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6 Expensive Bathroom Design Mistakes

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Designing your bathroom can be an exciting and challenging task. After all, it's one of the most essential rooms in your home, and a well-designed space will serve you for years to come. But there are also plenty of pitfalls that could lead to costly mistakes.

This blog post examines eight terrible mistakes you should avoid when designing your bathroom. From selecting the wrong fixtures to overlooking ventilation issues, these tips will help ensure your dream bathroom is built correctly!

1. Not Accounting for Proper Ventilation

Ventilating your bathroom correctly ensures that the room is comfortable and safe. Poor ventilation can lead to musty odors, moisture buildup, rust, and even the growth of mold and mildew. In addition to being unsightly, smelly, and unhygienic, these issues can also cause serious health problems. To prevent these issues, the CDC recommends keeping humidity levels in the bathroom below 50 percent to prevent mold growth, leading to health issues.

"Keep humidity levels in your home as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. You can buy a meter to check your home's humidity at a home improvement store. Humidity levels change over the course of a day, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day." CDC Website

It is essential to size an appropriate ventilation system based on the bathroom size and layout to prevent issues related to inadequate ventilation. The basic rule of thumb is to size the bathroom fan to do 8 ACH (Air Changes per Hour). What this means is that the bathroom fan must move enough air to remove the volume of air in your bathroom at least eight (8) times per hour.

To calculate this, you must first measure the room's width, length, and height (in feet). Take these three (3) numbers and then multiply them together to get the total volume of the space. For example, if you have a room that is 8 ft wide, 12 ft long, and 8ft long, the total volume of the room would be:

  • 8x12x8 = 768 cubic feet

Then take the total room volume and multiply it by 8 to get the necessary fan CFH (Cubic Feet Per Hour):

  • 768 x 8 = 6144 CFH

Since most fans are sized using CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) measurements, you must take the CFH number above and convert it to CFM. To do this, take the CFH calculated above and divide it by 60:

  • (6144 CFH) / 60 = 102 CFM

If the above calculations seem daunting, and you need a calculator to do it for you, try out this helpful bathroom fan calculator!

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2. Choosing the Wrong Flooring

Choosing the wrong flooring for your bathroom can be a costly mistake. For example, hardwood floors may look great in other areas of your home, but they are unsuitable for bathrooms as they can be damaged by water and moisture. Similarly, carpets are not ideal for bathrooms as they can quickly become stained with water or mildew.

When selecting flooring for your bathroom, choose materials designed to withstand humidity and moisture, such as ceramic or porcelain tile, stone tile, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), or luxury vinyl tiles (LVT). These materials are more robust than wood or carpet and are easy to clean and maintain – perfect for busy bathroom environments! Additionally, textured surfaces provide extra safety when stepping out of a shower or bathtub due to their non-slip qualities.

Flooring Pro Tip: Be sure to properly seal your underflooring before laying down your new floors. This will prevent any damage to your subfloor if your grout or floor seams start to leak.

3. Failing to Consider Aesthetics & Functionality

Failing to consider aesthetics and functionality when planning a bathroom remodel can be costly.

Bathroom Aesthetics

When considering the aesthetics of a space, it's essential first to consider the size of the room. Large bathrooms can comfortably handle bolder elements, while smaller areas should focus on maximizing storage while keeping minimal design features.

Small Bathroom Aesthetic Ideas:

  • Natural Light Wall Colors
  • Bright Natural Lights
  • Minimal Clutter
  • Maximize Undercounter Bathroom Storage

Large Bathroom Aesthetic Ideas:

  • Shelving
  • Add Plants
  • Use a Large Mirror
  • Place a Large Waterproof Throw Rug in the Center of the Room

Aesthetics & Functionality Pro Tip: Choosing modern or traditional design elements is important to achieve a cohesive aesthetic in your new bathroom. To create an inviting atmosphere, select traditional-style items such as clawfoot tubs or vanity cabinets with intricate detailing for an elegant look. On the other hand, if you prefer a more contemporary layout, opt for sleek lines combined with light colors and streamlined fixtures like floating vanities or above-counter sinks.

