The Dos and Don’ts of a Bathroom Remodel

A bathroom remodel can be a stressful endeavor, whether it's a DIY job or you hire a professional. However, when done right, the payoff can be significant.

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A bathroom remodel can be a stressful endeavor, whether it’s a DIY job or you hire a professional. However, when done right, the payoff can be enormous. If you’re getting ready to embark on a bathroom remodel, you want to get it right. You know you need to set a budget (and stick to it), have a plan and set a realistic timeline, but there’s so much more to think about. Here’s a look at some dos and don’ts of a bathroom remodel.

What You Should Do

Choose the right surfaces for a bathroom

The surfaces you choose for your bathroom remodel should not only contribute to the overall aesthetic, they should be able to handle plenty of moisture. Porcelain tile is a favorite among bathroom designers when it comes to not only flooring, but walls and bathroom sinks because it resists staining, bacteria and odors, according to Build Direct. A tip: Opt for larger tiles to minimize grout lines and make upkeep easier.

Remember to follow all local building codes and have inspections done

If your bathroom remodel is a DIY project, you may be tempted to skip the often-pricey permits and inspections. However, this may result in some costly mishaps down the road (faulty wiring that results in a fire or leaking plumbing leaking through your ceiling). If you hire a contractor, they generally handle permits and inspections.

Remember to add storage

While you may be tempted to cut out storage to go for a larger walk-in shower or a longer vanity, you may regret this decision later. When planning your bathroom remodel, consider where you’ll keep bathroom essentials, linens and first-aid items.

What You Shouldn’t Do

Move fixtures unless you have to

Moving plumbing during a bathroom remodel may cost you big time. Unless you are dealing with a very challenging or cramped space, try your best not to make changes to your home’s plumbing system as it’s not always worth the extra expense. In some cases you can triple your plumbing costs if you rearrange the layout of the toilet, sink and shower, Nick Schiffer, owner of NS Builders, told Architectural Digest.

Forget about ventilation and lighting

Make sure the space is properly ventilated as moisture breeds mold and mildew and can take its tool on finishes and surfaces. In addition, you’ll want to ensure your bathroom has plenty of light. Install a ceiling fixture for general light, but depending on the layout of your bathroom, you may want to add sconces near the vanity and task lighting in a shower.

Be too distracted by trends

When planning your bathroom remodel, think about the long term. While you may be tempted to add a trendy mirror, lighting or tile, don’t go overboard when bringing your bathroom up-to-date, as trends come and go. Opt for practical fixtures that won’t lose their appeal in the next few years.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.