Removing a Wall Between Your Kitchen & Dining Room

Refreshing your home’s design may require some significant changes. Removing a wall should not be off the table if you want to feature something uniquely different. Featuring some exciting interior design plans may be easier if you remove that wall between your kitchen and dining room.

Of course, removing an interior wall is easier said than done. That wall has an important role and removing it without disrupting the rest of your home’s structure excessively will be a difficult task. There is even a chance that taking out that wall will not be an option for you.

Find out what you can and cannot do with your interior walls by continuing with this article.

Important Considerations before You Remove an Interior Wall

Once you get the idea of remodeling your home, it is hard to get away from it. Thoughts of all the designs you could try may be filling you with excitement right now.

While we certainly understand the way you are feeling, we must ask you to slow down a little. After all, we still need to find out if removing that wall between your dining room and the kitchen is even feasible.

Detailed below are the things you must consider before you proceed to remove an interior wall. Check them out so you can determine what your next step should be.

Are You Dealing with a Load-Bearing Wall?

Load-bearing walls are essential to maintaining the structural integrity of your home. Those walls support the floor above them as well as other surrounding structures. Even your roof stays in place thanks to your home’s load-bearing walls.

The load-bearing walls inside your home must also transfer weight to your foundation and other support structures. You need the load-bearing walls to work that way so they can keep your home perfectly balanced.

Does this mean remodeling is no longer an option if the wall you want to remove is load-bearing? Well, not exactly.

Removing load-bearing walls is possible, but you must put supports in first. Build some temporary supports close to the load-bearing wall so they can handle the temporary weight transfer.

You can figure out how to distribute the weight properly to the existing structures before taking the supports down. Reinforcing those existing structures can also be a hassle, but you will get your open floor in exchange for doing so.

Working with a general contractor is crucial if you want to remove a load-bearing wall. They have the experience necessary to take on that kind of project and can help you get the job done faster.

How Can You Tell if a Wall Is Load-Bearing?

Are you unsure if the wall you need to remove is load-bearing? If that is the case, there are things you can look for if you need to make a decision as soon as possible.

According to Home Depot, walls that run perpendicular to joists are often load-bearing walls. They also note that walls thicker than six inches are likely load-bearing and walls that end in columns or supports.

You can also refer to your home’s floor plan if you want to be 100% sure that you are trying to remove a load-bearing wall. Hiring a contractor or a home inspector to examine the wall in question will also eliminate any doubt about what it does.

Do You Have Pipes, Wires, or Vents inside That Wall?

Walls do more than provide structural support. We also need them to house important supply lines. There is a good chance you have pipes, wires, or even vents inside the wall you want to remove.

Their presence in the wall will complicate removal. Before removing the wall, you must first figure out what to do with those supply lines.

Partner with an appropriate specialist so they can give you some direction. Whether it is an electrician, an HVAC specialist, or a plumber, you should seek their advice before doing anything. It would also be best to leave the task of removal up to those professionals so they can preserve as many components as possible.

Removing and re-routing supply lines will make this particular project longer, but there is no way to get around that. The wait will be worth it once you achieve the open floor plan you have been targeting.

Could Removing the Wall Be Dangerous to Your Health?

Next up, you must also consider if removing the wall between your kitchen and dining room could potentially be a health hazard. How could wall removal become a health hazard, you ask? That has to do with the materials used to create and finish that wall.

Let’s start by figuring out what could happen if the wall you removed had lead paint.

Exposure to lead paint can cause you to feel weak. You may also start experiencing headaches not long after that incident. Even your blood pressure could spike following minimal exposure to lead paint.

As scary as lead exposure is for adults, it is even more frightening if you have kids. Children may develop learning disabilities and behavior issues following lead exposure. You cannot afford to be reckless with wall removal if you have kids, so consult with an expert first.

Asbestos is another substance that can cause plenty of trouble if it is released into the air after the destruction of a wall.

Per the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, people exposed to asbestos can develop a condition known as pleural disease. Pleural disease is a troublesome condition that can significantly affect how well someone breathes. In addition to developing pleural disease, individuals exposed to asbestos also have a greater chance of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma.

What Should You Do if the Wall Contains Lead or Asbestos?

