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Avoid These Common Bathroom Renovation Mistakes

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Photo: Dmitrii Erekhinskii (Shutterstock)

Whether you’re doing a gut renovation of your bathroom and starting over from scratch, or giving yours a cosmetic refresh, keep in mind that the road to your dream bathroom doesn’t always run smooth. In fact, with so much happening—plumbing, electrical, furniture, tiles, extremely heavy fixtures, etc.—there are plenty of opportunities for errors.

One way to avoid those errors is to learn from where other people went wrong. Here are a few examples of common mistakes that take place during bathroom renovations, so you know better than to repeat them.

Common bathroom renovation mistakes to avoid

Of course, a lot depends on the extent of your renovation, when your home was built, your budget, and how much of the project you’re doing yourself, but here are some mistakes that could occur—in some form—in most bathroom renovations:

Not taking ventilation into consideration

Considering all the hot water being used in the bathroom, it needs at least one form of ventilation. If you’re doing a gut renovation, consider adding an exhaust fan if you don’t have one already, or upgrading the one you have there now.

If you’re relying on a window for ventilation, be sure to keep it easily accessible (i.e. don’t put a big piece of furniture in front of it, or install curtains that get in the way).

Overcrowding the space

As far as rooms go, bathrooms tend to be on the smaller side, so keep the space as open as possible. This means paying attention to the dimensions of fixtures like toilets, sinks, and tubs, and not adding unnecessary decor or furniture that make maneuvering in the room tricky. This is especially true when it comes making sure there is a clear path to the toilet.

Installing the wrong amount and type of lighting

The bathroom is typically the room people use for things like shaving, putting on makeup, or getting a close enough look at their face to decide whether or not to pop a pimple. For this reason, the bathroom should be well-lit.

At the same time, you also don’t want your bathroom to be so brightly lit that it doesn’t provide the relaxing atmosphere you want while soaking in the tub, or that fully wakes you up on a middle-of-the-night trip to the bathroom.

This is something many people realize post-renovation, after only installing a single light fixture that can only be turned on or off. Ideally, you want layered lighting in your bathroom—meaning installing dimmable fixtures, and additional sets of lights (like brighter, vanity bulbs) around the mirror that can be turned on or off as needed.

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