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Avoid These 7 Pitfalls in Your Next Bathroom Remodel

March 3, 2024
Bathroom remodel frustrations

Embarking on a bathroom remodel or renovation is no small feat. Whether it's a full-scale overhaul or a modest bathroom makeover, the process can be both exhilarating and daunting.

However, a successful bathroom remodel near you hinges on avoiding common pitfalls that could turn your dream space into a regrettable venture.

From not having a concrete remodeling plan to choosing style over function, let’s dive into the seven common bathroom remodel mistakes to steer clear of and ensure your project shines with success.

1. Not Having a Remodeling Plan in Place

Diving into a bathroom remodel without a solid plan is like setting sail without a map; you might find some exciting discoveries along the way, but you're far more likely to get lost. Starting your project with a detailed plan ensures you stay on course, meeting both your aesthetic and functional needs.

This plan should outline everything from the layout and design elements to the timeline and budget. It acts as a roadmap for your project, helping to identify potential challenges before they become problematic. By taking the time to plan thoroughly, you can prioritize the features most important to you, whether that's a walk-in shower, dual vanities, or ample storage space. Plus, a well-considered plan keeps communication clear between you, your contractors, and any other professionals involved, making it easier to stay aligned on your vision and expectations.

A strategic approach not only optimizes your space but also ensures a smoother remodeling process, reducing the likelihood of costly and time-consuming mistakes. Remember, the more detailed your plan, the more confident and prepared you'll feel as you transform your bathroom into the sanctuary of your dreams.

2. Not Setting a Realistic Budget

Setting a realistic budget is the cornerstone of any successful bathroom remodel. Many homeowners dive into renovations with an idealistic vision, only to be met with unforeseen expenses and costs that rapidly escalate.

To sidestep this common pitfall, begin by doing thorough research on material costs, labor rates, and any potential permits or fees that may be required. It's wise to consult with professionals who can provide detailed estimates and insights into areas where you might save or splurge.

Crucially, always include a contingency fund of at least 10-20% of your total budget to cover unexpected issues that may arise during the remodeling process. This proactive approach not only prevents financial stress but also ensures you can make decisions based on value and long-term satisfaction, rather than cutting corners due to budget constraints.

Being realistic and upfront about what you can afford helps set the stage for a remodel that's both beautiful and financially manageable, allowing you to enjoy the fruits of your labor without the burden of overspending.

3. Sacrificing Function for Style

In the quest for a picture-perfect bathroom, it's easy to prioritize style over substance. However, this approach can lead to design choices that compromise the functionality and practicality of your space. Remember, the bathroom is one of the most used rooms in your home, serving essential daily routines.

It's crucial to blend aesthetics with utility. For instance, a sleek, minimalist sink might catch your eye, but if it lacks adequate counter space for your toiletries, it may not serve your needs well.

Similarly, an ultra-modern freestanding tub might embody the ultimate in luxury design, but if it doesn't fit comfortably into your bathroom's layout or your lifestyle, it becomes more of an obstacle than an asset. When planning your remodel, consider the balance between form and function. Choose fixtures and features that not only appeal to your design sensibilities but also cater to your practical needs.

Think about storage solutions that look good while keeping your essentials organized and within reach. By thoughtfully planning your space, you can achieve a bathroom that not only looks beautiful but also enhances your daily routine with its functionality.

4. Choosing Overly Trendy Styles

In the ever-evolving world of interior design, it's easy to fall victim to the charm of trendy bathroom styles that capture the moment's current vibe. However, the allure of these modern aesthetics can quickly wane, leaving your space feeling outdated before you know it.

The key to a lasting bathroom design lies in striking the perfect balance between current trends and timeless appeal. By opting for classic fixtures and neutral color schemes, you provide your bathroom with a solid foundation that stands the test of time.

Feel free to sprinkle in trendy elements through accessories or paint colors that can be easily and inexpensively updated as your taste or the trends change. This strategy allows you the flexibility to refresh your bathroom's look without undergoing another full remodel.

