Ultimate Guide to Bathroom Renovations in Ottawa

Guide to Bathroom Renovation in Ottawa

Are you thinking about renovating your bathrooms in Ottawa?  Renovating a bathroom is a considerable investment, so it’s worth doing it right.  That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to bathroom renovations in Ottawa.

The last thing you want is to spend thousands on a subpar renovation that looks worse than the original.

Yet, that can easily happen if you don’t know what you’re doing.

That’s why it’s worth doing a little research before getting started. Luckily, we’ve compiled everything you need to know in this handy guide. Read on to learn what it takes to set up a successful bathroom renovation in Ottawa.

Start with the Basics: Create a Wishlist

Before you do anything, you need to determine what you want out of your bathroom renovation. You may know that you want renovations but haven’t pinpointed the exact modifications you wish to make. Now is the time to do that, and you can do so with this questionnaire:

  • What do you not like about your bathroom the most?
  • Which modification takes precedent over the rest? (i.e., installing a new shower to get rid of mold is more important than a new sink)
  • Is the layout of your bathroom convenient, or could you make some changes? (i.e., new shelving or layout to make the most efficient use of space)
  • Do you like your current color scheme, or would you like to change it?
  • What would your dream bathroom look like?
  • Does your bathroom have accessibility issues? (i.e., an elderly resident has trouble standing in the shower)
  • How many people use your bathroom, and do they have enough space?
  • Do you want a portion of your bathroom to be private?
  • What aesthetic changes would you enjoy the most? (i.e., new tile, vanity, color scheme, etc.)

These questions will help you narrow things down in terms of renovations. From there, make a list of the modifications that you want the most. That will help you during the next step, which is determining your budget.

Be Realistic With Your Budget

This step is easy to screw up, even if it doesn’t seem that way. You’ll want to create a realistic budget within a specific ‘sweet spot.’

You want to pay enough to get quality work done, but you don’t want to go broke in the process. At the same time, going with cheap contractors is never a good idea.

Consider how much money you have available. You’ll want at least $15,000 – $20,000 available for the renovation to achieve desirable results. That’s the average price range for a single bathroom renovation, considering you don’t want to change the layout or plumbing.

Once you know how much money you have, it’s time to start comparing prices for the job. Here are some tips for discovering how much your project will cost:

  • Check out online trade shows and slideshows. Renovation companies often have trade shows/slideshows available for their products. They’re a great place to start researching how much your renovation project will cost. Try to find at least 5 to view the Ottawa area to see how much the prices differ.
  • Flip through renovation magazines and websites. There are plenty of publications out there that list bathroom renovation products. You can use them to determine how much sinks, toilets, showers, and new tile will cost.
  • Get quotes from contractors. Next, you’ll want to contact local contractors in Ottawa. As with the slideshow, reach out to at least five contractors and more if you can. The idea is to compare their quotes not only against each other but against your prior research. Since you’ve done some digging and know how much the components will cost – you’ll have a better idea of what contractors should charge. 

Taking those steps will help you find contractors that charge realistic rates. Of course, price isn’t everything when finding a contractor. You’ll also want to look closely at their reputation and past work.

Try to find an online gallery containing photos of their completed projects. Also, find several websites listing reviews of their services. The ideal contractor charges fair prices and has an impeccable reputation.

Plan for the Unexpected

Our final budgeting tip is to leave a little wiggle room in it. Provide yourself with a 10-20% cushion just in case you run over budget.

Why’s that?

It’s because it’s very common to spend at least a little more than what you planned on renovations. You may find that you want to add extra fixtures and finishes during the process. You can add them without any headaches if you have that budget cushion.

You’ll especially need a budget cushion if you’re making significant changes to your layout.

When the contractors begin tearing down walls – they may find mold or need to do expensive drywall repairs. That’s why it’s always a good idea to add that 10-20% cushion just in case something pops up.

An Overview of Bathroom Renovation Fixtures and Finishes

You can do and change a lot with a bathroom renovation. Many components go into renovating a bathroom. There are various fixtures, finishes, vanities, cabinets, and more. Here’s a look at the elements you can change with a renovation.

Cabinetry & Vanities (Storage Options)

First, you’ll need to decide what to do with your storage. Does your bathroom have enough room to store all your toiletries and accessories? If not, you’ll want to add additional cabinetry or a vanity.

A vanity should have storage areas for makeup, towels, and a mirror.

Cabinetry is ideal for storing toiletries and grooming items. You can choose from framed or unframed cabinets. Also, it’s possible to hide the hardware and fixes for a more contemporary look.

Next, take a look at the feasibility of your layout. Is there anything inconvenient that you want to change?

An example would be that you have to walk to the other side of the bathroom to get your hair straightener. That’s an inconvenience, and renovating can remedy it. Ask your contractor to install a shelf, medicine cabinet, or vanity closer to your sink.

It would be best always to consider ways to make your layout more convenient when renovating. It’s all too common for homeowners to get hung up on aesthetic and visual upgrades. Yet, renovating for feasibility is just as effective and can make your life easier. Once everything has a space and a convenient layout, you can move on.


The countertop for your sink is a mainstay of your bathroom. It’s also one of the first things visitors will notice when they enter the room. That’s why your countertops need to make a stellar first impression.

