Don’t Make These Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes!

We’ve covered a lot of bathroom remodeling do’s on our blog, but to ensure that you get the results you want from your remodel, it can be just as important to be aware of and understand the things you shouldn’t do. With plumbing fixtures and other complexities involved, even a seemingly minor mistake can prove quite costly and completely derail your project.

A thoughtfully completed bathroom remodel can help you create your own private oasis, increase your home value, or simply allow you to enjoy improved day to day use. Avoiding the following mistakes will ensure that you get the results you desire.

Mistake #1: Not Carefully Planning the Remodel

planning bathroom remodeling

Bathroom remodeling is exciting — after all, what could be better than transforming a dingy, outdated area into something more modern and luxurious? The problem is that many homeowners get so excited about how they’d like their bathroom to look that they forget to devote as much time to planning as they should.

Planning needs to start with the basics, such as understanding the current layout of your bathroom and how you can work with it during the remodeling process. For example, if you want to change the bathroom’s layout, you should be mindful of the additional plumbing and electrical work that may be required.

When keeping the layout the same, you still need to be aware of the plumbing layout and the size of current bathroom features so that you get new fixtures that match with your current design. Getting a vanity that is a little too big may not seem like a major issue, but it could result in the sink not lining up properly with your pipes, requiring more time, work, and money than you had anticipated.

For best results, carefully measure everything so that you know the dimensions of the bathroom, as well as the dimensions of the individual features that you plan to replace. It may be a good idea to consult with a professional contractor or plumber to get a better idea of the type of work that would be required to get your desired results.

Mistake #2: Neglecting Your Budget

It’s one thing to have a vision for what you’d like the results of your bathroom remodeling project to look like. But it’s quite another to make it fit with your budget. According to Angie’s List, while most bathroom remodeling projects cost between $10,000 and $15,000, 31 percent of surveyed homeowners paid over $30,000 when remodeling their bathroom.

While this type of spending may be not seem like a big deal for some, it can create serious financial strain for others. Failure to understand how much your desired remodeling tasks cost could create serious financial issues. Homeowners should be mindful of how much they can afford to pay (either through monthly financing or as an upfront single-time payment for the project) and use these guidelines to form a budget.

Without budgeting properly, you might run out of money when the project is only half-finished, or you might have trouble taking care of other necessities, like mortgage or utility payments. Thankfully, there are several ways you can reduce expenses to keep your project under budget.

Even small decisions can have a big impact on your total cost. Maintaining the same layout so that you don’t need to install new pipes or electrical wiring can dramatically reduce labor expenses. Purchasing discounted vanities and other bathroom products, performing some of the labor yourself, or even only remodeling part of your bathroom at a time can all help you stay in control of your finances.

Mistake #3: Not Shopping Around For Bathroom Products

bathroom vanity

After finding a bathroom vanity at a great price, it can be tempting to buy it right away. But neglecting to look around at other options could leave you with a bathroom that doesn’t quite live up to the style or functionality that you had originally envisioned. 

As just one example, here at Kitchen & Bath Authority, we literally have thousands of bathroom vanities for you to choose from. Finding one in a style that you like is good, but what if it doesn’t match the medicine cabinet or storage cabinet that you like? Mismatched bathroom products can undermine the cohesive look you’re going for.

Once again, planning things out should be a key role in selecting the bathroom products you’ll use for your remodel. For the vanity example, start with your measurements so that you will know what size will work best for your space. Then, narrow down your selection based on key features such as whether you prefer a contemporary or traditional style, or whether you want a vanity that has one or two sinks.

After you’ve made these initial decisions, take some time to look through the various options that are available. Don’t just focus on the price tag or how the vanity looks — read the descriptions so you can get an idea of other important information, such as warranty coverage, materials used to build the vanity, or whether it comes with a countertop.

Taking a little extra time to evaluate your options will ensure that you purchase bathroom products that you will love for years to come. You might find a style that you love even more than the first one you liked!

Mistake #4: Skimping on Quality

bathroom sink

While looking for discounted products is certainly a great way to save money on your bathroom remodel, you should never do so at the expense of quality. You don’t want to shell out money for something that looks good but is prone to stains, leaks, cracks, or other maintenance issues.

Consider these example guidelines from Consumer Reports: “Lifetime warranties that cover leaks and stains have become more common on all but the cheapest faucets. PVD (physical vapor deposition) finishes resisted our best attempts at scratching them, but drain cleaners can stain them slightly. Chrome was also pretty durable in our tests, but can be scratched if you rub it with a heavy-duty scouring pad.”

The importance of purchasing quality products doesn’t just apply to fixtures and shower doors. It also applies to the materials you use for flooring, walls, and other parts of the bathroom.

As the Consumer Reports guide continues, “Tile is another material that you touch and feel each day. While you can find quality options for $5 per square foot, super cut-rate tiles may have slight size inconsistencies. The results will be crooked lines that make a bathroom look shoddy.”

Whether buying flooring materials or a bathroom vanity, do your research so you know what you’re getting. Learn more about the properties of the product and its materials, particularly in regards to durability and water resistance. Check consumer reviews so you can be aware of any common defects. Sometimes, it’s worth it to pay a little extra now so that you can have confidence that your bathroom remodeling work will stand the test of time. Otherwise, you might end up paying far more for repair and replacement costs in the future.

