10 Common Bathroom Renovating Mistakes
Posted on: January 28, 2022
10 Common Bathroom Renovating Mistakes
Budget overruns, poor product selection, and missed deadlines are every renovator’s worst fear, yet they’re far more common in renovation projects than you may imagine. While this may appear to be nothing short of a nightmare, there are quite a few tips to overcome or even fully prevent some of the most common mistakes.
Here is a list of some of the most typical bathroom renovating mistakes and recommendations on how to prevent them from achieving your most desirable results.
Low budget thinking
There is an ever-widening selection of bathroom remodeling product manufacturers today. That can translate to a wide variety of pricing choices. Before you settle on the least expensive materials on the market, hire a design-build firm with a showroom that represents numerous manufacturers in tile, cabinetry, fixtures, and flooring. A good contractor can help you balance high and lower-end materials to fit your budget without sacrificing quality.
Keeping old electrical
If you own a much older home, be sure to have a reputable, licensed, electrician examine your current system. Most often there will be electrical upgrades required to bring the system up to code. These are a given. For 10-year-old homes, or older, consider that your demands for electrical power have likely increased over the past ten years, so an update to the system for more amps is always a good idea. It’s also a good idea to replace old fuse boxes with circuit breakers which are more capable of handling electrical fluctuations. Updating wiring will allow for the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting, heated flooring, and GFCI outlets.
Keeping old plumbing
Galvanized pipes are usually ready for replacement when the bathroom is ready for updating. Most homeowners regret attempting to save the old piping. Old pipes are ‘built up’ and threaded galvanized pipe joints are usually frozen tight from corrosion and difficult for even the most reputable plumber to disassemble without breaking. Plan on replacing the entire pipe run. The potential problems can far outweigh the benefits of saving the pipe.
Using wrong materials
Making appropriate choices in materials is most important. Choosing the wrong type of flooring, for instance, compromises not just the flooring, but also the underlying structure of subflooring, underlayment, and joists. Ceramic tile, porcelain tile, luxury vinyl plank, and sheet vinyl flooring tend to work best because they shed water. Solid hardwood, engineered wood, and laminate flooring are rarely good options. In a pinch, site-finished wood flooring can be made to work for a while, but decay is inevitable. Any kind of stone will need to come pre-sealed, or sealed by your contractor, plus, natural stone will need occasional resealing to keep moisture from permeating into the surface of the stone.
Trying to reuse old materials
Reusing old materials can cut costs, for sure, but sometimes it cuts corners on quality or safety. Tile is almost guaranteed to crack or break during the removal process, and most contractors charge a premium to be extra careful during demolition. Reusing countertops, if you’re not changing the size of the underlying cabinetry or the shape or size of sinks can be a safe bet, but like tile, there is a very good chance of cracking when removed. Light fixtures are more reusable than items such as plumbing fixtures, as long as they are UL certified. Replace them if the wiring is shot. You can pay to rewire beat-up light fixtures, but it’s likely that the cost to refurbish them will be as much as buying new fixtures. It’s important to be aware that most remodelers won’t warrant any items you reuse as the history of the items is unknown.
Not waterproofing shower walls correctly
Professional installation is your best bet to avoid costly repairs down the road. A trustworthy contractor will explain the differences in products and brands and the manufacturer warranties they offer. Inadequate waterproofing can cause leaks that slowly spread to other areas. By the time the symptoms become visible, you can be sure the damage has spread extensively behind the scenes. In some cases, you will need to remove walls and panels to repair the damage which can be very expensive.
Wrong bathtub or shower base installation
All shower pans and bathtubs are not created equal. There are different types of shower bases and bathtubs, from acrylic to steel to cast iron, and each of those has a different type of installation. Some need to be set in mortar mix, thin-set, or other products; others need support with lumber. The wrong type of product, or the wrong installation can cost thousands to replace. If you need to remove and replace a bathtub, you will need to not only remove the tile around it, but the waterproofing as well. So be careful. Invest in the right product and an experienced installer. You will be glad you did.
Bathrooms should not have smooth porcelain tiles or other glossy finishes on floors and in custom showers, as it is simple to slip when wet. It is preferable to use tiles specifically made for bathroom floors and custom shower floors. Working with a bathroom remodeling firm that owns a showroom and is knowledgeable about products available in the remodeling industry today, will be able to help you select the tiles best suited for your project.
Not working with a designer
The truth is designers can cost money upfront. So are they worth the investment? The answer is a resounding YES! From the outset, designers concentrate on proactive problem-solving. As a single point of contact throughout a remodel, they offer convenience, continuity, cohesiveness, and, most importantly, collaboration. A good designer maximizes the flow and function of your space, keeping in mind that you are the expert on your home and your family. You benefit from their education, experience, and knowledge of the best materials, but the most important benefit of hiring a designer is that you will see the finished product prior to installation. Can you imagine deciding you don’t absolutely love your chosen materials or layout once the installation is underway or even complete? Your choice is either to live with your original vision, or buy new materials and pay again for installation. A designer with extensive product and installation experience saves you money, time, and frustration by showing you just how your dream kitchen will look BEFORE your project ever begins!
Not working with licensed professionals
These are the big ones folks! Using unlicensed professionals, professionals who do not pull permits, or professionals who do not arrange for required inspections, are mistakes you clearly don’t want to make. Sure you want to save money, and your neighbor told you about his friend who knows another friend who knows how to do…(you get it), but ask yourself these questions: How will I secure my funds if I work with an unlicensed contractor? How will I know if my project is up to code without permits and inspections? What will happen if I have a fire due to bad electrical work? What will happen if there is a major plumbing leak? What will be my warranty if the installation goes bad? The answers are: financial institutions that won’t work with you, insurance companies that deny your claims for electrical and plumbing damages, and, well, what can be said about remodeling contractors who do not guarantee their work?
To be cost effective in creating the beautiful, bathroom oasis of your dreams, it is important to avoid common renovation blunders. For that, you must plan and prepare for every aspect of the project in advance. Trademark Construction specializes in doing just that for you. Each project develops under the supervision of expert interior designers. Known for their impeccable renovation projects, Trademark’s expert staff leaves zero room for mistakes. On that, you can bet! If you are ready to renovate your Bathroom, call Trademark Construction! 410-633-2308.