Want to upgrade or remodel your bathroom…without making mistakes?
Then you’re in the right place.
Because today I’m going to show you the mistakes to avoid and strategies to do instead that contractors and expert DIYers recommend to save thousands on your bathroom upgrade/remodel.
The best part?
All of these proven strategies for bathroom makeover are working GREAT in 2022.
Let’s do this!
- Design mistakes
- 1. Wrong size bathroom for your needs
- Solution: Tools to prevent you from designing a bathroom too small: FREE – Lowe’s Virtual Room Designer
- 2. Bad color
- Additional resources:
- 3. “Is anybody out there?!? Can I get some help! …Please!”
- 4. Color tubs and toilets are good for the movies, bad for selling
- 5. Vintage wood furniture has no place in a bathroom…if it is not waterproof
- 6. Wood floor
- 7. Pocket door are just plain bad
- Renovation mistakes
- 8. Not understanding the budget breakdown – bathroom renovation costs
- Levels of Bathroom remodels
- 9. Bad lighting and poor ventilation
- 10. Window too close to the bathtub
- 11. Floating sink gives you no storage
- 12. High mirrors
- How high?
- 13. Remove the Slippery bathroom floor hazard
- 14. Inadequate storage
- 15. Themed bathrooms will go out of style
- Plumbing mistakes
- Shower Mistakes
- Door mistakes
1. Wrong size bathroom for your needs
No matter what type of house you live in, a bathroom needs to have enough extra space for skincare items, beauty care products.
Many people do not consider this when designing their bathrooms and end up with an excellent bathroom with no space at all.
Therefore, a bathroom should be designed to be spacious.
Pro Tip: If you hire a general contractor make sure they have certification in bathroom remodeling or kitchen remodeling. Look for Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR) or a Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC). The contractor should have these certifications in addition to their State license.
Solution: Tools to prevent you from designing a bathroom too small: FREE – Lowe’s Virtual Room Designer
2. Bad color
Another common mistake many people make is choosing the wrong colors that are not appropriate for the bathroom.
You should keep in mind that there are some types of paints that are more appropriate for the bathroom than any other type of paints in new bathroom.
The bathroom is a room that needs to handle a large amount of moisture and you must ensure that the paint holds.
There are also some types of wall materials that are perfect for the bathroom design.
In this way, you should make an effort to explore the type of items and colors that will adapt to the bathroom before making any purchase.
- Again…check out Lowes Virtual Room Designer software….did I mention…FREE
- Sweet Home 3D is a great software package as well if you really want to include everything you plan on having in the bathroom.
Sweet Home 3D is a great software package as well if you really want to include everything you plan on having in the bathroom.
3. “Is anybody out there?!? Can I get some help! …Please!”
Toilet paper holder in a bad spot does not do anyone any favors. Place it within arms reach…and keep backup rolls in a container near the toilet.
This will allow your 4-year-old to unroll every roll as he goes about his business. The joys of parenting!
- Bathroom toilet paper holders must be put into the nearest wall(side), at least 19 inches from the floor and a limit of 36 inches from rear.
4. Color tubs and toilets are good for the movies, bad for selling
Choose an elegant color for permanent fixtures.
The color you decide for your toilet, ceramic tile, shower, and bath are the colors you will have for a long time, even decades.
Tastes change, and you may not like the color plan of orange and peach baths colors after a couple of years as it is now.
So choosing a color that is appealing is a good choice.
5. Vintage wood furniture has no place in a bathroom…if it is not waterproof
Vintage hardwood furniture can be damaged by some toxic used in the bathrooms.
If You use the hardwood furniture then secure them with wax to seal the moisture.
Waterproof Wood anyway
- Waterproof the wood with oil
- Waterproof the wood with a stain and sealer (choose a stain-sealant combo to save money and time)
- Check out DEFY Extreme 1 Gallon Semi-Transparent Wood Stain available on Amazon
6. Wood floor
The introduction of wooden floors in the bathrooms used to be seen as a big no-no.
