Home & Style

Bathroom Renovation Tips From Bath Crashers’ Matt Muenster

The DIY Network host will appear at the Capital Home Show September 23-25.

Matt Muenster

Matt Muenster is the only strange man you should allow into your bathroom.

In fact, you’d probably be thrilled to find him there. The contractor and host of the renovation show Bath Crashers on the DIY Network will skin and gut your current medieval-looking bathrooms and revamp it into a modern-age shrine in under 72 hours. That’s, of course, if you’re lucky enough to get picked by his Minneapolis-based team. Next weekend, though, Muenster will headline the 2016 Capital Home Show at the Dulles Expo Center, where more than 300 companies will showcase the latest products and services in home remodeling, renovation, home décor, and redesign.

Muenster will host four hour-long sessions, sharing his expertise and thoughts on the current bathroom renovation scene and interact with the audiences. For people in the area who intend to overhauling their own WC, Muenster also offered some rules he sticks to when renovating bathrooms.

1. Make the bathroom as big as you can. Take down another space if you can afford to.

2. Introduce some amenities you wouldn’t think of to the bathroom, things that won’t just go in temporarily but will “stay there for a while”:  Heated floors, a television in the shower, maybe even a fireplace. (It works for DC designer Darryl Carter.)

3. Replace tiles, mirrors, and lighting to revitalize the entire look of your bathroom.

Hesitant to rip your bathroom apart entirely? Simply try tackling your clutter. “The biggest thing people don’t do is the clutter,” Muenster says. “They don’t really stop and take a look and see if it needs to be there. A lot of things can go away that don’t need to be stored in the bathroom.” 

Conversely, Muenster cautions against taking bathroom renovations too lightly, especially in older houses. You have to be prepared to replace old pipes and wires, so make sure you have the money and time to take on a project that might take some unexpected turns.

It’s also very important to have a a plan and not look for shortcuts when it comes to bathroom renovations. Don’t forget that bathrooms serve essential water drainage functions! A three-day renovation is best left to TV, Muenster says: Three to six weeks is more realistic. Most importantly, if you’re planning to do work yourself, be honest with yourself about what you are capable of. “I’m all about empowering you and showing you inspirations, but chances are if your confidence isn’t there, your ability isn’t going to be either,” Muenster says. 

One house where Muenster hasn’t renovated the bathrooms yet: his own. Because he’s constantly introduced to new designs and technologies, he feels he would be compromising the second he started working. “My wife probably wants to kill me,” he says, “but it’ll happen someday.”

Editorial Fellow

Zack Bu is an editorial fellow. He graduated from Columbia Journalism School with a concentration in data journalism. He writes and codes and is passionate about combing the two. He’s written for Quartz and Realtor.com.