The Ensuite


Not sure where to start? First, you need to decide on what you want for your ensuite bathroom. Are you going to remodel the whole bathroom, or are you just doing a partial bathroom renovation? A full bathroom renovation involves removing toilet, vanity system, mirror, light, accessories, shower area and / or tub area, any wall coverings, and flooring. A partial renovation typically involves removing your existing toilet and / or vanity system only and leaving the flooring as is. It can also mean removing the existing tub or shower and replacing them with a new tub or shower, and leaving your existing floor, toilet, and vanity. The choice is yours. To prepare for your bathroom renovation, you will need to keep all of your ideas in one place. It is also a good idea to keep pictures of what you like. This will help you to move onto the next step.

Design – 1

Time to measure the bathroom space. It is important to get the answers to the following questions, because they may affect your plan:

  1. Start by standing in the doorway, and drawing your bathroom starting from the left side and making your way all the way around until you return to the other side of the door
  2. Draw in your windows, if you have any
  3. Draw in your existing fixtures: tub, toilet, vanity, shower, and bidet
  4. Indicate where the plumbing is coming from in the shower, beside the bathtub, etc.
  5. Measure the same way you did the plan
  6. Measure from outside trim to outside trim
  7. Measure within a 1/4”
  8. Indicate where the current electrical locations are (plugs and switches) on the drawing
  9. Indicate where the heat register is located on the drawing (remove cover and check to see which way your hand goes, left to right or front to back)
  10. Indicate the height of the bathroom
  11. Indicate the width of any doors

It is important to get the answers to the following questions, because they may affect your plan:

  1. Where does your plumbing come from?
    • a) From the wall behind the vanity
    • b) From the right or left hand side of the vanity
    • c) From the floor, or
    • d) Combination of both, back wall and side, or floor and wall
  2. Where is the water supply located for your toilet, floor or wall? (measure the distance from the center of the toilet to the water supply)
  3. Measure from the wall to the toilet bolts
  4. Indicate any outside walls on your drawing
  5. Measure your vanity from the center of the toilet, to the left, and to the right
  6. If you have a floor heat vent, remove the cover and see which way the pipe runs, then indicate this on your drawing
  7. Take pictures of your current space and bring them with you

Now that you have all of the information you need, we can answer any questions and see what options are available for your space. Then, we can move on to the next step.

Design – 2

We have your ideas, we have your measurements, now it’s time to see how your ensuite bathroom is going to come together.  We can now start removing any walls, moving the bathtub, or removing them altogether to add that shower you always wanted, because you never use the bathtub.  Or, you might add that dream freestanding bathtub that you always wanted.  Maybe the toilet is right when you walk in the door, and you wanted to move it to a different location.  Or you have no storage in your vanity, or your cabinet is huge and don’t understand why the builder or previous homeowner never installed two sinks.  Maybe you need to add a closet, or move a closet.  All of these things will be different for everyone, depending on whether this is a new ensuite bathroom build, or if you are remodelling your existing ensuite.  Now that you have some ideas of what you are hoping your new bathroom will look like, you need to make sure that it will work the way you are hoping.  Considering things like whether there is enough space around the toilet are important to make sure that the bathroom will function properly.  Depending on whether it is a new build or remodel, can it be done?  Sometimes what you want to do may not be possible because of your situation.  It’s important to take your time and keep an open mind.  During the renovation you may run into things that we’re not visible until the walls were opened up, which can create changes to the original plan.


Now you are ready for your ensuite bathroom renovation.  With all of this information, you can now start selecting.  I like to start with the shower, or bathtub area, if there is a combination.  Selecting your wall surrounds and shower floor product sets the tone for the bathroom. I find that, naturally, you move on to the flooring because that is the predominant area. Next would be the cabinet and countertop, followed by wall coverings, toilet, and sinks.  Now the fun stuff, fixtures and accessories:  faucets, toilet paper holder, towel bar, cabinet hardware, lights, and mirrors.  As a helpful tool, you can use our handy check list to make sure that you have everything you need for your ensuite.  This is also a good time to consider treating yourself with items like steam shower, jetted bathtub, heated flooring, heated towel racks, wash-let toilet seats, etc.  For some items, you have only one chance at doing, so it’s important to discuss now.  Adding a heated floor after installation, for example, would mean ripping up your existing floor. Some items, if planned for properly, can be added later, as well.  Once everything has been selected, we can order all of the products, then we’re ready for the next step.


This is where everything comes together!  Whether you are doing it yourself, working with a contractor, or having us install it for you, this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for!  Once the demolition is done, confirm that all plumbing and electrical are properly placed and functioning.  Remember that there is the possibility of some type of surprise issue at this stage. For example, a pipe coming through the floor underneath the bathtub might need to be moved to fit your new shower base, or finding an electrical line without a junction box where the light fixture is installed.  Depending on how extensive your project is, I find an ensuite bathroom renovation typically can take from 3 to 21 business days, depending on the size and scope of work that needs to be done.  If you are doing this on your own, remember that we are here to help.  Just contact us, and we can set up a service call, if needed. The final step: Enjoy!


Be sure to clean your bathroom of any construction dust (this might take a couple of cleanings before it’s all gone), and we advise that you register all of your products for warranty purposes.  Add your final touches, and if you find yourself thinking that you wish you had added that hand towel bar, or anything else, it’s never too late.

Don’t forget to congratulate yourself on a job well done!

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