Splashing water and even high humidity would damage and distort the material, making it useless in a short period of time.
Bathrooms should almost always be tiled or have vinyl flooring.
7. Pocket door are just plain bad
Pocket doors do not seat as firmly as usual doors.
Therefore, they are not good at preventing the noise from one room and then the next.
Interior pocket doors should not be used in the bathroom because they cannot seal the smell that might be in the bathroom.
8. Not understanding the budget breakdown – bathroom renovation costs
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), breaks down the cost of a typical bathroom remodel.
These are costs from hiring a contractor…not DIY but the breakdown is similar to what you should expect if you DIY Project.
First step: Understand the costs. Suggested bathroom remodeling costs allocation:
- Installation (remove, replace): 20% They charge 20% to rip out the old and install the new.
- Cabinetry and Hardware: 16%
- Fixtures: 15%
- Faucets and Plumbing: 14%
- Flooring: 9%
- Countertops: 7%
- Walls and Ceilings: 5%
- Design fees: 4%
- Shower Door and Windows: 4%
- Other: 1%
Levels of Bathroom remodels
Budget Basic / small bathroom remodel
- DIY $500-2000
- Contractor: $4000-10,000
Average Bathroom Remodel
- DIY $2001-5000
- Contractor: $10,001-18,000
High-end Bathroom Remodel / Full Bathroom Remodel
- DIY $5001-10000
- Contractor: $19,000-30,000+
- Mint.com has a great budgeting breakdown app that you can use for any project.
- Homezada is specifically made for remodeling and has a great app to track all your expenses.
9. Bad lighting and poor ventilation
A dull bathroom doesn’t do anyone any favors.
To light up your bathroom you can increase the amount of light you have in a few ways.
Go for a Daylight LED with a 5-6K temperature range. This will bring in a lot more light and make your bathroom feel inviting.
Light Fixtures. There are several thousand types of light fixtures. Pick one that is with the theme of your diy bathroom remodel.
- For bathrooms, use at least 75 to 100 watts of light of incandescent or a 20 watt LED bulb.
- Daylight LED light produces a higher color temperature in the range of 5000 – 6500 K.
- Stay away from Soft White since it produces a yellow hue and a lower color temperature in the range of 2700 – 3000 K.
- Install a powerful ventilation exhaust fan that goes up and that vents outside.
- This will help to remove high humidity air that will really warm your bathroom and house in the summer time.
10. Window too close to the bathtub
A bathroom is full of moisture and you need great ventilation.
Do you have a bathroom window? In case you do not, you must introduce a ventilation fan.
Moisture can cause mold that is not healthy.
A window can provide light for your bathroom, but it must be placed not too close to the tub for your privacy.
Window curtains, or blinds, are also a good thought.
11. Floating sink gives you no storage
The bathroom must currently be within a clear 60-inch space and the sink must be introduced beyond that area.
The sinks are introduced regularly over 34 inches.
Standard base cabinets are 36 inches tall, so this is the problem.
The sink should be 34 inches as required by the ADA to accommodate everyone.
12. High mirrors
These should not be placed high because it needs someone tall to reach them ad people with wheelchairs may not be able to use them.
Mirrored cabinets, instead of simply wall mirrors, are impressive, as they allow additional space and a clean look.
- The lowest part of the mirror should be 6-12″ above the sink. This allows short and tall people to use the mirror.
13. Remove the Slippery bathroom floor hazard
Any material you use for the bathroom floor, make sure it is non-slippery, in case it is wet.
Try not to rely on the use of a floor rug, as these can fail to cover the entire area that gets wet during a shower.
Making sure when renovating, your floors are not slippery is particularly important when a child, a pregnant woman or anyone with a physical disability lives in your home.
- Floor tile that isn’t slippery
- Clean the floors with a mop so all the water is removed.
- Or you could steam the tile, vinyl floors which is great for cleaning and killing bacteria.
