You may be mulling over a full bathroom renovation. Take a look below for some warning signs that tend to pop up that may indicate it is time to renovate that bathroom.
1) Mold and mildew build-up
It is no secret that bathrooms can be very moist and damp areas, especially if they are not properly ventilated. A properly installed, high quality bathroom exhaust fan is a great line of defense against moisture damage in your bathroom. If you have an older fan that is very noisy or doesn't seem to be doing an adequate job of evacuating most air out of the space, it could be a sign of other hidden problems. For a bathroom exhaust fan to properly do its job, it must be installed correctly and properly vented outside of the home. In many cases, home builders will install the fan but fail to vent it correctly. This can result in the illusion of an exhaust fan in good working order, but in reality this could mean that your exhaust fan is pushing moist air into your attic insulation, causing rapid mold growth.
2) Fixtures that do not operate properly
While drains sometimes get clogged up preventing proper operation of toilets and sinks, it is not always the case that clearing them restores proper operation of your fixtures. In many cases, the rough plumbing that you cannot see may not have been properly installed causing frustrating problems in your bathroom. There are rules around which types of fittings can be used when roughing in a bathroom, ventilation guidelines that need to be followed, and general practices which must be adhered to if the finished product is going to work properly. In many cases, when renovating a bathroom we have found major problems with the way the plumbing was roughed in, including issues with maintaining correct slopes of drain pipes as well as lack of proper venting for fixtures. For water to drain correctly, a functioning vent must be present, otherwise you may notice poor or slow drainage from sinks, showers, and even toilets. In cases like this, performing a full gut job of the bathroom is best because problems will be exposed and can then be corrected.
You may find that your older bathroom may not have any of the problems described above, but may simply be outdated. Taking the opportunity to design a new bathroom for yourself and add features and functionality that you didn't have before can be a fun and exciting time. You can also plan for the future and add specific features to help you "age in place" like adding a curbless shower for ease of access.