The dictionary defines a refresh as giving new strength or energy to something or to enliven it. In the case of a bathroom, a refresh would be something like repainting and changing the vanity. A full redesign, however, would mean having to take everything out and starting a new bathroom from scratch. Here are a few pointers on what to think about when considering to either refresh or redesign.

The current condition of the bathroom

Having used your current bathroom for some time it has to have had some wear and tear. Damage can range from dings in the wall to taps leaking and a broken vanity door. The extent of the damage, however, may determine what renovation option to go with. If it is something as simple as a few broken items then, by all means, get a refresh. If it’s a combination of issues e.g. tiles broken, bathtub leaking, paint flaking, mold growing and plumbing issues altogether, then you may need a rebuild.

Money Available

The amount of money you have for a particular project will determine the renovation option you go with. Having more money will enable you to get more things done to improve your bathroom while a little cash will limit your options. If you have the money for it why not get the whole thing redone. It most likely would improve the resale value of the home and your enjoyment of it while your living there. Remember to stay within your means as no one wants projects to stall halfway through because they ran out of money.

Reason for Renovation

We all have different reasons for renovating. It might be because of damage (case in point when I redesigned my bathroom it was because I had a rotten spot in the floor), or simply because you want something new. Be clear about the extent you want to go through to redesign the bathroom and what you’re looking to achieve in the end. It can help you stay on point and prevent you from over extending yourself.

Amenities Needed

Your current bathroom may have a shower while you prefer having a bathtub or it may be the other way around. Most bathrooms won’t have much space for huge modifications. If you feel like your bathroom doesn’t, then you might need move/remove walls. This might free up some much-needed space or put to use some extra found space. We had a customer who wanted a steam shower, and it wouldn’t fit into his existing shower, so we needed to replace everything.

Impact to your environment

Bathrooms are notorious for having mold issues. Drips from the back of a toilet are some of the most common areas where we see mold growing. We’ve even had a number of places have mushrooms growing. By the way, if you have mushrooms growing out of your baseboards, you most likely have big issues and need to be careful you don’t expose yourself to toxic things like black mold.

Age of the House

For older houses, it may be a good idea to overhaul the bathroom. This might also serve as a precautionary measure as older bathrooms are likely to get damaged quicker than newer ones. This is because they have been around for longer and have therefore seen much more wear and tear.

Presence or absence of harmful materials

Some bathrooms especially those in older houses might have had harmful materials used in their construction. Examples of these include asbestos and lead. For the sake of your health and that of your family, it may be necessary to have these materials removed. In a lot of cases that will lead to a complete tear down of your bathroom. Why not have it custom rebuilt after that?



  • Less downtime
  • Small changes such as painting walls and replacing a vanity can be done quickly
  • You could add significant value to a property without having to spend too much money.
  • Small fixes can have a large impact. For example fixing a leaking toilet or tap can save you thousands in a year in water costs.


  • A refresh may help, but if the fundamental issue is the layout, then a coat of paint won’t help.



  • You get a new bathroom design of your choice.
  • The amenities are likely to be updated to modern standards.
  • It solves the problem rather than the reoccurring symptoms thwarting the need for regular repairs.
  • Increases the resale value of the home.


  • The cost of a full custom rebuild might be significantly higher.
  • The time it takes to renovate can leave you without a bathroom if you only have one to use.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for, and if you need some help choosing the best choice, give us a call at 403-465-2288 to discuss your options. We’re happy to help!