Mistake #5: Ignoring Storage Needs

medicine cabinet

While a bathroom vanity can certainly provide plenty of storage space, it isn’t always enough on its own. From extra toiletries to guest towels, there are plenty of bathroom items that may not readily fit into the vanity.

If you don’t plan for some extra storage space, you could find yourself stuffing these items into your vanity until it is overflowing, or needing to store your bathroom supplies in other inconvenient locations. 

Whether you are remodeling the master suite or a guest bathroom, you should be mindful of additional options for improving your storage space. Medicine cabinets provide a convenient solution for organizing toiletries, and can also take the place of a bathroom mirror. Many vanities actually come in a set with a matching medicine cabinet. 

Other bathroom storage options include linen side cabinets and floor cabinets, which offer plenty of space for towels, toilet paper, and other necessities. Even installing a few free-standing shelves can make it easier to keep things organized in the bathroom. Of course, you should choose these items carefully to ensure that they match the rest of your bathroom decor.

Just don’t let storage be an afterthought when planning your bathroom remodeling project. You don’t want to finish a large-scale project only to realize that you don’t have adequate storage space, and that you no longer have an available area in the room where you could install an extra storage feature.

Mistake #6: Neglecting the Small Details

bathroom tile wall and mirror

As important as things like an upgraded shower enclosure or a new and improved vanity may be, you cannot overlook the seemingly “small” details in a bathroom renovation project.

For example, the renovation prep period is a great time to evaluate your bathroom’s lighting and ventilation. Improving lighting can help make even a small bathroom feel larger and more inviting. Installing a new light fixture or even upgrading to LED bulbs can help you make better use of direct and ambient lighting while also reducing energy consumption.

Ventilation is one of the most important elements of any bathroom remodel. Bathroom vent fans play a vital role by removing the moist, warm air from the room. A bathroom without an adequate vent fan — or without any ventilation whatsoever — is at risk for serious long-term issues.

As Timothy Thiele explains for The Spruce, “Without a bathroom vent fan, bathrooms are susceptible to excessive moisture buildup that increases the chances of damaging bathroom walls, floors, and ceilings, as well as bathroom fixtures. Warm, humid air, caused by running hot water for baths and showers, is a perfect environment for mold, mildew and microorganism growth. High moisture in rooms can also break down interior room materials such as wallboard, wall paint, and trim, not to mention the entry door. For a safe, healthy bathroom, provide ventilation.”

Mistake #7: Overestimating Your DIY Skills

drill and blueprints

DIYing some or all of your bathroom remodeling work can help you save thousands of dollars on your project, while also giving you a strong sense of accomplishment. However, beyond simply determining if you are willing to make the investment of your time and effort, you must realistically evaluate what you can and cannot do.

Quite simply, complicated plumbing work (such as re-routing pipes) should pretty much always be left to a professional. Shoddy work could result in a hidden leak behind your wall, causing mold growth and significant structural damage.

Even tasks that don’t seem so complex at first glance will often have better results if a professional does the work. For example, installing bathroom tile may seem relatively straightforward, but if you do a poor job of it, even the most expensive tile will look cheap and unprofessional.

Correcting these mistakes will be costly and time-consuming — and will require that you request the help of the professionals that you should have called in the first place. Rather than creating a disaster by overestimating your handyman skills, take a step back and realistically evaluate what you can and can’t do. Leaving complex tasks to the professionals will save you time, reduce your stress, and ensure that you get results that will stand the test of time.

Mistake #8: Ignoring the Future

house for sale

When you first decide to remodel your bathroom, it can be easy to focus on the changes or improvements that you would most enjoy now. But as part of your planning, you should consider the long-term goals for what you plan to do with your house.

Are you planning to age in place in your current home? It may be a good idea to consider universal design features that account for changing mobility, such as ADA compliant comfort-height toilets, or a shower enclosure that includes a bench or grab bars.

On the other hand, if you are making upgrades because you plan to sell your home in the near future, you likely don’t need to make as big of an investment in your remodel. According to Zillow, midrange bathroom remodels tend to deliver a better ROI than high-end remodels, with basic tasks like replacing worn vanities and countertops or installing a new toilet being among the easiest and most cost-effective. While you should fix anything that is broken, you don’t necessarily need to go all out in giving the bathroom a complete overhaul.

By understanding some of the underlying reasons why you want to remodel your bathroom and considering your future plans for your home, you can make smarter decisions with your remodeling budget.

Planning For Mistake-Free Bathroom Remodeling

Bathroom remodeling is a complex task — one that can all too easily go wrong if you aren’t properly prepared. By carefully planning your remodel so that you can avoid these mistakes, you will have greater confidence moving forward on your project.

One great way to further boost your confidence is to buy your bathroom remodeling supplies right here at Kitchen & Bath Authority. We offer a wide range of bathroom vanities, sinks, shower enclosures, and more at significant discounts off MSRP so you can stretch your budget further. Enrolling in our exclusive membership program can help you save even more thanks to additional discounts and free shipping.

That’s not the only way we help you make bathroom remodeling decisions. You’ll find detailed descriptions of each product on our site so you know exactly what you’re getting, from materials to warranty coverage. You’ll also find customer reviews so you can learn what other people have experienced with these bathroom products.

Sure, there are things that can go wrong with bathroom remodeling. But by doing some extra work during the planning stages, you can ensure that everything turns out exactly as you desire. At Kitchen & Bath Authority, we’re proud to help make that possible.

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