Common Bathroom Mistakes Owner-Renovators Make

Posted January 20, 2020

Planning the perfect new bathroom or bathroom renovation takes careful consideration and there are many areas where this job can go astray. Unless this is your trade, you should always engage the services of certified tradesman who can provide the necessary certificates and insurances. These are some of the common mistakes owner-renovators often make when doing bathroom renovations.

Unsuitable materials

All surfaces in the bathroom should be impervious to moisture or you could face issues with rot, swelling or discolouration. It’s actually quite common for people to use MDF in a bathroom for architraves. Many homeowners are falsely led to believe that provided the MDF is triple-sealed it will not absorb moisture. Rest assured, MDF will eventually absorb water and should never be used in a bathroom. Finger-jointed pine or hardwood is your safest bet and of course ensure it is properly primed and sealed.

Not planning your fixtures and fittings ahead of time

Ensuring you have a well-planned out bathroom with fixtures that fit together and make the best use of space is critical. A good bathroom renovation will use planning software so you can make any adjustments ahead of time as you can actually see what the end result will look like. In a bathroom where space is limited, millimeters make all the difference. You will want to ensure the fixtures work together – or you could be hit with a very expensive bill to fix the problem or source overpriced fixtures simply because you haven’t allowed enough room.

Not purchasing enough tiles (with some spares for possible repairs in the future)

What a disaster it would be to discover you had purchased too few tiles and you were unable to source more of the same. You should always allow for extras in the vicinity of 20% of the wall and floor tiles in case repairs should be required in the future. Chips or damage due to household movement are very common, not to mention the potential for removing tiles due to leaks or damage in the future. It’s always best to allow for extra.

Overcapitalising on your bathroom

This is becoming increasingly easy to do. Bathrooms are more than just a place to get clean, these days owners want a luxurious haven away from the bustle of everyday life, a place to recharge and refresh. The difference in price between very similar fixtures can be enormous, and spending more does not always equal a better result. When it comes to resale value, you want to ensure you are not putting your dollars into a money pit that you will never see again. A good bathroom renovation should represent no more than 1.5% of the total cost of the property.

DIY waterproofing

One of the most common issues in a bathroom is a leaking shower and it usually is an expensive problem to fix. Employing the services of a certified waterproofing tradesman is essential, then ensuring you are provided with a waterproofing certificate and warranty. If you sell your house you will be required to provide the waterproofing certificate to the new owner.

Since a waterproofing membrane is easy to damage, keep an eye on any following trades such as tiling – as a simple nick in the membrane from a broken tile or tiler’s trowel could spell costly repairs down the track. For peace of mind, it is recommended to use the same tradesman or business for the whole bathroom renovation, this way they remain liable for each step within the bathroom renovation or repair.

Poor ventilation

This one is pretty straight-forward. Poor ventilation could lead to all sorts of unsavoury issues and expensive repairs due to dampness. From peeling paint, bad smell, damage to ceilings and fixtures and mould issues. Don’t forget mould is a health hazard with links to autoimmune disease, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and other very serious issues.

Removing the bathtub

Not having a bathtub in a house or unit drastically reduces its value as you will not appeal to a large chunk of the market – families with young children. At least one of the bathrooms should have a bathtub as well as a shower.

Installing fixtures that are trendy or will date

We’ve all seen those bathrooms with pink bathtubs, busy tile borders and horrific gawdy vanities. Within a very short time frame, these expensive fixtures can date and make a bathroom lose its appeal, bringing the whole house down with it. It is always best to choose a classic set of fixtures and fittings that will work for many years to come.

Poor drainage

This is another reason why you should always engage a proper certified tradesman who will ensure the fall (angle of the floor and tiling) and drainage is suitable for the room. Too much fall and you’re left with an unsightly bathroom that looks unfinished, while too little, you end up with dampness and drainage issues. The best fall in a bathroom is almost undetectable.

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