Bathroom renovation might seem like an easy task. All you need to do is ensure the drainage system is smooth, the accessories are nice and the tiles are suitable. Then, you’re good to go.
But is it really that simple? What are the additional insights you need to know when working with your contractors? And if you’re planning to DIY, what are the renovation tips you need to know beforehand?
At HOMA2u, we work with a lot of contractors and get involved with various renovation projects. Over the years, we’ve gathered a lot of tips and tricks when it comes to renovating homeowners’ bathrooms in Malaysia.
In this post, we’ll share our top bathroom renovation secrets that regular contractors won’t tell you. If you’re just planning to renovate your new bathroom or remodel an existing one, this article is for you.
Let’s jump in. (P.S. We’ll also share all the costs involved so you can better plan your budget!)
The key bathroom accessories you need
Let’s get the essentials down first. Here are the all bathroom accessories every Malaysian need in their bathroom:
- Shower head (rain or hand shower or both)
- Water faucet
- Toilet or WC (aka jamban in Malay)
- Bathroom tiles (wall & floor) and;
Up next, your bathroom layout and size
When working on your bathroom renovation, you shouldn’t start thinking about the design or vanity accessories first. Instead, it’ll be better if you start familiarizing yourself with the bathroom space and layout of the area.
The standard bathroom sizes are:
- 3.5 to 4 square meters (for smaller apartments or condos)
- Anywhere between 4 to 10 square meters (for larger homes)
And the common bathroom layouts are:
- 1m X 1.5m
- 1m X 1.8m
- 1.2m X 1.2m
- 1.2m X 1.6m
- 1.8m X 1.8m
- 1.8m X 3m
- 1.8m X 3.6m
… and more! Be sure to consult your contractors or interior designers on your home layout if you’re unfamiliar with these terms.
Once you get a better understanding of your bathroom space, you’ll be better equipped to visualize how you would want to renovate it.
Remember, a bigger bathroom area will allow more space for creativity and play around with decor. But for a smaller bathroom area, you need to be more sparing in terms of how you want to renovate it.
Now that we have the essential information out of the way, let’s start looking into some top bathroom renovation tips!
Bathroom renovation secret #1: the water basin
First thing: Make sure the door is able to open smoothly and the water basin doesn’t block the bathroom door.
This tip is definitely a no-brainer but you’ll be surprised at the number of homeowners who overlooked this.
Shape of the water basin
There are a few water basin shapes you can choose from:
- Square shaped water basin
- Oval shaped water basin and;
- Wall hung water basin
When it comes to choosing the right water basin shape, there is no right or wrong answer. It will depend on your preference and its suitability in the bathroom space. A wall hung water basin will definitely saves more space as a bathroom countertop is not required anymore.
However, if you have more space, having a countertop can help elevate the design of the bathroom area and also act as a storage space for your toiletries.
Make sure the countertop material is water-resistant.
Contractors will usually opt for a solid surface or stone surface as the bathroom countertop. If you have any preferred materials or designs you’d like to use, this is the part where you propose to your contractors.
Your water faucet
This might sound a bit technical – the standard practice for installing a water faucet is making sure the water faucet is at a distance half the width of the basin.
To do so, you can simply measure the distance of the water basin from its centrepoint. And that distance is how far you want to install your water faucet. Any distance longer than this will lead to water splashing out – which isn’t ideal.
Your regular plumber will usually know about this, but it will be good for you to know so you can double check on this.
Protip: When buying the water basin, some basin will already have the water faucet installed along with it. This will help remove the hassle of measuring the distance yourself or contacting a plumber to do so.
Which water basin to go with?
For master bathrooms, we would usually recommend homeowners to go with a countertop. As this is the current trend in Malaysia, we don’t see the trend going away anytime soon.
For aesthetic purposes, you can also install an undermount sink, like the design below.
As for guest rooms or smaller bathroom areas, we would always recommend going for a wall hung basin in order to save space.
