Your bathroom is arguably one of the most important and complex spaces in your home, and like your kitchen it must capture an ideal blend of form and function. That makes a bathroom remodel particularly challenging since you need to worry about everything from layout to design, floors to ceilings, and plumbing to lighting. Mistakes are therefore as common as they can be costly, so here’re the top 7 — along with the proactive things you can do to avoid them.
Don’t Make Things Up as You Go
Do: Plan, Plan, Plan
One thing leads to another throughout a bathroom renovation, so make sure you plan your project—from must-haves and nice-to-haves to material selections, lighting, countertops, plumbing, flooring, and color. And, be sure to include present and possible future needs as well. Space is usually limited, materials need to be carefully chosen, and fixtures are connected to plumbing or electricity; so once you start it becomes difficult, costly, and sometimes impossible to change your mind. Detailed planning is also vital to ensure you don’t exceed your budget or blow past the scheduled completion date.
Don’t Be Penny Wise and Fixture Foolish
Do: Select Quality Fixtures
They say you should never save money on sushi or eye surgery — or bathroom fixtures! Sinks, faucets, shower valves, toilets, and other plumbing are available across a wide range of costs and quality. You get what you pay for and will end up paying more in the long run if you use cheap, off-brand fixtures. Good suppliers or an online retailer like Build.com are worth the added expense, money that you’ll get back through avoided damages, repairs, and replacements.
Don’t Put a Dent in the Vent
Do: Properly Vent Your Bathroom
Robust air circulation isn’t merely more pleasant, but it prevents mold and mildew. So you’ll want to ensure your bathroom fan has sufficient capacity for the size of your bathroom, is of the highest quality, and vents outside the house. Per code, venting into a wall cavity, joist opening, or attic is unacceptable. It compounds all your avoidable circulation problems at once while also putting moist air into those spaces, which can cause mold. Work with your contractor to create the ductwork necessary to properly vent foul air outside and bring fresh air back inside.
Don’t Immediately Pull the Plug on the Tub
Do: Keep the Tub
Some bathtubs take up plenty of room, and lack the flexibility and even the aesthetics of smartly designed shower stalls. But be cautious before removing the old bathtub while you think about your home resale value, which is immediately reduced if you don’t have one somewhere in your home. As an alternative, think about replacing the tub with something more modern, or if budget and space allow, go for an upgrade and install a whirlpool or jacuzzi unit that more appropriately uses the space in your bathroom. Your spouse will thank you!
Don’t Lose Steam on the Theme
Do: Choose the Design Carefully
Think about how much time you and your family spends in the bathroom, and how much that experience is influenced — for better or worse — by an efficient, comfortable, and appealing design. Keep the look consistent and pleasing, and don’t forget about the importance of layout, too. Maybe making the toilet the first thing you see isn’t the best idea, while a better idea is making sure you have enough room by the sink and tub to brush your teeth and move about.
Don’t Forget Essential Lighting
Do: Get the Light Right
Bathrooms demand excellent task lighting, essential for everything from shaving to grooming. Natural light is also easy on the eyes and refreshing during the day, so where possible supplement artificial lights with indirect sunlight. Numerous task lights — not to mention hair dryers, shavers, and electric toothbrushes — all need easily accessible and nearby electrical outlets, so ensure they’re handy and well-placed. Mood and color lighting adds a great touch.
Don’t Pile on the Tile
Do: Use Skilled Labor
Many homeowners insist on tiling the shower themselves, or hiring a contractor of questionable reputation or quality. Even small mistakes can lead to big leaks, which in turn send water into walls and floors. The resulting damage can be significant and difficult to fix, instantly negating the money saved. Similar DIY often happens with towel racks and other wall fixtures, which are not only dangerous when they’re torn down, but can take big chunks of the wall with them.
Trust Your Bathroom to a Pro
Family owned and operated, Riverside Construction is eager to responsibly and safely work with you to bring your bathroom dreams to life. Now is actually a great time to remodel, and Riverside Construction is pleased to conduct most design work remotely and effectively; we also help protect your family by conducting all work according to strict EPA lead-safe-certification regulations.
Riverside Construction is Lafayette’s top award-winning, design-build remodeling company. For 12 years we have provided loyal clients personalized and enjoyable remodeling services, delivered on time and on budget. By listening intently to your needs we provide the region’s best work: Take a look at our bathroom portfolio, and let’s schedule a free consultation!