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Four Signs Your Bathroom Needs a Remodel

A Leaky Shower Pan

I consider a leaky shower pan to be an emergency situation that should be addressed right away. Even a small leak can cause a lot of damage. Unfortunately small leaks can take a long time to become apparent. By the time you notice it, the destruction may already be substantial. If the rest of your bathroom is in bad shape, use this opportunity for a complete bathroom remodel. If you can’t afford to completely remodel your bathroom, then address the shower right away.

Leaky Shower Pan
A leaky shower pan

There are signs you can look for to spot a leak. The story below the bathroom in question may show staining on the ceiling. This may take several years to become apparent if there’s insulation in between the floor joists. The insulation may absorb the water for some time. Eventually the leak will increase beyond what the insulation can absorb. Loose floor tiles around the shower can also be an indicator of a leaky shower. Dampness weakens the mortar and ultimately the tiles will become loose.

If you just discovered the leak, then immediately discontinue use of the shower and use a secondary shower if available. As a temporary fix, you can try caulking around the shower perimeter. Caulking may stop or substantially slow down the leak until construction begins. 

Loose Floor Tiles

Though loose floor tiles may be directly correlated to a leak somewhere in your bathroom, not all floor tiles become loose due to water damage. A possible culprit is flex in the subfloor. Not using enough screws to attach the subfloor to the joists can lead to flex. You may also notice creaks as you walk throughout your house. The subfloor is most likely to blame for those creaks as well. However, expansion and contraction may also be to blame.

Cracked tiles can also be related to give on your subfloor. Make sure to discuss this with your bathroom remodeling contractor. He can reinforce the subfloor once all the tile is removed by screwing it down to the joists where there is movement. Floor tile can also become loose due to poor installation.

Cracked and loose floor tiles
Cracked and loose floor tiles

Back buttering is an installation technique that ensures tile properly adheres to the mortar. Simply placing tile on top of the mortar doesn’t ensure adhesion even when pushed down. Back buttering is exactly as it sounds. You butter the tile with mortar and place it on the troweled mortar on the floor. This mortar to mortar technique guarantees adhesion and minimizes any risk of the tile coming loose in the future.

Starting with a solid foundation is key to minimizing loose or broken tiles. A proper tile installation is the final step that guarantees a floor that will last a lifetime.

Large Tub, Small Shower

Picture yourself taking a bubble bath in your jacuzzi to candlelight. You are burning lavender essential oil and listening to a relaxing playlist on Spotify. All your worries are now behind you as you sip on your glass of wine. Seriously though, who has time for this?

The bone dry monster tub in the corner of your bathroom is taking up precious real estate. A larger shower will make better use of the space.

A past customer of mine had an ingenious use for her hot tub. It was being used for two large plants. Not exactly the original purpose for the tub, but at least it was being used. If your tub is just collecting dust and you can barely move inside your shower, then it’s time to remodel.

Outdated Bathroom

Is your bathroom straight out of the 70s? Do you have almond, pink, or green sinks with a matching toilet and tub? Maybe you thought that installing polished brass fixtures would fool everyone into thinking they were made of gold? Is the lovely flower pattern wallpaper peeling at the seams. Maybe the pastel tile walls have some damaged tiles that you have replaced throughout the years with different shades? If you answered yes to these questions, you should consider a bathroom remodel.

Typically it costs between 8k and 15k for a modest to mid range remodel. Using high end products can bring the total well above 20k.

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