The year is 2021. The pandemic is raging, “work-from-home” has become the norm, and the mere act of purchasing products has undergone a fundamental shift. E-commerce is taking over the world, and bathroom renovations are no exception.
At Acoutera, we have a built a virtual bathroom designer that lets you custom-design your full bathroom renovation in 3D, using real products you can buy. This tool lets you see what different tiles, vanities, fixtures and bathtubs look good together in real life, and how much they all cost.
Here we cover what the homeowner “Tina” went through, one of the first ever homeowners to design and renovate her bathroom entirely online.
1. Visit the virtual bathroom designer.
There are two ways to renovate your bathroom virtually. The first (and easiest) method is to select your favourite template from a list of pre-built bathroom design ideas. The second method is to design your bathroom from scratch, and gives you slightly more materials to choose from.
Tina used the subway tile and matte-black hex design template for her bathroom renovation inspiration.
2. Select your bathroom layout.
This step is easy. You should now be at the layouts screen, and it should something like this.
Simply find the layout that most closely resembles your true bathroom layout, and click on it. If you don’t find your specific bathroom layout, you can let us know in the chat-bubble at the bottom-right corner of the screen, or select the one that most-closely resembles your room.
Tina selected the second layout, since it was her exact bathroom layout.
3. Select your floors and wall colors.
Now this is where the fun begins. At this point, you should be inside a virtual 3D room. To look around, hold and drag your mouse (or your finger). To move to a new location in the room, simply click anywhere on the floors, and you will move there. It takes a few seconds to get the hang of it – but it becomes pretty intuitive really fast.
At the bottom of the screen, click on “Select Materials”. This will open up a materials dialogue box, where you can control every material in the room.
Click on any of the floors tiles to see it change real-time for you. There are many tiles you can choose from, and we are constantly adding new ones. In the right-hand side, you can adjust properties, such as the square-footage of the floor.
4. Build your ideal bathing area.
In the bathing section (click “Next” to get there), you can select one of 3 options: a bathtub, a walk-in shower, and a curbed shower. Based on your choices, you will then be able to select the shower tiles, and finish fixtures. Your bathing choice will determine what additional materials you will see available.
5. Select your sink, cabinets, and mirror.
Use this section to build out your ideal look, same way as you did with the previous sections. In the top-right corner, you will see a box describing your material of choice.
Most of the vanities and faucets have additional colours available, so make sure to check it off in the top-right corner of the screen (only on desktop).
6. View pricing breakdown.
Once you have selected all the items you like, save your bathroom design by clicking on “Pricing”. You will be prompted to enter an email. Acoutera will use this email address to send you a link with a pricing breakdown. This link will sign you in, and you will now be able to see the pricing breakdown.
7. Start renovation.
Tina scheduled her renovation about 4 weeks after designing her bathroom. The entire bathroom renovation took 3 weeks total. This is much less than the traditional 1-3 months for a project.
By selecting all materials virtually before the renovation started, Tina was able to avoid any change-orders or schedule over-runs. In our experience, the most delays and change-orders occur because materials are not figured out before the renovation starts.
8. Enjoy the real version of your virtual bathroom.
This is what Tina’s bathroom looked like after the renovation was complete. In our opinion, the final product looked even better in real life than in the virtual bathroom designer.