Basin maintenance tips for everyday Malaysian bathroom
The most essential maintenance tip for every bathroom is on clearing waste inside the basin piping. Or, if you accidentally dropped something (like a ring) into the basin, then this handy tip might be helpful for you.
The steps are:
- Turn off the shutoff valve under the sink (to stop flow of water into the faucet).
- Put a bucket under the pipe.
- Locate the large nut under the pipe and unscrew the nut counterclockwise.
- If it is of plastic material, you can simply unscrew using your hand. But if it is metal pipe, you might need to use a plier to do so.
- After loosening the nut, turn the piping over and empty the water into the bucket.
- Retrieve the item you dropped.
In order to remove any complicated clogging, you can consider using a clog remover to unblock and clear the pipe.
Bathroom renovation secret #2: the water faucet
Always look for a water faucet that comes with a honeycomb filter. Or in other words, a honeycomb mouth.
A honeycomb filter functions in 2 ways:
- Filters out dirt from the water source
- Helps create a smoother water flow (and water won’t easily splash around)
Lastly, if there is water leakage around your faucet, be sure to always consult a plumber instead of fixing it yourself. The leak issues are usually more complicated than it appears.
Bathroom renovation secret #3: WC
The most important element of your bathroom – the toilet, or in another term, WC (water closet). There are 3 types of WC widely used in Malaysia:
- Washdown WC
- Siphon WC
- Rimless WC
Their main difference boils down to the noise they make when you flush the toilet. Washdown WC is super loud while the siphon type is pretty much noiseless, perfectly ideal for the regular Malaysian homes.
Similar to siphon, rimless WC is almost noiseless. If you’re wondering which WC to choose, we definitely recommend siphon or rimless, depending on your preference and design you like.
Protip: The quality of the WC will largely depends on the workmanship of the contractors. So, be sure to find the right contractors that fit the job!
The WC seat cover
When buying your WC, you get to choose the type of seat covers you want, which typically comes together with the model. There are 2 types of seat covers you can choose from:
- UF (urea-formaldehyde) toilet seat cover or;
- PP (polypropylene) toilet seat cover
Their main differences are the cost and durability. A UF seat cover is more durable than a PP seat cover because of the material used. And therefore, a UF seat cover is more expensive than a PP seat cover.
Protip: If the color palette of your bathroom design is an important element of your renovation, then don’t opt for PP seat cover. This is because PP seat’s color will fade over time which in turn, will affect the design you want to achieve.
Other items to purchase with your WC
Here are some items you may want to purchase alongside your WC. Some items may already be bundled together with the WC you’re buying but some may not. So, do take note when dealing with your contractor or supplier.
The bathroom items are:
- Hand bidet spray set (typically includes a hand bidet spray, a flexi hose and a holder)
- Tap connector (when the connecting water tap is of a different size from hand bidet hose connector)
Lastly, for all piping-related materials, remember to always go with stainless steel material instead of plastic. This is because the former is more durable and requires less maintenance work.
How much does bathroom renovation cost in Malaysia?
To help you prepare your bathroom renovation budget, we’ve listed down all the activities that go into the project:
- Hacking / demolishing of old tiles and pipes
- Plumbing and piping works
- Wiring of water heater, lighting and electric points
- Tiling works
- Installation of doors and windows
- Installing of bathroom fittings and accessories
Generally, at HOMA2u, we recommend homeowners to allocate a budget between RM10,000 to RM30,000 (accounting for both the master & guest bathrooms)
If the bathroom is already functional and you’re only planning to just give it a facelift, then the work can be done within a budget of RM8,000.
Previously, we published an article on home renovation costs in Malaysia. Inside this article, you can read about the costs involved in bathroom renovation and also other areas of a home.
And there you go, all the bathroom renovation secrets you need to know (and it’s related costs)!
If you’re looking to buy quality bathroom fittings and accessories, then start shopping at HOMA2u now.
If you need some planning support or connection to the best contractors in your area, feel free to get in touch with Hommies here.