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Bathroom Reno: What I Would Have Done Differently

Bathroom Reno: What I would have done differently

This post may be a little premature since we haven't exactly finished the bathroom as such - there's still the hidden cupboard to fit, remaining panelling to install and generally this room needs a lot of finishing touches with its decor. But the bulk of this bathroom is complete and I don't think the list is going to change in any way, so I decided to go ahead and write it anyway.

I don't have any regrets as such about the bathroom but there are a few little things which I would have done different, whether I had a bigger budget, more time or generally just a change in preferences.

1. Locate the extractor fan closer to the shower

This is probably the top thing I would have done differently. We purchased quite a high-powered inline extractor fan, which wasn't the cheapest on the market, but it was ideal for our large bathroom and ensuring this room wouldn't suffer from condensation and moisture problems. I decided to position the fan pretty central in the room - thinking it would benefit both the bath and shower. I now know that the bath produces very little steam in comparison to the shower and that it would have been much more beneficial to have the fan closer to the shower. This room does get pretty steamy with long showers (particularly in winter) although it's not as bad as our downstairs shower room. It does takes a while to build up and it does also clear up within about five minutes after showering - but I do fear that if my showers were a little longer the whole room would fill up in one giant fog. It's okay in its current position and does an okay job, but it definitely would have been better moved closer to the shower to remove that hot steam straight away. 

locating the extractor fan in a bathroom

2. Alter the timer on the extractor fan

This is such a stupid one - because it was something I had been meaning to do before the ceiling was installed, but I just....forgot. The current timer on the extractor fan (which turns on with the light) is set to 30 minutes, which is a major overkill in my opinion. I mean, it certainly makes sure every inch of moisture is removed from the room - but what about every time we just go in the bathroom, turn the light on, and don't need a shower? 30 minutes of extraction for nothing. A total waste of electricity. I think 10 or 15 minutes would have been plenty for showers and wouldn't have been such a waste when its turned on without the shower running. Ideally we should be able to gain access to the fan and change this, but as our attic room doesn't have a access hatch (yet!) to the eaves where it's positioned, we can't get at it. 

3. Install down lights

I love our new bathroom lighting, but I still can't help but slightly wish I had opted for the down-lights. The negative about our new lighting is that it's quite bulky, unlike down lights which are inset into the ceiling. I don't feel strongly enough to swap our current lighting for down lights but if I had had a bigger budget in the first place, I think I would have gone for down lights.

bathroom light fitting

4. Taken a plastering course or gotten a professional in!

Ugh. The ceiling. Now, I thought I'd done a pretty OK job - a bit of filler here and there, and it looked okay. That was until I laid in the bath and realised just how terrible it was. The lighting in the bathroom at night picks up every inch of imperfection and it shows. In the day light, it looks fine, but definitely not at night. I'd never plastered before, so I knew it was a major risk. The reason for doing it myself was purely financial - we'd never have been able to afford a course or a professional, but if I could have, I would definitely have splashed out on this and not done it myself.

plastering the bathroom ceiling

5. Swap the sink for a cabinet style one

To save on pennies (again!), we decided to keep the existing toilet and sink and just update the hardware. I have no love for toilets, so I'm really not that fussy about keeping the existing toilet. But for the sink, we kept it purely so that we could afford our fancy roll top bath. I didn't mind our sink too much, until we fitted Grant's mums. Oh, I had sink envy. I've always loved the cabinet style sinks - and you always need extra storage in bathrooms, so I definitely slightly wish we had splashed out here too.

updating an old sink

6. Installed shutters 

Shutters were on the original plans, but I only budgeted our money for the larger bathroom items - bath, shower, building materials etc - for some of the smaller (and not so smaller) things we had to save as we went, which was mostly fine. However, shutters are very expensive for what they are - actually they're even more expensive than our bath, say what?! So I had to ditch the plan and install a frosted window film instead. I'm no closer to owning those beautiful shutters, but I definitely wish I had somehow added a little extra from our funds to cover the cost of this.

frosted window film in the bathroom

Have you completed any rooms in a renovation and wish you'd done something differently?!


  1. Such an honest account of lessons learnt - its brave to say (especially when so much time and effort has gone into a project), next time i'd do this differently - I've certainly learnt a lot from reading your newly discovered blog - WHICH I LOVE by the way. Thank you so much for some really helpful advice - we are just starting to think about our project house now and this has been so good to read!


  2. My sister helped choosing the finest interior design accessories for my new home, and it helped adding beauty to it with ease.

  3. Small steps, but it looks great. I think it's high time for my bathroom. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor the ability :( But what are the professionals from? bathroom design aberdeen


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