The most common mistakes made during a bathroom remodel

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When you decide to remodel any part of your home, you know that you will be spending a significant amount of money. After all, you’re making an investment to improve your home. You wouldn’t want that investment to go to waste, and it’s important to be knowledgeable of the most common remodeling mistakes that homeowners make so you are able to avoid them. This is especially true for people interested in remodeling their bathrooms.

“Knowing the bathroom remodel mistakes made by others can save you time and money.”

The bathroom is an area in your home that gets frequent use and is probably important to your daily routine. It would be extremely inconvenient to spend time and money on a remodel only to find out that you could have done something better. Take a look at the most common mistakes people make in bathroom remodels listed below.

Neglecting ventilation
Proper ventilation in a bathroom is important in preventing moisture build-up that leads to the growth of mold and mildew. Most homeowners forget about this aspect when they are making decisions during a bathroom remodel, and it can lead to costly repairs in the future. By making sure that you include the installation or upgrade of an exhaust fan in your bathroom remodel, you can keep your bathroom free of excess moisture. 

When selecting an exhaust fan, you should take a few things into consideration.

1.     The size of the room

2.     The CFM strength of the fan (Cubic Feet per Minute)

3.     How far the duct has to travel to get to the outside of the home’s envelope

4.     How many turns the duct has to make to get to the outside

5.     How noisy the fan will get (the stronger the fan, the more noise generated

As a general rule of thumb, you want an exhaust fan to circulate the total amount of air in the room over less than 10 minutes.  For example a 5’x9′ room with 8′ high ceilings has 360 Cubic Feet.  A 100 CFM fan will take 3.6 minutes to circulate the air.  Not bad, but if you attach 6′ of duct with 1 elbow, you are only generating around 20 CFM of suction power which will require around 18 minutes.  In this case, you want to install a more powerful fan, but be careful!  If it’s too loud, people may avoid using it.  Sound levels are measured in sones.  A good quality typical exhaust fan is around 1.5 sones.  Once you go above 3 sones, the noise can get pretty irritating.

Ignoring spacing
Though most bathrooms don’t have an overabundance of extra square footage, they are a location in which people need to be able to move unhindered. You wouldn’t want to open the shower door only to have it smack into the toilet or have to duck beneath a low-hanging lamp while brushing your teeth. Planning spacing is an extremely important part of a bathroom remodel, and neglecting to take this into account can leave homeowners with an unsatisfactory final product. 

This bathroom remodel is a perfect example of excellent spacing.
This bathroom remodel is a perfect example of excellent spacing.

Choosing materials poorly
As previously stated, a bathroom remodel can cost a significant amount of money. Some homeowners try to cut down on cost by choosing cheap materials for their bathroom area. This is never a good idea. You’re counting on these materials to last you for a long time, and if you don’t want to spend more money to replace them in the near future, it’s best to make the investment in quality materials and hardware upfront. 

Some products to steer clear of include:

1.     Metal finishes on top of plastic parts.  Since bathrooms are very moist environments, some metal finishes that otherwise may hold up, will rust and peel.  Most commonly this problem occurs in lighting fixtures, cheap faucets and accessories such as towel bars, toilet paper holders, etc.

2.     Marble and other natural stone products as they are porous and will tend to darken in the areas where there is more moisture, such as the wetter part of the shower or the area of counter right around the sink.

3.     Wrong textures of tile.  Floor tile shouldn’t be too smooth to avoid slipping when wet and wall tile, especially inside the shower should not be too rough as grout may hang up on the texture.

Filing for Permits
Most local building departments today require that permits are filled for plumbing, electric and sometimes building.  This ensures that the work is done according to the requirements of the code and is inspected.  Building departments also want to make sure that the contractor you hire is licensed and insured properly to do the work.  Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you don’t have to file permits if you do the work yourself.  You still have to file and you still have to meet the requirements, or you risk a work stoppage or worse, problems down the line when trying to sell the house.

DIY-ing a professional job
Doing-it-yourself has become very popular in home maintenance, especially with younger homeowners. However, the bathroom is not necessarily the best place to DIY. There are too many components that require special knowledge, and a bathroom remodel is best left to the professionals.

A bathroom remodel gives homeowners the opportunity to make the area more efficient, more attractive or more luxurious. However, some people make the mistake of cutting corners and trying to save a few extra dollars. While this may seem like the financially friendly route to take, it can lead to big design mistakes that will end up costing more money to repair in the long run. When it comes time for you to remodel your own bathroom, keep these mistakes in mind to avoid making them yourself.

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