Warming up a cold bathroom for winter

The cold, hard surfaces in your bathroom may be functional, but they're not something you'd want to cuddle up with on a chilly winter morning. With Jack Frost nipping at our heels, here are some tips to keep those shivers at bay and your bathroom cozy without turning up the thermostat.

 

Heated Ceramic Tiles
One of the most luxurious things you can do to make your bathroom toasty in chilly weather is invest in radiant-heat flooring. Although it may not be inexpensive, the floor will be toasty warm, you will not have to worry about falling, and water damage will no longer be a concern.

 

Heated towel bars and hooks
Heated towel bars add luxury to the bath, giving you a wonderful way to wrap up when you step out of a steamy shower. Go one step further and pick up a heated robe hook. These hooks are designed to attach to towel warmers.

 

Make it rain
You'll warm up super-fast under the blissful downpour from a rain shower. These oversized heads can be suspended from a wall-mounted arm, or top-mounted to the ceiling.

 

Heating things up
Invest in a bathtub and sinks that help retain heat. Natural materials like brass, copper, and soapstone will help to keep that hot water warmer longer while you soak away the winter blues.

 

Add a fireplace
Installing a fireplace isn't as labor-intensive as it used to be. Today there is a huge selection of designs that offer the perfect fit for any type or size bathroom straight out of the box, which add a touch of class and a whole lot of warmth to your space. 

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Keeping your cool during renovation season

You've fallen in love with your tile and found the perfect paint. You have all the necessary components for a flawless reno. Our experts lay out a few pointers for if -when- they do. 

Find a good contractor
Get leads from friends, relatives, colleagues or local review websites. You can find a reliable pro by checking references and asking not only about the work itself but also about the contractor's reliability. Did they return calls? Did the crew start on time? Were they on budget? When you hire a contractor, make sure they are fully insured and bonded. Also, be sure to get all agreements in writing and clarify payment schedules and which party will be responsible for permits, even things like upfront payment for materials. It can save a lot of time and drama down the road to get this out in the open right at the beginning.

Be Realistic
It's unlikely that your contractor will be able to turn your starter bungalow into a 5-bedroom sprawling ranch house in the budget you've outlined. So work with what you have. Flip through books and magazines for attractive similarly sized homes and rooms. Who knows? Your bathroom could have the potential to become a cozy Moroccan-inspired escape.

 

Come up with a budget, and stick to it!
Go to kitchen and bath showrooms and see what your renovation budget can buy. Labour and materials add up fast, as do miscalculations both big and small. Keep in mind that unplanned expenses can be up to 10% of your initial budget.


Expect waiting times

Stock cabinetry can take more than a month or two to arrive; custom cabinetry takes even longer. Murphy's Law dictates that that perfect shade of travertine will be out of stock when you want it. Ask your supplier how long it will take for your product to arrive, and follow up on your orders – yes, this is the time to be a squeaky wheel. Do the same with your contractor. But remember to always be polite!


Don't sweat the small stuff
If your demolition created a month's worth of plaster crumbs, wood splinters and dust, consider hiring a heavy-duty cleanup crew. You should expect to pay around $675 for a one-day visit from a team of four. But have no fear: if they run out of renovation-related tidying, they'll get busy reorganizing your closet or garage. Besides, you have better things to do with your time, like enjoying your newly remodelled home.

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