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Published October 30, 2022

Most Common Mistakes to Avoid While Remodeling Your Bathroom

Bathroom Remodels by Dana Laksman


Bathrooms are a key element to any household, and updating or renovating them is always a good idea. Bathroom remodeling jobs help you relax, make your home more comfortable, and provide a strong return on investment when it comes to resale value. In fact, Americans renovate about 14 million bathrooms per year, making it the most popular room to work on, with kitchens coming in at a close second. These rooms serve critical and important functions, and you spend more time than you think in them. The bathroom is where we clean ourselves, get ready to present to the world, and make sure that we look and feel our best every day. The bathroom is usually the first and the last room in your house that you will spend time in during the day, so it’s well worth it to have a beautiful, aesthetic, and functioning bathroom you enjoy being in. That being said, remodeling jobs are always complicated and can be difficult and expensive as well. Let’s take a look at some of the key mistakes that homeowners often make when undertaking a bathroom remodel.

Mistake #1: Neglecting planning

The number one rule of home remodeling is to always have a plan. Never go in with the sledgehammer swinging until you’ve sat down and written out a clear plan, with labor and materials factored into a budget and a plan for what to do while the room is out of service.  Your plan should be actionable and clear and preferably done through consulting the contracting company for advice. Make sure that you’re aware of any major changes in the layout or plumbing of the room, as changing these fixtures midway through the process can lead to delays, errors, or extra costs.

Mistake #2: Choosing the wrong materials

Bathrooms undergo a unique amount of stress, temperature changes, and moisture compared to other rooms in the house. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you choose the right materials for your specific environment and needs.  Not selecting the right materials can lead to mold or mildew, warped walls or cabinets, or water damage that can seriously affect the stability and value of your house. Make sure that your wallpaper, flooring, any wood furnishings, and any other material is up to code and meant for use in a bathroom before beginning. 

Mistake #3: Not controlling the water cycle

It’s surprisingly common to find showers that don’t drain right or easily spill out onto the floor. The goal when planning a bathroom is to make sure that all water goes where it is supposed to, and stays there without making a mess. Your spacing and layout are critical, as well as making sure the tiling is angled properly, the placement of your showerhead is correct, and you have some way to retain water in the shower like a sliding door. Finally, don’t neglect the vapor stage of the water cycle - you’ll want to make sure that you have a fan or other ventilation to remove water vapor and moisture, otherwise, you can easily end up with water damage or mold. Bathrooms trap moisture in and create a warm, humid environment that can corrode metal and damage your paint or grout, so don’t forget the fan.

Mistake #4: Overlooking small details

Have you considered the lighting? You want your bathroom to have clear, vibrant lighting, especially above the mirror. You’ll need special electrical work done for outlets near water, so don’t forget about that. Take the towel rack - if it’s not properly installed and mounted, it will come off easily just from normal use. Small details like this are everywhere in a bathroom, and it’s critical to not neglect these issues. The best way to make sure you don’t neglect any of these details is to work with a contractor who has experience and knows what they’re doing.  

Mistake #5: Storage space

Many bathrooms are smaller, and space can be quite tight. When planning out your remodel, don’t forget to plan enough space to store your toiletries, towels, and other things you will frequently need.  If you’re planning on switching out a cabinet sink for a pedestal sink, you’ll lose storage space. If you’re changing the footprint of the room, it can lead to smaller cabinets and less space. Always take this into account when beginning the job to make sure you aren’t frustrated in the future.

The Economics of Bathroom Remodels

The New York Times reports that, “In all 50 states, an average bathroom makeover increased a home’s resale value by more than enough to pay for the renovation.” That’s why they’re so popular among homeowners - they’re relatively affordable, in a high-traffic area in the house, and they provide a strong return on investment, even paying for themselves most of the time. Don’t neglect this area of your house today, contact an experienced contractor today and get your dream bathroom remodel started!

Written by Dana Laksman

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