29/09/2023  •  , ,

Common Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Bathroom Remodel

Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes

Even small bathrooms can have a significant impact. It is essential to carefully design your home's remodel to have both quality and functionality.


This is true whether you have a luxurious master suite or a bathroom that is tight on space. Unfortunately, even the most well-intentioned homeowners can make common mistakes that lead to a ruined bathroom renovation.


Luckily, we are here to help!


Deslaurier has over four decades of experience helping design customized bathrooms in Ottawa and Renfrew. We take great pride in our profound industry knowledge and participating in various bathroom designs or renovations. We know all the dos and don'ts, so we are here to help you ensure your bathroom remodel is a dream and not a disaster!


Below, we will discuss the common mistakes many homeowners make when planning and executing a bathroom remodel. If you learn to avoid these, you can stay on track and make sure your renovation goes according to plan.


Table of Contents

Lack of Proper Planning

Underestimating Cost & Timeline

Overlooking Permits

Poor Space Utilization & Storage

Not Planning for Proper Drainage

Neglecting Ventilation

Ignoring the Importance of Lighting

DIY vs. Professional Help

Design with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets 


Lack of Proper Planning


Benjamin Franklin once famously said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Although he may have said this back in 1790, it is still true today regarding bathroom remodels.


Like kitchens, bathroom renovations can be costly and time-consuming. If not planned accordingly, they can quickly get off budget and timeline. Let's review the most significant mistakes regarding the need for proper planning.


Ignoring Functional Needs


When planning your renovation, consider how you will use the space. This should include if you need one or two sinks for getting ready in the morning or dividing the wet and dry zones in the space.


This room is one that will get a lot of use, so planning for how you will use it each day is important.




Not Considering Future Needs


Although it can be hard to plan for everything in the future, considering planned needs is important in a bathroom remodel.


If you are a young couple and plan on children, a tub that accommodates bathing kids over a shower will be wise. Similarly, if you may have aging parents living with you in the future, considering their accessibility and safety will also be important.


Not considering these can lead to costly additions or changes in the future or a bathroom that doesn't function for your family.


Underestimating Cost & Timeline


Realistic Budgeting & Contingency Funds


In a perfect world, all big or small renovations would run perfectly on time and stay on budget. Even better if they come in under budget!


Unfortunately, the reality is that most projects will hit snags and bumps in the road. It is crucial to have a contingency budget of typically 10-15% of the total budget set aside to cover anything that may pop up.


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Not doing so may lead to your remodelling coming to a screeching halt. Making sure you budget for materials, labour, and unexpected costs will make your renovation go much more smoothly.


Communication with Contractors


Contractors during a bathroom remodelling project should be someone you communicate with daily throughout the process.


One of the big mistakes homeowners make is assuming that their contractors know precisely what they want and the homeowner should be hands-off during the work.


Of course, you don't want to micromanage your contractor and their crew, but you do want to ask for regular updates, have conversations about any snags or hiccups that happen, and get a chance to see how the project is progressing.


Open communication means less headaches and frustration when issues arise and it is too late to change the room's features.


Realistic Timelines


When remodelling an important room like the bathroom, it is natural to want that renovation completed as soon as possible. After all, you use that room every day, so a timeline that is too long can disrupt you and your family's lives.


On the flip side, rushing a renovation can also lead to costly mistakes or work that is not as high quality as you would like.


Sit down with your designer and contractor to ensure you set realistic timelines for your bathroom remodel. You will be glad you had that conversation when the project runs more efficiently.


Your contractor is likely to give you the best estimate they can, but lead times are often inaccurate. That’s why it is important to stay informed of any changes and to help stay realistic on completion time.


Overlooking Permits


Understanding Permit Requirements


Another thing that can bring a renovation to a grinding halt? Having to stop work because you or your contractor did not obtain the proper permits.


Ensure your contractor is current on all the local building codes and regulations and that all permits are in place before starting any work.


Identifying Required Permits


Your contractor should be well-educated in the different types of permits that may be needed, but it is always a good idea to learn about them yourself. Plumbing, electrical, and building permits will all have different regulations and rules.


If you'd like to learn more, check out our article here on whether your bathroom renovation is structural or cosmetic and if you need a permit under the Ontario Building Act.


