It might start with a leaky faucet, a chip in the tiling or a spot of mould on the ceiling. Before you know it, you are in full-blown renovation mode, looking to update everything about your bathroom, from the fixtures to the tiles, and even the piping that resides behind your bathroom walls. Bathroom renovation is a huge task – one that’s near impossible for a homeowner to do alone – and it can therefore be a bit costly. But it is worth it to have a better functioning bathroom, as well as the subsequent uptick in home value.
A lot of homeowners, however, make the mistake of prioritizing looks over functionality. They go for the shining faucets, the sparkling tub, but neglect the actual plumbing infrastructure that makes the washroom work. This isn’t the way you want to renovate. Sure, go for that new tub and sink, and make everything look beautiful, but while you are at it, budget for a true plumbing renovation, complete with drain repair and water pipe replacement.
Plumbing is such an important part of bathroom renovation – what good are new fixtures if the plumbing on which they rely are not in working order? A professional plumber, as we’ll see in this article, can update your drain and pipes while they are accessible. Renovation is the perfect time to tackle the foundational issues in your plumbing, since walls are already being torn and the bathroom is already out of use. Let’s look at the few ways you can renovate your bathroom’s plumbing, as well as the benefits of installing new pipes.
The first thing you want to do is find reliable plumbing services in Toronto to inspect your drain and pipes – not necessarily come in guns blazing, ready to replace everything right away, but take a look at your drain and pipes and assess whether action needs to be taken. At Mister Plumber, we use state of the art CCTV camera technology to look into your drains, and then offer a professional diagnosis as well as recommendation. Depending on what we find, we might make suggestions about replacing your drain and water pipes.
ABS Drain Alterations
For drain alterations, there is usually one kind of pipe we use for residential projects, which is ABS (black plastic pipe and fittings). ABS is sturdy, long lasting and resistant to shock, and although they are thought by some to be louder than PVC, the difference is so minimal. They are also easy to install, making them a great choice for homeowners who want us to quickly improve their drains. Or, if you are content with your current drains, but they aren’t flowing properly, we can check your backed up drains for you.
For water pipes, there are couple options – namely copper and PEX. Copper piping is a traditional material for water distribution systems, but it can be quite an expensive one in both material costs and labour. Just imagine: every change of direction on copper (and in a bathroom, there can be quite a few!) has to be done by using elbows that needs to be cleaned with a brush and then soldered. All of that cleaning and soldering adds up, and it takes much more time for plumbers to install cold and hot supply lines. Nevertheless, copper pipes carry a few notable benefits. They are environmentally friendly, won’t crack even after many years of use, and can withstand even the most extreme conditions.
These days, more and more, we are starting to use newer pipes that are made from what is called PEX. This wonderful material, known also by its more formal name, cross-linked polyethylene, is flexible, easy to work with and affordable. Here are some of the advantages to using PEX pipes in your bathroom renovations.
First of all, it is more affordable to homeowners. For those people looking to manage and reduce the cost of their bathroom renovations, PEX is probably the way to go. It is quite a bit cheaper than copper, and the time it takes a plumber to install is far less. But just because it’s the economical choice, that doesn’t mean it is “cheap”; they are quite sturdy.
Secondly, it is easier for plumbers to do a PEX renovation project, since there is a limited amount of wall access required, and therefore the damage to your drywall can be reduced. Since copper needs a lot of elbow fittings, there needs to be more damage done to the wall (which is obviously patched up afterwards, but can still be costly).
Another advantage is they make PEX pipes in two different colours, so it is impossible to mix cold and hot water lines. You can colour code your water lines. This may sound like a small consideration, but it can be important somewhere down the line when you need to reliably identify the different pipes.
And for those who are curious how safe PEX pipes are, we have to say, in our ample experience, they are absolutely safe. They are made for potable water in the same way all tubes in fridges are used for drinking water and filtration systems. If you are still unsure, just take a look at this scientific study, which concluded that there are no health risks associated with drinking water from PEX pipes. And if it’s good enough to drink, it’s definitely good enough for your washroom. If you want more info on PEX pipes, you contact us to learn more by calling or emailing.
After the relocation or installation of water pipes, we do a pressure test, which is the same for copper as it is for PEX. They have to be able to withstand almost two times the air pressure as that of regular water pressure that comes from the municipal water main. In this way, they are sure to withstand any amount of bathroom pressure.
Mister Plumber has a lot of experience with renovation projects, and we work with many general contractors who have a great reputation in the Toronto market. Next time you consider renovating your bathroom, consider renovating the plumbing as well. Call Mister Plumber to inspect your drains, and if needed, replace or relocate your water pipes.