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Plumbing Issues to Avoid When Remodeling a Bathroom

September 4, 2018

When you officially decide to embark on a renovating project, your mind gets locked into the idea of “out with the old, in with the new.” You get excited to go shopping for a new bathtub or shower, new light fixtures and a new modern sink; not to mention the brand-new flooring and cabinets. It’s easy to get excited about the aesthetics long before the dirty work starts. When embarking on a renovation project in your bathroom it is absolutely vital not to neglect the plumbing aspect of the job. If you do, it will likely lead to some costly, entirely avoidable, fixes. Here are a few ways to avoid common mistakes and/or plumbing complications when remodeling a bathroom:

Don’t forget the sink

Creating something new and fresh in the bathroom can be exciting and it’s easy to get a bit overzealous and choose the fixtures out of order. Choosing a cabinet and installing it before finding a sink is a common mistake. The sink could be the wrong size or simply in the wrong place when considering the location of the pipes. Both of which will result in cutting holes in your new cabinet to make it work. Choosing a sink first allows the process to go much smoother and ensures a better pipe connection without ruining your beautiful new cabinetry.

Measure, measure, measure

Not all toilets are made alike. Maybe you’ve decided to become more eco-friendly and purchase a low-flow toilet to help save some money? It is common for people to buy a toilet assuming it’s going to fit perfectly and work just fine in their available space, yet without appropriate measurements, it could be way off. Measuring is the name of the game because, without it, nothing is guaranteed to fit. We’re pretty sure your guests won’t appreciate an awkward leaning toilet, not to mention the danger of leakage. Be sure to measure the “rough-in,” which is the distance between the pipe outlet and the wall behind the toilet. Know the measurements of your current toilet and be sure your new one matches. It is always wise to begin your project by knowing measurements of your entire space and each fixture. That way, if you decide to look for a larger tub with jets or add in a double sink for your master bathroom, you’ll know whether or not it will fit by referring to your detailed measurements. Always. Remember. To. Measure.

Vent your sink

Plumbing is not something to mess around with. You don’t want to rush or cut corners because dealing with plumbing issues when not done correctly can wreak havoc on your home…and your sanity. It is so important to make sure that your drain is properly vented when putting in a new sink. If your sink is done without a good vent system then your bathroom may become exposed to a variety of different things, from pests and vermin to mold or gases from the sewage system. Venting your sink in the right way will ultimately protect your home from a potentially dangerous situation. Respect the vent.

Does your shower have a slop?

Have you ever stood in a shower with standing water all around you? It’s easy to think that everything needs to be level and straight but when water is involved there must be a slope. Having your shower sloped will prevent water from accumulating in the corners causing bothersome mildew and mold. A slope guarantees that water will head towards the drain. Showers can be difficult to install with an appropriate slope because the process needs start at the masonry level, which is the cement underneath. If this part of the renovation is not done accurately then the whole tub or shower floor has to come out and be redone. Doing it right the first time will save a mountain of stress.

Make sure pipes match

Pipes are a huge part of doing a remodel the right way. Pipes need to match up accurately in order for your piping system to work properly. Pipes that don’t match can corrode or leak. Two different types of pipes might be able to connect but you’ll have to know its material and its fit. You’ll also want your pipes to fit and match your fixtures or else the water pressure may be too low. A pipe that’s just a “little off” can, and likely will, wreak havoc in the future. Trust us: write down every detail about your current bathroom before rushing off to the nearest home store.

Don’t move plumbing! Keep it functional!

When remodeling your bathroom, it is best to play it safe and be cost-conscious. In other words, place new fixtures where you have existing water and sewer pipes. If you can, put new sinks, toilets, tubs, and showers in their original location. If restructuring the entire layout is on your agenda, be aware that it will increase your project costs by quite a bit so be sure it’s truly necessary and will result in an increase of your home’s value. It’s also important to make sure your bathroom is functional as well as beautiful. If your toilet is positioned behind a swinging door it’s placement may make it difficult to open and close it. If your essentials are awkwardly placed and you’re constantly bumping into the sink when coming out of the shower, you certainly have a problem with functionality. Keep in mind that a functional bathroom doesn’t mean you have to move fixtures and plumbing, you just have to be smart and think in terms of safety, accessibility, and comfort when choosing new fixtures.

Renovating and remodeling is a huge task to take on and often times come with a few hiccups along the way. It’s important to plan properly, know common mistakes ahead of time and take the time to do it right. Of course, having a professional plumbing contractor walk alongside you would certainly help you avoid all of these issues. The Plumbing Joint has the necessary skill and training, giving you peace-of-mind when updating the plumbing and fixtures included in your renovation. We would love to help you have a seamless and problem free remodeling experience!