My 5 bathroom renovation lessons with Sonas

Earlier this Summer, I had an ensuite bathroom renovation, and I wanted to share some tips I learned along the way. Bathrooms are one of the more expensive areas to renovate in your home, and I discovered that there are so many things to consider when renovating your bathroom. (This post contains gifted product from Sonas)

My ensuite bathroom project was my first renovation experience, and thankfully it went smoothly. I was so surprised by how easily the process was, but I know that this isn’t the same for everyone. 

Here are my key learns from my bathroom project, and I hope that this post is helpful when it comes to remodelling your bathroom. 

** This post contains PR gifted product from Sonas bathrooms Ireland

Sonas Sansa Mirror.

How much does it cost to renovate a bathroom in Ireland?

How long is a piece of string? However, as a guide, labour for a bathroom renovation can be up to €5000. Then you need to add in the cost of bathroom fittings like toilet/shower etc. Also, budget for painting and any electric work. You can see how the price can quickly add up to €8000 or more. 

One thing I learned was not to be naive when it comes to how much things cost. When I was initially planning my bathroom, I had a ballpark figure of €3-4k. However, this was not a realistic budget for what I wanted and the work needed in my bathroom, as I had my bathroom layout reconfigured. 

However, you can do things on a budget. While I went for the option to have my bathroom done all at once within a week, you could do it in stages. You could also look for budget bathroom items or second-hand pieces. Look out for sales and discounts and shop around. 

If you are competent and confident ad stripping your bathroom, you may be able to do some of the prep work yourself. It is more labour intensive than you think, and items can be heavy, so do get some help if doing your very own demo.

When it comes to labour, buy cheap, buy twice. Shop around for bathroom quotes but don’t always go for the cheapest one. Ask for recommendations and look at images of their work. Make sure that the work you see on their website is theirs and not stock images. 

When doing the strip out of my bathroom, Tomas encountered some clogged pipes! Yep, not sexy and very stinky. Now, this is the time I was so grateful that I wasn’t doing a DIY bathroom, as I wouldn’t know where to begin with a problem like that.

Click here for Tomas Walsh of Walsh tiling and bathrooms details as this is whom I used for my bathroom project, and I highly recommend them. 

dainty dress diaries bathroom.

Storage, how much bathroom storage do I need?

While I store most toiletries in my main bathroom, do consider how much storage you need. Remember to plan for storing cleaning items and toilet rolls, and cosmetics, as this will save you traipsing up and down the stairs when cleaning. 

I went for the Sonas Malmo 60cm Single drawer. The Malmo has a deep drawer for storage, with an open shelf below for towels and baskets. 

If you need more storage space, check out the Sonas Finland, as this has two drawers for storage. Consider adding a storage column if you need more storage space in your ensuite. 

From experience, more storage, more clutter. I try to be minimal when it comes to the number of shampoo bottles that gather in my bathroom and regularly declutter, and I try to reduce the amount of plastic I am using. 

Practical versus pretty

While your Pinterest board might be full of stylish bathrooms, one thing I learned was to ask myself, “but is it practical for me”. Whether it is a maximalist wallpapered bathroom or a minimalist no storage option, it needs to function for you and your families needs. 

Have fun with your bathroom decor, and ensuites are an area where you can get creative. Just remember, that floral wallpaper might not be so appealing when you are hungover on the toilet. 

Sonas Malmo Chrome 60 cm
Malmo 60 cm bathroom unit.
Sonas Malmo single drawer storage unit.

How to future proof your bathroom? 

My home is a dormer bungalow, making it popular with people downsizing. While I don’t plan to sell my home yet, I will down the line, and I wanted to fit a bathroom that would stand the test of time. 

I never thought of future-proofing until I did one of the free Sonas online design classes. Sonas regularly host free design workshops, but they fill up fast, click here to keep an eye out for the next one. With some households being multigenerational, it’s important to consider everyone’s needs.

Some things to consider to future proof your bathroom, so it meets your needs now and in the future. 

  • Consider a shower flush to the floor, as this may be easier for older people in the household. Walk-in showers may be a better option than showers within baths.
  • Two basins? While this may sound like a luxury, if you have a large family scrambling for their toothbrushes in the morning, it may be something to consider. 
  • Wall-hung toilet. Suspending the toilet bowl off the floor means no yucky space where the toilet meets the floor and those floor bolts (& their holes) that can be muck-collectors. And it will make a small room look and feel more spacious.
  • Underfloor heating and towel rails, underfloor heating, will help water from your shower evaporate quicker. Before my ensuite makeover, I had no radiator or heater, and I can happily report that a warm towel after your shower is a luxury I never knew I needed.
  • Grab rials. I don’t have any installed at the moment, but the structure behind the wall now allows me to install them in the future.  
Sonas Slate shower tray
Sonas Claire rimless wal hung toilet.
Sonas shower fittings.
Sonas Anthracite towel heater

Products featured. 

Let there be light, the Sonas Sansa

One thing I love and use the most in my bathroom so far is my light up mirror. I adore it! Before my renovation, my bathroom had one lightbulb hanging from a wire. It was an unflattering yellow tones bulb that caused shadows. 

Now, I have the lighting from my mirror and also a new ceiling light fitting. So, now I have multiple light options. One thing to remember is, not all light fittings can be used in a bathroom. Use specialist bathroom lights with the relevant IP ratings. 

The Sonas Sansa mirror will come in handy in Winter when I need a bright space to do my makeup. 

Dainty Diaries bathroom.
Sonas oval light up bathroom mirror
Bungalow ensuite bathroom renovation

Sonas Sansa Oval Mirror. 

Take your time when planning your bathroom project

When planning your bathroom project, there are many things to think of, from the fun decor element to the more practical pieces. Take your time when planning your renovation. 

If you would like to read more about planning a renovation, then click here. In 2022, I would love to tackle my main bathroom, but I am using the time to get ideas and plan while saving the money to tackle this project. My main bathroom has a bathtub, so I am faced with the ultimate decision, bathtub or no bathtub?

Sonas bathrooms Ireland.

I hope you got some inspiration from this post and found it helpful. Are you planning a bathroom project in your home? Whether it’s an ensuite renovation or a bathroom one, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below. 

Click here to see the before and after of my ensuite bathroom project. 

If you want to refresh your bathroom, a lick of paint and some resealing, then check out this YouTube video from earlier this year. Thanks for reading, Chat soon, Catherine. 


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