By Melissa Dubroc, ASID

Of all the spaces in the house, the bathroom is the one that Americans just love to renovate. In fact, just last year, bathrooms overtook kitchens as the most popular remodeling project, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders.

It makes sense: Am Instagram worthy bathroom can not only give your home a spa like feel, but a bathroom renovation done right can be big for your resale with upward of 60% of costs recouped, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value report.

Unfortunately, even in this small space, there are a million ways for a bathroom renovation to run off the rails. You might think you only need to consider the toilet, sink and tub, but a good renovation factors in much more. Before you go wild with a new tile and a picture-perfect pedestal sink, make sure you aren’t forgetting about these crucial components when renovating your bathroom.

1. Future Buyers

Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a cheery yellow bathroom since those woeful days when you were renting. But if you plan on ever selling your home, consider selecting a more muted color that would appeal to potential buyers.

“Design statistics say we renovate a bathroom once every 15 years”. Says interior designer Mark Polo. “It’s important to design with the element of timelessness, so when the house is sold, you maximize the dollars you get for the sale”.

If you’re feeling any hesitation about your selected shade, take a step back and ask yourself: Does it feel too trendy? And appealing to buyers isn’t the only thing to consider before slathering the walls in fuchsia. The wrong paint color can steal attention away from the otherwise good design decisions made during a bath renovation”, says designer Jill Hosking-Cartland. “If the wall color becomes the star of the room, then you have made a mistake”. Instead pick a shade that coordinates beautifully with the other elements, like the tile, countertop and vanity.

2. Creating room for cleaning

Facts of life: Bathrooms get messy. Don’t make your job more difficult. When placing your vanities, allocate enough room to clean. Designer Diane Boyer recommends leaving at least 4 inches between your vanity and any walls or tubs on its left or right side. “Deep, open spaces become dirt traps,” she says.

3. Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial to preventing trapped odors and clearing moisture in the air, which can cause mold growth. This can be a challenge if you don’t have a window. Even if you do have a window, that may not be enough to dry the space after a steamy shower. To stop mold and mildew in their tracks, install an exhaust fan that is appropriate for the size of your bathroom.

4. Not accounting for water leaks.

Bathrooms are wet places (obviously) and water can cause some of the scariest structural problems you can encounter as a homeowner. If you’re eyeing a modern design with a glass shower, you want to make sure it’s sealed in all the right places. A lot of times, water from the shower head will leak underneath the modern glass shower door.

5. Storage

Homeowners sometimes forget that a functional bathroom needs to have a place to store makeup and beauty products. The pedestal sink might be beautiful, but if it doesn’t meet your storage needs, try a traditional cabinet style vanity instead.

6. Lighting

One strip of light over the vanity mirror won’t cut it. Choose a variety of lights to ensure your space is well lit. And don’t skimp in the shower, where you’re most prone to slips and falls. Plus, what’s spa like about showering in a cave-like shower? Keep the space bright, so your bathroom feels like a destination.

7. Nonslip flooring

Another cause of dangerous bathroom slips: Poorly chosen flooring. “Nonslip flooring – including the shower floor – is crucial,” says kitchen and bath designer Robin DaSilva. “Sometimes clients fall in love with a tile that is slippery, and they need to fall in love with a non -slippery tile instead.”

8. Toiletry Essentials

Where will your toilet tissue holder go? Don’t let this important decision wait until the last minute – or you might find yourself installing in an awkward location. Tight bathrooms can provide little or no space for these accessories if not considered in the initial planning. Before construction begins, sit down and think about the little things like tissue holders and towel racks.

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