Bathroom Remodel Plumbing in Pasadena, MD: Everything You Need to Know

complex plumbing while remodeling bathroom in Pasadena

If you’re thinking about remodeling your Pasadena bathroom, you must understand the complexity behind such a project. From faucets to pipes and lighting fixtures to shower types, there’s a lot that goes into a major bathroom remodel. Yet many people fail to think about the scope of their bathroom remodel before jumping in.

When you’re ready to hire a professional plumbing contractor in Pasadena and turn your bathroom into nothing short of a relaxing spa, check out this handy homeowner’s guide first. We’ve collected everything you need to know about bathroom remodel plumbing, whether you’re a homeowner, builder, or contractor.

How to Start a Bathroom Remodel Plumbing Project

1. Assess Your Needs and Budget

The first thing you want to do before you jump headfirst into a bathroom remodeling project is to assess your bathroom needs. In other words, you need to know what you want to change so that when you do your research and hire your plumbing contractor in Pasadena, you have a plan to follow.

Some of the things you might want to do include:

  • Change faucets
  • Add new cabinets
  • Replace or add an exhaust fan
  • Improve the bathtub or shower
  • Move the toilet to a new location
  • Change the lighting fixtures

In addition, you need to know how much money you’re willing to spend on the project. It doesn’t matter what you want in your bathroom remodel if you don’t have the money. Even if you use an affordable bathroom contractor, bathroom remodels can be expensive.

Not sure how much it will cost? Let’s crunch some numbers.

According to Fixr, the national average plumbing cost for a bathroom remodel is $5,302. That said, the cost of a remodel can range from $2,000-$10,000 with a minimum cost of $751 and a maximum cost of $15,914.

Of course, your situation will be unique. The size of your bathroom, your specific needs, and your budget will all play a role in how much your remodel will cost.

2. Get the Right Building Permits and Inspections

Whenever you perform a major project like bathroom remodel plumbing, you must follow all the code regulations. This means getting a building permit for the plumbing work, as well as an overall construction permit for general remodeling work in Pasadena.

You’ll also need to have the bathroom inspected by the city inspector. This will usually happen twice. The first is when the plumbing pipes have been installed and are still visible. The second is when the project is finished to make sure everything is in working order. 

Luckily, if you use the right Pasadena, MD plumbing contractor this will all be taken care of for you.

3. Determine If You Need to Relocate Plumbing Fixtures

If you need to relocate any plumbing fixtures, such as the toilet, you’re going to need to add extra time and money to your project. This is because when you relocate plumbing fixtures, you’ll likely need to refit the existing pipes. In addition to this, when you refit pipes, you’ll need to make sure the foundation of your home isn’t being altered. This could lead to costly repairs in the future that no one wants to deal with.

Lastly, depending on the fixtures you’re moving, you might need to move or change the vents. This may require your bathroom contractor to remove walls to properly position the vent in your newly renovated bathroom.

homeowner checking to see if you need to replace old pipes when remodeling bathroom in Pasadena

4. Check on Pipe Replacements

At the beginning of your project, it’s a good idea to check and see whether you need to replace any old pipes. Old water supply and drain pipes may be worn and need new materials. For example, pipes made from galvanized steel or cast iron tend to corrode over time and might need to be exchanged.

If you happen to have copper piping in your bathroom, you might need to replace those too. Over time, copper pipes develop pinhole leaks, making them a common plumbing problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

It is advisable that you test your copper piping for leaks before deciding to keep them. This is to prevent costly repairs in the future. One of the best things you can use as a piping replacement is PEX tubing. It’s flexible, easy to install, and much less expensive than copper piping.

5. Think About Overall Design

Of course, there are a lot of accessories that go into a bathroom remodel. However, there are also design considerations to make when you’re doing a bathroom plumbing remodel in your Pasadena home. For example, the pipes behind the sink and fixtures can either be exposed or hidden in your bathroom.

