Attic and loft spaces were once a storehouse of old memories. They were generally stuffed with things no longer of any use, but that had nostalgic value. However, the times have changed. Increased space crunch is forcing homeowners to make proper use of every available nook and cranny in their home. Some of them are also making volumetric redistribution of space to create loft spaces where there is none. Those occupying old buildings with high ceilings can afford such experimentation.
Attics are being converted to libraries, home offices and guest quarters. Many city dwellers are renovating attics to create stylish apartments out of this small space. That's not all. You can even set up a beautiful spa style bathroom in your attic. Say ‘goodbye’ to long drives through traffic to the nearest spa, draining time, energy and money in the process.
Before indulging in such a prospect, you need to prepare your attic and make it ready for building a bathroom. This article will guide you through the entire process and will give your old attic a new lease of life.
If your attic was a completely abandoned space for a long time, you will first have to make considerable structural amendments. If the foundation and framing have undergone massive damages you will have to change them. You may also need to build a staircase to comfortably access this space.
Take extra care to meticulously waterproof the ceiling. Check for water related damages like signs of mold and mildew. Eliminate any chances of leaking water, and apply an oil based waterproofing compound to the roof. Use neoprene cement to block the gaps between the flashing and roofing.
Since bathrooms are a high moisture zone, this step takes on extra importance. You will have to save this space from any long term damages caused by dampness. Proper ventilation is also necessary to prevent a build up of foul odour. Open up the windows and install skylights. See how FrenchStef organised an airy and light filled bathroom in this attic.
When buying exhaust fans, choose one that is in accordance with the total volume of your attic bathroom. Large attics, as well as bathrooms with a higher number of fixtures, will require extra powerful vents. Ceiling mounted fans, vent switches and in-line fans will help to keep the space properly ventilated.
It is not enough to treat the structural damages, if there are any. You will have to make necessary arrangements to tuck electrical wiring, plumbing, exhausts etc neatly behind the walls. You can use wall panels to hide the skeletal details. Install acrylic tile panels, laminate panels with plywood, MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) or foam core.
Alternatively, make use of traditional tiles, terrazzo, stone etc., to decorate the wall. Glass blocks can create a very stylish bathroom interior. Ensure that the chosen material is durable and capable of withstanding constant exposure to moisture.
Hardwood floors and natural stone look great in a trendy bathroom, but hardwood flooring must be sealed with moisture resistant solutions. Natural stones like marble, granite, sandstone, agate and onyx could be a bit too heavy for an attic conversion. Travertine tiles are often used in bathrooms. However, only choose any one of these if you are absolutely sure of the structural sustenance of the flooring.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are also capable of creating a chic attic bathroom. Moreover, these are easier to clean. Porcelain is tougher than ceramic, but could be slippery. Vinyl is another popular choice that you could explore. While making your choices keep in mind the planned colour scheme of your attic bathroom.
The scope of having large windows is minimal in an attic bathroom. So, in order to create a bright, cheerful and hygienic bathroom, it is important for you to arrange for adequate lighting.
Use wall and ceiling mounted task lighting. Mirrors, bathtub and furniture with concealed LED lighting fixtures are hugely popular nowadays. You can have traditional but charming pendant lighting in this area as well, although it would be better to resist the temptation of installing heavy crystal chandeliers in the small confines of an attic bathroom!
A stylish bathroom must also showcase proper accessories. Some of the must have items for a beautiful attic bathroom are a stylish armchair or stool, vanity units, mirrors, self heating towel rails, area rug or an organic mat and fragrant candles. Arrange for sufficient storage, and place pots of moisture-absorbing plants like peace lily, reed palm, tillandsia, rubber fig etc., around the space. Do not forget to install sophisticated audio systems if you love soothing music during your spa sessions. Take time out to pamper yourself and savour the fine results of your own interior design.
Do not forget to take time out and read our top tips for different kitchen flooring options.