Watch Out! Don’t Make These 8 Common Bathroom Design Mistakes!

Despite the small size of a bathroom, it takes hundreds of decisions to complete a bathroom renovation. Careful planning makes all the difference. If you want your remodel project to be a success, don’t make these 8 common bathroom design mistakes!

Mistake #1: Selecting the Wrong Mirror Size

A mirror adds more to your bathroom than just a place to view your reflection. It has a significant effect on the look and feel of your bathroom. 

Some bathrooms use the mirror as a decorative piece, but the risk is having a mirror that’s too small. The bigger your mirror, the more open your bathroom feels. 

A typical bathroom mirror should be approximately the same width as your bathroom countertop. If you have a pedestal sink, or if your bathroom doesn’t allow for a mirror as wide as the countertop, the mirror should be slightly wider than the sink.

If you use a mirror that’s too small, it’s not as helpful and it can make your bathroom seem more confined. If the proportions of your mirror, sink, and vanity are off, the whole bathroom looks awkward.

Mistake #2: Positioning the Toilet Poorly

Speaking of awkward, ever used a toilet that was behind the bathroom door? If you don’t live in an RV or an airplane, do everything in your power to place the toilet away from the door. Ideally, position it so that the view from the bathroom door doesn’t feature the toilet prominently.

The space around the toilet matters, too. If you don’t have the proper clearance between your toilet and the surrounding walls, it feels cramped. 

Mistake #3: Poor Door Placement

Your bathroom door should not swing into the toilet or compete with the space in front of your sink. 

Be mindful of which side the door hinges are on and which way the door opens. If multiple people are using the bathroom at once (like when several children are getting ready for school at the same time), you don’t want the open door bumping into someone brushing their teeth, for example. 

Mistake #4: Using Cheap Materials

Bathrooms endure a lot of abuse. It’s a high-use space that must withstand a lot of moisture. Choosing cheap materials could result in costly repairs or another renovation in a short time. Choose materials that can hold up to humidity. 

Mistake #5: Inadequate Lighting

Your bathroom lighting should use the same layered lighting approach as your kitchen. Use ambient light to illuminate the room, but add task lighting in places you need it most, such as above the mirror and in the shower. 

Even if your bathroom has a big window, you won’t always have the benefit of natural light. Design your bathroom lighting as though the window isn’t there. You’ll need lights at night or on cloudy days. 

Mistake #6: Inadequate Ventilation

A poorly ventilated bathroom can be a health hazard. Mildew and rotting materials develop over time when the humidity in your bathroom builds up without a way of escape. 

Even if your bathroom has a window that can be opened for ventilation, include a proper ventilation fan that draws moisture out of your home (not into your attic or wall cavity). 

Mistake #7: Inadequate Storage

Bathroom storage is a common challenge. Whether your bathroom is too small or your bathroom belongings are too numerous, finding creative ways to maximize your space in the bathroom is a must. 

Especially if you have minimal wall space, don’t hang a large towel bar above the toilet. Use that valuable space for a storage cabinet and add hooks to the back of the door for towels. 

Another common storage blunder is a long vanity with a series of doors. Add at least one bank of drawers for more efficient storage.

Read 15 of our best ideas for bathroom storage.

Mistake #8: Interrupting the Flow

Creating continuity in your bathroom can make the room appear more spacious. When you break up every surface area with varying textures and patterns, it interrupts the flow of the space and makes the room look compartmentalized. 

Especially for small bathrooms, adding mid-wall borders, wainscotting, and varied wall colors and patterns probably won’t produce an inviting, spacious appearance. Instead, consider using the same tiles on your floor and in your shower, for example. This creates a seamless backdrop you can build on with layered lighting and design statements like bold fixtures. 

Avoid Common Bathroom Design Mistakes

Thoughtful design ensures that your bathroom renovation gives you a space you’ll love for years to come. Avoid these common bathroom design mistakes for a better bathroom remodel. 

That said, there are times when some of these things can’t be avoided. That’s when a professional designer can guide you in how to make the most of what you have.

The bathroom renovation experts at Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations can design a bathroom that works for you and your home. We can create the look and feel you want within your renovation budget. For a free bathroom design consultation, contact us today!

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