When it comes to deciding on the layout of your pipes, it’s also crucial you decide whether you’re going to replace the sink or not. Keep in mind, sinks have the potential to be very expensive. And if you want the plumbing to be hidden, your contractor may have to cut, remove, and replace drywall. This will also likely require new pipes, whether you need them or not.

Hiding the pipes will make your bathroom look cleaner and more modern. And if you use a reliable contractor, hiding them shouldn’t be a problem. That said, this will be an added cost to your project that isn’t a necessity.

6. Pick Out a Bathtub or Shower

Bathtubs tend to make bathrooms look luxurious and spa-like. Showers ooze a modern feel and can be very classy. No matter which option you choose, should changing the tub or shower be on your to-do list, you’re going to need to do some research.

Bathtub

If you want to add a bathtub to your bathroom, remember that you’ll have to front the money for the tub itself as well as the bath drain and vents. If you’re not sure about where to place the bathtub, consult your plumbing expert. They will be able to identify the perfect place for your tub and help you determine the costs related to installing it.

Shower

If you decide to go with a shower in your bathroom remodel, know that you have two options:

  1. Stand-Alone Shower. Stand-alone showers are a great option for any bathroom. However, if you want to have a curbless one, make sure to add a little more to the timeline and budget of your project. Because they need a sloped shower base, your bathroom’s flooring will need to be removed so the shower can be attached to it. If you don’t hire a good contractor to do this for you, you will end up with water all over your bathroom floor when someone takes a shower.
  2. Shower/Tub Combo. If you want to opt for a shower/tub combination, there are endless options. To start, you can choose between pedestal, rectangular, or oval tubs. You can even go the extra mile and add extra showerheads, a ceiling showerhead, heated flooring, or beautifully designed faucets and handles. You might even want to add a tile backsplash or specialty lighting to make your new shower/tub combo stand out.

7. Consider Updating Plumbing Fixtures

If your budget is on the smaller side, you can still get a great bathroom remodel by focusing on the little things. For instance, you can change out outdated faucets, showerheads, toilets, and lighting fixtures.

In addition, you can go the eco-friendly route and save on both your water usage and bill with fixtures such as:

  • Dual flushing toilet
  • LED lighting
  • Low flow showerheads and faucets

Final Thoughts

Are you in need of an experienced Pasadena, MD plumbing contractor? Then contact us today and see how we can help you with your bathroom plumbing remodel.

At Chesapeake Plumbing, Inc., we employ friendly, experienced, and licensed technicians that are ready to help you with all your residential and commercial plumbing needs.

Whether you’re just looking to spruce up an existing bathroom to make it look fresher and more modern, or want to do an entire bathroom plumbing makeover, we have what you need to get the job done on time and for the right price. We even offer free estimates on all plumbing projects so we can discuss your needs, budget, and overall design goals.

The Best (& Worst) Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Plumbing

some toilet paper options cause major plumbing problems

Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus, more of us have found ourselves in need of toilet paper than ever before. What was once a product that was taken for granted, toilet paper has become one of the most sought-after commodities. This is still true today, despite the supply leveling out in stores.

 If you’re worried about the next toilet paper shortage, or just want to make sure you’re prepared in case you “gotta go” and have no toilet paper to use, keep reading. Today we’ve listed the best (and worst) toilet paper alternatives for your Pasadena plumbing.

Worst Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Plumbing

There’s a lot of debate as to whether popular toilet paper alternatives sold in stores are safe for plumbing systems in Pasadena, MD. However, it’s not likely many of them are good for your plumbing. This is especially true when you use them for a long time.

Let’s take a look at common toilet paper alternatives people like to use, but shouldn’t if they want to keep the plumber away.

1. Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are a popular choice among those with sensitive skin. This is because they do not cause any irritation or leave behind any lint. After all, they are used on baby bottoms! Even the wipes that are labeled for adults are similar to the ones used on babies.

