12 Bathroom Remodel Do's and Don'ts

Are you thinking of remodeling your bathroom? You aren’t alone! According to a survey conducted by Houzz, 28 percent of homeowners plan to remodel their bathrooms in the next two years. Whether you're sick of looking at the tired pink tiles or if you're getting ready to sell your home, here are 12 do's and don'ts for planning a successful bathroom remodeling project.

The Do's

1. Do Set a Realistic Budget

Before you plan your dream bathroom, decide how much you want to spend. The average cost to remodel a bathroom is between $9,000 and $20,000. Most homeowners recoup 67 percent of this investment when they sell their homes. If you're doing the project yourself, get written estimates for all materials. Then, add 20 percent to cover surprise expenses. If you aren't sure where to start, an interior designer or general contractor can prepare an estimate that works with your budget.

2. Do Have a Plan

Home builders and remodelers say that planning is everything. First, you need to define your goals. Are you transforming the master bedroom's en suite, updating the kids' bathroom, converting a half-bath or getting rid of those avocado-green fixtures? Next, envision your updated bathroom. Start a Pinterest board, or visit your local Franklin Building Supply, or Design Innovations showroom to gather inspiration. When you're ready, schedule a consultation with a designer who can help you refine your ideas, select materials and coordinate the installation.

Another important part of the planning process is preparing for the potential of not having full access to the bathroom you’re remodeling. Depending up on the extensiveness of your remodel there can be times when your bathroom won’t be accessible, or have full functionality.  Professional remodelers and contractors are very good at limiting these pinch points and should readily communicate when and why your bathroom will be unusable.

3. Do Invest in Quality Materials

Budget constraints may encourage you to settle for low-cost materials that aren't as appealing. However, in the end, these compromises can decrease your ultimate satisfaction. Whenever possible, choose quality materials that fit your aesthetic. They'll last longer and give your bathroom a high-end finish that can't be replicated with builder basics. Sometimes, it's better to do less and to do it right. If needed, decide which updates are most important to you.

4. Do Know When It's Time to Call a Pro

Don't be afraid to ask for help along the way. Professionals can assist you with every stage of the project from getting estimates to planning, designing and building. Anytime you're working with plumbing or electric, don't hesitate to call a licensed contractor. Completing tasks on your own can lower the cost of your project (if everything goes according to plan), but if something goes wrong it can quickly make the project even more expensive that it would have been to hire a contractor from the start, so look to hire a professional to perform work that's outside your skill set.

5. Do Think About the Future

Make sure that your bathroom design will fit your lifestyle in the future. Ideally, your remodeled bathroom should have mainstream appeal, even if you don't plan on selling. It should be attractive and functional. Select colors and patterns that won't be dated in a few years, especially with permanent items.


1. Don't Move the Fixtures

Moving water supply lines and drains can substantially increase remodeling costs. Unless you're dealing with a challenging or severely cramped bathroom layout, avoid making major changes to your home's plumbing system. In most cases, it's not worth the extra expense.

2. Don't Overdo It

Small changes provide a bigger bang for your buck. According to Remodeling's 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, the return on investment for luxury bathroom remodeling projects is just 57 percent. If you have a single-bath home, it makes more sense to invest in updates since they will increase your home's resale value. House flippers recommend replacing the light fixtures, vanity and toilet for maximum impact at a minimal cost. 

3. Don't Forget About Lighting, Ventilation and Storage

Updating the light fixtures is an easy and effective way to modernize your bathroom. Use a combination of direct and ambient light from ceiling fixtures, wall sconces or vanity lamps to create an inviting space. Clean or replace the exhaust fan for better humidity control. Ventilation helps your bathroom stay fresh. Finally, don't underestimate the need for ample storage to accommodate towels and toiletries. Include at least one closet, vanity cabinet or built-in cupboard in your design.

4. Don't Get Distracted By Trends

The goal of remodeling your bathroom is to leave the past behind, so you shouldn't ignore current trends. On the other hand, you don't need to be a slave to them. Japanese soaking tubs, hand-painted vessel sinks and floating vanities look fantastic in magazines, but they aren't always ideal in the real world. Opt for practical fixtures, tiles and building materials that are stylish but won't lose their appeal in a few years.

5. Don't Rush

Remodeling takes time. You'll probably need a few weeks to gather ideas and to develop a design. Then, it may take a month to complete the demolition and framing before the other work can proceed. Toward the end of the project, many homeowners lose focus and just want to use their new bathroom. Resist the urge to cut corners. These details are essential for creating a clean, professional finish. The end result will be worth the extra time.

Are you ready to start your bathroom remodeling project? Visit your local Franklin Building Supply location to schedule a design consultation or to view our selection of bathroom fixtures and home improvement supplies.