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After living in your house for a while, you may have found that the design of the bathroom doesn’t suit your family’s needs and lifestyle. The space may feel too cramped or may not have enough storage. Changing the layout of the bathroom may make it more functional, but it may be more difficult than you expect.

What Are the Downsides of the Current Design?
Think about how members of your family use the bathroom and any problems or limitations you experience because of its layout. Perhaps two or more people often need to use the bathroom at the same time and get in each other’s way. Maybe you need more storage space or would like a bathtub instead of just a shower. Perhaps an elderly member of your family has trouble using the toilet or shower. 

What Types of Changes Can You Make?
If two people need to use the bathroom at the same time, adding a second sink can give each person their own space. You can install a partition to separate the toilet and shower from the sink area so two people can use the bathroom at once while giving each other privacy.

If the bathroom doesn’t have enough storage to suit your family’s needs, you may want to consider adding a closet or a vanity with a cabinet. A new vanity can also give you more counter space. 

If you have a large tub that takes up a lot of room and that you rarely use, you may want to replace it with a shower. Switching from a tub to a shower will free up more square footage to use for other purposes. If the bathroom has a shower but you would prefer a tub, you may want to replace the shower with a tub or have both, if there is enough space. 

Using the bathroom is a challenge for many senior citizens and people with limited mobility. Installing grab bars and a seat in the shower can make the bathroom safer.

What Types of Changes Can You Make?
The current arrangement of the plumbing system will affect your remodeling options. If you want to move the sink or toilet to a different wall, you may need to install new pipes in the wall where you want to put the fixtures. That means that walls may need to be torn out and flooring tile may need to be replaced. Moving the toilet is more difficult than moving the sink because a toilet must be connected to the water supply and the waste pipe.

The bathroom’s dimensions may also affect your design choices. You don’t want to have features so close together that there is not enough room for people to move around and you don’t want the door to bump into something when it is opened. 

Whatever changes you decide to make will have to comply with your local building codes. Discuss possible renovations with a few contractors in your area and request quotes from each.

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