inSite and bathroom remodels, tile and countertops

It was another bustling day at All Natural Stone Burlingame, as the team prepared the showroom for inSite Design’s presentation on the “8 Essentials to Designing the Ideal Bathroom.” With over 50 RSVPed, the pressure was on to impress and do nothing less. Toast Catering, as always, did not disappoint, delivering a scrumptious feast that everybody couldn’t stop raving about. And, to show our appreciation for our esteemed guests, we adorned their comfortable seats with complementary goodie bags from both All Natural Stone and inSite Design, complete with informative brochures and chocolates (who can resist that!?)

But the main course of the night wasn’t served on a dish. inSite Design architects, Audrey Tse and Lauren Lee, fed everyone spoons-full of knowledge and information necessary for a successful bathroom remodel. The following are 8 things you must remember when designing your ideal bathroom:

1. Weight budget against value and design 

When it comes to designing your dream bathroom, the possibilities are endless…but your cash flow may not be. A very select and fortunate few may have the means to design without a budget and, if you are one of them, please proceed to indulge yourself with the finest and extravagant materials. But, in the case that you are part of the 99%, you must learn your limits, set boundaries, and stay firm with it.

Let your designer and contractor know upfront what your budget is in order for them to select the appropriate materials and designs. Be mindful of what kind of bathroom you are planning to do, whether it is a master, powder, kids’, etc. and/or if it is going to be an interior remodel or an addition because these are major factors your budget is dependent on. An average interior remodel can cost anywhere between $15,000 to $25,000 and upwards to $50,000 to add a whole new bathroom.

It is also imperative to leave room in your spending for contingencies, including mistakes, delays, etc. And, be aware of “scope creep,” which are projects that could come up in other parts of your house during your initial remodel.

2. Be aware of code limitations

As previously mentioned, design possibilities are endless—but not limitless. There are certain space limit codes that all designers and residents must follow. Some of these codes include 24” clear space in front of the toilet whether it is across from the wall or the sink, a 30” diameter inside the shower, and a window or exhaust fan for ventilation. Keeping these codes in mind is not only courteous, but will also provide a comfortable and sensible space for your family and guests when using the loo.

3. Be open-minded about available space

One of–if not the most–important factors to consider when doing a new bathroom is space planning. In order to do this, you must determine who and how many will be using the bathroom. If a whole family is using the bathroom regularly, consider a double sink and an open area for easy traffic flow on hectic weekday mornings. As with code limitations, there are minimum bathroom sizes to abide by—minimizing available space doesn’t always mean saving money! So, don’t be afraid to move some walls around to get the bathroom you need.

4. Create an idea book

With technology literally bringing the world to our fingertips, finding inspiration and designing has never been easier. Take advantage of available tools, including but are not limited to, magazines, websites, Pinterest, and Instagram. Gather pictures and create your own inspiration board or idea book to provide visuals for your designer and contractor, which can in turn speed up your project.

5. Coordinate fixtures with the design

Your bathroom fixtures are more than just functional components to your bathroom; think of them as the jewels that bring purpose to the whole space itself. When it comes to variety, there are countless styles to choose from! You can opt for a vessel sink or a pedestal sink, a hand held shower or a fixed shower head—just to name a few. Make sure that whatever you select matches the whole scheme and design of your new bathroom.

6. Materials selection define the look

inSite Event Burlingame Tile Sample

Left: Tile and stone samples to be used in presentation. A Ken Mason hand-painted tile concept board lays front and center. Right: inSite design architect, Lauren Lee, uses a white marble slab sample to exemplify one of the many type of surfaces commonly used in bathrooms.

Of course jewels don’t shine their brightest without the proper backdrop. Surface selection sets the stage for the overall look of the space. There are myriad choices (and are all available at All Natural Stone in both Burlingame and San Jose), including:

  • Tiles: ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, artisan, natural stone
  • Natural Stone: limestone, marble, granite, quartzite, soapstone
  • Solid Surface: quartz, natural stone, renewable/recycled materials

When selecting the right materials for the job, you must remember to stay within your budget, and check the availability and timing of deliveries. Oftentimes, customers neglect to do this and end up with delayed projects or making last-minute changes to their design. It is also advisable to collect samples of surfaces to bring home, so that you can place it in your bathroom and see how it fits in with the lighting and surroundings. How a surface might look in the showroom could be significantly different in your own home.

7. Tile design captures the style

From simple and plain to bold and erratic, there are multiple ways to lay tile and create a design that makes a statement and/or flow in your bathroom. A way to do this is by creating a tile border in front of the vanity or the sink to add interest. You might also consider taking a unique or extremely-designed tile and lay it down to make either a small accent detail or a full accent wall. It all depends on the how bold you’re willing to go.

8. Don’t forget the lighting!

Indeed, don’t forget about the lighting! Proper illumination is key, not only to perform your routine bathroom activities, but also to showcase your newly remodeled bathroom. This is to ensure that the light bounces off of your shiny, new fixtures and highlights the design upgrades you’ve made. And, when choosing lighting fixtures, make sure that it matches the theme or style of the whole space. Don’t get traditional lighting fixtures when you’ve got a sleek, modern bathroom. That would just be an embarrassing design faux pas!

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Congratulations! You are now 8 steps closer than you were before to becoming a bathroom-remodeling expert! Always keep these essentials in mind before you begin your project and you will experience a smoother construction process. Come on over to our San Jose and Burlingame locations to find everything you need, from fine tile to stone slabs, to complete steps 6 and 7!

If you missed out on the event or just want to relive it, click here to view the night’s pictures: inSite Event at All Natural Stone Burlingame Album

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