This blog provides some general tips about plumbing for home renovation projects.
As residential properties become older, some of the first things that might require renovation work are washrooms and kitchens. But, what should you prioritize first when renovating these important places in the home? Below are a few recommendations based on our twenty years of plumbing and construction experience.
The first step, when it comes to renovating bathrooms and kitchens, is determining an overall plan.
This involves considering and eventually deciding on the types of products and infrastructure you want: washroom fixtures, vanity, tiles, etc. It also involves getting a total price for everything from drywall to cement boards to screws.
The second step for renovating these rooms is to find a trustworthy and experienced contractor, who is capable not only of doing high quality renovation work, but also of providing you with an accurate cost estimate.
When it comes to selecting individual products for your rooms, we recommend choosing well-known brands, since replacement parts might be required in the future, and these are always easier to obtain from well-established companies. Equally important is the warranty of parts. Many manufacturers offer lifetime warranty on their parts, which would end up reducing cost over the long-term.
Everybody agrees that high-quality plumbing and drain infrastructure are some of the most important aspects of kitchen and washroom renovations. Unfortunately, homeowners often ignore this, and settle, instead, for a simple cosmetic renovation, which prioritizes appearance over substance. In reality, however, it is much smarter and more cost effective to ensure that all plumbing infrastructure meets modern quality standards, even if this requires upgraded pipe and drain installation. In Toronto, there are a lot of houses that still have old cast iron stack pipes, which were installed when they were first built 80-100 years ago. Most residents of these older homes are unaware of the problems that such outdated pipes can cause. Old cast iron stack pipes often become extremely corroded inside, which reduces their inner diameter and usually results in the blockage or reduced movement of waste water. Another issue with old cast iron stack pipes is that they can develop hairline cracks and cause water leaks.
The best solution for dealing with old plumbing infrastructure is to upgrade to ABS pipes.
Made of high-quality black plastic material and containing a smooth inner surface, these kinds of pipes are ideal for ensuring excellent water flow throughout an entire house.
Another important step when renovating kitchens and bathrooms is to make sure that drain pipes are properly sloped.
In older homes, certain floors become very weak and, as a result, develop depressions of varying degrees. Washroom floors, in particular, can develop depressions that are as big as a couple of inches in depth. Not surprisingly, these deficiencies can eventually cause negative slopes to form on drain branches imbedded between floor joists.
Relatedly, when assessing drain infrastructure, it is important to follow standard plumbing codes and ensure that these pipes are at least 1/4” per foot. If they fall below this threshold, then it is likely that the overall drain infrastructure will not work effectively, and may lead to significant structural damage.
The next step will be the selection of water pipes.
Water pipes are primarily made of copper, but professional plumbers usually recommend using PEX pipes made of cross linked polyethylene for both hot and cold supply lines. As a general rule, hot water pipes should be installed on the left and cold water pipes should be installed on the right. If this general rule is not applied, serious problems can arise. For instance, a reversal of this procedure carried out on plumbing related to bathroom showers could lead to functional disruptions, or, in the worst-case scenario, a completely an unusable shower. It is equally as crucial to correctly install shut-off valves for hot & cold sink faucet supplies and cold water toilet supply lines, since similar complications can arise. In order to avoid any risks, it is always advisable to consult with a professional licensed plumber before carrying out these kinds of plumbing installations. Trying to accomplish such work independently own may lead to significant damages, as well as exorbitant costs.
Another step for bathroom renovations is the installation of shock arrestors.
Shock arrestors are important parts of plumbing infrastructure because they prevent ‘water hammering,’ which is best understood as the rattling sound of pipes caused by turning water on or off quickly. This issue occurs mostly at the end of water lines, which are usually located on the second floor. It can also occur in pipes connected to washing machines. This problem is even more pronounced with newer taps that contain ceramic cartridges.
When you make the smart decision to consult with a professional plumber, it will be very important to provide them with all the blueprints and specifications for your bathrooms. This is because many modern vanities require different height installations for both drains and water pipes, and is essential to know beforehand that nothing behind the walls or in the floor could be unnecessarily interfered with or damaged.
When it comes to renovations and plumbing in Toronto, it is essential to know when a permit is and is not required.
For bathroom and kitchen renovations that do not involve relocating or adding new plumbing fixtures, no permit is required. Also, any upgrade or replacement of existing pipes does not require a building permit. There may be some exceptions to these rules, so consulting with a professional licensed plumber will be essential.
Bathroom and kitchen renovations require an enormous investment of both time and money. So, it is crucial that you do not overlook or underestimate any step along the way. Everything from plumbing services to electrical work to construction will affect the overall quality of your final product. As one of the most knowledgeable and experienced plumbing contractors in Toronto, we have helped many residential customers in Toronto renovate their bathrooms and kitchens, and we would love the opportunity to help you renovate yours. In addition to providing high quality plumbing services, we have strong relationships with professional electricians and construction contractors, who are essential for any home renovation project. If you are considering upgrading or redesigning your bathrooms and kitchen, we invite you to contact us directly either by phone 416-939-1530 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org