Steer clear of these 12 bathroom renovation mistakes

Read on for the dos and don’ts of bathroom renovations.

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Bathroom renovations are a great way to update the look and feel of your home, but they can be expensive and time-consuming. By knowing the right tips and bathroom renovation mistakes to avoid, the entire process can go smoothly. You’ll end up with a space you’ll be excited to use and go into every day!

Bathroom renovation mistakes to avoid

1. Setting a budget without a contingency

A budget dictates what tiles, lights, fixtures, cabinets, and heating you can afford. But bathroom renovations can sometimes go over budget if something needs to be fixed suddenly, say, a broken water pipe. Putting aside extra money for unexpected expenses will save you a lot of stress throughout the bathroom remodel process.

2. DIY-ing a renovation

How experienced are you with fixing electrical wires, plumbing, and retiling walls and floors? Some home projects are better off to the pros to avoid accidents, spending more than you intended, and making unfixable mistakes!

contractor installing a bathroom mirror

3. Not getting everything in writing

When working with a plumber, electrician, and contractor, it’s easy to say yes to all their requests and not question them. But one of the best tips for a bathroom renovation that not many people will tell you is to get everything in writing.

Create a contract, list everything you want them to fix and redo, check if all parties agree and are aligned, and have everyone sign it. A written document will protect both sides in case of delays or if anything is accidentally broken.

4. Changing the location of the faucet

One mistake you’ll want to avoid, especially if you have a small bathroom space, is changing the location of the faucet. You can switch the faucet to different coloured ones but don’t relocate it, as moving pipes will cost you more!

bathroom faucet and sink

5. Not including proper ventilation in your bathroom layout

The bathroom is the steamiest part of the house due to all the hot showers. If there’s zero bathroom ventilation, you could suddenly find specks of mould, grime between tiles, or grout lines turning dark.

Work with your contractor to see if your windows or ventilation points are enough to circulate air in the room properly. You can always add exhaust fans, open the windows when you shower, or wipe down your walls and floors after every use to speed up drying and remove standing water.

well-ventilated bathroom

6. Not investing in quality products

From shower trays to toilets, quality bathroom products and appliances don’t always mean they’re expensive. If you research well, many stylish options are durable and will last years!

7. Incorrectly tiling the bathroom

You or your contractor may be tempted to lay down new tiles on existing ones to save time, but this is a huge mistake. Bathrooms are one of the most moisture-rich areas in the house. If new tiles are laid on top of old ones and not a cement surface, they could crack.

contractor installing bathroom tiles

8. Not adding storage space

Storage is vital for all bathrooms as it’s where you keep a lot of essentials—toilet paper, skincare, soaps, and shampoos. Chic storage boxes, floating shelves, and racks breathe life into your new space and prevent your bathroom from looking cluttered.

It’s also a great small bathroom renovation tip for those who live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment! 

minimalist bathroom storage space

9. Buying materials yourself

Getting excited over the renovation can lead you to impulsively buy tiles, sinks, or toilets you think will work in your dream space. This can lead to wasted money, though. Leave this task to the experts, as they’re more knowledgeable about how many items you’ll need for the size of your bathroom. Plus, they must fix or solve the problem if anything goes wrong!

10. Using a dark colour palette in a small bathroom

Small bathrooms look best with brighter and lighter hues. This will make it appear bigger as it can reflect light better than grey or black-coloured walls and floors!

Not sure what the best colour combination is for your bathroom? An interior decorator can help you design your bathroom to look more open and inviting!

11. Not haggling on the cost

Many factors affect a contractor’s final price, so don’t hesitate to ask for a discount! They might say yes, and you could save more money!

12. Not designing for the future

Plan to live in your home for many years? Then make sure you design your bathroom—whether it’s minimalist, full of art, or vintage-looking—in a style you’ll love for years.

simple clean bathroom

More bathroom renovation tips and tricks

These tips will keep you cool and stress-free while your bathroom undergoes an upgrade: 

  • Do your research

Before saying yes, for example, to move your toilet to another part of the bathroom, check if this is an ideal way to get your desired layout. Otherwise, your plumber or contractor could get you to spend more money.

  • Get multiple estimates

Not all contractors have the same prices for their services. Once you’ve contacted different professionals, ask them to send a quote so you can compare their costs. Then, pick one who fits your budget and, at the same time, understands your bathroom’s needs.

  • Be prepared for delays

Delays are expected in bathroom renovations (or in any renovation), so it’s best to avoid stressing over them if they happen. You can talk it over with your contractor to find out the cause of the delay and work together to find a solution!

  • Don’t rush the design process

Working with an interior designer to plan different bathroom designs can take plenty of time. Know that they’ve taken all your bathroom ideas and are working to create a space with all the requirements you want to make it look beautiful.

  • Add plants

The only DIY bathroom renovation tip worth taking care of by yourself: Adding plants and succulents to bring the space to life! If you’re working with minimal space, you can install a floating shelf to place a few small plants and brighten the room.

  • When in doubt, combine plain tiles with printed ones

Going “pattern crazy” with your tiles can result in a harsh look that’s not easy on the eyes. A sure way to stay moderate is choosing plain tiles for the wall and picking printed or patterned tiles for the floor.

This will create a cohesive look for your bathroom and add depth and interest.

Get a headstart on your dream bathroom!

A bathroom renovation is a challenging feat. You may think it can be done in a few days, but in reality, it will take a few weeks (or even a month). 

As long as you prepare everything needed beforehand—the budget and the design and layout—and hire a bathroom renovation expert, which you can find on Airtasker, you can have your dream bathroom quicker than you can say “Worcestershire”!

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FAQs on bathroom renovations

Depending on the size and severity of the renovation, the average time is 20 to 30 working days. If there are sudden holidays or delays, it could take up to a month or more. Why does it take so long? Removing tiles and fixtures is a lengthy process. Plus, bathroom projects include installing cabinets, lights, and storage, putting up drywall, and painting.

You should hire a team who can do it for you as a bathroom reno can be tricky, especially if you need to be more experienced. But if you’re a DIY enthusiast, plenty of teaching videos are online. You can succeed by researching materials to use and watching tutorials on tiling, pipes, wiring, and the like!

  1. If you plan to stay in the same house, ensure you have another bathroom daily.

  2. If you live in an apartment building, get permission from your landlord or let your neighbours know that you’ll have some renovations done so they won’t complain about the noise.

  3. Your height! It can be used as the basis for how high to install mirrors, shelves, and towel racks.

  4. Bathroom issues. Do your pipes need to be more rusty? Is there water damage? It would greatly help your contractor if you shared this so they can assess the best way to fix your bathroom.

  5. Does your contractor have a licence? Beware of some of these red flags: They have zero or negative reviews, their estimates are too low, they don’t have proof of insurance or their licence, and they ask for a large downpayment.

The demolition or removing current fixtures and tiles. The process generally takes a few days, but it can go faster if your contractor’s workers are efficient! This is the best way to start a bathroom makeover so everything new can be installed from the ground up.

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