Residential Design+Build Blog

Design tips and information for renovations, additions and custom home building in West Chester and the Greater Philadelphia area.

8 Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid in Chester County

Blackstone  bathroom design by hazley builders

Your bathroom should be a tranquil place devoted to a convenient start to your day, and a calming place to unwind at the end of it. If you’re considering a Chester County bathroom remodeling project, it’s important to get the details right during the planning phase so that you don’t end up with problems that could make your bathroom a source of stress instead of the oasis it’s supposed to be. So, try to avoid these 8 bathroom design mistakes:

1. Not Planning for Functionality First

Remember that old saying, “If you fail to plan, your bathroom remodel will be a mess?” First, list what isn't working now. Is the vanity too dark? Do you need two sinks so two people can get ready at the same time? Does a lack of storage space leave your countertops cluttered? Are there enough GFCI outlets for all the things you want to plug in? Are the towels hard to reach from the shower? Do you have to stand inside the shower and get sprayed with cold water just to turn it on? Also, assess “traffic patterns” and how better design could improve them. Planning for ease-of-use is especially important if you have a small bathroom space where you need to maximize every inch. A great bathroom design will feel almost effortless to use because a lot of effort went into planning.

2. Getting too Trendy

Homeowners can easily get sucked into the latest trends in bathroom design, but stand back and consider whether those trends will stand the test of time. Many homeowners regret getting too trendy a couple of years down the road when that trend goes out of style. If they want to sell their home a few years later, an off-trend bathroom can be a liability. Some trends, like those hot stand-alone sinks and out-of-the-wall faucets come with undesirable convenience and expensive maintenance issues. Extremely bold tile patterns can grow old quickly, and wooden ceilings can warp and encourage mold growth. Doorless showers let that all-important warmth you need on cold mornings escape. So, just because something’s trendy doesn’t mean it’ll make you or potential homebuyers happy a few years down the road. Always take the long view and focus on timeless functionality.

3. Skimping on Bathroom Storage

Speaking of functionality, storage space is key in any bathroom, whether large, small or in-between. Cluttered bathroom countertops can ruin a relaxing evening spa experience, or get in the way when you’re trying to get ready quickly. Coming back to the trendy pedestal sink; many people discarded important vanity storage space when installing those, and quickly came to regret the loss. The right vanity, as well as extra shelves, a smart medicine cabinet hidden behind the mirror, peg rails, and extra towel rods in just the right places can help you stow all of your bathroom essentials cleanly out of the way, but easily within reach. Just remember to put linen storage in a well-ventilated, dry area to prevent the dreaded dampness from accumulating and causing mold problems.

4. Poor Bathroom Lighting Design

One of the biggest bathroom design mistakes we see is poor vanity lighting and not layering the lighting for different bathroom activities. During your Chester County bathroom remodeling project, make sure to use all three key types of lighting in the right areas to create the right lighting experience:

Ambient lights—Broad foundational lights that cast illumination generally around the room.
Accent lighting—A more focused light that highlights an activity area or design feature you want to display.
Task lighting—This is key at the vanity when you are shaving or applying makeup. It provides focused lighting that doesn’t cast shadows or glare.

Also consider design elements that can enhance your lighting. Maximize any natural light from windows, if you can. Use lighter colors, shiny tiles or mirrors to bounce more light into the room, which can make even a tiny bathroom feel bigger.

5. Too Many Hard-to-Clean Details

One of the biggest bathroom remodeling mistakes we see is the addition of too many details that end up being a pain to clean regularly. For example: tile designs that leave a ledge that gathers dust easily. While you’re planning and looking around your current bathroom, think about spaces that you hate cleaning and design ideas that could simplify the process. For example, a hanging toilet instead of one with a bothersome-to-clean u-bend is fast to clean and you can easily mop the floor underneath without even bending down to get in the space behind it.

7. Not Updating the Ventilation in Your Bathroom

Whatever you do, never skimp on the ventilation details for your Chester County bathroom remodeling project. As the wettest room in your home, any moisture that isn’t quickly evaporated and removed from the area can hang around and cause mold, mildew and other types of water damage. Efficient, yet quiet fans should vent to the outside of the house, not into the attic or any other area. This means you may need to budget for extra duct work, but in the long term, it’s worth it.

8. Using Poor Quality Materials

You don’t have to use the most expensive materials for everything in your bathroom remodel, but there are definitely aspects where you need to use the best quality available. For example, never use discount waterproofing membranes, silicone sealants or grout—choose the tougher, moisture-resistant brands. Also, don’t use an all-in-one primer paint mixture as these can create moisture problems later on. Plumbing and ventilation are two other areas where the best work and materials can prevent nasty and expensive problems later.

Contact the Pros When You’re Ready to Start Your Chester County Bathroom Remodeling Project

The Hazley Builders team are the bathroom remodeling experts Chester County homeowners rely on to help them make smart bathroom design choices, and to enjoy the best quality work in the area. Take a look through our design gallery for some inspiration, and please contact us to schedule a consultation today: 610-696-6264.


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