Most people want to ensure every aspect of their home is stylish, comfortable and inspires glee.

While we may not necessarily need magazine or showroom-quality designs, it helps to have a room that meets our stringent standards for quality and overall comfort.

If you are considering taking steps to renovate a bathroom, it’s important to make sure you get things right from the start. Otherwise, you will find yourself having to redo things. That could not only be financially draining; it will also take a big chunk from your valuable time.

To help with your bathroom renovation, here are some of the top mistakes that amateurs make — avoid them.

1. Failing to Budget Accurately

So, you have a set amount in the bank that you know you cannot go over, and it is up to you to stick to that amount no matter what.

You must make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle. To do this, get detailed quotes from contractors that include labor as well as all materials for the work you want finished.

Once you have the quote you like, add an extra 20 percent onto it just in case you have more materials to buy or in case you change your mind about the type of paint or other material you plan to use.

Don’t be unrealistic with your budget and assume you can cut corners and find cheap materials if you have never taken on a bathroom remodel before, or if you do not already know the cost of everything.

Always set your overall budget higher than the expected, projected cost so you won’t find yourself stuck in the middle with no money to finish everything as it needs to be finished.

CC by Infrogmation, WikiMedia Commons / color corrected / License:

2. Neglecting to Spot Mold and Mildew

Nothing ruins the ambiance of a beautiful new bathroom more than mold and mildew.

Not only is it unsightly, but depending on the type of mold growth, it can cause allergic reactions in people as well as breathing difficulty for those with asthma, COPD, lung disease and other illnesses.

You need to check for signs of water damage including water stains, soft walls, loose or missing tiles and noticeable spores or foul odors.

The bathroom is prone to water damage; making sure any mold or mildew growth is taken care of is important before you find yourself spending more later to repair or replace weakened walls, flooring, studs and more.

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3. Forgetting About Basic Functionality

You may spot a beautiful set of cabinets listed for a great price, but you must measure every millimeter of space in the bathroom to make sure you have enough room to include the things you want.

Without the space, you may find you have cabinet doors that will never open, bathroom doors that swing the wrong way and make it impossible to get in or out of the room, or fixtures that just won’t fit in the room.

Could you imagine purchasing a beautiful clawfoot bathtub only to discover that it is far too wide to fit in the space you have available?

It is very easy to get carried away by designer products only to be let down when you find they just won’t function inside the space you have.

4. Not Using P-Traps

If you have a sink, you should use a P-Trap. On many older homes, the plumbing had one exit with no trap to prevent sewer gas from leaking into the home. This meant that families would often endure horrible smells drifting into the house as well as dangerous fumes.

The P-Trap creates a barrier between the living area of a home and the sewer gases. It also makes it much easier to unclog drains because older cleanout drains are not always easy to access but a P-Trap can easily be popped off from under a sink and cleaned out before being replaced.

5. Relocating Bathroom Fixtures

According to, many homeowners make the mistake of trying to relocate their bathroom fixtures during a remodel.

Yes, the overall goal of a remodel is to have a new room design to feel great about when it is finished, but unless there is a major necessity for moving your bathtub across the room to where the sink is now or moving the toilet to a space where there is not a plumbing line already installed, you are just going to increase your cost.
For most people, keeping cost down while renovating is a big goal.

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6. Forgetting About Storage Space

Every bathroom needs adequate storage space and whether this is a closet or even a free-standing cabinet, vanity, wall unit or other piece, you need to incorporate a storage area.

This place will house towels, toiletries, cosmetics, medications and other bathroom items so they will be easy to grab when you need them.

The Broan InVent decorative fan hides ventilation in plain sight.

7. Lacking Proper Ventilation

Many older homes were equipped with windows over the shower, but today, many homes are built with no windows in the bathroom. And if you have no viable source of ventilation, it’s important to install a unit during your remodel.

You can pick up a ventilation fan at a local hardware store. Choose within your budget but there are many styles that offer ventilation, heat and light for little money.

Your ventilation must be vented to the great outdoors or it can set up the perfect situation for mold growth inside your attic or crawl space.

Proper ventilation can help prevent odors from lingering in the bathroom, but more importantly, ventilation helps clear moisture from the air that can attract termites; it also helps to lower the risk of issues that can cause expensive repairs later.

8. Foregoing Caulking

The best way to ensure that everything is caulked correctly and installed just the right way is to hire a licensed contractor who has experience with bathroom renovations.

If you plan to DIY the renovation, follow directions closely to ensure your bathroom will function correctly and will last for years to come.

To caulk around your tub, sink or countertops, it is easy to use a caulk gun rather than a squeeze tube to get a perfect line of caulk. Keep the caulk gun moving to avoid squeezing too much in one spot and most importantly, use the right caulk for the job.

For tubs and showers, use silicone, as it is waterproof and will last. For countertops, you can use rubber and latex caulk but when caulking in the bathroom, silicone is going to work best.

A bathroom renovation can be exciting, but while you may want to surge ahead and get started on a whim, it’s important to take time to consider your budget and design plans.

If you are in doubt about anything at all, it is best to work with a licensed contractor who has experience with bathroom renovations.

Whether they take over the job entirely or just offer a little advice, it’s a good idea to bring someone in who can help when needed.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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