Wrong: Jumping into your remodel haphazard. Who needs a plan with such a small space?
Even though bathrooms tend to be rather small (250 square feet or smaller, on the average), you will find such a dense cluster of services within that small space that you cannot afford to do anything impromptu, halfhearted, or ad hoc.
For instance, if you install the toilet and then decide that you want to move it 3 feet to the left, you're looking at another grand to do so.
So, lay out some firm bathroom design plans--before you call up the contractor or tradesmen.
Wrong: Assuming that the expensive option will take care of all of your problems.
Contractors, home improvement stores, supply houses, and all of the other people and companies assisting you in your remodeling project have a vested interest in you purchasing higher grade and more expensive materials and services.
For example, a frameless glass shower is a nice thing. It is very solid and attractive, and it dresses up your room a little bit more than other types of shower stalls. However, frameless glass showers are exorbitantly more expensive than framed glass showers or other shower stall units. You may need to do some real soul-searching to decide if things like frameless shower stalls, granite counters, marble floors, solid wood cabinetry, and designer paint are really necessary.
3. Replacing Rather Than Fixing
Wrong: Ripping out the entire tile floor when it really just needs regrouting.
Everything tends to be a little bit harder when you are remodeling a bathroom. For one thing, bathrooms are embedded deeper into the house than other rooms, making it harder to extract demolished materials.
Along the same lines, it is that much harder to bring new building materials into the house. And you are often doing this through rooms that you are trying to keep clean.
Because bathrooms tend to have minuscule or no windows at all, that pretty much rules out moving materials through windows. While not a deal breaker, it is just one more thing that makes bathroom remodeling harder.
If you can keep things in place and improve them, so much the better. Ways to do this include:
- Refinishing your bathtub or shower
- Refacing or repainting cabinets
- Reglazing sink
- Refinishing your counter
- Regrouting tile
4. Ignoring Ventilation
Wrong: A bathroom fan is the last on your list of priorities. It's way more fun to install a new shower or cabinets.
Ventilation is not a sexy topic. But poor ventilation has a domino effect: it can cause pervasive mold or mildew that can ruin other, good remodeling work you have done.
Today's ventilation fans are a vast improvement over old ones: quieter, more powerful, and more effective. Heat lamps are another way to reduce moisture in your bathroom.
Wrong: Laminate? Sure, why not?
Don't just put any kind of flooring in your bathroom: think in terms of bathroom-appropriate flooring.
You may need to sacrifice aesthetics for practicality and price when it comes to bathroom flooring.
Laminate flooring can work, but it should not be your first choice in the bathroom; ceramic tile and sheet vinyl excel. If you think you deserve better than sheet vinyl, cogitate on it for a few days while comparing prices with that travertine you have been considering. Vinyl may start to look good after awhile.
Many high-end flooring materials require maintenance that the low-end materials don't have. Any kind of stone in the bathroom will need to come pre-sealed or be sealed by you. Plus, they will need occasional resealing in order to keep moisture from permeating into the surface of the stone.
Despite what they say about "vinyl is final" it Isn't (unless you want it to be). Vinyl is easy to rip out.
Wrong: You've just got to install that bathroom wiring because electricians are so expensive, even though you're frightened of electricity.
If you're handy with common household tools, you can probably do things like install bathroom flooring, lay down ceramic tile, paint walls, install stock cabinetry, put it in GFCI outlets, run branch lighting circuits, and so on.
But when it comes to things like building an entirely new shower stall, installing whole-bathroom wiring, or doing a quality refinishing job of your existing tub or shower, you will save frustration by calling in the professional bathroom remodelers. You might even save money, too.
7. Starting With The Master Bathroom
Wrong: Honey, let's start with the master bathroom because that's our bathroom and it matters most. Then onto the kids' room...
Your first bathroom remodeling project will be rough. Or to put it kindly, it will be a learning experience.
Instead, cut your teeth on a bathroom that has 2 things going for it: you use it very little and it has a smaller floor area.
Try the children's bathroom. Do you think the kids are going to care about that row of ceramic tiles that looks uneven? But the same thing within your own master bathroom is going to remind you every single day of your life of its imperfection.
Or try tiling the powder room first. It's easier to learn to tile on a mere 12 square feet than on a space that is 10 times larger.