What is the difference between bathroom remodeling and bathroom renovation?

Part of Bathroom remodeling & bathroom renovation FAQ – contractor differences of terminology. Let’s start with the definition of of the words first. According to one dictionary:


RENOVA’TION, n. [L. renovatio.]

1. The act of renewing; a making new after decay, destruction or deprivation; renewal.

Using this definition, a bathroom renovation would be the updating or installing new of bathtubs, showers, surrounds, tile, sinks, vanities, toilets, flooring and even towel bars. Some contractors may refer to this as a bathroom upgrade. To renew a bathroom, one may gut the entire bathroom too. This makes it easier to start fresh with the upgrades and deal with any trouble spots. I liken a bathroom renovation as a gut a redo.

When a bathroom gets gutted, now is the time to add some missing features such as a vent, better or more lighting, an outlet or switch.

Code usually requires the electrical be brought to standards. Bathrooms should be on their own dedicated circuit and the GCFI protected. Most older homes have other rooms on the same electrical branch as the bathroom.

Any electrical that is not right such as you will see in the slideshow, needs to be dealt with and updated

Any plumbing that is not right and not to today’s code should be dealt with too. In most of my experiences, unless it was ‘remodeled’ by an inexperienced person i.e. such as rotted vent pipe not repaired and connected, no traps etc. A lot of older homes don’t have shutoff valves to the sink and tub. This is a good time to put those in.


Remodel, Remodeling

REMOD’EL, v.t. [re and model.] To model or fashion anew. To make over in structure or style; reconstruct; make over

Bathroom remodeling consists more than simply replacing various fixtures in the bathroom. This usually involves a different design layout, relocation of existing fixtures or adding major new features such as a whirlpool, sauna, steam room, walk in shower, windows other than replacements or skylights. Most bathroom remodeling projects usually include some form of expansion. Thus walls and closets are taken out and moved for the new layout design.

So you see, a bathroom remodeling project is a bathroom renovation with some twists. I may get some disagreement as both terms are closely interchangeable. For clarity of purpose to my clients, this is how I differentiate the two in my consultations…then there is the bathroom upgrade. That my friends are simple replacements of existing fixtures 😉

Whatever you choose to do, you can count on Freedom Builders & Remodelers to help plan and execute your bathroom remodeling or renovation. Gives us a call 815-985-0310 or use our online contact form.

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