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Remodeling a bathroom is nothing like a piece of cake or a walk in the park because it’s an essential part of the house that involves complicated plumbing. You have to make sure that the new fixtures you choose will not only fit the design but also the bathroom’s layout. You also need to measure out everything even if you’re only rearranging things and adding a few items. If you’re planning to sell your home, the bathroom may not be the first thing that potential home buyers will see but it’s a crucial element that can always make or break the sale.

In the 2018 Cost vs Value Report by Remodeling Magazine, a mid-range bathroom remodel costs an average of $19,134 and has a resale value of $13,422, which recouped the costs by 70.1%. Moreover, the National Association of Home Builders Remodeling Market Index or the RMI survey always includes bathroom and kitchen remodeling as the two most common remodeling jobs.

So for homeowners and sellers alike, here are some of the biggest mistakes when renovating a bathroom you need to take note of:

The 7 Worst Things To Do When Remodeling Your Bathroom

1. Not planning according to space and layout.

Experts refer to this mistake as the lack of “spatial awareness,” which could lead to bigger problems later on once renovation starts. What many homeowners don’t know is that spatial planning is the key towards a successful bathroom remodeling. It means you have to fit something in your design without losing its function and still maximizing the space. You need to consider whether you will have enough space to comfortably open the shower without squeezing yourself out of the door, get on and off the lavatory without hassle, or easily open the cabinet doors. It also includes making sure that all elements are in their right places and are close enough to function (Yep, make sure the toilet paper is within your arm’s reach!). Remember that you will use the bathroom every day, so you need to plan your remodel according to your bathroom’s space and layout to maximize convenience.


2. Ignoring ventilation.

While it’s more fun to install a new shower or vanity, never make ventilation the least of your priorities. Don't underestimate its importance especially if you don’t have a window that provides natural ventilation.

Poor ventilation can cause pervasive mold or mildew to grow that can cause you potential headaches. It can also make the bathroom uncomfortable during and after someone took a shower. Install a quality and powerful exhaust fan that can handle the size of your bathroom. Heat lamps can accompany those fans as well since they can reduce moisture.


3. Incorporating improper lighting.

For most of us, bathrooms are our little haven where we get ready and pamper ourselves before facing the world every day. Just as how proper lighting is a key factor to getting a good shot, it is also important in the bathroom. Anyway, no one would enjoy using the loo if it’s poorly lit. If you have plans to sell your home, the last thing you’d want is for buyers to find out your bathroom has unflattering lighting.  

The trick to solving this mistake: plan your lighting fixtures before starting the renovation. Because while these fixtures will be installed last, you need to decide firsthand the lighting that will best accommodate your space and design. You may also have to consider your preferred shower style to help you decide whether you need lighting above the shower or tub.

LED and recessed lighting rarely work well in bathrooms as they can create shadow lines (not good if you’re applying makeup in the bathroom mirror). This is also why vanity lighting is a top consideration. According to experts from This Old House magazine, halogen bulbs set the gold standard to be used in bathrooms. They cost a few dollars more than standard incandescent lights but can last three times as long and also fit most fixtures.


4. Not considering whether there’s enough storage space.

Storage may not be written on your list when you’re planning the remodel. But it shouldn’t be ignored as well if you already couldn’t store most of the things you need in your bathroom. It’s important to give plenty of thoughts on your storage options right from the start.

As much as possible, incorporate plenty of storage space in your design depending on how many people will use the bathroom. There should be plenty of space where you can store the much-needed toilet paper, makeup, cleaning products, and other items. Consider it a game-changer as well if all the family members wanted to have their private bathroom storage. You may opt to install a larger vanity or add recessed shelves to achieve this.


5. Getting the wrong materials.

Remodeling can be an endless battle between functionality and design. Remember that a bathroom deals with more moisture than any other part of the house, so you have to take into consideration the right materials you will use for the job. Avoid using porous materials that are highly susceptible to mold, distortion, and will keep moisture.

Remember that as a homeowner, you may also have to use the strongest cleaning products to clean your bathroom surfaces. Make sure that the materials you use in remodeling your bathroom can also withstand such harsh cleaners.


6. Using mismatched fixtures and unbalanced decor.

Aside from choosing the right materials, don’t be pressured to get the same brand for all your fixtures and furnishings. Just make sure that whatever you use will have the same finish. And while there are countless heights, sizes, and styles to choose from, you only need to know how all those designs will fit and work together.

Remember to follow the “rule of threes” when selecting specific colors and patterns to decorate your bathroom. If you have a smaller bathroom, the last thing you’d want is for it to feel overcrowded or worse, cluttered. Select decorations with unique patterns, textures, and colors that mix well together for that lovely finish.


7. Not knowing when to do DIY and when to seek professional help.

Poor DIY can be the arch-enemy of any remodeling work. It might be tempting to do the tiling yourself or try to get your hands dirty to fix the plumbing, but DIY isn’t always a good practice. Always seek professional help if you want a major bathroom renovation that includes installing a new shower stall or fixing the wiring. Avoid thinking that hiring a professional bathroom remodeler can be expensive because they can actually save you more time, money, and frustration in the long run.