There are many options for countertops, including:

  • Quartz. This is an ideal material if you want a seamless surface. Quartz has next to no pores, and it’s also resistant to scratches.
  • Glass. If aesthetics are your #1 concern, a glass countertop can look especially stylish. It will take a lot of maintenance to keep it looking sharp, though.
  • Ceramic tiles. You can use ceramic tiles to create brilliant patterns on your countertop. Multiple colors are also available, so you can get as creative as you want.
  • Marble, granite, and limestone. Natural stones are visually pleasing and highly in-demand. A noticeable downside is that they require proper insulation, or they won’t look right.
  • Laminate. You can do a lot with laminate in today’s age, including imitating wood and natural stone. It’s also affordable and won’t scratch.
  • Polished concrete. If you choose polished concrete, it will look stunning, won’t scratch, and will last for years. It’s a tad expensive to install, but there’s a lot of versatility and variety.

You should carefully consider your budget when selecting a countertop material. That’s why doing your research during the budgeting phase is so crucial. The last thing you want is to settle on an expensive countertop material only to realize you can’t afford it.


Bathroom flooring gets overlooked but is one of the most critical components of the room. Nailing your flooring will go a long way toward filling out the entire space. There are many options for bathroom flooring, including:

  • Hardwood. These can look classy and elegant but need unique coatings to protect them from water. If they’re exposed to water without protection, the floors will warp and become uneven.
  • Vinyl. This is one of the most popular bathroom flooring options due to its water resistance. It also comes in a wide variety of colors and is relatively affordable.
  • Natural stone. A stone bathroom floor can look great but is a slip hazard without proper coatings.
  • Polished concrete. A polished concrete floor will be resistant to water and slips/falls. Yet, it’s rather expensive to install. If you want to go with polished concrete, make doubly sure that you’ve factored it into your budget.  

Remember that bathroom floors tend to get slippery at times. The ideal bathroom floor doesn’t get slippery and still looks stunning.

Bathroom Walls

Your walls can make or break your bathroom. You’ll want to trust the professionals to install new wall materials for your bathroom. If you mess it up with a DIY installation, you could wind up costing yourself thousands in repairs. That’s why it’s worth leaving it to professional contractors with years of experience. Here’s a list of some of the most common bathroom wall materials:

  • Tiles. Wall tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms, and they can even match your floor. You can choose from porcelain, glass, stone, or ceramic tiles. They come in a wide variety of different colors, shapes, and patterns.
  • Traditional paint. This is the most affordable option, but that doesn’t mean it has to lack pizzaz. If you choose a semi-gloss paint with a stand-out color – a painted wall can look amazing.
  • Vinyl covers/plastic panels. Some homeowners prefer sturdy plastic panels on the walls. There are also vinyl covers that provide the same protection but can look trendy and stylish.

It’s up to you what you choose for your bathroom walls. Remember to carefully consider your budget as well as your personal taste when making a decision.


A sink is a core component of any bathroom and an absolute necessity. If your sinks don’t work, your bathroom is essentially useless. If you want to change your sink, you’ll have a few options. These include:

  • Sink consoles. This old-school sink can provide a fun vintage look if installed correctly. Sink consoles typically match your cabinetry and have metal or wood legs. It takes a savvy contractor to install a sink console – as you need to find a way to hide the pipes.
  • Wall-mounted sink. If you want to add extra storage space to your bathroom, using a wall-mounted sink is a great trick. It uses special brackets to stay fixed to the wall. Underneath, you can add additional cabinetry for more storage.
  • Pedestal sink. If you have a tiny bathroom, a pedestal sink is ideal. You can install a pedestal sink in a small area, and they come in a wide variety of colors and styles.
  • Vessel sinks. These sinks actually rest above the countertops. It’s an unorthodox style, but it can look aesthetically pleasing to some. It’s not recommended to use vessel sinks in a home with someone disabled, as it’s harder for them to use.

Different sink styles vary in price, so do your homework when formulating a budget. Also, you’ll want to take accessibility into account. If you have someone disabled in your home, specially-made lowered sinks are what you need.

Bathtubs and Lighting

The last two components are your bathtub and lighting arrangement. Bathtubs use various materials, such as cast iron, marble, and acrylic. Of course, each will vary in price and aesthetic appeal.

Size is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing a bathtub. You’ll want a large enough tub to comfortably fit everyone in your home.

As far as lighting goes, split it up into three parts. They are your task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting.

Task lighting illuminates areas where your regular activities take place. That means lighting up the sink, shower, tub, and toilet.

Ambient lighting is the general light that usually comes from the ceiling. Accent lighting is additional lighting that adds to the feel of the room and pulls focus to certain areas.

In Summary

By now – you should have a better idea of what it takes to renovate your bathroom. You need to identify your core areas for improvement, set a realistic budget, and find the best professionals in your area. For more information on this ultimate guide to bathroom renovations in Ottawa or if you’re thinking about renovating, reach out to us for a free in-home consultation or give us a call at (613)727-9427

Bathroom Renovation Ottawa - Edwin Crescen
Bathroom Renovation Ottawa - Edwin Crescen