You cannot overlook the dangers posed by lead and asbestos. To ensure your safety, you must first confirm if the wall you want to remove contains those toxic substances.

Homeowners can check for lead paint by examining any residue on the wall. If you spot chalky residue, there is a chance it is lead paint. Houses built before 1978 are more likely to feature walls covered by that toxic substance.

Thankfully, the presence of lead paint does not have to derail your remodeling project. You can hire professionals to remove the paint and the wall safely.

Figuring out if you have asbestos in your home will also require some detective work.

Start by checking if the wall is made from a cement sheet because that is often a telltale sign that it contains asbestos. According to Angi, homes with corrugated roofing are also more likely to have some asbestos.

The age of your home can also clue you into the presence of asbestos. If they built your home before the 1980s, you should get it checked for asbestos before doing any remodeling.

You should also hire professionals to remove any wall that contains asbestos. Look for an asbestos abatement company because they have the tools and experience needed for that job.

Will You Need a Permit?

As we have established, wall removal is not something you can do on a whim with all the potential safety concerns involved. However, those safety issues are not the only hurdles you will need to clear before work can begin on your project. Securing a building permit will also be necessary.

The state of New York requires residents to get a permit before getting significant work done. The only projects excluded from permits include installing cabinets, painting, plastering, replacing plumbing fixtures, and resurfacing floors. You can also repair your roof without a permit as long as it is non-structural work.

For everything else, a permit will be required.

Seek help from your contractor so you can get the building permit quickly. In all likelihood, your contractor already has plenty of experience snagging building permits. They can get that done for you in a timely fashion.

The Pros and Cons of Interior Wall Removal

Removing an interior wall can be done. You must be careful with certain hazards, but you can accomplish the project itself.

So, should you go through with it? That is the main question you now have to answer.

To help you out, we have listed some pros and cons of wall removal in the following section. Go through them carefully so you can decide if removing the wall between your kitchen and dining room will be worth it.

The Pros:

  • Maximize Your Space – If your growing family needs more space, removing an interior wall could be worth trying. Removing an interior wall could open your first floor and help you free up more living space in the process.
  • Design Versatility – An open space is a blank canvas you can alter in different ways to create your desired design. The open space can also be tinkered with consistently so you can keep featuring fresh looks.
  • Open Spaces Are Better for Utilizing Natural Resources – Opening up your home also allows it to take advantage of natural light and air. Air and light can flow more freely inside your home without those interior walls getting in the way.
  • Open Homes Are Great for Entertaining – Do you like having guests over for parties? You can accommodate them better by removing an existing interior wall.
  • Removing an Interior Wall Can Increase Property Value – Turning your home into a greater asset may be possible if you remove an interior wall first. According to Realtor, homes with open floor plans appreciate by up to 7.4% annually. Even if you have no plans to sell your home currently, you should still look to take advantage of that quirk in the real estate market.

The Cons:

  • Costly Project – Removing a wall inside your home is going to be expensive and you need to be ready for that. Expect the project to cost over $1,200. If you are tearing down a load-bearing wall, $2,000 may represent the low-end of the project’s overall cost.
  • Lack of Privacy – Keeping things private will be more difficult if you decide to remove some of the walls inside your home. Even people on the outside can get a good look at your dining room after you take that interior wall down.
  • Away from Home – The workers will need as much space as possible to remove your interior wall. That probably means staying inside your home will not be an option. Living away for a while can be inconvenient, but that is something you will need to do.
  • Noise Travels Better – Noises also travel better if no walls get in their way. Spots in your home that used to be noise-free may change significantly following wall removal.

What Other Methods Can You Use to Create Space Inside Your Home?

After considering the pros and cons of interior wall removal, you may have decided that the project is not one you can move forward with. Still, you would like to open up your home a bit. Are there other ways for you to create that space that does not involve tearing down a wall?

The good news is that there are alternatives to wall removal.

For starters, you can rearrange or replace your furniture. Set pieces of furniture against the wall or get a sectional sofa, so you have more room. Mounting your television will also free up more space.

You can also replace some of your fixtures.

French and sliding doors are great for creating that feeling of openness. Larger windows can also create that sense of openness, so look into adding them as well.

