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7 Common Bathroom Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

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Put down the hammer! We're sharing common bathroom renovation mistakes - and these can be costly. Read this post and learn what to avoid.

Put down the hammer! We repeat. Put down the hammer! 

Are you sure you know what you’re doing with that hammer?

We're sharing common bathroom renovation mistakes here. Read on, and learn what to avoid, before it’s too late…

Bathroom renovation mistakes to watch out for...

Plan first. Demolish later.

As good as it can feel to take a hammer to something we don’t want to see anymore – like the tile that the owner before you really thought was a selling point for this house – you should have a plan before you let your renovation angst out.

There’s no prize for rushing into your project. At least, no prize you want to win.What does your bathroom look like now? What will it look like when it’s finished? Do you have the plans drawn up?

Who is responsible for each part of the renovation? How much will the renovation cost?

No, really, how much will the renovation cost?

You don’t want to spend for no added value.

You don’t want to be overly frugal, either. Because it doesn’t feel good when you cut cost corners that matter, only to get a mediocre result. To some extent, you do get what you pay for.

So, what to pay for, and what not to pay for? Save money by staying away from custom builds, in favor of standard fixtures. Don’t skimp on the quality of the material or labor, though.

Most of all, set a realistic budget.

Don’t pretend you’ll be able to pull off a $20,000 renovation when you’ve only got half of that to work with. Get real about what you can afford, put that money aside, and do everything in your power to stick to that amount.

Put aside some reserve funds, too. Because you can never be absolutely sure you’ll stay on budget. Planning is wise, assuming all will go according to plan, not so much.

If you’ve budgeted so tightly that you can’t afford to put aside some reserve funds, then you’re taking on a project with a budget that’s too high for you. Revise your project goals to reflect what you can really afford, or proceed with extra caution.

Function before beauty. Don’t get it twisted.

Your dream look won’t matter much if your bathroom isn’t easy to use. When you’re designing think about safety, comfort, and accessibility.

Don’t stuff too much in and find yourself bumping into things just to move from the toilet to the sink to the shower. Don’t buy a light fixture that looks good, but fails to produce the light you need for getting ready each morning and night.

Don’t forget about building in storage. You aren’t redoing your bathroom to clutter it up with your toiletries. But that’s what you’ll do if you don’t give yourself a place to put them.

Remember, too, that what’s trendy now won’t always be. Pick a style you'll love for a long time. Chances are you don’t have the funds or stamina to redo your bathroom next time the bathroom style winds change.

Waterproofing, drainage, and ventilation.

Make bathroom renovation mistakes here, and you’ll be dealing with lions, and tigers, and bears. Oh, my!

Nothing’s worse than a shower leak. They’re nuisances, and they’re expensive to fix. So we recommend finding a certified waterproofing tradesperson to get the job done right. And keep an eye while you’re (or whoever is) tiling, because a nick on the shower’s waterproofing membrane spells trouble.

Every material you use in your bathroom needs to be water resistant, so you avoid warping and peeling. If you’re using a porous material, like granite for your countertops, make sure it’s sealed.

The water that’s falling needs a place to go. Any floor area where water collects should be sloped to drive water toward a drain.

Let renovation be the excuse you need to update your bathroom fan – clean the one you’ve got, install one if you don’t have one now, or replace what you’ve got with something even better.

Proper ventilation protects paint and grout from mildew. You aren’t redoing your bathroom to give mildew a better place to live, are you?

And, no, the window that you can open won’t be enough ventilation all on its own, so stop telling yourself so.

Pro-tip: Use oil-based or mold-resistant paint to help keep the mildew out all the more.

Moving key fixtures means new plumbing.

Do you really need to move things around?

Or, can you make this layout work, and use the extra funds on better tile, faucet and light fixtures, and decor?

If you want the toilet, sink, or shower to be on that wall across from where it is now, you’re almost certainly looking at new plumbing. And new plumbing is one of the most expensive line items of a bathroom renovation.

Be sure the changed layout is really what you want. Be sure you’ve got a sensible plan for making the moves, and be sure you can afford the expert labor it requires.

Little mistakes here and there do add up.

Think that little mistake you just made is nothing? Think again. If you know you made a mistake, fix it. Right then, and right there. Just imagine: there might be little mistakes you’re making without even knowing it.

We don’t say that to worry you, only to point out that you should fix what you know you’ve done wrong. If you fix what you know, you’ll be helping those mistakes you don’t even know you’re making wind up not such a big deal after all.

Let’s try convincing you another way, just in case: If you can see the mistake now, you’ll always be able to see it. Others might be able to see it, too, then.

Either way, it’ll always bother you. Help your later self out by not getting lazy now.

Start strong. Finish stronger.

It’s easy to start strong.

You’re excited about the prospect of all that could be, and you haven’t felt beleaguered by the work yet.

As you get toward the end, and you begin seeing the room finally come together anew, you’re tempted to rush through those last few steps. You just want to stand back and admire the renovation already. We get that. But just keep reminding yourself of how much better it’ll be to admire work that you know has been completed as well as is possible.

We’re here to help you avoid bathroom renovation mistakes.

ABL Tile & Bathroom Centre is an industry leader in design and affordability, helping you avoid bathroom renovation mistakes is our speciality.

We stock a wide range of quality tiles and accessories for bathrooms, all at great prices. From underfloor heating to heated towel rails, from storage cabinets to vanities, from shower screens to tiling tools, we’ve got it all.

Get the bathroom you want, at a price that suits you.

Need a little inspiration? Come by our showroom.

Need an expert opinion? Come across some other bathroom renovation mistakes that we should know about? Get in touch.

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