Poor Space Utilization & Storage


Choosing the Right Vanity & Storage Solutions

Storage is of the utmost importance in any bathroom. Choosing the right size vanity and designing storage solutions that utilize closets and vertical space will make your space much more functional.


If you’re looking for guidance on choosing the right vanity, check out our article here. Take advantage of clever ways to increase the efficiency in your bathroom.


Oversized Fixtures


Choosing the right size fixtures is a significant detail to pay attention to. You don't want to go too small, as your fixtures can appear lost or out of place in the room, but an oversized fixture can cause just as much of a problem.


An oversized fixture can take up valuable space in your room and cause it to look cluttered or claustrophobic.


Make sure to talk to your designer or contractor to make sure the proper scale fixtures are installed.


Not Planning for Proper Drainage


Improper drainage planning for your remodel can not only cause issues with the bathroom itself but can have long-term effects on your foundation or lead to mould and mildew issues due to standing water, water leaking back into walls, and many other problems.


This is why it is crucial that you work with a licensed contractor and plumber to make sure all your bases are covered.


These experts will ensure the correct drains are chosen, all sloping and grading, and everything is correctly installed to code and waterproofed.


Over time, water can cause expensive and possibly hazardous damage to your property and health, so it is not something to DIY or skimp out on when it comes to budget and expertise.


Neglecting Ventilation


Insufficient ventilation and inadequate fan placement can cause health issues, increase the likelihood of peeling or cracking paint in your bathroom, and a host of other problems.


All bathrooms need proper ventilation to remove the humidity caused by the shower. Fans must be appropriately placed above or near the shower area and vented to the outside to prevent the trapping of humid air in the ceiling or other locations.


One of the most significant impacts of neglecting ventilation in your bathroom remodels is that it increases the likelihood that you will deal with mould and mildew in the future.


Whether by including fans or windows in your space, you can reduce the harmful bacteria and the need to clean with harsh chemicals to remove it.


Indoor air quality in your bathroom and other areas of your home can be directly impacted by neglecting ventilation, so it is important to have fans or windows included in your bathroom remodelling plans.


Ignoring the Importance of Lighting


Not everyone can add natural lighting to their bathroom remodel, but it is a worthwhile investment if you can.


Natural light in a bathroom can allow you to bring in plants and is ideal for makeup application, so the look you see in the bathroom mirror is the same as you will see outside your home.


When choosing the right light fixture for your bathroom, you can learn a lot from our article on the topic. It will help you understand the best ways to choose a fixture that gives you the perfect amount of light for your space.


Don’t forget to add task lighting to your renovation, either. For a bathroom remodel where shaving, makeup application, or hair styling is done, it is important to install strategically placed task lighting. Only including generalized or ambient lighting is not going to cut it.


Energy efficiency in your lighting also should not be overlooked as you implement fixture choices in your bathroom for any renovation.


Most new fixtures on the market will feature energy-efficient bulbs that can bring the right colour family of lighting and brightness to your space. They also benefit your wallet, operating for much less than your traditional bulbs.


DIY vs. Professional Help


With all the do-it-yourself shows and YouTube tutorials at our fingertips, it's very easy to overestimate our skills on home improvement projects.


While it is true that many tasks can be tackled with patience, the right tools, and thorough instructions, it's essential to ensure you know where to draw the line with your skills. When it comes to jobs an expert should be tackling, it is always wise to defer to one.


Speaking of experts, nothing can derail a bathroom remodel faster than hiring an unqualified contractor. Make sure to take the time to interview and get quotes from several and ensure you are working with a licensed and bonded company.


Remember that this is all about balancing cost and quality.


Design With Deslaurier Custom Cabinets


We hope all these tips above will help you navigate your bathroom remodelling project without making the mistakes that can ruin your renovation and cost you both time and money.


If you’re in need of custom cabinets for your upcoming kitchen project, Deslaurier has everything you need! With over 40 years of experience in our name, we provide our clients with a fully customized design process with our talented team of designers


Book a consultation today with a Deslaurier design expert at our Ottawa Showroom or schedule a virtual meeting! 


Live outside the area? Visit our Find a Dealer page to connect with a Deslaurier dealer near you! Interested in becoming an authorized Deslaurier dealer? Visit our Become a Dealer page to learn more!


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