Contact us at Long Island Home Advisors if you plan to remodel your home by removing an interior wall. Let us handle that complicated project, and rest assured that we will complete it as soon as possible.

The Standard Shower Head Height

Building or renovating your home involves answering many questions you likely never even pondered before. For instance, have you ever thought about what your shower head height should be?

The placement of that important fixture will be crucial to completing your bathroom. If it is positioned incorrectly, you will tell right away.

So, what is the right height for your shower head? That is the question we will be answering in this article. We will also address other topics related to your shower.

Stay tuned so you can create the best bathroom setup for you and your family.

What Is the Standard Height for a Shower Head?

Let’s address the main question right away. What is the standard height for a shower head?

According to Dimensions, the standard height for a shower head is 80 inches above the shower floor. If setting the shower head that high is not an option, you can position it lower; 72 inches above the shower floor is the minimum installation height recommended for shower heads.

Bear in mind that the heights we mentioned are guidelines. They are guidelines that installers have followed for decades, but you do not need to abide by them if you do not want to.

You can set the shower head higher or lower than the heights we mentioned. There are no building codes stating that shower heads must be at those specific heights.

Why Is 80 Inches the Standard Height for a Shower Head?

Now that we know that 80 inches is the standard height for a shower head, which begs an important follow-up question. Namely, why is 80 inches the standard installation height for shower heads?

That is a great question to ask. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer for it.

Some have theorized that the height could be the average height of an adult. By setting the shower head at 80 inches, more people can use it comfortably.

At the same time, setting 80 inches as the standard height for shower heads can also be seen as a practical choice.

Not everyone can afford to have a large bathroom. However, they should have enough space to set a shower head at 80 inches. That standard height is achievable for most households, so it is easier to follow.

What Happens if You Set the Shower Height at a Different Height?

In your rush to finish your bathroom remodel, you may have failed to consider the shower head’s placement ahead of time. You did not even take the time to measure its height. The shower head may be at the height you thought looked appropriate.

Not taking the time to choose the appropriate height for your shower head can be an issue. Detailed below are some of the problems you may experience if your shower head is set too high or low.

Low Shower Heads Are Difficult to Use

First off, installing your shower head too low can be a problem because it will restrict your ability to move around. You will need to stand in a specific spot under the shower because the water will not reach you otherwise.

The narrow splash zone can also be troublesome if you get soap or shampoo in your eye. Angling your body into the water will be trickier, so it may take more time for you to rinse the soap or shampoo away.

You may also have to constantly deal with the issue of the water missing your body because the water is not spraying wide enough. If you are trying to clean up quickly, your low shower head may actively get in your way.

Low Shower Heads Can Be Uncomfortable

Water streams coming from low shower heads may hit your body harder. A low shower head will not lead to showers that hurt. Even so, the improper placement of that fixture could make taking a shower more uncomfortable than it needs to be.

Trying to shower when the fixture is too low may also force you to contort your body. Do that often enough, and you could end up hurting yourself.

High Shower Heads May Force You to Increase Your Water Pressure

Installing your shower head too low can be an issue, but the same goes for placing it too high up. For instance, you may need to change your water pressure to use your shower.

Since the shower head is so high, not enough water may reach it if you do not increase the pressure level, and you may barely get a stream from the fixture.

Increasing the water pressure so you can use your improperly positioned shower head properly is not ideal. Aside from increasing your water bill,  your water pressure can also do a number on your pipes. Avoid all those issues by simply selecting the right height for your shower head.

High Shower Heads Can Be Difficult to Clean

Maintenance could become more troublesome because your shower head is too high. Instead of the shower head being easily reachable, you may now need to use a step ladder or a chair to clean it. You do not necessarily want to use those items if you are in a slippery environment like a shower.

Cleaning a shower head should not be a complicated task, but it can be if you are not careful about its placement.

Shower Heads Look Weird When Not Set at the Right Height

Lastly, you may also want to avoid setting the shower head too high or low because it will make your bathroom look weird. You can tell there is something off with your bathroom if the shower head is not at the standard height.

This is not as big of an issue as some of the others we highlighted, but it can throw off your revamped bathroom design. It would be a shame if the new design does not come together solely because you neglected to install the shower head in the right spot.

