Remodelling A Bathroom

What are the mistakes to avoid when remodelling a bathroom?

We all love our bathrooms. Especially given the kind of hectic lifestyle on our hands, we all need a space that is functional and great at treating our senses.

And without a doubt, nothing can beat bathrooms when it comes to providing complete solitude. But here is the thing: A huge part of that experience can be the aesthetic of the space and how easy it is on the eyes.

Now, I am sure that when you built your bathroom, you followed all the right rules and the latest trends. You probably spent money on texturising the walls, brought in design consultants who charged you a bomb, went berserk on fixtures and did all you could to make this room the style statement of your home…

…Yet that was years ago and times have changed, and so have the aesthetics we have come to expect from newer bathrooms. No longer do you find people preaching for an all-white bathroom as they did ten years ago it is one of the most abused features of most spaces.

So, if you find yourself grappling with the decision of remodelling your bathroom in the coming year — be sure to go for something classy and timeless. Also, try to steer clear of ideas which have been overused over the years, especially if you want a unique looking space.

A new bathroom remodelling project can be an exciting prospect, but it also requires careful consideration. While it may be fun to dream up new designs for your space, the process also involves practicality and forethought.

We spend a lot of time remodelling bathrooms, so we know firsthand that some bathroom remodelling mistakes are more common than others. Save yourself some stress and money by learning about these bathroom remodelling mistakes and how to avoid them.

At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.

Major Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your Bathroom

Remodelling A Bathroom


This is very easy to do in a wet area. What starts as a minor makeover can very quickly morph into money pit material? To avoid overcapitalising keep the total cost of the renovation below 1.5% of the value of the property.

Here are some tips For minimising costs :

  • Design for standard fixtures and fittings to avoid the expense of custom made.
  • Purchase all your tiles; tapware, sanitary ware, cabinets and accessories before you start. Watch sales and auctions for good buys.
  • Take photos of the existing fixtures and fittings in situ so that you can advertise on eBay or Gum tree to sell or give away and at the very least, reduce the rubbish removal fees.
  • If you are able to maintain the configuration of the bathroom, you can usually save on plumbing and the time and expense of the council approval process.

DIY waterproofing

One of the most common issues in a bathroom is a leaking shower, and it is an expensive item to fix. Best to do it right the first time by engaging a Certified-waterproofing tradesman and ensure that you are provided with a waterproofing certificate and warranty. If you sell your home following the bathroom renovation, you will be required to produce the waterproofing certificate.

Waterproofing tip: once the waterproofing is complete, keep an eye on the follow-up trades, particularly the tiler. A small nick in the waterproof membrane with the tillers trowel or a broken tile will compromise its integrity and may result in a leak.

Poor Ventilation

The definition of horror is finding tiny black specks of mould marching up your newly painted walls and ceilings. This is generally caused by poor ventilation. Even if you have good openable windows, you will still need an exhaust fan or IXL-tastic to extract the steam.

Tip Paint the walls with oil-based or mould-resistant bathroom to lessen the risk of mould taking hold.

Trying To Squeeze Too Much In

Avoid overcrowding the bathroom. If you have a separate toilet close by, don’t install one in the bathroom. Maximise space as much as possible to make the room less cluttered and more comfortable. If the room is too small for a bath and a shower, the shower over the bath is preferable to cramping the room. Wall hung cabinetry, and an in-wall toilet cistern will help preserve floor space.

Tip Sometimes simply changing the side the door swings from can improve the use of the space.

Poor Task Lighting

Many of bathroom activities require good lighting. Shaving, waxing applying makeup and hairstyling are difficult to do well in general ambient light. Including some well-designed task lighting is a must.

In short, install a large mirror over the basin or vanity along with some lighting that directs back onto the face. There are many sleek lighting options available rather than the dated Hollywood style makeup lights.

Removing The Bath

Taking a bath out of a home will affect the resale. It doesn’t matter which bathroom it is located in, just as long as there is one.

If there is already a bath in the home, a second will not add value.

Poor drainage

Every wet area floor requires “fall”. The floor must gently slope towards the floor waste to allow water to drain away efficiently. Large-format floor tiles make this difficult, particularly in a small bathroom.

The tiler sets the level of fall by laying a sand and cement screed (topping) that grades toward the waste. The tiles are then laid overtop. If the area is small and the tiles are large, they will be difficult to manipulate over the slope and require a lot of cuts. The maximum workable floor tile size is 300 X 300mm. If you have your heart set on large format tiles, then consider a linear floor waste.

