Remodeling rules for your bathroom

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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One of the hardest parts about keeping your home in good condition is deciphering whether something should be repaired or replaced. I had that dilemma with the tile in our master shower. Its floors and sides were starting to come up, and re-caulking just wouldn’t do the trick. The shower was beyond that point.

Our contractor replaced the old tile with new product. We decided to upgrade a bit more and got new towel bars and hooks while we were at it. However, one thing that caught me off guard was when our contractor asked where I wanted the new accessories to be placed. I had no idea.

I started poring over renovation sources, including the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) website and consulting my friends who had remodeled their own bathrooms. It turns out, there are some handy guidelines to follow when it comes to placing these accessories. If you’re having the same dilemma, consider some of these simple rules:

• Use your arm. Every accessory should be within an arm’s reach of its purpose. Therefore, if a towel bar or hook is supposed to hold a towel for showering, you should be able to reach it when exiting the shower.

• Keep it between 3 and 4 feet. When in doubt, remember that mirrors, shelves, soap dishes and other accessories should be installed 3-4 feet from the floor. Some exceptions would be the toilet paper roll holder, which should be about 26 inches from the floor; robe hooks, which should be hung 70 inches from the floor; and towel rings, which should be 12 to 18 inches above the counter.

• Think ahead. Install soap dishes in a spot where they won’t get hit by water. When choosing towel bars, choose those that are wide enough for your biggest towels, and hang them high enough so that the towels won’t hit the floor. If you’re installing more than one towel bar, keep the second at least 2 inches below where the bottom of the towel on the higher bar would hit.

• Act it out. Get in the shower and pretend you’re getting out. Where is the most likely and comfortable spot for you to grab a towel? Do the same for towel rings, shelves and other functional pieces. Have your family members do the same. If the bathroom is intended for a child, have them act it out and mark the spots that work best.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.