For those must-have trendy pieces, consider their longevity and how they might age over the next decade. It’s about creating a space that reflects your personal style while also keeping an eye on the future. By thoughtfully selecting design elements that blend the best of both worlds, you ensure your bathroom remains both functional and stylish, enduring through the years as a testament to thoughtful, savvy design choices.

5. Opting for Cheap Fixtures and Materials

Navigating the world of bathroom fixtures and materials can be akin to finding treasures in a sea of options. It’s understandable to gravitate towards deals that seem too good to pass up, especially when on a tight budget. However, skimping on quality for a lower price tag can lead to a series of unwelcome events down the line.

High-quality fixtures are not just a matter of aesthetic appeal; they're about enduring performance and reliability. They stand up to the daily wear and tear of bathroom activities, resisting corrosion, leaks, and breakages far better than their cheaper counterparts.

Opt for brands and materials with solid reputations for durability. While the initial outlay might be higher, consider this an investment in your home's future. These products often come with warranties or guarantees, offering peace of mind and protection against unexpected failures.

Furthermore, quality fixtures can significantly enhance the overall look of your bathroom, instilling it with a sense of elegance and style that is hard to achieve with budget items. Remember, every element you select plays a crucial role in the overall experience of your bathroom.

By choosing wisely, you're not just building a bathroom for today; you're crafting a space that will continue to deliver comfort, function, and beauty for many years to come.

6. Not Considering Grab Bars, Towel Hooks, and Other Accessibility Options

Overlooking the importance of grab bars, towel hooks, and other accessibility features in a bathroom remodel is a common oversight that can impact the functionality and safety of your space. Incorporating these elements is not just about catering to those with mobility issues; it's about creating a bathroom that's comfortable and accessible for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

Grab bars can be stylishly integrated into shower areas and beside toilets, providing support and stability. Towel hooks and rings placed at strategic heights not only keep towels within easy reach but also help maintain a clutter-free environment. These seemingly small additions can significantly enhance the user experience, making your bathroom more inclusive.

By thoughtfully including accessibility options in your design, you demonstrate a forward-thinking approach to home improvement, ensuring your bathroom remains adaptable and welcoming for years to come.

Remember, a well-designed bathroom is one that can be enjoyed by all, merging safety with elegance in a seamless fashion.

7. Accepting the Lowest Bid

Navigating the maze of quotes and bids from contractors for your bathroom remodel can be a complex affair. It's enticing to jump at the lowest offer that lands in your inbox, especially when budgets are tight.

However, this approach often comes with its set of challenges and risks. The lowest bid can sometimes signal that a contractor might be cutting corners, using inferior materials, or lacking in the requisite experience to bring your vision to life.

When selecting a contractor, it's important to look beyond the numbers. Delve into their portfolio of completed projects, read through client testimonials, and even request to speak with past clients if possible. This level of due diligence allows you to gauge the quality of their work and their reliability.

Remember, the goal is to find a balance between a fair price and high-quality workmanship. Choosing a contractor should be about trust and the assurance that they can execute your remodel to your satisfaction. It's worth investing a bit more upfront for a contractor who offers transparency, a clear timeline, and a detailed breakdown of costs.

This way, you ensure that your bathroom remodel is a rewarding investment rather than a costly oversight. Remember, the right contractor will not only respect your budget but also your vision, ensuring the finished project stands as a testament to quality and care.

About the Author

Justin Evans has been in the remodeling industry for over 20 years and has renovated hundreds of homes for customers and personally owned properties. Justin is the Owner of Integrity Home Renovators of Oklahoma, a full service remodeling company specializing in Kitchen and Bath remodels. Integrity Home Renovators, based in Oklahoma City, completes small scale renovation projects such as new waterproof grout free shower systems, tub to shower conversions, and kitchen cabinet refacing. Most of those projects are typically completed in 2-3 days. The Company also handles full scale design, demolition, and remodeling of bathrooms and kitchens that would include reconfiguring the layout, opening walls, open concept plans and down to the studs renovation, while offering free design services and design consultations. Justin can be reached at

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