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Hotel bathroom renovations: what not to do

By: Darin Pike, HospitalityHub Writer
08 October, 2015

A well-planned hotel bathroom renovation can dramatically alter the appearance of a suite.

When done properly it will improve the guest experience, lead to positive reviews and encourage repeat customers.

When hotel bathroom renovation efforts go wrong — well, you can't afford for that to happen.

Here are several examples of what not to do when renovating your hotel bathroom. 

Don't assume you need a total overhaul

Competition in the travel industry mandates bathrooms must be clean and fresh; they don't necessarily have to be 'new.'

Resurfacing options for vanities, cabinets and tubs are more eco-friendly and can reduce costs by 75 per cent. Tile can often be saved and look almost new simply by applying new grout.

Consider your clientele and room rates to determine if the cost of a complete tear-out is justified. 

Don't hide the towels

While towels can be left in a basket on the counters or in the corner, visible storage adds a touch of elegance when incorporated with the decor.

Built-in shelves under the vanity or on a wall look classy and will improve the guest experience. Save the basket space for soaps and shampoo. 

Don't play it too safe

Crazy isn't good, but it is crazy to be too conservative in your restoration.

Clearly, guests don't want to walk into a bathroom blaring with four different bright pastels. However, a stark white on white on white commode doesn't exactly elicit a warm feeling in your guests either.

The design needs to be a bit creative. For example, many trendy designs have gone to all-black tile and flooring. By mixing the sizes and shape of the tile, grout adds the softness and intrigue needed to keep the room from overpowering the eyes.

Other designs have tiles alternating from vertical to horizontal on opposing walls. It adds space and an intriguing feature to capture attention. Work with your designer and get creative. 

Don't threaten the main living area

Clogged toilets happen and guests will attempt to flush the issue away. They generally fail.

A small problem can become a big one if contaminated water reaches the carpeted living area. The threshold between the bathroom and the primary quarters needs to incorporate a water barrier. 

Don't stick with lighting as usual

Hotel bathroom lights are left on for extended periods of time. Occupants forget to turn them off and they are often used as a night light because guests aren't familiar with the surroundings.

New options in lighting include low-wattage night lights. Some versions are built into the light switch, while others offer an additional light in the vanity. Both will help guests navigate unfamiliar territory and reduce the risk of trip and fall accidents.

LED lights or linear fluorescent lighting should also be considered, as they can reduce energy consumption by over 75 per cent. 

Don't ignore slip-and-fall concerns

Many hotels still rely on a shower mat to avoid slips in the tub. They don't work.

Where possible, use an anti-slip option on the tub or shower floor. 

Don't install cheap water taps

One item that can devalue the feel of a bathroom is a poorly functioning or leaky water tap.

Ensure the budget has room to purchase a quality WELS-rated product. It will improve water conservation on the front-end, as well as wasted water and maintenance time from leaks after months or years of use.

Also, consider using a single-handle mixer tap. They are more convenient to operate than a dual-handle model and are easier to clean and maintain. 

Don't forget natural stone

Many renovation projects don't have the budget for lavish granite or cultured marble. However, natural materials add warmth and a luxurious feel to any bathroom.

Tile is less-expensive and can be found in a seemingly endless variety of marble, porcelain and granite options. Whether done on the floor, walls, shower or countertops, tile can dramatically improve the look and wear of a finished bathroom.

Proper planning and obtaining numerous bids on a project will help facilitate an end product that will help your hotel shine. Ask questions of potential contractors and be sure to request design options.

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