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A bathroom is like a sanctuary where you’re most at peace with yourself. A place where you ready yourself to face the world, or get refreshed after a hard day’s work. It must comfort you with its layout and offer you maximum convenience.

Designing your own bathroom can be a dream if you know how to. But if you don’t, it can be the biggest bane of your life. There’s nothing worse than an uninviting bathroom that bothers your senses the minute you walk in. The impractical planning, the dysfunctional spacing, and the jarring bathroom design mistakes can be a nightmare.   

However, you don’t have to live with your missteps forever. Often, with just a few small tweaks, these errors are easily fixed and your interiors feel more fabulous and functional than ever. That is why we’ve diligently crafted this list of 10 most common bathroom design mistakes during any remodeling project and how to avoid them.

 1. Not Having Clarity Of Needs And Space

As elementary as it sounds, it is one of the common bathroom design mistakes. We end up with a lot on our plate, well in this case bathroom. Make a list of things you would actually like to include in your bathroom and sort them by order of priority. For instance, if your priority is to have more natural light – then why have a boxed bathroom with, perhaps more storage space, but less windows? Carry out this basic exercise to determine your must-haves and then plan a renovation accordingly. It will make you happier. 

Before starting your bathroom renovation, find out the cost of renovating your bathroom with our free renovation cost estimator. The video below will guide you through the steps.

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2. Not Planning Proper Distribution And Layout

Bathroom distribution is crafted around your list of needs and priorities. Each bathroom has its own measurements and characteristics. Therefore, the list will sort out the best possible distribution and layout so you don’t leave out any essentials. It might sound like a simple job, but bathroom distribution is a constant challenge for architects – especially if you don’t have square meters to spare. You will need to devote time to check all the items on your list. Never assume that your architect or designer will know what is most important to you. They are the experts, but you are the one who knows your priorities. This is very easily overlooked and accounts as a primary cause of bathroom design mistakes in remodeling projects.

bathroom ideas

3. Prioritizing Trends Over Practical Issues

Let’s be clear, we don’t mean that following bathroom trends or fad is wrong. Not at all. It’s just that you cannot follow them blindly. When you decide on a purely aesthetic layout, consider how your daily life will be. For one person, a colorful art mural in the bathroom can be a source of never-ending inspiration and for others, it can just be plain disaster.

Also, take the time to consider if you intend to live in your house forever. Of course, the bathroom is a space that should bring you harmony and wellbeing, and to achieve this, you must feel comfortable with your choice. But perhaps, you are planning on selling the house in a few years. Will the trend you enjoy now affect the ability to sell the house later on? Will it be a good investment down the road? We think, function over trends is a good rule of thumb when trying to avoid bathroom design mistakes. 

4. Not Choosing The Right Material For Each Zone

The bathroom is a space that has its own idiosyncrasies; it’s an area where there will normally be humidity, and also where we use special and stronger cleaning products. This means that not any and every material is suitable for this room. Rethink a pretty wallpaper, for example. Nowadays there are many options in type, quality, and price. So there is no point in using products that will deteriorate in the long term. Be sure to research the material’s expected longevity and if there are special instructions on usage — so that you can avoid this bathroom design faux-pas in the future.

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5. Not Leaving Enough Space To Comfortably Access The Shower 

This is one of the most common rookie bathroom design mistakes. And it is due to poor planning. Granted that some bathrooms have limited space, but if this is the case, you should research and find a solution around that, rather than trying to squeeze yourself in the shower every day. You will never forgive yourself if you let this happen because the uncomfortable squeeze will be part of your everyday routine. Pay close attention to this. We’ve seen many such bathroom remodeling mistakes. Big planning fail!

6. Not Leaving Enough Space Between The Toilet And The Bidet

This is also another one of the common bathroom design mistakes. Sometimes, we struggle to include these two pieces even though we lack the space to comfortably fit them both. And sometimes, the problem even persists despite having enough space, because we insist on placing them too close together. The result: it feels cramped and uncomfortable. The expert needs to give you a clear idea on what space really allows. If you insist, make sure you ask if it will be a comfortable fit or a forced one. You can even draft the dimensions on the floor with tape so that you get a real feel of what it will look like.

toilet and bidet

The centerline of the toilet should be at least 18 inches from the edge of the bidet, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s planning guidelines. The centerlines of both fixtures should be at least 18 inches from their respective walls. That is, if they share an enclosure, minimum width will be 62.5 inches. The bidet itself typically occupies 14 inches of width and 24 to 26 inches of length. While a round bowl toilet will be around 18×27 inches long, an elongated bowl toilet will be 18 x 30 inches long.

