12 Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling Your Bathroom

A bathroom remodel is one of the most exciting projects homeowners take on. With so many options and designers today, there is no shortage of creative ways someone can create a bath to fit their style and the style of their home. With all that creativity comes analysis paralysis and blind spots, so we’ve put together a few common bathroom remodel mistakes to avoid when setting your upgrade in motion.


1. Lack of a Game Plan in Place 

It can pay dividends in time and money to go through the entire bathroom remodel project on paper first. Designers, websites, and books can help shape the idea of what you’d like to create, but actually measuring the entirety of your bathroom will give you an idea of just how big of a project a bathroom remodel project can be. Measure the size of the tub, space for a vanity, how long the toilet can be, as well as the space doors and drawers will open to. Don’t let an unfinished project turn into a persistent problem – take the time to do it right and avoid any potential problems down the road. 


2. Overestimating Your Skillset 

Although many bathroom projects are considered DIY friendly, there are some steps in the process that should be tackled by a professional. For example, plumbing and drainage are two areas where difficulty and complexity of the project is often underestimated. 

Keep in mind that in certain scenarios it’s far easier and less risky to hire someone rather than attempt it yourself. Not to mention, taking on certain issues yourself can be time-consuming and could even lead to costly emergency fixes if something goes wrong. For a list of DIY bathroom remodel projects that may be more in your realm, check out DIY bathroom remodel projects we recommend. 


3. Insufficient Ventilation 

Bathrooms carry a lot of moisture and not all of it can escape down a drain. Having effective ventilation can save you heartache and money. The bathroom fan is typically an overlooked feature, even though it is an essential factor in your remodel success. Best practice is to consult a professional contractor to provide proper circulation of air for the steamiest room in your home. There are many different options when it comes to choosing the right exhaust fan, all working towards the same goal of keeping paint, grout, and anything made of metal from deteriorating and tarnishing. 


4. Valuing Looks Over Function 

Everyone has different ideas when it comes to creating the perfect bathroom retreat. However, looks should never trump practicality. Remodeling can be tricky, so always prioritize function over aesthetics. Start with the layout of your space: what do you want most in this haven? From there, explore ways to bring beauty as well as practical solutions into your remodel. 

One common bathroom remodel mistake is cramming too much into the space. When designing your bathroom, don’t go overboard! While it might be tempting to make all of your dream ideas a reality, think about the size and limitations that come with any room. Get creative and maximize what you have for an ideal space. 


5. Neglecting a Plan for Lighting 

Sufficient and adequate lighting is one of the essential features for a successful bathroom remodel. Finding just the right amount of light in your bathroom can be a tricky balancing act – too much and you could create an overwhelming atmosphere, but not enough and it becomes lackluster. The color of your vanity, tub, shower, paint and fixtures as well as your mirror selection should guide your choice in color, intensity, and placement of lights to perfect your space. 


6. Don’t Forget Storage

It can be easy to get swept up bathroom remodel aesthetics and neglect to include functional storage. Poor storage can create a messy and cluttered bathroom, making bathroom storage solutions tremendously important. 

Before going into the bathroom remodel, consider all the items you currently have in the room. What needs to stay, what needs to go, and is there anything you wish you had room for that isn’t there already? 



7. Rushing the Design Process 

Before diving in, double-check what materials and designs you’re considering. Wallpaper, laminate flooring, slick glass or stone, and the worst bathroom decision, carpet, should all be avoided for their various shortcomings, whether safety related or lack of durability. There are a lot of caulks, grout, tiles and backsplashes available in store and online so be sure to read through each specification to know they’ll stand up to the task. 


8. Failing to Accurately Estimate Budget

One of the most detrimental mistakes one can make during the bathroom remodel process is being unrealistic about the budget of the project. Keep in mind that extra costs are bound to arise throughout the process, so it’s crucial to build in a buffer for any surprises that come your way. From start to finish, have a clear understanding of what you are willing to spend on specific products. 


9. Improper Layout 

The ultimate goal of a bathroom remodel is creating a comfortable space for everyday self-care. While decorating is important, spacing and layout have to come first. Before you dive into your demolition project, make sure to devise a plan for how to best use the space. Give yourself plenty of room and envision creative possibilities – this will help ensure that when it’s all said and done, it’ll be a successful bathroom remodel. 


10. Underestimating Timeline 

When beginning a bathroom remodel in your home, be prepared for the unknown. Renovating one of the most important rooms can be exciting, but it is not always as quick and easy as we would like. Knowing what type of hiccups may arise and creating a cushion for unexpected issues can save time, money, and stress when taking on a bathroom remodel. Be sure to add more time into your expected timeframe than you think will be necessary. 


11. Overlooking Permits 

Before breaking ground on your remodeling project, make sure to secure the proper permits. Obtaining these documents may seem like an extra step, but it’s one that will ensure you stay on the right side of local laws and avoid costly fines down the line. Having everything in order from the start will ensure no roadblocks arise when it comes to moving plumbing or moving walls throughout your renovation process. 

If you’re looking for more detail on permit requirements, read more here


12. Choosing Unsuitable Materials 

It’s important that homeowners understand where and when they should attempt to cut costs. One of the most common bathroom remodel mistakes homeowners make is choosing unsuitable (or cheap) materials for their space. 

Investing in quality materials for your bathroom will make a world of difference. Inexpensive options may seem like an attractive upfront choice, but they can easily turn into costly maintenance headaches later in the project. Opting for higher quality items not only transforms the aesthetic appeal of your space, but you’ll save time cleaning. Look out for styles and products that are made from durable materials, you’ll be sure to reap the rewards when it comes to style and function. If you’re looking for some guidance in the material realm, ask a professional for input. Design experts will know what materials are best suited for your space, as well as fit your design needs. 


In Conclusion 

Although a bathroom remodel can be an expensive and time-consuming upgrade, the results are worth it. By avoiding the mistakes we outlined above, plus careful planning and execution, you can set your bathroom remodel up for success. 





What adds the most value to a bathroom?

The focal point of any bathroom is typically the shower and/or tub. Upgrading your bathroom shower and tub can be a great way to make an impactful change with big returns. Investing in remodeling these areas offers one of the highest rates of return on investment compared to other home improvements! 

What color bathroom sells the most? 

According to Zillow’s report, light blue is by far voted most popular when it comes to bathroom color. Survey participants who viewed a light blue bathroom claimed they’d be willing to pay more: a 1.6% increase in offer price. 

What do buyers look for in a bathroom? 

Based on a 2021 NAHB Report, a linen closet was rated as essential or desirable by 76% of home buyers. In addition, a shower stall and tub followed closely at 74%, followed by a double vanity at 69%.