- Use a bathroom mat so it will help with absorbing the excess water and keeping you safe from slips and falls
14. Inadequate storage
There will never be enough storage, particularly in the bathroom, where lots of washing, linen, and other things must be stored in a small space.
Pedestal sinks can be attractive, but do not dd much space.
Make sure your bathroom renovation plans include cabinets and more space than you think you will need.
15. Themed bathrooms will go out of style
Try not to follow the latest trends with too much attention or it can shorten the lifespan of a room.
Designs and patterns change rapidly.
Consider choosing a simple design for a room to which you can easily renovate and add accessories.
- Subway tiles are classic and timeless
- White walls
- Claw feet tubs
- Isolated bath tubs
- Classic shower stall
16. Wrong location
The bathroom should not be placed at the center point of the room, in front of the kitchen or above the room.
You would be surprised how many people put their bathroom in the middle of their room. It doesn’t look pretty.
17. Bad plumbing work / Exposed plumbing
Each renovation has a budget and you should consider it. Unfortunately, very few people get this.
The point, if not done on a budget it can go beyond what required and this is probably the biggest confusion one can make.
If you need to ensure that the renovation spending remains at your budget make a point to plan ahead and, if possible, seek assistance from a professional.
Not finishing your plumbing job is a huge safety will give you plenty of problems.
18. Doing it yourself
The next mistake that is made is when one believes that he can perform a task effectively and then discovers that it’s beyond the expectation.
You should research all jobs before doing them and ensure that you have the necessary help.
No matter your DIY level – you should not do electrical work unless you are an electrician.
Make sure you have a plan, budget, a separate project plan, the right tools to DIY.
19. Shower walls. Using cheap caulk that is not silicone will result in mold.
Some caulk in the taps can be easily removed and this causes irritation while trying to use them.
So using the correct silicone caulking is a MUST around a tub
Regular caulking will allow mold to grow. Therefore it has to be cleaned daily or it will grow mold.
- Use a Silicone caulk since it does not support mold growth and does not have to be cleaned on a regular basis.
- Shower tile should not look this dirty and should be cleaned. This mold could also be a sign that water may be getting behind the tile and causing water damage.
- Silicone caulk can be picked up at Home Depot, Lowes or local hardware store. It is a great way to keep your entire bathroom safe from mold.
- Eliminate all mold in the shower area. Replace your shower curtain if it is moldy.
Slips and falls are the number 1 safety hazard in a bathroom. Don’t use slippery cleaners on the floor.
Basically, using slipper cleaners is not a bad idea if you are careful.
Care must be taken while cleaning a bathroom.
You should rinse the bathroom with clean water to remove the slippery cleaners.
20. Shower head. No matter if you are remodeling your master bathroom, guest bathroom or half bath, it is a good idea to look at upgrading your shower head and or new sink.
Non-compliant baths in some cases will have the door installed improperly, so it opens to the bathroom instead of outside, this may not suit everyone, especially people in the wheelchair.
Therefore a door that swings outward is a decent idea.
The entrance used in the bathroom must match the entire house.
You cannot have an opaque shading at the entrance if the artistic creation of the house is bright.
22. Not considering ADA
Your bathroom may be failing the ADA and you don’t know it.
ADA recommends that the height of the mirror not be too high, you should think about the people in the wheelchair.
ADA suggests that before renovating or designing a bathroom you should also consider the physically challenged people.
- A bathroom door should be at least 32″ even though some contractors say you can go down to 28″.
- It is not a best practice and will be a pain in the long run.
23. Going feng shui
The bathroom plays a big role in the feng shui trinity.
The bathroom located at the center point of the house is considered a bad feng shui.
As indicated by Feng shui, a bathroom should be very ventilated and be pleasant to give positive energy to the house.
Feng shui is a specific theme that does not appeal to everyone.
If you plan on selling your house be aware of fads that may not appeal to all buyers.