That said, the 2019 Defining Flushability for Sewer Use Final Report claims that even wipes that are labeled as “flushable” do not break apart in sewer systems. This is because these products are made of woven cotton or synthetic fibers. In other words, they are considered cloth, not paper, and do not break down in Pasadena plumbing systems like toilet paper.

Lastly, The Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products does not recommend anyone flush wipes for any reason.

2. Sanitary Pads

Sanitary pads or napkins are very soft and super absorbent, making them seem like the perfect toilet paper alternative. Not to mention, if you use a sanitary pad to take care of business, you likely won’t have to use very many of them.

But when it comes to using these, you should definitely think twice. Because they are so thick and absorbent, they just don’t break down. This can lead to clogs in the toilet and surrounding pipes and end up costing you a lot of money to fix.

3. Napkins and Tissue

Of all the toilet paper alternatives, napkins and tissue are probably the best options. Most napkins and tissues have the same thickness as toilet paper. In other words, they could possibly dissolve once flushed. However, you just never know. In fact, while toilet paper is meant to dissolve in water after being used, tissue is not. It is instead meant to withstand you blowing your nose into it without dissolving right away.

Another reason tissue is not recommended as a toilet paper alternative is that it often has menthol or other minty fragrances in it to help with congestion. This can irritate your skin and cause a lot of irritation. If you’re really in need of something, and all you have on hand is a tissue, try your best to make sure it’s a fragrance-free type.

4. Paper Towels

One step up in terms of roughness is the paper towel. Sure, the word “paper” is in the name, making many think it’s okay to use it as a flushable toilet paper alternative. But the truth is, paper towels just don’t dissolve in water that quickly because of their built-in scrubbing ability. This means flushing paper towels down the toilet could lead to a major clog in the pipes and cause a major toilet backup.

5. Coffee Filters

One unusual suggestion as a viable toilet paper alternative is coffee filters. They seem harmless enough. After all, they are relatively thin and soft. However, the entire reason you use coffee filters is to come into contact with wetness and not dissolve or break down. So, unless you are brewing coffee over your toilet bowl, forget the idea that coffee filters can be used as a toilet paper alternative that can be flushed without worry.

Best Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Pasadena Plumbing

Toilet paper is always going to be the best thing to use for your plumbing system. It tends to dissolve more quickly than any alternatives and does not cause problems in sewer systems.

While there are not many alternatives to using toilet paper, there are some tips and tricks you can use to test a possible alternative when you’re in a pinch:

  • Place four sheets of the toilet paper alternative in a plastic container with a lid
  • Fill the container a little over halfway with water
  • Shake the container for about 10 seconds and wait for the water to settle

If the toilet paper alternative begins to dissolve, it is safe to flush down your toilet.

Other toilet paper alternatives include:

1. Toilet Seat Covers

Another option to think about are toilet seat covers. Designed to be flushed down the toilet, these thin sheets of paper can serve as a toilet paper alternative in a pinch. That said, it’s important you make sure they are approved for use with septic and traditional tanks and that you don’t try to flush too many at once.

2. Bidet

Though not a flushable product, it’s good to know that a bidet is a handy plumbing fixture that can serve as the perfect alternative to toilet paper whether you’re short on supply or not.

Used primarily around the world for keeping clean after using the restroom, the bidet is still not super popular in the United States yet – though it should be. They spray a targeted stream of water in the exact right spot every time for a fresh and clean feeling. And the best part is, you never have to worry about handling any plumbing issues when you use one.

Final Thoughts

Are you in need of an emergency toilet fix in your Pasadena home? Then contact us today and see how we can help unclog your plumbing after using a toilet paper alternative that isn’t recommended.

At Chesapeake Plumbing, Inc., we have a team of licensed plumbers that care about our customers and are on hand to help you with all your plumbing needs. In fact, we offer free estimates for every plumbing project, from emergencies to bathroom renovations and everything in between.

So, if you’re looking for the most qualified and experienced plumber in Pasadena, MD, look no further and rest easy that whatever you need handled will be taken care of in a timely, affordable, and friendly way.