How Do You Make a Shower Head Adjustable?

In a household where people vary significantly in terms of height, the placement of the shower could become a real point of contention. Some people in your home may want the shower head set closer to 75 inches, while you may need it at 80 inches to have enough room.

What is the solution to that conundrum? Creating an adjustable shower head is the solution you need.

You can purchase certain attachments to make your shower head’s height adjustable. Let’s discuss those attachments in greater detail below.

Adjustable Shower Arm

The most basic attachment you can use to adjust your shower head’s positioning is the aptly named adjustable shower arm.

An adjustable shower arm resembles a long pipe. It comes with knobs and gears that enable it to move around based on your adjustments.

Arguably, the best thing about adjustable shower arms is how easy they are to install. You can install many of the options available today without tools. You can set them in place even if you do not have experience with those projects.

Manufacturers have also made it a point to produce adjustable shower arms that blend well with common bathroom designs. Thanks to that, you can create an adjustable shower without disrupting your décor.

Swivel Ball Adapter

Next up, we have a tool that does not allow you to change your shower head height. Instead, the main purpose of a swivel ball adapter is to improve your shower’s spray range.

If you have struggled with showering because the water is not reaching certain parts of your body, the issue could be because its range is not wide enough. The swivel ball adapter allows you to change that.

Once the swivel ball adapter is in place, it will allow you to turn the shower head in more directions. It is especially helpful if you need to angle the shower head down.

Similar to adjustable shower arms, swivel ball adapters are user-friendly. You can install them without the aid of basic tools.

Swivel ball adapters can also blend into the design of your shower. It can be difficult to detect unless you know what you are looking for.

S-Style Shower Arm

You can also adjust your shower head by installing an S-style shower arm.

S-style shower arms are considerably harder to install than the last two items mentioned because you remove the existing shower pipe first before using this extension.

Installing this attachment is not something you should try if you are inexperienced or lack basic tools. It would be better to entrust the installation of your S-style shower arm to a plumber or a contractor during remodeling.

Is an S-style shower arm better than the other options? Based on its durability, you can argue that it is.

An S-style shower arm can become a bathroom fixture for years to come. It almost has to be because you will need a professional to remove it.

While many homeowners find the S-style shower arms quite stylish, not everyone is a fan. You will need to figure out how to integrate it into your bathroom décor, and that could be easier said than done.

Slide Bars

One more item you can use to make your shower head adjustable is a slide bar. Slide bars for showers come in different forms.

According to Wayfair, you need to drill some slide bars into the shower wall. After installing the slide bar, you can add the shower head and start moving it around. Move it along the length of the pipe until you find the right spot for it.

Meanwhile, other slide bars are connected using suction cups. This type of slide bar typically comes with a hose that you can directly connect to the shower arm. Thanks to the hose, you can move the shower head as much as you like.

Slide bars are harder to install compared to the other extension options. They are also sizable bathroom fixtures, so you cannot conceal them. You need to be certain that you do not mind the appearance of the slide bar before installing one inside your bathroom.

What Is the Standard Height for a Rain Shower Head?

For the most part, the recommended height for a shower head does not change based on type. You can stick with the standard number and feel confident that your shower is correct.

Rain shower heads are a bit different.

If you have never seen a rain shower head before, it is a wide fixture with many openings for water to pour through. They typically come in circular or square shapes. A rain shower head is significantly larger than a typical shower head and it also releases more water.

The main selling point of a rain shower head is the way it accurately replicates the feeling of bathing under a steady downpour. Folks who could play in the rain as kids can attest to how oddly soothing that experience can be. Rain shower heads replicate that.

Given how different a rain shower head looks from a conventional shower head, you may be wondering if the standard height still applies to it.

Setting a rain shower head at 80 inches above the floor is still a good decision. That is still a workable height and you should be able to take comfortable showers with the fixture in that position.

That said, you can also go a bit higher with rain shower heads. Feel free to go up to 84 inches if you need to accommodate taller members of your family. Water pressure will not be an issue because they configured them differently.

Whether you are completely remodeling your bathroom or installing a new shower, we at Long Island Home Advisors can provide valuable assistance. Reach out to us today and let us take over your remodeling tasks.