10 Common Mistakes When Renovating Your Bathroom & How to Avoid Them
A bathroom is a great place to start in any home renovation. It’s small enough so you’re not too overwhelmed, yet it will challenge you and allow you to get your feet wet before jumping into a full scale reno. But let’s face it, a home renovation can be a nightmare. It comes with unexpected twists and turns that can drive you insane. Even a simple bathroom upgrade can be challenging. We’ve been there, so to help alleviate some stress and put your mind at ease, we’ve compiled a list of 10 common mistakes people make when renovating their bathroom -- and how to avoid them.
1. Poor Ventilation
This might seem obvious, but it’s actually one of the biggest mistakes people make. If you have low ventilation in your newly remodeled bathroom, you can kiss all of your hard work goodbye. Without the proper vent disposing of excess condensation, you’ll experience your ceiling starting to bubble and mold spores beginning to form on your walls. Gross. It’s regulation for your fan to continue running up to 15 minutes after you’ve stepped out of the shower -- even if you have a window, it’s still recommended to have a high-quality vent.
Our Tip: Budget no less than $250 for a quality vent. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and you’ll be saving your mind, and your wallet, in the long run.
2. Mismatched Fixtures & Overspending
I know we all want to be Chip and Joanna Gaines, but sometimes less is more - especially in a small space like your bathroom. To avoid it looking like the sample section at Lowes, try not to mix more than two metals, woods, or tiles together. This will make everything flow and create purpose behind the design. Keep in mind the rest of your home - your bathroom should be an extension of that!
While you’re browsing through the options for different fixtures, keep your budget in mind. We know how easy it is to see something you love and try to bend your carefully calculated budget around it. Instead of overspending on fixtures, do your research! We recommend gathering info from a few different stores to see where your budget will fit best. It’s better to save now rather than regret it later -- you can always switch it out down the line if that’s something that you want to do.
Have you ever walked into a poorly lit bathroom? It could be the most luxe space with a Pinterest worthy design and still look like a gas station bathroom without the proper light. Most bathrooms are pretty small, but adding some recessed lighting to the shower can take you from drab to fab without getting in the way. For a vanity mirror, try adding some sconce light fixtures. They create a soft glow without being too harsh or casting too many shadows on the face. This type of lighting is extremely flattering making anyone visiting your bathroom feel like a million bucks. If you’re able, add a window! Natural light is always a good way to go and, as a bonus, it’ll make a small bathroom feel more spacious.
4. Trendy or Trashy?
As the saying goes, don’t let history repeat itself. Typically trendy styles will go out of date in two years. That's right. In just two short years the mermaid inspired bathtub you picked out will be long past its expiration date. Keep your space classy and elegant by choosing fixtures that will stick around for the long haul. Try adding in pops of easily replaceable trendy items (i.e a soap dispenser or a shower curtain) that you can switch out when inspiration strikes! This will save you so much time and money later on and you can get creative in the process.
5. Paint and Primer
Remember tip number one? We don’t want mold or bubbling ceilings, so to even further avoid this catastrophe, we need to start with the foundation. Invest in “New Drywall” primer. These primers are designed for new drywall and have a thinner consistency than their “paint and primer” counterparts. This type of primer will seep into the seams and patches of the drywall, strengthening the wall and making it more durable to hold up through moisture. Once this step is complete, use a moisture-resistant paint to further ensure that your bathroom will stay mold-free for years to come.
6. Installing the Shower Drain in the Wrong Spot
This tip could save you time, money, and a headache. You’re welcome. Before you even pick out your new shower pan or bathtub, make sure that you measure it properly! The hole for the drain will need to line up perfectly with the existing plumbing drain - please check the placement before purchase. This could be one of the most detrimental situations that you could find yourself in so take extra caution where necessary and have some patience.
7. Have Clear Needs
Defining your needs for your bathroom is essential to a smooth process. We recommend sitting down and taking some time to write out a priorities list. This will ensure that at each stage of the project you have a clear vision for your bathroom. This list can change as your project evolves, but at least you’ll have a guideline to follow.
8. Storage, Storage, Storage
What does a bathroom and a kitchen have in common? They both require a lot of storage space. Something to keep in mind is, how many people will be using this bathroom? It might be more than enough storage for two people, but definitely not for three (this is where your priorities list will come in handy). It’s best to consider this now rather than a month after the project is complete -- there is nothing worse than under planning. You’ll lose time and money trying to compensate for this lack of foresight.
9. Overlooking Electricity
I don’t think there’s anything worse than trying to plug in your hairdryer and having to stretch the cord at max capacity to an outlet on the other side of the bathroom. Plan where your outlets will be located! There should always be an outlet close to your vanity for accessible and safe usage. It doesn’t take much for a small space to get cluttered -- avoid the stress and plan ahead!
10. Budget for the Unexpected
Remember when I said that doing a renovation comes with unexpected twists and turns? Well, I said that for a reason -- 9 times out of 10 something comes up. It might not be a big deal, but sometimes it’s the one thing that will make or break your whole project. A simple solution is putting aside reserve funds. When an issue arises and you don’t have anything left in your budget, the reserve will ensure that you can still complete the project. As they say, the show must go on! We find that having a little extra set aside will put your mind at ease as you walk through each step of the process. It’s the little cushion that keeps everything moving forward and, if a problem does surface, you can rest assured knowing that you already planned ahead for that.