Does your bathroom need a large-scale renovation or just a face lift? While many homeowners know they want to update their bathroom, they may not see the importance of deciding which type of remodel it actually needs. What is the difference? And why does it matter how you define it? Here's what you need to know.

When Do You Need a Full-Scale Renovation?

Bathroom renovations come in two basic varieties: major and minor. A major renovation is one that largely (or fully) guts the room. It can change the location of key fixtures and alter the flow of the room entirely. It calls for all new materials and allows the most changes to the style and structure.

This scale of renovation is important if the problems in your bathroom go beyond dated fixtures. Do you need to update old plumbing or wiring? Do you plan to remove elevation changes to make it more accessible? Is the room cramped and uncomfortable? Any of these foundational issues may be most appropriately fixed by starting completely over. 

When Do You Need a Face Lift?

Not all bathrooms have serious structural issues to address. Perhaps your bathroom has just become outdated over time. If some of the fixtures — such as a new toilet or quality flooring — are still in good shape, you may just need to replace selected parts of the room. A face lift can brighten up the space, make it more modern, and even open up some of the interior without changing the overall floor plan. 

Why Does Defining Your Goal Matter?

Why should you take the time to define the type of remodel you plan? Because this will help you formulate and stick to your budget. And understanding your true goals gives your renovation more focus. 

If you know, for instance, that the bathroom is generally functional, you won't get caught up with last-minute changes to move fixtures around unnecessarily — thereby raising your budget. On the other hand, if you reconcile early on to the idea that you must gut the interior to accomplish what you want, you can make a more cohesive plan rather than keep adding to your remodel one element at a time. 

Where Should You Start?

The best resource to decide the extent of your remodel needs is an experienced bathroom remodeling contractor in your area. They can help you assess the quality and lifespan of existing materials and the end results you want to achieve. Together, you can define what you want from this project and make a plan to ensure you get that — no matter how grand or how restrained that might be. 

To learn more, contact a local bathroom remodeling contractor.