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  • Writer's pictureMeredith Street

My Three Bathroom Remodel Mistakes

I have three major regrets about our primary bath remodel back in 2020. I promised I'd use this space to share lessons learned to help improve readers' home renovation experiences. In my defense, all of these decisions were made by a brand new mama (hello, it's me) with a two week old baby. Maybe we can blame postpartum and sleep deprivation? With several more tile projects and bathrooms on our resumé now, I've learned a lot of knowledge I wish I'd known back then on our very first major home renovation project.

A few weeks before our daughter was born, Austin started poking around with some suspected water damage in our small primary bathroom. It was way worse than what we thought it would be and the damage would not be a simple fix. If we were needing to replace the shower and take up the floor, we decided to go ahead and remodel the entire bathroom.

Bathroom Water Damage

Mistake #1: Using Small Tile in the Shower

I was warned and I did not listen. The tile store owner and Austin both tried to tell me to choose a larger format tile or larger subway. I didn't understand at the time why they were so adamant, but now I do. It is A LOT of grout lines to see visually and to have to clean. I could not agree more with them NOW.

In 2020 with a newborn, I only made choices based off the tile selection boards Austin brought home from the tile store for me to look at since I couldn't go in. I was tired and tired of living without our bathroom. I wanted to make a decision and make it fast. I stuck with the first 3 x 6 white subway tile I saw that matched the floor tile I wanted. The small tile on the floor combined with the small shower tile just makes for a lot of lines.

Bee House Bathroom

You can see how even going with a larger 4 x 12 subway tile (while still a smaller tile) in the #BeeHouse was a better choice.

#2: Taking the Tile Up the Wall

We took the tile up the wall to right below our window. I thought this would better protect the area around the shower and we also did not have a backsplash to go around the sides of the new vanity. We went with a ready made vanity that only came with one backsplash piece and our vanity needed a piece for the back and the right side. While a good idea, I wish I had not taken the tile up the wall on the wall with the window. It is just all too much to me visually and a lot for a small bathroom.

#3: Not Letting My Husband Tile the Bathroom

It is not often that I admit to being wrong, especially when it comes to opposing Austin's opinion. However, I wish I had listened here and saved us extra expense and headache. Austin had never tiled before and I was too nervous to let our primary bathroom be the experiment. I really didn't fully trust him on this, but I should have. He does literally anything he tries extremely well and as a perfectionist I find this very annoying while also being one of the things I admire most about him. We hired out the job as I wanted Austin to not spend the time doing this and wanted it done quickly. I swear having a newborn really influenced this process. I don't recommend timing remodels with a new baby.

Austin has become quite the pro at tiling. He does a really great job and I'm sure he would have on this project as well. He did every other aspect of the bathroom project. The person we hired actually made a huge mistake that caused us to have water damage and Austin had to take the tile out around the base of the shower and fix the issue a few months ago when we finally figured out what part of the shower was causing water to leak onto our ceiling tiles in the basement. Our installer would not admit his mistake that we had picture evidence of and didn't come back to fix it. All Austin kept saying was, "I told you so." Well, he did and this time he was right.


Well, there you have my biggest regrets about our bathroom remodel. What are your biggest project regrets or design mistakes from a bathroom project? Leave it in the comments below!

- Meredith

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