Bathroom Functionality

In addition to designing the aesthetic layout of your bathroom, it's also vital to prioritize functionality during your remodel. Ensure all components flow together in their function. When thinking about the design and functionality of the bathroom, ask yourself these questions:

  • When you imagine that you will need a towel, where is the optimal location for their storage? 
  • When thinking about the place for the mirror, what area in the room has the best natural light
  • How does the door need to open and close so it doesn't block access to bathroom items?

Functionality Pro Tip: Adding simple touches like artwork or rugs can make any bathroom feel instantly homier – this is especially true for bathrooms that feature small details like mosaic tiles or fascinating backsplashes, which can add visual interest without taking away from the room's practicality.

4. Underestimating Lighting Requirements

Lighting is a significant design element that can greatly impact your bathroom's atmosphere. Some activities need more direct task lighting, like applying makeup or shaving. In contrast, others require softer, ambient light to create a relaxing atmosphere. Not considering activities like these is a mistake you must avoid when laying out your bathroom for a remodel.

Below are some different types of lighting that you should consider when thinking about your design:

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting should be included in any good bathroom lighting plan, as it serves as the primary light source in the space. Consider installing recessed lights or wall sconces around the room's perimeter to brighten up dark areas and provide general illumination. However, it's essential to ensure that these lights are not too bright, as this can create a harsh glare when combined with other light sources.

Task Lighting

For specific tasks, like shaving or applying makeup, task lighting is essential. These lights should be installed over mirrors or other areas that require more direct illumination and glare-free brightness for close-up activities. A helpful idea is to choose LED bulbs for energy efficiency and longevity but to use dimmable fixtures so you can adjust their brightness according to your task needs.

Bathroom Lighting Pro Tip: Make sure all light fixtures meet safety standards such as UL listing. This ensures they have been tested and are certified safe in wet environments, like bathrooms. Additionally, consider using motion sensors that will turn on automatically when someone enters the room....a great way to save energy if someone forgets to shut off the switch!

5. Making Uninform Designed Appliance Purchases

Before purchasing appliances for your bathroom, it's important to research and compare the features, benefits, and costs of your different appliances. Ensure all devices are suitable for the space, have adequate warranty coverage, will work with existing plumbing fixtures, and have positive reviews.

Bathtubs & Showers

When shopping for bathtubs and showers, try to find models that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing to the space you are building. Pay close attention to dimensions and determine how much space you have for installation – this will help you narrow down your choices further. 


When selecting a toilet, consider factors such as comfort level, location within the bathroom, bowl shape, and height. Some toilets come in shorter versions which may be better suited for smaller statured people. Additionally, ensure that the toilet you choose complies with applicable codes and regulations, such as water consumption rates and flush performance ratings.


Finally, select models compatible with your chosen countertops or vanity cabinets when shopping for sinks or other fixtures like faucets. Consider options such as vessel-style sinks for added visual interest or integrated sinks for easy maintenance if you use granite countertops.

6. Overlooking Storage Solutions when doing a bathroom remodel

Storage is often an afterthought in many people's minds, especially since the bathroom is usually one of the smaller rooms in the home, but having a well-organized storage system can make all the difference between an efficient and disorganized space.

Wall-Mounted Cabinets

When looking for storage solutions for your bathroom, consider shelving units and cabinets that can be mounted on walls to maximize vertical space. Shelving units come in various shapes and sizes, from open-air shelves that provide easy access while keeping items organized to built-in cabinets with doors and drawers to store things out of sight. Wall-mounted cabinets are also great for stowing away toiletries or other items that don't necessarily need to be seen. In addition, consider adding extra organization elements such as pull-out baskets or dividers that will make it even easier to keep everything tidy.

Selecting Materials

Remember the type of materials used when selecting cabinetry and shelving options. Avoid materials such as MDF or particleboard if you plan on using them in areas exposed to water (e.g., near baths or showers). 

Bathroom Storage Pro Tip: Remember to add features that can make life easier, such as pull-out towel bars, robe hooks, caddies for small items like toothpaste or mouthwash bottles, and more!

And there you go – now that you know about these six (6) terrible mistakes to avoid when remodeling your bathroom. So get out there and start transforming your space into the perfect oasis.

If you need help remodeling your bathroom, contact Green Home Installations for a free consultation. Our team of experienced bathroom remodelers will happily answer any questions and guide you in creating your dream bathroom. Good luck!

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