Of all the major renovations Canadian homeowners have planned, 24% (a majority in this survey) are bathrooms. Even though it’s the smallest room of the house, a bathroom renovation can quickly get out of hand. Avoid these common bathroom renovation mistakes to keep your remodel project simple and affordable.
Mistake #1: No Plan
It’s tempting to plunge into a bathroom renovation without a plan. How hard can it be? Replace the tub, shower, toilet, vanity, sink, lighting, and voila! But a bathroom renovation without a plan never goes smoothly.
There’s more to planning a bathroom renovation than picking out your design. Electrical regulations and plumbing need to be factored in. Now is the time to reevaluate the functionality of your current layout – maybe it’s time for a change.
A professional designer or contractor can help you come up with a plan for the entire renovation, ensuring everything will meet legal requirements and avoid delays or unforeseen costs.
Mistake #2: A Non-Existent or Unrealistic Budget
Just as a renovation without a plan can lead to constant issues, a renovation without a budget can quickly become a money pit. You need a budget for your bathroom renovation regardless of how big or small your project will be.
If your budget includes a 15-20% contingency fund, you should be able to stick to it. If it looks like you might overspend, make necessary adjustments to stick to your plan. This might mean choosing different lighting fixtures or simplifying your tile pattern, for example.
Consult your renovation expert before cutting corners, though, to make sure you don’t skimp on something that could lead to quality control issues. One of the worst mistakes some people make in a bathroom renovation is trying to save money on the wrong things. Don’t base your decisions on cost alone.
Mistake #3: Impractical Layout
Functionality is more important than fashion or form. Your bathroom is a high-use space. If it’s not functional, it won’t matter how fabulous it looks.
Spacing is a huge part of bathroom functionality. If you cram too much into the space, or if you choose fixtures that are too big for the space, the simplest tasks can become major frustrations. You should be able to easily open cupboard doors and drawers without having to be strategic about it, for example.
Again, a professional designer can help you plan a space with proper clearances for each piece. They can also take accurate measurements and help you select appropriately sized fixtures to maximize the functionality of even the smallest bathroom.
Mistake #4: Inadequate Storage
The bathroom is used for a lot of activity, so it’s no surprise that you need to store a lot there. Hair products and appliances, toilet paper, towels (both clean and dirty), soaps, makeup, medicine, and often many other items are kept in your bathroom.
There are so many creative ways to store all of these things. Take advantage of your bathroom renovation by designing highly functional storage that also adds to the look of the space. Check out these 15 ideas for bathroom storage that work even in a small bathroom.
Mistake #5: Poor Ventilation
Without appropriate ventilation, the condensation generated in the bathroom can eventually create mold and mildew. It can deteriorate paint, grout, and metal.
Ideally, your bathroom should include both a window and a fan. If you don’t have a window, a good quality fan will suffice. But make sure you get a fan that’s appropriate for the size of your bathroom. A fan with a timer switch is a great way to ensure your bathroom is always properly ventilated without wasting electricity when someone forgets to turn it off after a while.
Mistake #6: Dull Lighting
Lighting is a huge contributing factor to the comfort of any room. In the bathroom, lighting is especially important not only for ambience but also for practical purposes. Without proper lighting, it’s difficult to apply makeup or shave, for example.
It’s best to have two types of lighting in your bathroom:
- General lighting, and
- Task lighting.
General lighting is sufficient for basic bathroom use, but task lighting makes specific activities easier.
Mistake #7: Trendy Design
Remember pink toilets? The bathroom is not the place to indulge your love of the latest design trends. A bathroom renovation is a big investment, so you want the space to last for years, not just a season or two.
Choose design elements with more classic looks like clean lines and neutral tones. You can dress your bathroom up with trendy decor that’s easy to change at low cost.
Mistake #8: The Wrong Materials
The bathroom is a wet space. Even if you use a bathroom mat by your tub or shower, moisture is bound to land on your floor and walls. That’s why it’s vital to select water-resistant materials throughout the room.
An oil-based paint will prevent peeling, mold, and mildew on your walls. Make sure your tile grout lines are properly sealed. Choose durable flooring that can withstand an accidental water overflow.
In addition to materials that can withstand humidity, consider energy-efficient options like low-flow showerheads, high-efficiency toilets, and auto-shutoff faucets. These environmentally-conscious features can save you water and money in the long run, and possibly boost your home’s resale value too.
Mistake #9: Overlooked Mistakes – Big or Small
It might seem like a small mistake isn’t worth the trouble of correcting, but even a little error can lead to bigger issues. For example, if your room isn’t square, you’ll run into problems fitting the bathtub, floor tiles, or doorway. Take the time to fix it before moving on. Attention to detail and minor adjustments can have a huge impact on your finished bathroom renovation.
Mistake #10: No Professionals Involved
Should you DIY or hire a bathroom renovation professional? If all you’re doing is painting walls, doing it yourself might be okay, but a more involved renovation project requires a professional for various reasons.
- Safety: Renovation professionals understand building codes and legal requirements so your new bathroom will be safe and pass inspection. They can make sure your electrical and plumbing is done safely and right.
- Save money & reduce stress: A renovation inevitably leads to some unexpected issues. A professional is trained and experienced in dealing with these. This will save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
- Design expertise: A professional designer can help you plan the best bathroom layout and design for your space to maximize functionality while sticking to a look you love.
- Time: The experience and expertise of professional renovation contractors means they can get the job done faster.
- Tools: Professionals have all the tools required to get the job done right. Sometimes, those renovation surprises demand less common tools. A professional would have what’s needed.
If you attempt your bathroom renovation on your own, you may encounter a problem partway through and need to hire a professional anyway. At that point, you’ll have to pay for extra work that could have been avoided if you’d started with a professional plan and team from the beginning.
At the very least, hire a professional to develop your new bathroom design and help you come up with a plan and budget. Their consultation can guide you as you make your selections and minimize at least a few of these common bathroom renovation mistakes.
How to Avoid These Bathroom Renovation Mistakes
The surefire way to avoid these bathroom renovation mistakes is to hire an expert to manage your bathroom renovation from start to finish. Let Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations design the bathroom of your dreams and handle your entire bathroom renovation. We’ll ensure the job is done right and stays within your budget. Plus, you can rest easy and avoid the stress of a bathroom remodel.
Contact a Riverstone renovation expert for a free consultation today!