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  • The Brolaws

When Should I Renovate My Bathroom?


Back in the day, say 15-20 years ago when bathrooms were done they were built with drywall, yes, “regular” drywall and then just tiled directly on top of that.

They didn’t have the technology or knowledge that we do now to properly waterproof a bathroom. That, coupled with the fact that if it’s done incorrectly and the grout lines are to big or if there are any holes in the grout the water gets in behind said tile and to that “regular” drywall and as we know “regular” drywall and water don’t mix. It starts to mush and will create black mold. So when you’re trying to clean your dirty grout lines and they’re not cleaning or you try scrubbing the silicone around your tub the and it’s not going away and you’re wondering why, it’s because it’s not dirt. It’s actually mold.

Basically, you’re cleaning your body surrounded by mold. And that’s nasty. It’s time to renovate your bathroom. Sometimes you’ll notice if the caulking is peeling away from the tub or around the corners of your shower then you can knife out that caulking and replace it with new silicone to keep everything water tight. This way, water isn't getting behind your tiles and creating mold. If you notice that your grout is starting to come out in spots then you might want to throw some grout into those areas as well.

When you want to change out or reno your bathroom, the other part of this is esthetics. First off, if you walk into your bathroom and you can tell it’s from a different era, it’s probably time to renovate your bathroom.

In some cases, tiles are timeless. And some tiles are very very dated. Very dated. When you have a random floral tile stuck intermittently throughout your shower. It’s time to change your shower. Don’t wait. You’re in denial - you need new tiles. End of story.

We know this for many different reasons. The main one being that if you have mold everywhere, it’s definitely time for a change. Not to mention how dangerous it can be! You don’t want to be breathing that in. It’s also important to keep up with maintenance of your kitchens and bathrooms. Whenever you’re dealing with water, you don’t want really old toilets and vanities sticking around for too long. Eventually they leak, It’s just a fact of time. If there is a question of any leak, It’s worth looking into.

It probably goes without saying but If you can push on your tile walls and they move then it’s time for them to come down. Because they will come down very easily. Very easily! We have a video on our instagram of a bathroom reno earlier this year where you can see the walls move when you press on them. It was kind of alarming how easily the tiles and drywall came off the wall. It was basically ready to go at any moment. It was so bad we were able to pull it off with two fingers and the drywall came off no problem. That was a good lesson in expiration dates.

The new products that are out that contractors are using to waterproof showers are above and beyond what they were before. There’s KERDI which is a great product to water seal your showers. There is another one called WEDI BOARD that Bryan Baeumler endorses and is similar to KERDI.

Sometimes they’ll even just use concrete board instead of drywall. Then you have RED GARD which is kind of like a rubber red membrane in which you can put over all your joints to create a perfect water seal. That way if any water is getting through your tile and behind your grout lines it will go down to the drain and not get back into your walls and create mold.

The common theme throughout any blog that we do especially when renovating certain rooms is hands down, the most important thing and that is to get a qualified contractor to do your renovation. Bathrooms are one of the biggest things for getting someone who is qualified to do it. You can have all the knowledge and watch all the YouTube videos in the world but if you’re not doing it properly or it’s tiled imperfectly then it’s not worth spending the money. Don’t just pick your contractor based on the price. Pick them based on trust, if you know their work or have received a referral then it’s best to go this route!

Another trend we have noticed in a lot of older suburban houses is that the showers are built like caves. They are surrounded by tiles from floor to ceiling all the way around with a small little door opening. They are really dark and kind of gross and a lot of people that want renos now are tearing those out because they want a more open concept throughout the bathroom with a glass surround. That way you can sing and dance in the shower and feel good about all the activities you can do in your now massive bathroom.

Another esthetic tip is don’t be afraid to be bold (and beautiful). In past renos, we’ve done bathrooms where there was a barnboard looking tile for a feature wall. Our friend Cam at CDN posted a job where someone installed a black standalone tub. It’s things like this, if you want to, go for it! If your space is all white with white tiles that’s great but if you want to try something new and be bold, go for it.

Lastly, budget for your bathroom reno! We cannot stress this enough. Know that they can vary from job to job. If you’re looking at a master bathroom reno, on the low end you’re probably going to spend at least 15k and that’s a very simple master bathroom reno. On the high end it can go upwards of 30-40k depending on what you want to spend on your tile, vanity, etc. Those are your big ticket items that will add up fast, that and stand alone tubs. Those items will dictate how high end you want to bring your bathroom. Heated floors is another option when redoing a bathroom. Some people love it while others don’t care for it. Think of it this way, if you’re going to be naked and laying on the floor of your bathroom you’re going to want it to be heated. Whether it’s for fancy business in the bathroom or if you’ve had too many silly pops to drink, heated floors could go along way for your little toesies or your tushy. The other option is a bathroom mat. Your call, It just depends on where you want to spend your money.

That’s it, that’s all! Thanks for reading and remember. Call a qualified contractor, you know the name!

- Dave & Joey (The BroLaws)


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