A quick tip on linear floor wastes; If your design requires a linear floor waste that spans the room (2 metres) +)consider installing two at half the size. This will make cleaning much easier and will reduce the cost significantly.

Using Fixtures And Features That Date

We have all seen it: the chocolate sanitary ware and the gaudy border tiles. Your choice may be very on-trend when it is installed but within a short timeframe (within two years) will begin to look dated. By keeping your, fixtures, fittings and finishes very elegant and classical, you will ensure that your bathroom has broad appeal that lasts for a very long time.

Inappropriate Materials

All surfaces in the bathroom should be impervious to moisture; otherwise, it will swell, rot or discolour with time. This excludes softwood, non-waterproof MDF, & particleboard, and fabric. A porous stone such as travertine marble and hardwood should be sealed.

Not Enough Storage

Just like every other room in the house, storage is essential. You need room for cosmetics, medicines, products, hairdryers, straightener’s, shavers, dry towel and wet towels, and the list goes on. With smart storage, there is an appropriate place for everything.

  • Vanity drawers are easier to access than doors.
  • Over bench mirrored shaving cabinets are great for keeping items away from little fingers.
  • Include some wall recessed in the shower and by the bath for shampoos, soaps and the odd candle.
  • Heated towel rails are a must for family bathrooms, they have the capacity to store lots of towels, plus they will always be dry and fluffy.

Storage Tip; Mirrored shaving cabinets are available off the shelf in various sizes. You can achieve a very tailored look by having plasterboard recess built over the basins to install two or three in a line, Add some led strip lighting under the cabinet for some added style and Voila: you have ample storing AND style at a minimal cost.

Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

Failing to Commit to a Theme

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with options when it comes to a new bathroom. There are lots of possibilities – stand-up shower or copper tub, vanities or pedestal sinks, rustic chic or minimalist modern.

If you don’t take the time to pick an aesthetic and design a bathroom around a central theme, you could end up with an assortment of elements that don’t make sense when you put them together.

Start with a wide search, then narrow down your options and choose a theme that lets you narrow down the rest of your designing options.

Putting Off Color Decisions

A lot of people think of wall colour as a last-minute decision that they can make a ruling on later. Unfortunately, this is a mistake. It’s better to choose your wall colours at the beginning of your project while choosing other design elements like tubs and sinks.

Your wall colour must blend seamlessly with everything, from your floors to the sink fixtures. Therefore, everything you purchase for the bathroom must correspond to your original colour choice.

You’ll find more options regarding paint hues than tile colours, for instance, so you’ll want to pin down your colour scheme early. Leaving the most customisable elements for later can result in many revisited decisions, which only mean more time and money.

Skimping on the Important Stuff

It’s essential to stay within your budget, but the best remodelers know how to prioritise. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to get a copper tub when you can’t afford to put in a fan.

Fans remove moisture and prevent mould buildup on your walls. This concern is much more important than a luxury-style tub.

Spend your budget on the important elements and fill out the rest with luxury touches at the end.

Making the Wrong Decision for Space

If you’ve always dreamed of a stand-alone tub, you might not want to consider anything else. Unfortunately, the simple fact is that not every space can handle these elements.

Your bathroom might accommodate a shower combination best, or maybe your tiny bathroom can only handle a pedestal sink. It’s important to get what you want, but it’s equally essential to make smart decisions that make sense for your space.

Not Planning for Contingencies

You have a budget in mind, and it’s important that you stick to it. One mistake that people make is not having enough room in their budget for contingencies.

Too often, we see clients who save just enough for the bathroom of their dreams – only to discover that their older home needs serious updating to get up to code.

Having extra room in your budget will help you handle unforeseen roadblocks while accommodating the features you want.

Rushing the Process

Bathroom renovations take time – at least four to six weeks. Renovating your home can be inconvenient, with workers coming in and out and areas that are out of commission. However, rushing the process will only lead to more problems down the line. Give your workers plenty of time to handle the tub installation, flooring, electrical, and plumbing.

Step-by-Step Bathroom Renovation

Once you have your renovation plan in place, and you have all of the necessary tools and supplies, you can begin your renovation. The following is a step by step renovation guide that will take you through the basic renovations that most people perform in their bathrooms.

