Bathroom renovation is kind of our thing. We’ve renovated a lot of bathrooms over the 40 years we’ve been in business and we’ve heard all the questions. We’re always happy to share our expertise so in order to help you as you research, we’ve compiled a collection of some of our most commonly-asked questions. If we’ve missed your most pressing question, reach out and we’ll do what we can to help!


How much should I spend on a bathroom remodel?

Bathroom renovation costs can vary a lot, but generally, the more you spend (on quality upgrades) the more valuable your bathroom will be. When deciding how much to spend, take into account real estate values in your area, your financial situation and your goals for the bathroom. In general a complete renovation of a small bathroom starts at about $15,000 and goes up from there, depending on size, chosen materials and complexity.


Should I replace a bathtub with a shower?

The decision to replace a bathtub with a shower can be a difficult one, and (depending on the situation) can have different answers. Walk-in showers are chic if you have the space for them, while a deep, luxurious soaker tub in the space could have significant value too. While some prefer to keep at least one bathtub in a home to make it easier and safer for small children or the elderly, in most cases a great shower is going to come out on top.


bathroom reno faq

Can I renovate my bathroom for $5000?

The answer to this depends on how you define “renovate”. With a $5000 budget, the best you can hope for in a standard 3-piece bathroom is a fairly cosmetic renovation which likely wouldn’t include many of your major pieces. Somewhere around half of the cost of a bathroom renovation is going to go to trades and labour, so doing it yourself would make this budget go much further. Once you start including skilled trades, they will eat away at your budget quite a bit. You could replace your minor fixtures (sink, faucet and toilet) with a small budget and not too much know-how, but if your plans include a bathtub or shower (especially if you start involving tile), a $5000 budget won’t go very far. For a small room, bathrooms are complicated rooms and with the amount of moisture you can expect, making sure everything is done properly is important.


What is the most expensive part of a bathroom remodel?

Depending on the plan, the most expensive part of a bathroom renovation is either the plumbing or the tile. If your plumbing is dated, needs some repair or you want to change the layout of your bathroom, the waterworks will add up. Tile is also an expensive option, but there are few things that increase the value of your bathroom quite like a perfectly tiled walk-in shower.


What adds the most value to a bathroom?

Our top three choices to add value to a bathroom include a walk-in tiled shower (upgrading to a steam shower or rain showerhead make it even better), upgrading bathroom storage to maximize space and functionality, and a great multi-layer (and flattering) lighting plan.

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custom bathroom reno

What is the best tile for a shower?

The tile you love best is always the right choice, but some other factors are good to consider:

  1. Glazed tile is slippery, so avoid it on the floor for safety reasons.
  2. Grout is the most difficult part of tilework to clean, choosing large tile minimizes the grout area and makes your space easier to keep neat. Choosing a dark grout colour can help too.
  3. Light coloured tile can show dirt more quickly and dark coloured tile is susceptible to water spots if you have a high mineral content in your water.
  4. Choose tile that is waterproof. Seems obvious but there are more unsuitable tiles than you’d think and water damage is never fun to deal with later.


Does a double vanity add value?

Any added fixtures in a bathroom add value to the space, provided they’re done well and you have the space to accommodate them. Double vanities mean more storage, more counterspace and less waiting for a sink or mirror if there are multiple people that live in your home.


How can I reduce the cost of a new bathroom?

  1. Keep all the fixtures, both plumbing and electrical in the same spots
  2. Make smart choices when selecting materials and fixtures to use
  3. If you have the skills, do some of the work yourself (labour accounts for about half the cost)
  4. Shop the sales for tile and fixtures.
  5. Keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be chic.


Should I replace my toilet when renovating by bathroom?

Yes. Just do it. Toilets aren’t that expensive in the grand scheme of things and even if it’s in ok shape, a fresh new one will always be better.

bathroom vanities winnipeg
winnipeg bathroom renovation

Is it cheaper to replace or resurface a bathtub?

It’s definitely cheaper to resurface a bathtub, however, most resurfacing products don’t hold up as long as the original finish, so if you’re hoping for long term results, it’s best to bite the bullet and replace (especially if you’re also renovating the rest of your space).


What’s the most common colour for a bathroom vanity?

White. By a lot. However, interestingly, according to studies, choosing blue makes buyers think the bathroom has a higher value.


What is the best countertop for a bathroom vanity?

It’s very rare that we make bathroom vanities using anything other than stone. Stone (whether quartz, granite, marble or porcelain) is waterproof, easy to clean and sanitize, extremely durable and will last longer than just about anything else in your bathroom.


Should I use light or dark grout?

Light grout is typically hardest to keep looking clean. Even when properly sealed, grout can slowly stain over time. In most circumstances we recommend a darker grout (especially on floors) to both add detail and contrast and hide stains.


Which is better for a vanity, doors or drawers?

Considering you access most of your bathroom products from a standing position, drawers are easier to see, access and keep tidy. Drawers do come with a higher pricetag, but for a bathroom vanity it’s definitely worth the investment.

bathroom renovation faq

What is the hardest part of a bathroom renovation?

Living without a bathroom would probably top the list, especially if you don’t have more than one in your home. Other challenges can include plumbing surprises (something no one ever wants to find), rot from moisture damage in your walls, and a layout that isn’t ideal (and the lengths you’ll need to go to to fix it).


Can you use the toilet during a bathroom renovation?

If we’re renovating a home that has only one bathroom, we do everything we can to keep the toilet installed for as much of it as possible, but you should know, the doors generally come off the bathroom pretty early. In most cases we only need a few days with the toilet out of the way (mainly depending on your flooring and wall choices), so you might want to stay with friends or family for that part.


Can I renovate my bathroom cheaply?

Yes and no, If your bathroom only needs some cosmetic updates like a fresh coat of paint, some new hardware or fixtures, you can definitely make a big difference with a pretty small budget. If you want to make any layout changes, replace major fixtures (think bathtubs and showers), or give your bathroom a full makeover it’s very unlikely that you could do it inexpensively. That said, bathrooms are one of the renovations that increase the value of your home, so you won’t lose out on any investment you make.

bathroom reno questions

What is the life expectancy of a bathroom renovation?

On average a bathroom can be expected to last well for 7-10 years. While that seems short, you should take into account that there are a great many bathrooms that aren’t build well enough to withstand the demands put on them every day. Nothing degrades a home as quickly as humidity or moisture and bathrooms have that in spades. We build bathrooms to outlast your expectations, and focus on buiding to the conditions with high-quality products. 


We hope these answers helped you start forming a plan to renovate your bathroom, or at least got you closer to understanding the process and what a good bathroom renovation entails. If you’re in the area and you’re thinking of renovating your bathroom, our Design Team is ready to help. Contact us or Schedule an Appointment for a free initial consultation with a member of our team and we’ll help you get building.

At Gateway Kitchen + Bath it’s our goal to build a beautiful and functional space using high-quality materials, precision craftsmanship and attentive customer care. Let’s build something extraordinary!

For more information about bathroom renovations, you can check out one of our other articles: 8 Things to Think About Before Starting a Bathroom Renovation