7. Disregarding Lighting And Ventilation

Bathroom lighting is a complex issue. We tend to leave its detailing for last. But in the bathroom, as in the case of kitchen, lighting is fundamental because of the tasks you perform within these spaces. It does not matter if you can boast a makeup masters from MAC, if the lighting in your bathroom is off, you will never get it right.

If you place lighting above the mirror, you will most likely get shadows over your face. Recessed lighting above the sink can also cause these unwanted shadows. So you need to think this through before you’re ready to bring in your new towel set. It is also advisable that you strengthen the general light in the bathroom when you do not have natural light coming in, or when the bathroom is quite big, or when it has different areas separated by partitions. Avoid this bathroom design mistake by reading more on bathroom lighting here.

As for ventilation, it also gets regarded as a secondary priority. A big mistake. Natural ventilation is always recommended because it keeps excess moisture at bay. If you can’t place a window in your bathroom, then pay close attention to artificial ventilation, performance, and online reviews — so you don’t have to address this issue later on.

8. Not Defining Enough Storage Space

There’s a mantra for bathrooms and kitchens and most people find it to be true: there is no such thing as too much storage. The first thing you need to consider is: on a scale of one to ten, how orderly are you? If you’re not an eleven, my friend, your new obsession should be smart storage solutions.

The second thing to consider is how many people are going to use the bathroom? There might be enough storage for one person, but perhaps it won’t be enough for two. A word from the wise — people don’t really like to share food and they don’t really like to share storage space. So plan accordingly. The thing is, if you don’t consider this from the beginning you’ll end up buying every storage solution from Ikea, cramming the space with extra furniture and ultimately damaging the harmony and aesthetics of the room.

Try making a list of the items that will need to be stored. Have a teenage girl? (in which case, maybe you’ll need another bathroom altogether!) Also, consider if other things or people will be added down the road. For example, a baby in the offing. Will the storage you’ve selected be enough as the baby grows? Or will you be faced with this bathroom design mistake a few years from now? Plan ahead. Have a foresight.

ideas for bathroom

9. Focusing On Specific Price

Adapting your material choices to your budget is obviously a must. But there is a common practice that might be hurting your overall perception, and thus increasing the chances of bathroom design mistakes. Focusing on individual prices, for example: obsessing over the price by square feet, regardless of the total surface or amount of decoration you actually need. The result: you end up with very limited choices, products and finishes that don’t satisfy you. In quality or appearance.

What you should do is to get a quote for the entire work, with the specific measurements of the bathroom. Based on this quote, choose the products that you like, and analyze how much you would actually spend in the end. You might be surprised to find out that it doesn’t exceed the initial budget. In case that it does, consider the amount and determine the things you can change for similar options. This way you respect your budget while covering all your exigencies as well. Logically, this involves a little more effort, but the result is much more satisfying.

May we suggest you prepare this plan A, plan B before you contact a professional so that you have the other option ready and you don’t have to go back and research and keep people pressuring you. We always say that the home renovation road will always be as smooth as your preparation for it.

10. Not Trusting The Work of Professionals

Last, but surely not least important, is this point. In any work of construction or renovation, you need to surround yourself with good and qualified professionals (architects, decorators, general contractors, electricians, and plumbers) who can help you execute the work in the best way, avoiding as many bathroom design mistakes as possible.

Please do some research on your prospects, but you can start by following these three tips:

  • Study thoroughly all proposals, without simply opting for the cheaper price and without addressing all the details
  • Ask for references from several clients who have used their products or services
  • Do your online research on chosen professionals

We’re not saying this is easy, but avoiding these bathroom design mistakes is achievable by doing your homework. It takes time, but look at it as an investment. The more you plan and research, the greater the satisfaction you’ll enjoy.

MORE: Floor Plans From an Architect to Design Perfect Bathroom Layouts. 

10 Rookie Bathroom Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them was last modified: June 5th, 2019 by Oriana Gomez-Zerpa
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