have a truly realistic idea of how much the project will cost.(Allowances can quickly get out of hand.)

As you choose among fixtures and materials, visit specialty design showrooms for plumbing, lighting, flooring, cabinets, etc. You’ll get a real feel for what’s available in the market, and you can talk to the professionals who work there about your ideas and what products will achieve your goals.

“Make sure you have chosen everything down to the lighting fixture to the medicine cabinet before you begin that project, because if you don’t, that is where a $30,000 project becomes a $50,000 project,” says Cameron Snyder, president, Roomscapes Luxury Design Center, Boston, Mass., and past-president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). “Allowances that contractors give you may or may not be realistic.”

With your goals, floor plan and budget in mind, consider all of the possibilities you can include in your bathroom and focus on choices that meet your needs.

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