Before you begin: Full or partial bathroom renovations require you to work with your home’s plumbing, so make sure that you either have experience working with plumbing or have someone with you that has plumbing experience for best results. You don’t want to accidentally damage your home’s plumbing or find yourself needing to call in an emergency plumber due to busted plumbing lines or similar mistakes.

Step One: Remove fixtures first

If you’re doing a complete bathroom renovation, you will want to start with removing any fixtures that are going to be replaced during the process. This will allow you to start the room with an open, clean slate; in addition to this, removing fixtures will free up the rest of the room for cleaning, repairing and installing new fixtures and materials into the bathroom.

Ideally, begin with draining and then removing the toilet so that you will avoid unnecessary water spills or issues with the plumbing; then, if applicable, remove the bath tile before removing the bathtub itself. The last fixtures to remove are cabinets, vanities, mirrors, wall tiles and floor tiles. If you are installing new floor tiles and other fixtures, make sure that you have them nearby for easy access.

Step Two: Install new plumbing fixtures.

Once all of the old fixtures are gone, you can install the new fixtures, such as the bathtub, shower or sink. Do not install the toilet during this step–save it for last. You may need to adjust the wiring in the bathroom depending on the dimensions of the new fixtures–for instance, and your new vanity might be tall enough to cover up your electrical sockets, which means your sockets need to be moved; in this case, call in an electrician to work with your home’s wiring to avoid any unpleasant electrical accidents.

Step Three: Install floor tiles

If you are replacing the floor tiles in your bathroom, now is the time to put them down. Make sure that you use a chalk line to create reference lines so that your tiles will be straight, as otherwise, you might end up with something every DIY bathroom renovator dreads: uneven floor tiles. Don’t forget to grout in between the floor tiles.

Step Four: Place new drywall and paint

Your new drywall should be in place before you begin painting; make sure that you cover seams and gaps with drywall mud and tape so that you have a flat, even surface to work with before painting. If you are painting in the bathroom, you’ll want to pick up a paint that has a moisture-resistant finish in order to help prevent mould and mildew growth in the bathroom.

Step Five: Install new cabinets and vanities.

Once the walls are painted and finished, you can finally move on to installing any new cabinets and vanities. Go for the vanity first, so that you can install the sink and faucet, before moving on to the mirror, cabinets, and so on. If you’d like, you can add trim around the vanity for more aesthetic appeal.

Step Six: Make sure the plumbing is re-installed

If you had to remove plumbing elements during your renovation, you could finally re-install your toilet during this last step. It’s best to do this last to avoid any unnecessary problems with water spillage or potential plumbing line issues. Once the toilet is installed, make sure you give it a test to check if the plumbing is working properly in the bathroom again. 

The costs of renovating a bathroom

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) estimates there are around 233,188 bathroom renovation jobs in 2018–19. The average cost of a bathroom installed in new homes in this period is $16,430, and $17,522 as part of a renovation.

The actual cost of a bathroom renovation can vary dramatically from the average, of course. Archicentre Australia recommends you allow between $12,000 and $27,000 to fit out a bathroom or ensuite.

A formula to determine your bathroom renovation budget is to attribute two per cent of your current property value to the job.

For example, if you have a house worth $700,000, your fully furnished budget is $14,000 dollars.

Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.

What to do when things go awry

If you’ve been let down, are in financial dispute or disappointed with the quality of the workmanship of an Australian tradesperson, the consumer agency in your state can point you in the right direction for getting a resolution. 

If the agency can’t help you come to a resolution, or you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can take your complaint to the appropriate tribunal or court in your state or territory. These have the power to make a trader (or you) pay money, rectify services or excuse you from having to pay the full amount. 

You may also have rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which applies to all businesses and may cover your situation.

Services up to $40,000 are covered by ACL irrespective of the type of work done, while costs greater than that are also covered as long as they are normally bought for personal or household use. 

The ACL requires that the services provided by tradespeople are done with due care and skill, fit for a particular purpose and completed within a reasonable amount of time.

For further information, visit the ACCC website and for specific advice relating to your situation, seek appropriate legal advice.

Finally, everyone who has remodelled will tell you not to be too optimistic on your timeline. Your remodeler will give you their best guess as to project completion, but sometimes they will make discoveries within the home itself, such as water damage or wiring that isn’t to code, that will delay completion.

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