Sep 19, 2014

Are you tired of your dull, drab, dated bathroom? You're not alone. The bathroom is one of the most commonly renovated rooms in the home. If you're ready for a fresh, new, spa-like space, make sure to catch Matt Muenster at the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show, September 26-28, 2014. As the host of the DIY Network's hit shows Bath Crashers and BATHtastic! Matt is an expert when it comes to transforming bathrooms. Join him at the show to get valuable tips and advice for your bathroom renovation.

Can't wait that long? Get some of Matt's expert information now. He sat down with us recently to share his top seven tips every homeowner should know before they start a bathroom remodel. Read on to plan your renovation, then head to the show and meet Matt and other home experts to help you create the bathroom of your dreams.

Matt Muenster's 7 Tips Before Starting a Bathroom Renovation

1. The best place to start with any remodeling project is your budget. Not only will it have a big impact on the type of materials you select for your renovation, it will also help you set the boundaries of your design. Knowing what you can really afford to spend will make it a lot easier to decide what items you want to replace and where you need to get creative!

2. Be brutally honest about your DIY skill level. Assess which projects to do yourself and which ones are better left to the pros. You could save yourself a ton of money in the long run if you don't have to call someone to fix a project you've messed up. The best way to find a good contractor: seek referrals from friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and others who have had remodeling work done.

Marketplace Events Tip: Websites like Angie's List and HomeStars can help you find a good contractor as well. They operate like a big referral network, with companies and individuals receiving ratings based on user reviews.

3. Want to save on some big bucks remodeling your bathroom? Consider refinishing existing items such as your bathtub, shower, sink or tile. With refinishing, you'll only pay a small fraction (as little as 10%) of the cost of replacement. Your bathroom won't be torn up for weeks, you'll avoid the big renovation mess, and you've put one less big ol' tub in a landfill.

4. Don't underestimate the importance of lighting in a bathroom. Sconce lighting at the vanity is the ideal way to get even lighting on your face, and installing it at eye level will help finish unflattering shadows. Dim lighting is nice for a relaxing bath, bright lights are great for shaving or applying makeup. Adding more overall lighting can make a small bathroom seem larger.

5. Don't want your budget to skyrocket? Don't move your plumbing. On the surface, switching your sink and toilet around may look easy enough, but the problem lies underneath and all the costs involved in moving that plumbing. Besides, if you spend less money on moving fixtures, you'll have more to spend on that new sleek shower system or vanity you've been eyeing.

6. Some of the most effective updating in a bathroom can also be the easiest and the cheapest. Changing out all the hardware, such as drawer pulls, faucet handles, and showerheads, can have a big impact. Be sure to use the same finish, such as stainless steel, aged bronze, or brushed nickel, to keep the room looking cohesive.

7. Ventilation. Ventilation. Ventilation. Moisture is your bathroom's greatest enemy. Mold and mildew will make quick work of any renovation you've done so be sure to install a vent fan of appropriate CFMs for the square footage of your bathroom. The rough guide is one CFM per square foot for bathrooms of one hundred square feet or smaller. New designs are quieter and more stylish than ever, and are a must-have for any bathroom remodel.

There will be more advice, professionals, and materials for renovating your bathroom at the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show. Make sure to grab your tickets online so you don't miss out - and save $2 when you buy right now! We can't wait to see you at the show.