Remodeling a bathroom is one of the most common home improvement projects that American homeowners undertake. It’s not quite as costly as adding a spare bedroom or renovating the kitchen, and it provides great satisfaction on a daily basis. Who doesn’t dream of showering in the morning in their dream bathroom, with a huge mirror in which to do your makeup or shave, with heated floors warming your toes and a spa-like atmosphere right in your very home? It’s a great thought. Remodeling your bathroom, however, is also fraught with risks, especially if you go the DIY route instead of working with a professional contractor. A well-built bathroom has a lot of moving parts, and that’s not a machine that you want to venture against with limited plumbing and construction skill. Here are some of the top mistakes that people make when remodeling their bathroom. Get to know these slip-ups, so that they don’t happen to you!

86’ing the bathtub

It’s become quite popular nowadays to nix a conventional bathtub in favor of a standup shower. The shower takes up less room in what is probably already a cramped space, and maybe you don’t like baths, so you don’t see the need for a tub. Look out for this decision, unless you are positive that you are living in your forever home and have absolutely no plans to move in the future, near or distant. Why? Well, because for a lot of homebuyers or prospective tenants, the lack of a bathtub can make or break their deal. This is usually because of small children, whether the future owner is a parent or grandparent. You really need a bathtub in which to bathe small kids. Other people treat baths as a vital element of self-care, especially with the variety and availability of bath-bombs, handcrafted soaps, and artisinal oils. All things considered, it’s really just best to put the bathtub back in.

Insufficiently ventilating the space

BATHROOMS NEED VENTILATION, YOU GUYS. It’s that important. It’s not one of the more glamorous details of planning a bathroom, but the fact is that the steam, odors, and moisture from your regular bathroom activities all need a place to go so that you don’t experience a massive case of mold. As if that wasn’t already gross and nasty enough, insufficient aeration could lead to mildew or persistent odors, say the pros. Therefore, its utterly essential to plan for an exhaust fan in budget when you are working out your costs. And buyer beware: with these fans, you often get what you pay for. You can generally find deep discounts on tile, fixtures, even granite for your countertops – but be wary of the discounted exhaust fan if you want your bathroom to remain clean, healthy, and non-stinky.

Falling in love with marble

If you ask your average homeowner what material they’d like for their dream bathroom’s floor, many of them will say “marble.” Marble flooring is a byword for elegance and chic taste when outfitting a bathroom, but the truth is that marble bathroom flooring is overrated by quite a lot. First of all, let’s talk about the elements of marble: it’s cold, and it’s slippery. Unless you live in balmy climes (read: not Philadelphia), you are going to absolutely hate that moment every morning when you emerge from the deliciously steamy warmth of your shower and step off your bath mat onto that freezing stone. And if you have young kids, older folks, or people who are just plain uncoordinated in your home, you are facing a slip-and-fall hazard with every bathing. To add to the complications, it is also ridiculously tough to maintain.

“The porous nature of marble makes it highly susceptible to stains and damage from beauty products, especially when marble surfaces aren’t regularly sealed,” Massimo Ballucchi, director of marketing for Cosentino, told

Yeah, that’s not an attractive trait in a bathroom floor. Can you imagine dropping your compact and not only destroying your palette, but having smears of highlighter and contour all smashed into the veins of your marble? Epic fail. Modern, manmade marble alternatives like Silestone and Dekton are nearly indestructible, non-porous, and require no maintenance whatsoever.

DIY’ing your tile

Okay, so you love Young House Love, Fixer Upper, and every other DIY home improvement form of media out there. Armed with a YouTube video and a spatula, you may feel confident in your ability to lay the tile in your bathroom by yourself. To that, I say: slow down, cowboy. There are too many homeowners who try their hand at tiling for the first time on their bathroom remodel, or, worse, they give money to an unqualified and/or unlicensed “contractor” to do the job. A dismal tile job is not just a cosmetic problem. A shoddy job could leave water seeping into your walls and floors, which is a structural disaster. Unless you like the idea of a leaky shower, it’s best to budget for a tiling pro to come do the job… unless you have extensive DIY tile experience and are confident in your ability to get things done right.

In conclusion, there are a few pitfalls that you need to avoid like the plague when you are remodeling your bathroom. So many of them are design or execution flaws that it really makes sense to spend the money and hire someone who does bathrooms for a living. Even if you only use a designer and DIY the rest, or DIY your design and hire a contractor, you are much less likely to run into these costly mistakes.


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