Common Unexpected Things to Consider When Remodeling a Bathroom

Remodeling your bathroom can certainly be an exciting process. Whether you’re eager to transform the look and feel of your bathroom or upgrade its functionality – it’s always a smart idea to consider some potential surprises that could impact the timeline and scope of the project. To help keep you prepared for unexpected changes when remodeling your bathroom, Total Restore has assembled this quick reference guide. Once you learn some of the most common potential bathroom remodeling surprises, you’ll be able to proceed with complete confidence.

Unexpected Changes When Remodeling Your Bathroom

Unexpected Changes When Remodeling Your Bathroom


Depending on the age of your home, you might be surprised to discover the type of plumbing used in your bathroom. From 1900 until about 1950, metals including brass, galvanized steel, and lead were used in plumbing piping. Copper was later adopted as an alternative to these metals. These older types of metal fittings can often suffer from serious corrosion and require repair or replacement – adding hundreds or even thousands of dollars to your project cost. Even modern plumbing fittings like polyethylene, polybutylene, and polyvinylchloride (PVC) can have hidden defects that will be revealed under closer inspection. It’s always a smart idea to consider potential hidden costs associated with plumbing repairs necessary when remodeling your bathroom.


Another commonly overlooked aspect of a potential bathroom remodel is the age and condition of the electrical system. From approximately 1880 up until the 1970s, knob and tube wiring was the primary type of electrical system in a household environment. Similarly, your older home may have an electrical panel with outdated features like un-polarized receptacles that can cause a potential safety hazard. When updating your bathroom, consider potential electrical updates or upgrades that will be necessary to bring your electrical system up to current codes and regulations.

Floors, Framing, & Wall Condition

No matter if you’re considering a bathroom retrofit or remodel, it’s essential to verify the structural integrity of your bathroom. Floors, framing, walls, and ceilings should be thoroughly inspected to check for off-level areas or compromised load points. Especially when installing fixtures like glass shower doors and walls, levels floors and walls are critical to the look and functionality of your bathroom. Since grout or tile can often hide potential structural flaws, you might not find the issue until the remodel is underway.

Bathroom Fixtures

Excited about upgrading some or all of the fixtures in your bathroom? It’s important to remember some potential roadblocks or delays that can come from upgrading a sink, vanity, toilet, or bathtub. Always double-check and verify the dimensions of the new fixture compared to the old one. While they may appear similar visually, it’s an unpleasant surprise to find out your new fixture doesn’t fit the space of the old one. If you’re installing a heavy clawfoot tub or whirlpool tub, subfloors may need to be altered and reinforced to account for the larger weight. Differences in design may call for plumbing lines to be re-routed or upgraded to fit the new fixture. Just be prepared for additional work when installing new fixtures. It’s often not as simple as plug-and-play.

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